Free Legal Advice

Bail & Jail Info (visiting and commissary)

State Court:

In state court bail is set by a judge at the defendant’s first court appearance called his arraignment. 

Almost all of the time there are two numbers that are given as bail, for example: $1500/$5000.  The lower number is always the cash bail.  The higher number is the bond. 

Cash bail can be posted within a few hours of the defendant’s first court appearance by giving cash to the clerk of the court.  This ensures that the defendant will not be taken to the Tombs or Rikers Island and ensures that the defendant will get out of jail right away.  If cash bail cannot be posted right away, bail can be posted locally.  If the case is in Manhattan, bail can be posted 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 125 White Street, which is right next to the court. 

Bail Refunds

Cash bail is collected at NYC jails and by the courts. The person who pays the bail, referred to as the “Surety”, is given a receipt as proof of payment. The bail money is held by Finance until the court issues a refund order.

In most cases, the Surety does not have to do anything to receive a bail refund. The court usually sends a refund order to Finance about six weeks after the case ends. Finance automatically mails a refund check to the Surety at the address listed on the bail receipt.

The Surety should contact Finance if they do not receive an automatic bail refund by the eighth week after the case ends.

If you contact Finance about your bail refund, please have your receipt ready to provide information.