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What does it mean to be released on your own recognizance?

When you are arrested for a crime, your top priority is likely trying to get out of jail and live your life until your trial. While you might have to post bail to get out of jail, it is sometimes possible to be released on your own recognizance. If the judge does give you an OR release, you should make sure that you attend the hearings for your case.

What is an OR release?

If you are released OR, you don't have to pay any money to the court in order to be released. Instead, you will promise in writing that you will appear at all of the upcoming court hearings for the criminal justice case. If you break that written promise, a warrant for your arrest will be issued. If you are arrested on that warrant, you aren't likely going to be able to get another OR release.

Why would a judge issue an OR release?

A judge will consider several different points when trying to decide if an OR release is appropriate. The severity of the crime, the danger that you pose to the community, your criminal record, and your ties to the community are all considered. For example, if you are charged with a minor crime, have a long-term and stable job, have lived in the same home for several years, and have family members nearby, you are more likely to get an OR release.

As with all criminal matters, you have the right to be represented by an attorney at the bail hearing. Exercising this option might help you to get questions answered and your case for release from jail presented in a more effective manner.

Source: FindLaw, ""Own Recognizance" Release," accessed June 24, 2016

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