After an arrest, police officers and prosecutors have to determine if there is enough evidence to pursue criminal charges. If the state will not bring charges, they will release the individual.
If they do intend to charge someone, that person will need to attend a hearing, known as a preliminary arraignment, where a judge advises them of the charges against them. During this hearing, the judge also decides about whether to release someone from state custody and the conditions they will attach to that release.
Many individuals hope to secure a personal recognizance bond during such hearings. What does personal recognizance bond involve?
Certain forms of bonds reduce the financial burden on defendants
Posting bail or financing someone’s release on bond can be a real financial challenge for certain individuals and families. They may not have enough money on their own to secure their release, which means they will have to work with a professional.
Needing to hire someone to bond you out can make criminal charges more expensive and can also delay the release process in some cases. Thankfully, paying money or hiring a professional aren’t your only options. Judges have the authority to decide that they don’t want to hold someone indefinitely over a non-violent offense if they don’t pose a risk to the community or seem like a flight risk.
You don’t always need to pay for your release
Personal recognizance bond or release on recognizance means that a judge releases someone based on their word that they will come back to court for future hearings. A judge may also release someone on nonmonetary conditions, which might include certain reporting or monitoring requirements if someone could pose a risk of reoffending before they go to trial.
It can be difficult to advocate for yourself in a way that uses the right terminology if you hope to secure your release on recognizance. Those with strong ties to the community, limited previous issues on their criminal record and allegations of non-violent offenses will have the strongest claim to release on recognizance.
Understanding when the courts will agree to such a release, including when a person faces allegations of non-violent crimes, can help you push for the best outcome during your preliminary arraignment.