Kentucky Bail Bonds

Our bail bond directory helps you learn about the bail bond process in Kentucky so you can get in touch with the right people in order to get your loved one out of jail. We answer many important questions on how bail bonds work in Kentucky and how much bail bonds cost.

How do bail bonds work in Kentucky?

Upon arrest anywhere in the state of Kentucky, a person must be processed at the local county jail. To be released from jail, a few steps must occur, including being “booked in” and posting bail. Once the bail amount is confirmed, you can work with the jail directly to post the payment. The jail serves the role of a bail bondsman, so you won’t need to contact a commercial bail bond company to be released in Kentucky.


In Kentucky, the state will take a non-refundable 10% payment for your bail amount and you can be released from jail. The processing time typically can take anywhere from one to two hours to be completed. While cash bonds are acceptable, it is usually not frequently done due to it’s high expense, but you can certainly pay the Kentucky jail the full bail amount and get all of it back, minus court and administrative fees, upon attending all court dates.

After release, you are expected to make all court dates. If you miss a court date, a warrant for your arrest will be issued and you will land back in a Kentucky jail. Make sure you understand all rules in place after leaving jail, such as any check-ins with your officer, drug testing, rules on leaving the state, etc.

How much is bail in Kentucky?

When it comes to the question of “How much does a bail bond cost?“, Kentucky is a state where private bail bonds cannot be written. Since 1976, Kentucky has banned the private, commercial bail bond industry. No. KRS 431.510 makes it illegal to offer bail bonds in the state which means there is no formal fee structure that we see in other states.


Kentucky has Pretrial Services which handles recommendation to the court on pre-trial releases. An officers interviews the arrested person within 24 hours and makes a recommendation to the court for release based on the person’s prior criminal history, flight risk, employment, and other factors. If it’s determined the person can be released, various scenarios can be explored. Similarly to using a bail bondsman, you will pay the state a 10% bail bond fee to be released. There simply isn’t a middle man in this process which the state of Kentucky prefers. You can also be released by paying the full amount in cash or putting property up. Low flight risk, little criminal history, and a low-income situations may offer additional flexibility as the state wants to avoid discriminator practices that may hurt someone’s long term success in life.

38 Bail Questions & Answers on “Kentucky Bail Bonds

    1. Kentucky doesn’t have a commercial bail bonds industry, so you’ll need to work with the court and jail system for the exact details. Property bonds differ in procedure state to state, and while working with property outside of Kentucky may be more challenging, you may still be able to do it. Most states require some visits to the City Hall to determine property value and lookup records. It’s difficult to provide exact details without knowing the county the arrest occurred. Our recommendation is to call the Kentucky court, jail, or sheriff to ask who you can speak to for more details on how to handle a property bond with property outside of the state.

    1. Most counties should allow you to use the same property multiple times, assuming the property is not used for multiple instances during the same period. For example, if you bailed someone out a year ago using a property bond and the bond is cleared and final, then you can use the same property again in most counties for a later case if needed. If you have to bail out two individuals at the same time, then the Kentucky property bond will typically be used for one person only, depending on the bail amount and your property value. You may want to call the Rockcastle city hall to get exact information on what is possible. Some counties allow you to use the same property on two bonds at the same time as long as the combined bail amounts don’t exceed the property value.

    1. If the Kentucky judge set a Cash Only bond, unfortunately, your only option is to come up with the full cash amount. The typical 10% premium cannot be used in this case. A judge typically sets Cash Only bail when there is a high risk of flight, or if the arrested person has many unpaid fines. It’s a way for them to try and keep some, or all, of the cash bail if there are unpaid fees. To change from Cash Only bail to a regular bail bond, you should get a lawyer. Have the lawyer push for a change in the ruling on the Cash Only bail. There are no guarantees it will work, but you should try, especially if the person arrested is behind on unpaid fines – you may be risking a lot of your own money that you won’t get back from the court.

