Do you get bail money back? A how to guide

When bail is granted to an accused, there are often conditions that are placed on the bail undertaking. One of these conditions is the deposit of a sum of money or security. The typical form of security is property. This article details how to get your bail money or security back.

The bail money or security will be returned after your court matter has been finalised and/or where your bail has been revoked. The refunding of your bail money is not affected by whether you are found guilty or not guilty in your criminal case. However, if your bail was revoked for a breach of bail conditions or you failed to appear in court on one or more occasions, it is likely that this money or security will be forfeited. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the conditions regarding your bail money or security, including when and how it can be forfeited.


How to get your bail money back

You must collect a bail refund letter from the court where the charges were finalised and not where the bail application was heard. You can then ask the court to forward this letter to the Supreme Court of NSW.

You will also need to complete an Application for Bail Refund Form and provide the original receipt for your bail and two forms of identification which show your signature.

Your bail money will be refunded by an electronic funds transfer (EFT) to a nominated banking institution. This is irrespective of whether you originally deposited the bail money in the form of cash.

You can seek to have the money paid to a third party such as a solicitor. You will need to provide ID confirming the third party’s identity and a letter of authority that details the solicitor’s trust fund account. These funds will be electronically transferred.

You can also request to collect the bail refund from your nearest Local Court by writing to the Bails Clerk at the Supreme Court in Sydney. Make sure you attach a copy of your bail refund letter if you have it.

At the Local Court, you will still need to present the original receipt for your bail and two forms of identification which show your signature.


How to reclaim property

When property is provided as security, a caveat is placed over the property. The caveat means that the court has recorded its interest in your property. It prevents a dealing from being registered over the property until it is formally withdrawn.

In order to withdraw the caveat, you will need to complete the Withdrawal of Caveat Form which can be obtained from a legal stationary outlet, the Supreme Court Bails Matters Counter or the NSW Land Registry Services website.

You will need to send in your bail refund letter to the Supreme Court. Upon receipt of this document, you will need to visit the Registry of the Supreme Court (Level 5, 184 Phillip Street, Sydney) and take with you the Withdrawal of Caveat Form and two forms of identification showing your signature.

The documentation you will receive from the Court then needs to be taken to the NSW Land Registry Services (1 Prince Albert Road, Queens Square, Sydney) to be lodged. This is where you will have the caveat removed.

It should be noted that you will have to pay fees during the process of submitting documents to the Registry services.


What if you are unable to collect?

If you cannot collect the refund, you can authorise a person in writing stating your permission for them to collect the bail. It needs to be signed by yourself and the person collecting the security. That person needs to take the letter of authority and two forms of identification with their signature.



Nyman Gibson Miralis is experienced in successfully obtaining bail for clients across all areas of criminal law.

Contact us if you require assistance.