If you are arrested and have to post bail in order to get out of jail, it is helpful to understand how the bail process works from start to finish. When you post bail, you are allowed to be out of jail while your case works your way through the court system. When you are out on bail, there are generally specific terms and conditions that you have to follow. Once your case is resolved through the courts, whether you get your money back that you put up for your bail depends on the circumstances.
In some cases, you are able to pay cash directly to the court in order to get out on bail. Generally, you will be required to pay the entire bond amount in cash. After you pay the entire bond amount in cash, you have to show up to all the court appearances where your presence is required. In addition, you have to follow any rules that the judge makes for your time on bond.
If you show up in court until the case is resolved, you will get your money back. You may not get your money back on the exact day your case ends, but the process will be started. If you don't show up to court, though, and the judge has to issue a bench warrant for your arrest, you are going to forfeit the bail amount. That means that the court will keep all the money that you gave them and you will not get any of it back.
A surety bond is when you work with a bail bond agent in order to secure bail. Working with a bail agent is common when you are not able to pay all the cash that you need to secure bail upfront. When you work with a bail agent, you are generally only required to pay a percentage of your bail. The exact percentage that you have to pay really depends on how large your bail is and the rules and laws concerning bail bond agencies in your state.
With a bail bond agency, as long as you show up in court and the court doesn't issue a warrant for your arrest, you will get back most of the money that you put up for your bail. You will have to pay the bail bond agency a premium, which is non-refundable, for the use of their services, but past that premium, you will get back the money that you put up for your bail.
Finally, you can give the court the title to a piece of property in order to get out on bail. This works very similarly to cash bail. If you show up for all your court appearances, regardless of the outcome of the case, in the end, you will get the title to your property back. If you don't show up to court and you decide to skip out on the law, you will likely also give up your rights to that property as well.
Whether you get your bail back really depends upon you. If you show up for all your court appointments, you should get your money back. If you work with a bond agency, you will have to pay them a small fee for their services, but you will also not have to put as much money forward. Speak with a bail bondsman for more information.