What Happens to Bail Money?

Bail is typically very expensive. In Texas, misdemeanors can run up to $4,000. Felonies can go up to $20,000 and serious felonies like murder can start at $1 million. If you don’t appear in court then you forfeit this money. This may lead you to wonder what can happen to your bail money.

Factors That Can Raise Bail

There are a variety of factors that determine the amount of your bail. These factors can also lead to the judge denying you bail. If you’re a flight risk or remain a risk to someone else’s safety the judge could refuse to set bail. The judge could also set the amount incredibly high, and make it difficult for you to get out of jail. Other factors include prior convictions, restraining orders, and your probation record. You must pay the amount set by the judge in full before your release, or work with a bondsman and pay 10%. 

Bail Reduction

Your bail can be lowered in a bail hearing or if your case is delayed for an extended period. A defendant has the right to request a bail hearing by filing a motion for a bond reduction. The motion provides a detailed outline explaining your argument for bail reduction. Keep in mind that the judge set bail at a specific amount after reviewing your circumstances. You should provide information about new circumstances.

The Coronavirus can also increase the likelihood of a judge granting you a bail reduction. Many jails are overcrowded and it’s hard to prevent the virus from spreading. If you can prove you’re at-risk you’ll likely be granted a reduction. At-risk groups can include elderly people, immunocompromised people with underlying medical conditions, and those who were already exposed to the virus. 

What Is a Forfeited Bail Bond?

In civil and criminal cases the defendant must appear for scheduled hearings and fulfill any previously agreed-upon requirements. The judge creates a list of conditions and you must adhere to them. If you don’t or you skip bail, you will forfeit any money you put up to secure your release. A specific amount will be deducted from the bail amount to cover court fees. If you use a bondsman you will still be expected to pay them their 10% fee. Any remaining money will remain the property of the jurisdiction hearing your case. The court will then disperse your bail money to the county, city, and state at their own discretion. 

You may be able to retain your surety if you can give the court a good reason for missing your trial. An event like an accident, the death of a loved one, or a severe storm can be considered a reasonable cause for missing your trial. If you don’t appear at your forfeiture hearing or don’t have a valid reason for missing your trial the city will keep your bail money. Then, you can be rearrested and held until your case concludes.

Where Does Bail Money Go During the Trial?

Before the court grants your release you must pay the bail set by a judge. You can either do this with bail or a bail bond. Then, the court system will hold on your money until the end of your trial. It will not be spent during this time, and if you appear at all of your court dates the money will be returned to you regardless of the verdict. 

ABC Bail Bonds

ABC Bail Bonds is here to help you get out of jail fast no matter the time! Our talented bail bondsmen work hard to bail you out as soon as possible, and we offer payment plans for anyone who can’t afford a one-time payment. Don’t stay in jail and risk missing work, school, bills, and important family time. Get back to your life faster after an arrest with ABC Bail Bonds. Call or visit our website to get in touch with us today!

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