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About Release on Your Own Recognizance, or 'OR'

In simple terms, release on your own recognizance, or “OR” means you are not required to post bail. When a defendant is released on their own recognizance, he or she must sign a paper where they promise to appear in court when required to.

With OR release, the defendant does not pay bail. The defendant does not pay bail to the court, nor to a bail bondsmen. Aside from no bail being due, all other conditions of bail remain in force. Even if a defendant is released on their own recognizance, that doesn’t mean they’re off the hook.

The judge can, and probably will still place conditions on the defendant that is being released, such as:

  • Appear in court when required
  • Abstain from alcohol and drugs
  • Check in with a probation officer
  • Not commit any new crimes
  • Order an arrest if the defendant misses a court hearing

When do judges release people on OR?

Generally, it’s entirely favorable to be released on OR because the defendant does not have to go through the trouble of posting bail. So, under what circumstances does a judge release a suspect on OR?

When it comes to releasing suspects on OR, it’s at the judge’s discretion, however, the same factors that may sway a judge to set a low bail, can also encourage a judge to release someone on OR. What type of factors are we talking about? Here are a few of the main ones:

  • The defendant has been a good citizen up until now
  • The defendant does not have a previous criminal record
  • The defendant has a family to support
  • The defendant is gainfully employed
  • The defendant has been an upstanding member of the community for a long time

In other words, if the defendant has been a solid member of the community, and they do not have a criminal history, and they have a lot of obligations, such as a job to perform and a family to support, their chances of being released on OR are higher than if they were the opposite of that.

If you’re facing state or federal criminal charges, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to schedule an initial consultation with a Plano criminal defense attorney.