Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

How does Bail work? Is there a way to get Bail money back?

Posted on: May 28, 2007 at 2:08 a.m.

Bail is financial assurance that a Defendant will return to court after being released from custody. There are two ways to post bail. First, "cash" bail may be posted with the custodial agency to cover the entire amount of the bail. At the end of the case, if bail is exonerated, the defendant will receive a check for the entire amount posted (takes about 8-10 weeks). Second, a "bond" through a bail company may be posted. A defendant pays about 10% of the entire amount to a bail company, which puts up the entire bail amount through a bond. If bail is exonerated, the 10% is not returned to the defendant because this is the fee he paid to the bail company to post bail on his behalf (like an insurance premium).
Although the standard bail fee is 10%, there are certain circumstances where clients can qualify for an 8% premium. The bond company requires that the attorney has already been retained before qualifying the individual for a reduction. NOTE: There is no bail in Juvenile Court. The juvenile is either deemed "detained" or "non-detained" during arraignment. He remains in the same status until a contested detention hearing, or the end of the case.

Tagged as: bail and release, faq


prayertArer on January 9, 2010 at 12:57 a.m. wrote:

Bookmarked this. Thanksgiving owing to you looking for sharing. Definitely worth my time.

Leo on April 15, 2009 at 4:21 p.m. wrote:

i was arrested for'obstruction' because i got out of my car in front of my house and refused to get back in due to medical probem, i had to urinate..iI was quickly arrested beaten and dragged up the street in handcuffs,my car was searched impounded and i plead guilty for fear a spending up to a year in jail. I asked the citizen jailor if my friend could cover my bail in its entirety and she said cash only...he could have easily covered it with a check or credit card he is very well off why wasnt this an option for me or was it??

bobbyl on October 19, 2007 at 2:22 p.m. wrote:

MY family posted 1,500 cash bail for me. The case was disposed of and I was sentenced to probation and fines. The judge ordered the bail , which was posted by my mother held until all fines were paid. Is this legal or is it in violation of any type of bail law?

terri on June 16, 2007 at 8:24 p.m. wrote:

That sucks! Cause it really keeps people down . (financially) And, I was once told by a host of a radio talk show that I called in to,that 'Unfortunately we have to buy justice in this country'. And if you don't have any resources to sue...Your screwed! Anyways, I've experienced this several times, so I really feel for anyone who finds themselves in that spot. I was trying to find out if there was a way to get back the mony I had to pay to get my car out of impound $260.00 less than 8 hours later. 'They' were convinced that there were drugs/weapons in my car , (Because I wasn't a fourth waiver and had all of my rights in tact, and said 'NO, you may not search my vehicle'. So I was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, taken to the police station where my blood was taken from me. I knew I hadn't used any drugs. The test was clean. Didn't find anything in there while conducting the 'inventory' search for impound either.

Law Blog on June 13, 2007 at 12:45 a.m. wrote:

Unfortunately people who are found innocent, and spent time in custody, have often no recourse for what happened. There have been lawsuits filed. But how much is years of your life worth away from family and friends? The system is not perfect but is better than most others in the world.

Derek J. on June 8, 2007 at 10:43 p.m. wrote:

If someone decides not to post bail because they can't afford it, or they would rather ride the trial out in jail, I understand they can receive a sentence of 'time served' meaning they have already served enough time during the trial to cover their sentence. I would like to know what happens when a person spends all that time in jail and is ultimately acquitted of the crime. Is there any form of compensation for their time? Also, is there any law in place that allows an acquitted person to 'bank' the time he served toward another sentence? I think it would be fair toward acquitted people, but it would be terrible policy because it would be like a 'get out of jail free' card. But is there anything like this on the books?

Eric T. on June 3, 2007 at 11:28 p.m. wrote:

When an individual is arrested for a crime, the person is typically taken to a local detention facility for booking prior to incarceration in a lock-up station or county jail. Once arrested and booked, the defendant has several options for release pending the conclusion of his or her case. The Bail system is designed to guarantee the timely appearance of a defendant in court. Bail is also an insurance policy for the state that the defendant will appear to face charges. Further, the legal intent of release on Bail is not to relieve the defendant of obligations except for appearing, it is the retention of control over the defendant to the end that justice might be administered. *Note information taken from: http://www.ebail.com/how_bail_works.htm

Law Blog on June 2, 2007 at 1:15 p.m. wrote:

The law of bail, and related fees, apply to everyone equally. People with adequate funds will put their own funds to secure their appearance, so they can get every dollar back after bail is 'exonerated' at the completion of the case. In contrast the 10% premium cost for a bail bond, these funds are spent and nonrefundable like an insurance policy payment.

nora c on June 1, 2007 at 2:57 p.m. wrote:

what happens when attorneys are arrested? Are there special rates or special attorneys for attorneys? Following this TB case of Mr. Speaker, I started wondering about this because its extremely rare to hear about an attorney in any type of trial, I think this is the first time I've heard about it being so public.

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