When someone is arrested and needs to post bail, one of the first things they will do is look for a bail bondsman. This is a person or company that will help navigate the complex release process and guarantee the full bail amount on the defendant’s behalf in order to get him/her out of jail in exchange for a fee. But do you get your money back after paying a bail bondsman their fee? The simple answer is, no. However, in this blog post, we will discuss what happens to the money you pay when you use a bail bondsman.
How Bail Bonds Work?
When someone is arrested, they will be taken to a local or county jail. They will then have the opportunity to post bail and be released from custody. Bail is money that is paid to the court in order to ensure that the defendant returns for their day in court. If the defendant does not appear in court, the bail money will be forfeited.
In most cases, the bail amount is set by the judge at the time of the defendant’s arraignment, or is set at a predetermined amount, called a bail schedule. This amount will vary depending on the severity of the crime and the defendant’s history. In some cases, the defendant may be able to get a lower bail amount if they can prove that they are not a flight risk.
When someone does not have the money to post bail, they can employ the help of a bail bondsman. This is a person or company that will post bail for the defendant in exchange for a fee. The fee is usually around ten percent of the total bail amount but can vary based on the state and the circumstances. So, if someone needs to post a $5000 bail, they will have to pay the bondsman a $500 premium.
The bondsman will then contact the court and post bail for the defendant. After processing, the jail will release the defendant from custody and they will be allowed to return home until their court date.
What Happens to the Bail Money?
Now that you know how bail bonds work, let’s talk about what happens to the money you pay. In almost all cases, the bondsman will require this premium amount as payment for their services and to guarantee the full amount to the court on behalf of the defendant. Once the premium is paid, the bondsman will guarantee the remaining amount of the bond to get the defendant out of jail.
Moving forward, if the defendant does not show up to court they will be expected to reimburse the bondsman, and they may be subject to legal action. In most cases, if the defendant can’t pay, the indemnitor will be expected to pay the bondsman back for the defendant. So, if someone pays a $500 fee to the bondsman and then the defendant does not show up for court, the bondsman can try and recover the $5000 bail from either the defendant or indemnitor, otherwise the bail bondsman may lose the full $5000.
Do You Get Bail Money Back if the Defendant Is Not Released?
So, what happens if the defendant is not released after paying a bail bondsman? If the defendant cannot be released, the fee you paid the bail bondsman may be refunded in whole or part. However, this will depend on the situation and the laws of the state.
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