Factors That Determine Whether You Can Be Released Under Your Own Recognizance


In most cases, you have to pay bail if you want to stay out of jail while awaiting hearing. The bail guarantees that you won't skip your court hearings. However, it's also possible to be released on your own recognizance. In this case, you just promise (in writing) to make all court appearances, but don't pay any bail. Here are some of the factors that determine whether you are released on your own recognizance.

Nature of Your Crime

The court will be interested in knowing how much danger you pose to the society. It's unlikely to release you on your own recognizance if it considers you dangerous. The main factor that determines the level of danger you pose to the society is the nature of your crime. This means it will be difficult to secure a release if you have been charged with a violent crime such as assault or sexual violence.

Also, many states do not wish to spend a lot of resources on lower-grade offenders. Therefore, they encourage courts to release them (pending trial) so that only serious offenders are taken to jail.

Medical Status

Keeping a sick offender in jail is resource-intensive. This is particularly the case if the health condition requires regular medical condition. Consider a kidney patient who has to undergo regular dialysis sessions; it's cumbersome to arrange such things from prison. Therefore, if you have a serious medical condition, then the court may lean towards releasing you on your own resonance.

Length of Custody

Every defendant has a right to speedy trial. Although the term "speedy" is relative here, jurisdictions often have limits to how long they can hold a defendant before formal charges are filed against him or her. However, the authorities sometimes hold defendants beyond these limits without filing formal charges. If that has been the case for your arrest, then the court may release you without bail. It may do this so that the state doesn't violate your right to speedy trial.

Ties to the Community

Lastly, the strength of your ties to the community may also decide whether you are released without bail. This is because the more you are tied to your community, the lower your chances of disappearing from the area. For example, it's not easy to disappear if have a family, your children are attending schools in the area, and you are also managing an established business.

A good attorney can make a strong case for you to be released on your own written promise. For example, he or she can help prove the strength of your ties to your community. 

To learn more, contact a criminal defense attorney like Damiani Gerard M. 


21 August 2015

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