It can be devastating to find out that a loved one has been arrested and is now residing in jail. Thoughts about guilt or innocence may need to be put on the back-burner until your loved obtains freedom. While bail and bail bonds can offer some people freedom from jail, there may be an even easier and less expensive way to get out of jail. Read on to learn more about being released on your own recognizance (OR).
Bail, No Bail, or Own Recognizance
In most cases, people are lucky to be offered bail. Bail is a financial payment and an agreement to abide by certain conditions. Some people are not offered bail if their crime is serious and they have a criminal record. One of the most important conditions of bail is a promise to return to court and face the charges. Some of the same factors that allow some people to be offered bail may also allow them to be released on their own recognizance. When someone is released on their own recognizance, no bail money is required.
Factors Used in Own Recognizance
The integrity of the accused is at stake when considering the potential for an OR. For example, some factors include:
- The seriousness of the charges
- Danger to others
- Past criminal history
- Reputation in the community—job, marital status, education, etc.
A Conditional Release
Those released on their own recognizance must abide by similar provisions as those who are released on bail. While the financial burden of OR is less than with bail, the conditions of OR might make up for that deficit by being even stricter. Failing to follow the rules will prompt a warrant for an arrest and jail with no chance for OR or bail. Beyond agreeing to show up for future court dates, OR recipients must also follow other rules. Conditions are usually closely connected to the crime your loved one has been charged with. For example, if they are charged with domestic violence, a condition of being released on OR might be to stay away from the victim. Other common conditions include:
- Not associating with criminals
- Not carrying a weapon
- Not breaking any more laws
- Surrender of a driver's license
- An ignition interlock device for those accused of a DUI
- Passports must be surrendered
Seeking Legal Help
Even if you are cheered by the prospect of your loved one being released from jail, the process is just beginning. Being accused of a crime is a serious matter and the punishments can be harsh. Encourage your loved one to speak to a criminal defense attorney about their case as soon as possible.
For more information, reach out to law firms like Maruca Law.