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December 6, 2022  |  Posted by jesse  |  Bail Bonds

Wondering if you can get around a cash only bond? Yes, you can. Keep reading to learn more. 

Are you, or a loved one being faced with the choice between a cash-only bond or incarceration? If so you are likely to find they are much stricter and more complicated than surety bonds, something that can make the whole process feel risky and confusing. 

The good news is that below you can read all about how to get around a cash-only bond if one is issued to you. Read on to find out more. 

Why are cash bonds imposed on a defendant?

There are several reasons why a court is more likely to issue a cash bond on a defendant that any other sort of bond. The first is what their previous behavior when in trouble with the law has been like. For instance, if the defendant has a history of skipping court appearances, or neglecting to pay fines issued by the court the chance of a cash bond being issued becomes higher. 

Another reason that a cash bond may be issued is if the defendant is deemed to be a flight risk. That is if they are likely to flee instead of showing up to court. This is particularly the case if they are facing a long sentence or a very high fine. Cash bonds are issued in these flight risk cases because the court can guarantee that they will be paid if the defendant doesn’t show up. 

Who can pay off a cash-only bond 

There are three kinds of people that can pay a cash-only bond. The first is the offender, while the second is a member of their family. The third is a third party such as a bail bondsman. 

However, it is worth noting that in some states courts are allowed to take money from the bond and apply these to any fines the defendant may have. This means that whoever pays the bond may not always get the full amount back, even after the court case has been concluded. 

Additionally, as you would expect with a bond, if the defendant does not show up to their court appointment, the whole bond is forfeit and that means whoever paid the bond, will not receive any of their money back.  

How to post a cash only bond

There is no standard way of posting a cash bond, as procedures differ from state to state. However, the good news is that wherever they are required, the process tends to be uncomplicated. Usually, it will entail simply going to the prison cashier’s window and posting the bond there. 

The prison cashier will then issue a receipt to the person that has paid the bond. This is a very important aspect of the process because the money can only be paid back to the person with their name on the bond receipt. What this means is if the defendant uses their own money, but gets someone else to make the payment for them, they must ensure that the name on the bond receipt matches the defendant. Otherwise, they could struggle to get the money paid back to them that they are owed, once the court case is over. 

Once bail is posted, then what happens?

After the cash bond is accepted and processed, bail is posted. This means the defendant will be released from prison pending their trial.  Once released from custody, the defendant must be careful to keep within the terms of their bail, including attending court appearances. If the defendant does not keep within the terms of their bail, the bond will be canceled allowing a warrant to be issued for them to go back to custody. 

If you don’t pay back your bondsman, what happens?

Cash bonds present a significant risk for bail bondsmen, especially if they do not obtain collateral before issuing them. This is because if the defendant skips out on their bond, they will be left with the debt unpaid. 

If the defendant does not pay back their bondsman they can expect either a civil lawsuit for breach of contract or rearrest and incarceration until the debt has been settled. 

It is possible to get your money back with cash-only bonds? 

The answer to this question largely depends on the courts. This is because some courts will use cash bonds in the same way as purge bonds, which means they will use the money already in their possession to pay off fines that an offender has incurred. This means that cash-only bond payees may be less likely to get back the entire amount they pay in. 

This is especially the case if the cash bond payee is the offender or their family. However, courts are much less likely to use cash bonds for fines that have been paid by professional bondsmen. 

What happens if you pay a cash bond, but then change your mind?

Sometimes a situation occurs where the defendant or their family pay a cash bond, but then decide that they do not want to be responsible for the defendant or want the money back before the trial is concluded. It is critical to note that in these cases the payee can struggle to see their money returned. This is because as soon as the bond is paid the money becomes the court’s property. This means it cannot be refunded unless the court exonerates the bond, something that can be complicated and time-consuming to complete. 

The key thing to remember here is that If a bond is exonerated the defendant must return to custody. Also, the costs incurred by the court for exoneration may be claimed against the bond which means that significantly less of the total bond amount could be paid back to you.

How long does it take to get your money back once a cash bond is exonerated?

Once a cash bond has been exonerated you can expect any money due back to you to be paid back. If you paid the bond personally the court will issue you a check. If you paid via a bail bondsman, they will pass it on to you within 24 hours of getting it from the court. 

Final thoughts on how to deal with cash bonds 

Cash bonds can feel confusing and high risk. However, if you educate yourself on the process beforehand, you make sure things go as smoothly as possible.