Cash Bail

  • Cash Bail is money that you pay as a deposit for the release of a person who has been arrested (also known as a defendant).
  • The Department of Finance holds the money to help guarantee that the defendant will return to court for their trial.
  • The Cash Bail is held in a bank account until the court closes the case and issues a court order to refund the Cash Bail to the person who paid it.
  • If the defendant does not return for their trial, the Cash Bail is not returned (forfeited Cash Bail).
  • If a court order is not received within 3 years of the deposit date the money is abandoned and sent to the NYS Office of the Comptroller.

Cash Bail Refunds

It is very important that you notify Finance when you change your address. This will help avoid a delay in getting the refund to you.
 
Complete the Cash Bail Refund Change of Address Notice and notarize it. Return the completed notarized form and a copy of a government issued ID to the address provided on the form.

You may also visit the Finance Cash Bail Unit to complete an Address Change Notice. The In-Person Inquiries section contains information on office location and list of acceptable identification documents.

 

If you need a certified copy of your Cash Bail receipt, then the person who paid the Cash Bail must contact the facility or court where the Cash Bail was posted.

Every April, any court funds not claimed after three years, are considered abandoned and are sent to the State of New York. Each September DOF posts a preliminary list of abandoned funds on this website, and then each January 31 the final list of abandoned funds is published in major newspapers and posted on this website.


If you would like to claim abandoned court funds after they have been sent to the State of New York, you must contact the New York State Comptroller's Office.

The Surety is the person who originally paid the Cash Bail. If you are the Surety, you can transfer the Cash Bail refund to another person by completing a Cash Bail Assignment Application. You must notarize the form and mail it to the address on the form with the original Cash Bail receipt. You must include a copy of two forms of ID; one has to be a photo ID. Once the Cash Bail has been transferred, we cannot revoke the transfer unless the person who received the transfer (the assignee) transfers the Cash Bail back to the Surety.  

Finance can receive a forfeit order from a court instructing us to keep Cash Bail. If you receive a letter notifying you that your Cash Bail has been forfeited by the court, then you must contact the court that ordered the forfeiture or the District Attorney’s Office within 45 days of the date of the letter to find out the reason for the forfeiture. Only a judge can issue or reverse a forfeit order.