      1. If you call the county jail, will they notify you of fines if you specifically ask? Are you responsible for the person through the whole trial and court date process? What if they skip bail and you call the cops? Can you get your money back still?

  1. I paid a lot of cash to bail another person out of Jefferson County jail, but her charge was in Meade County. I was told I could get my money back, no matter what. But Meade County rep. said I had to “bring her in” myself (for her court date at least I think), and then I could “ask the judge” for my money back. Does that sound correct? Please explain, help, etc.!!!

    1. Randy, you have the option to revoke any bond you post for someone’s release. Meaning, you take the person to the judge at the courthouse and ask for your money back, they go back to jail.

  2. Kentucky doesn’t allow the use of a bondsman and you must pay cash in full out of your pocket. Do I get my money back if I show up on my court date?

    1. Bail bonds are handled through the court and jail in Kentucky. You won’t need to utilize a bail bondsman in Kentucky. Simply call the court/jail and ask for the bail details to find out what type of bail is allowed for the offense committed. Whether you can bail them out will depend on the bail type set. You may be able to bail them out directly, but a visit to the court may be necessary, or you can hire a lawyer to take care of the issue for you. In KY, the court will only keep 10% of the bail amount if the defendant is found guilty. If they are not guilty, the full amount of the bail bond will be returned to you. Bail refunds in KY can be mailed to you so you’re fine being out of state to collect your funds.

    1. Since Kentucky doesn’t allow for commercial bail, you will not have any other options. The judge has classified the person as a high flight risk, or the offense was severe enough which is requiring a more impactful financial commitment before release. This helps the courts feel more at ease about the person returning for all their court dates. An option you have is to contact a lawyer to make a case to consider the 10% premium again. While there are no guarantees, a lawyer is sometimes able to change the initial decision made my the judge.

  3. In Kenton County Kentucky, if someone is booked in jail for 2 counts of sex offender, 1) can they still be bonded out, and 2) on the website to look up inmates, it looks like his bond is $10,000. Does that need to be paid in full?

  4. Does a person that is getting a bail bond have to have the same residence as the person incarcerated? And do they have to be released to someone that lives in the same state? For example, my separated spouse has been arrested in KY and has family and his hometown in VA. In order to get him out on bond, does the person that’s going to bond him out have to have a KY license or residence?

  5. If you pay a cash bond for someone to get released from jail for theft by deception charges, will you get your money back in Kentucky?

  6. It’s good to know more about bail bonds. I like how you said that these bonds are used to get your loved one out of jail. My cousin was arrested just the other day, so I’ll have to tell his family about the bail options.

  7. If someone is arrested for burglary 2nd degree and assault 4th degree, but has an open case pending with probation violation for domestic violence assault, can his bail be lowered to 10%? He currently has a $5,050 cash bond only until he sees the judge. He also has two failure to appears as well.

  8. So did I read that right? If someone has a $250,000 cash bond all he has to do is pay 10% of the $250,000? If that is correct, all he would have to do is come up with $25,000… this man murdered somebody!

    1. If the bail was set as ‘cash’ then that means the full $250,000 cash bond needs to be paid. A 10% fee does not apply on cash bonds. Cash bonds are specifically set for high level crimes to make the bail amount difficult to come up with. The 10% fee applies to non-cash bonds.

  9. My husband is in jail, his bond is $1,500 and I don’t have that much money. Is there someone I can contact to see about helping me with the bond? We live in Muhlenberg County, KY.

  10. I signed a surety bond for my daughter to get out of jail. She was on pretrial release with conditions. I have done all I could to meet all the conditions the court had in place. She wouldn’t do the things I tried so hard to get done for her and she went and failed her drug test, she got arrested on bench warrant for the pretrial violation. I went to the courthouse in Boone County, KY and asked to be removed from bond before she violated, so will the judge release me from the bond? Since she is going back to jail, she is being held in another state to be transferred to a KY jail with upcoming court date.

