Is a Bail Bond Returned?

What Happens When Someone Is Arrested In Florida?



In Florida, after a person is booked into a jail, there may be a bond set by a judge on the arresting papers (called a capias, or warrant). If so, that person is eligible to be released from jail. If someone is arrested without a bond, he or she will probably have to stay in jail overnight and be taken the next day to a hearing called "first appearance," where the judge will: (1) release the person on his or her promise to appear at all subsequent court appearances (called signature release, or recognizance release), (2) set a cash or surety bond, or (3) hold a person in jail with no bond, meaning with no opportunity for release.


What are a person's options if the Judge sets a cash or surety bond?

Options include:

  • To stay in jail, awaiting disposition of the case;

  • To stay in jail and wait for a bond reduction hearing, if the bond is larger than one can or will pay. This hearing is usually set by an attorney;

  • To put up the full amount of the bond in cash (all or most will be returned when the case is over);

  • To call a bondsman (also called a “surety agent”), who will charge 10% of the face amount of the bond. This is a nonrefundable fee, and it is rarely returned. (Note: The 10% is mandated by Florida state law; a bondsman may charge no less or no more. Note that some bondsmen will occasionally allow one to make payments toward that 10% of the court-defined bond.)

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