Bail money is returned to the payer when the defendant has satisfied his legal requirements to the court, according to the Legal Aid Society. Failing to appear in court or fulfill other court requirements delays the return of bail money.
The Legal Aid Society explains that at the end of the case, the judge orders a return of bail, and the monies are usually returned by check within six weeks. Some states, such as New York, retain a certain percentage of the bail amount if the case ends in a conviction. To check on bail money return, contact the court's finance department, and provide the bail receipt number so that the file can be located.