  11. My fiance is on a $1,000 (10%) bond. He needs to be out for doctor appointments. He is battling several serious illnesses and is in a program for treatment for these conditions. If incarcerated for much longer, they will remove him from the program which provides his medications. What can I do to get him released to me?

    1. Medical bonds can sometimes help in this case. We are including more information below to help shed more light on medical bail bonds:

      How medical bonds work:

      Your overview and understanding of medical bonds is correct. While jails have nurses who can address most common medical issues, there are definitely cases where certain medical conditions cannot be treated by the jail medical staff. In order to be booked into jail, a person must be fit for confinement. Most jails will ask about medical issues before booking and a nurse can inspect the arrested person before admitting them to jail. This is the best time for the jail to limit their liability.

      An interesting example of this occurred in 2007 with Paris Hilton. She was released from prison due to an unspecified medical condition. Part of the agreement with the judge was to release her and allow her to her time from home via house-arrest. Good lawyers will help move the needle on this. Particularly in a high visibility situation like this – the county simply didn’t want to take the risk of a high profile medical case gone bad which could essentially have cost them millions in damages.

      Benefits and Dangers:

      It could make sense for the judge to release the person without the necessity of signing bond if the person is a low flight risk and doesn’t have a long criminal history record. The true benefit is the cost for the tax payer since medical costs are covered by the county. The only exception to this is if an inmate is insured, then the medical provider can bill the insurer first, but in most cases, individuals are not covered. Another benefit of medical bonds is that the arrested person can leave jail and obtain better, more stable healthcare outside of the jail system. There are more resources and more stability with outside treatment.

      The danger comes from individuals who are repeat criminal offenders and releasing them could present a risk to the public, or they might be a flight risk and not return for their court dates. Secondly, some individuals abuse medical bonds and use it as an excuse to obtain a “free” get out of jail card. Most county jails are aware of this and have tightened the rules around the use of medical bonds.

      A danger for the jail is the general misconception that the county’s obligation to pay for care ceases when an inmate is released. In reality, liability can continue in certain extreme circumstances – for example, if the jail waits too long to properly treat an individual with external medical care. If someone is unable to ask for medical release or is turned down, and their medical condition worsens long term and requires long-term care due to poor care by the jail, then a case can be made for the county to continue covering the expenses for external care.

      How prevalent are medical bail bonds?

      While jail officials frequently hear complaints from inmates about their medical conditions, it often falls on deaf ears. Nurses and other medical professionals are present in all jail facilities and can address most medical issues. Requests are turned down in most cases. Medical bonds are usually given only in cases where the jail sees a significant financial liability from medical expenses. Even temporary emergency cases can be addressed via a hospital emergency room. The individual is then returned back to the jail after treatment.

  12. I posted a bond for someone in Louisville Kentucky / Jefferson County. I am scared to go get the money back now that I’m released because I have a warrant on me. Nobody else can pick up the money because I have to get a duplicate receipt since I lost the original one. If I go to the courthouse and get the duplicate receipt and bond money back, are they going to run my name for warrants or when it shows I am the one who posted the bond will my warrant show up? I’m needing this money to pay a lawyer to re-docket my case since that’s the only other person who can.

  13. My husband’s grandmother put up property in Grayson, KY. How long will it take for him to be released? It was submitted almost a week ago.

  14. Need to find out why Warren District Court sets strange bond requirements. I went to the jail to bond out my son with a $1,000 cash bond. The person at the jail said I could not get the money back for myself and I had to put it in my son’s name. She said this was the new rule for Warren District Court. I feel this is wrong. This gives my son sole possession of my bond money. Is there a KRS you can cite that says I had the choice of putting the refund in my name, or the defendant’s name? If this new requirement is true, then this would discourage a lot of people from posting a bond. Why would the courts want the refund to go to the alleged perpetrator? Thanks for your answer.

  15. I posted a cash bond for my son of $10,000 as he was pulled over and had 9 lbs of marijuana. We live in St. Louis. What happens to the $10,000 bond? Does he lose it if he is found guilty or violates the terms of the bond?

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