Your Get Out Of Jail Free Card: Own Recognizance

Posted on: 9 December 2021

It's nearly impossible to stay safe, healthy, and work on your criminal case from behind bars. With jail overcrowding running rampant, nearly everyone that is arrested can be bailed out for a price. However, you may not necessarily need to spend any money on bail. Find out more about your own recognizance releases below.

Bail or No Bail

Only certain offenses and circumstances equate to being released from jail. Although most people do end up being released, many are not that fortunate and must wait for months before their case can be heard. Bail is reserved for those who have been charged with minor offenses, in most cases. However, if the offender has a long criminal record, they might not be offered bail, no matter how minor the latest offense might be.

No Bail Money Needed

When a defendant is released on their own recognizance, it doesn't mean they don't have obligations and restrictions. Own recognizance might be considered a form of bail or a conditional release that requires no money because the conditions under which defendants are released mirror certain bail conditions. Some of those conditions include:

  • The main point of being released from jail to await their day in court is that the defendant is expected to appear for all offense-related appointments – from court dates and drug testing to hearings and anything else ordered by the judge.
  • If the offense involved alleged victims, the defendant must not contact or go near them.
  • Defendants are usually warned not to get caught carrying any sort of weapon, hang out with known criminals, or get arrested again.

Is Own Recognizance for You?

Own recognizance releases are based on several factors:

  • The level and counts of the charges (preferably only one count of a misdemeanor charge).
  • The character of the defendant (employment status, age, nearby family, local residence).
  • Whether the charges concerned a violent or non-violent offense. Those considered a danger to the public may not be released on bail or own recognizance.

Legal Representation

If you are not offered bail or any type of release, you may need the help of a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer will work to get you released by requesting a hearing and arguing that you will obey the conditions of the release and are not a danger to anyone while out of jail. Those lucky enough to be out of jail will also need a lawyer to help them get their charges reduced or dropped, along with negotiating a fair plea bargain agreement.

Speak to a bail bond service to find out more.