Pursuant to CrR 3.2 and CrRLJ 3.2, there is a presumption to release the accused in non-capital cases, i.e., a case that does not involve the death penalty. The Court may impose bail as a condition of release if it feels that there is likelihood that the accused will not reappear at Court, will be a threat to the administration of justice or will commit a violent offense while released. If you comply with all of the conditions of release, appear at every court hearing and do not agree to a bail forfeiture to resolve your case, your bail will be refunded.
If you post a cash bond and comply with the terms of release (including making all your court dates) you get the money back at the end of the case. However, if you go to a bonding company, they will generally charge you 10% of the bond as a fee and you do not get that money back.
The primary purpose of bail is to insure that you appear in Court as may be required. In other words it is a form of "insurance" so to speak so if you put up a cash bond and comply with all requirements of the bond you would be entitled to receive the money back at the end of the case if you are acquited, although there could be a small amount witheld as a "processing charge". However if found guilty and accessed a fine or other costs the cash bond may be held uhtil these are all paid. If you use a bonding company it's kind of like buying an insurance policy - you don't get the money back regardless of the outcome.
If you post a cash bond you get it back. Most people cannot afford to post a cash bond so they pay a bondsman a percentage of the bond amount as a fee and he/she posts it. This fee is not refundable.
In Georgia you may post bond via cash, real property or a bonding company. If you post with cash or property it is returned to you after the disposition of the matter. If you use the services of a bonding company they are allowed to keep a statutory fee and that is built into the contract. I do not have the specific rate on hand but I believe the amount is 14% of the total bond.
Usually at the end of a case, the attorney can ask the judge to exonerate the bond, however, if the People announce that they are going to re-file on another charge following a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to 1385, the court can order that the bond be held for two weeks pending the filing of a new charge.
In FL typically so long as all terms are complied with, bond will be returned unless it is applied to an imposed fine or court costs if there is a plea. In the event of a dismissed charge or not guilty verdict after trial, the bond should be returned by the office of the clerk of court.