Forfeiture Proceedings for Various Bail Types

Judicial Public Bail

A warrant of arrest shall be issued for the defendant terminating the release of the defendant.

Cash Bail

At the end of 30 days, unless the court has discharged the forfeiture, the money that was deposited as cash is forfeited. Without notice to the defendant, the judgment is rendered absolute and the money is paid over to the municipality.

Property Bond

The clerk of the court may file a lien in probate court of the county where the property is located.

Bonding Company

  • The court shall order a conditional forfeiture.
  • The court shall notify the defendant and the surety. The clerk of the court shall issue the conditional forfeiture notice. The clerk shall issue the notice within 90 days of the court's conditional forfeiture order.
  • The conditional forfeiture notice must be served within 28 days from the date the clerk issues the notice.
  • The defendant or sureties or both shall file a written response with the clerk of the court within 28 days of the date of the service of the notice why the bond should not be forfeited.
  • If after 28 days and no written response has been filed, the court may forfeit the bond in all or in part.
  • If a timely filed written response is filed and the court is of the opinion that it is not sufficient, the court shall set a hearing to determine whether the bond should be forfeited. The hearing must not be less than 90 days from the date the judge issued the conditional forfeiture order.
  • If a timely filed written response is filed and the court is of the opinion that is sufficient, the court shall set the conditional forfeiture aside. There are four reasons in which it is mandatory for the court to set the conditional forfeiture aside:
    • Defendant was in hospital or illness prevented appearance.
    • Defendant was in jail.
    • Defendant is deceased.
    • Defendant was serving on active military duty.
If the defendant appears in court and settles the case the surety is relieved from the bond. If a cash bond was posted by the defendant, it can be used to cover any fines, costs, and restitution assessed, and the balance, if any, will be refunded to the defendant. If the cash bond was posted by someone on behalf of the defendant, it is returned to the surety once the defendant's case is adjudicated, unless the surety is present to give permission for the defendant to use the money.

Alabama law allows 30 days for remittance of the cash bond to the defendant or surety; however in most cases bonds are returned within two weeks.