16 Jun The “Getting Out Of Jail Free” card
Typically when someone is arrested, they can either post bail to be released until they must reappear in court, or they will have to wait out that time period in jail. On occasion, however, a defendant can be released “on their own recognizance.” In this case, the defendant will sign a paper promising to show up in court. By signing this agreement, the bail fee is waived and no payment is required.
This situation seems ideal but is not offered to all defendants. Having the opportunity to be released in this manner is dependent on the defendant
- Having family members in the community
- Being employed
- Having a minor or no past criminal record
- Having resided in the community for a considerable amount of time
- And more.
If the defendant has strong ties in the community, it makes them less of a flight risk (meaning they won’t flee after getting out of jail). The above factors are also relevant considerations for a judge if and when he or she requires the defendant to post bail, instead of being released on own recognizance.