Cash Bonds Posted in Criminal Cases
Effective July 31, 2017 the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will continue to collect the cash bonds posted on behalf of the defendant, but will transmit the monies to the Clerk of the Circuit Court (Clerk). The Clerk will be responsible for processing the distribution of the cash bonds post disposition.
Cash Bond Depositor Instructions
The information provided below only applies to cash bonds posted for Hillsborough County court cases. For information regarding cash bonds posted for cases heard in another county, contact that county’s Sheriff’s Office or Clerk’s Office.
Pursuant to 903.286, Fla. Stat. (2016) the clerk of the court shall withhold from the return of a cash bond posted on behalf of a criminal defendant, sufficient funds to pay any unpaid costs of prosecution, costs of representation as provided by 27.52 Fla. Stat. (2016) and 938.29 Fla. Stat. (2016), court fees, court costs, and criminal penalties.
The Clerk’s Office will review and process the cash bonds upon one of the following qualifying events.
At the conclusion of the case in which the bond(s) were posted
The Clerk’s Office will review the case for qualifying sentences that close the case. The Clerk will apply the monies to the case (or any other case with outstanding costs involving the same defendant). If there are no costs owed or there are monies remaining after the costs have been satisfied, the funds will only be mailed to the depositor at the address provided at the time the bond was posted. Change of address information must be submitted in writing along with a copy of the cash bond depositor’s ID to Clerk of the Court, P.O. Box 3360, Tampa, FL 33601, (Attn: Bond Department). Refunds will not be disbursed in person at any of the Clerk’s Office locations.
If the defendant enters a diversion program, the cash bond will not be eligible for review until the State Attorney’s Office files an acceptance letter. Upon the filing of an acceptance letter, the Clerk will follow the same process as described in the paragraph above. The only exception is if the defendant is accepted into the Drive Legal Again Program (DLAP) in traffic cases. In those instances, the bonds will be processed two weeks after the acceptance into DLAP.
Failure of the defendant to appear for court hearing
Upon the failure to appear, the court will order the bond forfeited and the Clerk’s office will apply the monies to the fine and forfeiture fund pursuant to 903.26(3) Fla. Stat. (2016) and 142.01(1), Fla. Stat. (2016).
Please view your case status information at the HOVER website prior to contacting the Clerk’s Office. The court case number will be found on the cash bond form provided when the bond was posted.
If after researching the case outstanding questions still remain, refer to the Clerk of the Court Direct Contact link or call 813-276-8100.