One question we get asked a lot is can you get bail money back? The answer is that yes, you can – sometimes. When someone is arrested in Los Angeles, you typically have three choices when it comes to bail. Cash bonds, property bonds, and surety bonds (bail bonds). To understand how and when you get the bail money back, we need to take a closer look at each option.

Cash Bail in Los Angeles

Cash bail entails paying the entire bail amount to the court clerk. Once the defendant has made all of their mandatory court appearances, you get the money back (minus any relevant court fees). It doesn’t matter if the defendant is found guilty or not guilty.

Should the defendant fail to appear in court, a judge revokes their bail and a warrant is issued for their arrest. In this scenario, you do not get the bail money back.

Los Angeles Property Bonds

Property bonds require the use of a piece of property as a lien when you post someone’s bail. Property bonds work similarly to cash bonds when it comes to the defendant’s behavior. As long as they make all of their court dates, the property will be returned to you. If not, it is seized by the courts in lieu of bail money.

You do not get any money back when you post a property bond. Instead, the piece of property you put up as collateral is no longer at risk of being seized by the court.

Bail Bonds in Los Angeles

If you don’t have the cash for a cash bond or the property for a property bond, you can instead bail someone out of jail via bail bond. With the help of a Los Angeles bail bonds agent, you can pay a small fee (based on the total bail amount) and have your friend or loved one freed from jail.

As long as they show up for all of their court appearances, no further monetary action is required by you. However, you do not get the money back once the case is resolved. The fee does not go to the courts. It goes to a bail bondsman as their fee for putting up the money to get your friend or loved one released.