As with many components of the legal system, an own recognizance bond or OR bond is something that sounds a little more confusing than it actually is. We’ll walk you through this in order that you better understand your options before going to your bail hearing.

The Details of a OR Bond

All hope is not lost if you are charged with a crime. You have options. Innocent or guilty, the law allows for multiple ways to get out of jail before your day in court; even after you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime. One such option is the pretrial OR bond. A OR bond, also known as a personal recognizance bond, is when a judge allows the defendant to be released without any deposit or collateral.

“No money down?” Sounds too good to be true, right? There are some conditions to this OR bond, so don’t get too excited yet.

  • Defendants are still expected to show up for their court date even though they don’t have the typical financial incentive that’s associated with bonds
  • These bonds are rare
  • Very rare

Okay, Sure, OR Bonds Are Rare, But How Do I Get One Anyway?

OR bonds are the exception to the rule. Which means your case has to be the exception to the criminal justice norm if you’re going to have a chance at a “get out of jail free” card.

To be granted a OR bond, the judge is going to weigh a number of factors. Basically, it’s going to come down to what type of case it is that he or she is dealing with. If the charge being brought against you, the defendant, is related to a non-violent crime, your chances for a OR bond go up. If this is related to a violent crime, your chances might as well be zero.

However, the judge is also going to look at the defendant’s criminal history. If there is no criminal history, and there is a reasonable chance that your arrest was a misunderstanding, the judge might consider you as a candidate for a OR bond. If you do have a criminal history, the odds are less favorable.

Other things a judge looks for is if the defendant is in good standing with the community in which they reside. This can be a time consuming process for a judge to undertake and time is not something a judge has a lot of. Unless your community organizes on your behalf and sings your praises to the judge, don’t expect this avenue to be very likely.

The one last option is to advocate for yourself. The defendant may write a one-page letter to the judge explaining the situation as to why you were arrested and why you’re being charged with a crime. If you’ve ever been told that you’re a good writer, now’s the time to make it count.

What to do in the Event of a Likely Denial of an OR Bond

We know. A free pass on jail is what everyone wants. But the criminal justice system doesn’t work like that. It’s important to have realistic expectations as you’re going through this process. If you need help with understanding your bail bond situation, AAAA Bail Bonds are the people to call: 936-539-4444.