Bail is not punishment for a crime. Instead, it is a deterrent. It is set by a judge to ensure that a suspect shows up to court and fulfills all the court’s requirements, such as drug rehabilitation or anger management classes. Before searching for a local bail bond company, such as “Lehigh County bail bonds,” you should understand a few things about bail.
If a defendant was released on bail that was paid in full, the full amount of the bail will be returned to the individual who posted it when the case is concluded. However, the time of the refund may vary significantly. For example, if you paid a cash bail, it may take up to 6 weeks to receive a refund, whereas liens against property may only take a few weeks. This timeframe is dependent on the bail type and jurisdiction.
If you paid bail to a federal court, additional paperwork may be required to receive your refund. No matter what type of bail you pay, the court may keep an administration or other fee. This money will be deducted from your refund and will depend on the jurisdiction.
If a defendant fails to appear in court or does not complete the court requirements, bail is forfeited. This means that any cash paid to get the defendant out of jail now belongs to the courts. If property was put up as collateral, the property may be foreclosed upon or repossessed to pay the bail.
However, a court may reinstate a forfeited bail if the suspect returns to police custody and remains there until the end of the case. In addition, if the defendant has a good reason for missing court, such as a medical emergency, that suspect can petition the court to reinstate bail.
Be careful who you post bail for because if the suspect does not comply with any part of the court’s requirements, you could lose your bail money or collateral for good.