Release on Recognizance is essentially just a simple promise that if released, the defendant will appear in court whenever summoned. In this situation, no money is paid to the court or police department. The defendant also promises to not engage in any type of illegal activities.
When determining whether or not the defendant should be released on own recognizance, the judge takes into consideration a number of factors including the following:
- The defendant’s criminal record (if he or she has one)
- Seriousness of the crime committed
- The defendant’s ties within the community as well as family ties and employment.
- Whether or not the defendant may pose as a threat to the community or an individual.
In most cases where a defendant is released on recognizance, he or she is released with many stipulations. Most often, a judge will restrict traveling privileges as well as order the defendant to check in with a supervising officer from time to time. In other cases, judges will sometimes set a curfew, require the defendant to attend rehab classes, or issue a stay-away order. If any stipulations set by the judge are violated, the defendant immediately becomes subject to an arrest.
If the defendant were to fail to appear in court at the scheduled date and time, a bail amount would then be set as well as the possibility of a warrant being issued for his or her arrest. In many cases, once the defendant has been brought back into police custody, any chance of getting bail will be completely eliminated.
If a defendant makes a request to be released on own recognizance and the request is denied, he or she will then have to continue with the regular bail process. After the bail amount is set the defendant will then have to post bail and if necessary contact a bail bondsmen to do so.