The Light on the Lake

Bail Q&A

Bail is the amount of money defendants must post to be released from custody until their trial. Bail is not a fine. It is not supposed to be used as punishment. The purpose of bail is simply to ensure that defendants will appear for trial and all pretrial hearings for which they must be present.


What is required?

The defendant you are bailing out must report to court on the adjourned date and time written on the bail receipt.


What if the defendant doesn't show up for court?

If the defendant fails to appear, a warrant will be issued for his/her arrest and bail money may be forfeited.


Will I get all my bail money back?

All bail money posted is subject to a 3 percent fee authorized by section 99-M of the New York State General Municipal Law.  


When can I get my bail money back?

Bail money will be returned when the case has been completed.  


How do I make arrangements for the return of my bail money?

When the case is completed, contact the court office at (716) 549-3707 to arrange for your return. It can take 7-10 working days before the bail money is available for return from the court.

Only the person who posted the bail can pick up the return from the court and he/she must have proper identification.  Your bail receipt will be collected at this time.

To avoid an unnecessary trip, be sure to call the  office at (716) 549-3707 to make arrangements before arriving at the courthouse to pick up your bail money.  


Can fines be paid from my bail money?

Only the person who posted the bail can sign the funds over for the payment of fines.