Do I Get My Bail Bond Money Back After My Case Is Complete?
Here are Southern Bail Bonds Dallas we often get this question from people when they are inquiring about posting bail bonds for defendants.
Well, the answer is “it depends”. I say that because there are two ways to post bail bonds and one of those ways allows the person posting the bond to get a major portion of their money back once the case is complete. The other way does not provide for a refund.Let me explain.
I’ll use a bond amount of $10,000 in this example. First, you need to understand exactly what a bail bond is. It is simply a guarantee that the defendant will show up for all required court dates until their case is resolve. It does not make the case go away. Say a defendant has a bond amount of $10,000 and you are the cosigner. You have the option to go to the jail and pay the full $10,000 for that defendant’s release. As long as they abide by all of the courts requests and appear at all hearings, then most of the money you posted as bond will be returned to you.
Keep in mind that the court could make requests other than just showing up for hearings. They may request psych evaluations or they may request drug screenings or UA’s (urine analysis) or they may request the defendant attend some sort of classes. They could also request the defendant complete a certain amount of community service within a specified time frame. This is not an all-inclusive list; the court could request an electronic leg monitor (ELM) be worn or a breathalyzer (Interlock) device be installed in the defendant’s automobile. These are just examples of requests that could come from the court.
All of the requests mentioned above would need to be met by the defendant in order for their bond to stay in place and for the cosigner to be eligible to receive any type of refund.
The other option for posting the bond mentioned above is to use a bail bondsman. This is the most popular option used by cosigners. It involves working with a bail bondsman to get the bond posted at a reduced rate for the cosigner. Normally bail bonds are priced anywhere from 10% to 15% of the amount of the bond. So, in this instance if we go with 10%, the amount the cosigner would have to pay would be $1000. This amount is much more appealing to most people because paying the full amount may not even be an option depending on the cosigners financial picture.
Or, the cosigner may actually have the funds available but may not want to tie up that amount of cash for an extended period of time.
Advantages of Using A Bail Bonds Agent
When the cosigner uses a bail bonds agent, what they are actually purchasing is an insurance policy. Bail Bonds are Surety Bonds – the surety bond is a guarantee, just like the cash bond, that the defendant will appear for all hearings required by the court and they will abide by all requests made by the court.
The bail bond agent will post the bond and at the point where the defendant is released from jail, the bondsman has earned their fee and it is not refundable. The fee paid to the bondsman is our compensation for writing the bond. In other words, that fee is how we make our money. It keeps the defendant from having to sit in jail while awaiting their hearings. It keeps the family/cosigners from having to come up with large amounts of cash on a short notice, and most importantly, it allows the defendants to keep their jobs and help support their families while going through the judicial process.
Bail Bonds Cosigner Responsibilities
The main thing to note here is this: as long as the defendant goes to court and abides by all of the rules set by the court then the only fees that are due will be the $1000 fee for posting the bond. BUT, if the defendant fails to follow any court orders or fails to check in with the bondsman then the bond will be forfeited. At that point the cosigner has 2 choices; they can either turn over the defendant (notify the bondsman where the defendant can be located) or pay the full amount of the bond ($10,000).
As you can imagine, most cosigners will notify the bail bondsman of the defendants whereabouts because they have no desire to cough up $10,000 especially since they’ve already stuck their neck out once to help.
It is up to the defendant and the cosigner to ensure court dates and any court requirements are met. The bond allows the defendant to carry on with their lives while going through the judicial process. This is also an opportunity for the defendant to help their lawyer build a case that results in a successful outcome for the defendant.
I often tell defendants and cosigners to spend time working on their case. Don’t just hire a lawyer and sit back expecting the lawyer to be able to perform magic tricks with no assistance from you. Attorneys need something to fight with, so arm them as best you can. Spend time thinking about your case and when you come up with details and facts that are pertinent, then be sure to let the attorney know. I could go on and on about things defendants and cosigners need to do to help their case along but I’ll save that for another post.
Just to recap, there are two ways to post bail bonds:
1. Post the full amount of the bond at the jail
2. Pay a fraction of the full amount to a Dallas bail bondsman and the bondsman will post the bond at the jail
Option #1 will allow for a refund as long as the defendant abides by all rules and requirements set by the court.
Option #2 does not provide for any sort of refund. The fee paid is the cost for posting the bond. The upside to using a Dallas bail bonds agent is that as long as the defendant follows the requirements to keep their bond in place, no other fees are due related to the bond.
If you have questions on anything related to Dallas bail bonds or the bail bonds process, please feel free to give us a call at 214-372-2500. Southern Bail Bonds Dallas is ready to help!