If you have been arrested, you may be required to post bail. Bail is a financial agreement between you and the court that acts as a guarantee for your court appearances. Most people can’t afford the full cost of bail in cash, so they opt for a bail bond. Here, a bail bond agency - like Mr Nice Guy Bail Bonds - will cover the cost of bail for you. You’ll only need to pay a percentage of the bail, which is usually 10%.
Provided you attend all court dates, your bail bond may be exonerated. This begs the question, what does an exonerated bond mean? Bond exoneration can be a complicated topic, so we’ve written this guide to help you understand exonerated bonds and what it means when a bond is exonerated.
Exonerated Bond Meaning
Bail exoneration is when your bail has officially been released or absolved. Effectively, this means you no longer have to pay bail and the money is given back to you.
Taking that into account, an exonerated bond is the same thing - only we’re talking about bail bonds rather than cash bail. If you have obtained a bail bond from a bail bondsman, they become your guarantor. They’ve basically posted bail for you, meaning the court holds their money. When a bond is exonerated, the court releases it back to the guarantor (your bail bondsman) so they receive all of their money.
The simplest definition of bond exoneration is that it signals the end of your financial obligation to the court.
When Are Bonds Exonerated?
If bond exoneration is the process of releasing bail bonds from the court back to the bail bondsman, when does this happen?
Contrary to what many believe, the outcome of your case isn’t a factor. You could be found guilty or not guilty and bond exoneration will still happen. It comes into effect after the case has been completely concluded.
This could happen if an individual immediately pleads guilty. Or, it may happen if the case has been dismissed as there’s not enough evidence. It can also happen if the case proceeds and you are found not guilty. As long as you turn up to every court date and adhere to the terms of your bail agreement, your bond will be exonerated once the case reaches a conclusion.
Why Are Bail Bonds Exonerated?
We’ve explained what it means when a bond is exonerated, and when are bonds exonerated. But now there’s another common query to cover. Why are bail bonds exonerated by the court?
Essentially, bond exoneration happens because bail is only in place as a security guarantee that a defendant appears for trial and cooperates with the case. When you appear in court and help things come to a conclusion, there are no more risks involved. The court doesn’t have to be worried that you might jump bail and try to flee the state. You’ve played your role and now your financial obligation is over.
Do You Still Pay Money If Bail Is Exonerated?
As an experienced bail bond agency, one of the most common questions we’re asked is this: if bail is exonerated, do I still have to pay?
The answer is yes and no.
Firstly, it depends on how you posted bail in the first place. Cash bail is when you pay the full bail amount using your own cash. In this scenario, you will not have to pay anything after bail exoneration. All of the money is returned to you by the court, including any fees.
On the other hand, if you need a bail bond to cover bail costs, you will still have to pay some money. The good news is that you aren’t forced to pay the full bail amount. Your bail bond provider will receive the bond money back, though they will not return any fees charged to you. If you recall in the introduction we stated that bail bondsmen charge a 10% fee for bail bonds services. This is how they make money, so this fee is not returned to you. Still, paying 10% is much better than paying 100% of the bail price.
There are also instances when your bail may be used to cover any fines given to you by the court. This happens in guilty cases, which means you might have to pay the bail bond agency to cover these costs.
Why Might A Bail Bond Not Be Exonerated?
In general, if you follow the court procedures and attend all of your hearings, your bail bond will be exonerated. The only way bond exoneration won’t happen is if the case doesn’t reach a final conclusion.
This can mean you’re acquitted of one charge but still face charges for another. Or, it means you have missed court appearances, in which case the court can revoke bail. This will mean they don’t return the money to your bail bondsman, leaving you in a lot of trouble. Bail bond agencies have the right to find you and bring you to court if this happens. They may hire bounty hunters to do so or work with the police to arrest you.
If this happens, you could lose a lot of money and end up detained without bail. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you make all court appearances and help the trial come to a conclusion as fast as possible. When everything is over - regardless of the verdict - your bond will be exonerated.
Need Help With Bail Bonds in California?
Bail bonds are the best way to free yourself from custody and return home while awaiting trial. Provided you follow all the bail terms, your bond will be exonerated once the trial is over. If you need help with bail bonds in California or want guidance on understanding bail laws, feel free to contact us today. We’ll be more than happy to help you during this difficult time.