What Does It Mean to Be Released on Your Own Recognizance?

When you are booked into jail for a crime in State court in Florida, there will be a flurry of emotions for you and your loved ones. The top-of-mind issue for you will be: How do I get out of jail and back home?

The purpose of a bail bond is to ensure your return to court to answer the charges. The prosecution may be arguing that you present a risk of flight or danger to the community if you are released from custody with insufficient bail. Depending on those factors as well as the seriousness of your charges, bail could be as low as $500 up to a situation in which the judge denies bail and requires that you remain jailed until the case is resolved. 

When you have the resources available to post bail, it can be tempting to simply pay the fee and move on to defending your case. However, it is almost always worthwhile to consider attempting to get released on your own recognizance (ROR).

Own Recognizance Defined

To be released on your own recognizance means you will be freed from custody without having to post anything of monetary value – essentially, a no-cash bond. Convincing a judge to grant you this designation requires you to meet several criteria. The judge will consider the perceived danger you pose to the community, the likelihood of your fleeing the jurisdiction, any prior criminal charges, and any ties to the community. Depending on the nature of the crime of which you are accused, other areas might be explored by the court.

Ties to the community usually involve your employment (does your work require out-of-country travel?), family (are you married with children?), and residence (are you renting a condo in Tahiti?). Typically, ROR is reserved for first-time, non-violent offenders. Conversely, if you are charged with a violent crime, you may still qualify for ROR, but it will more than likely be coupled with home confinement with a GPS monitor so that your whereabouts are always known. 

Receiving an ROR Release

After being arrested, you will appear in court and the judge will determine the conditions of your release. During this time, your attorney will have the opportunity to argue in favor of getting released on your own recognizance. In many cases, simply retaining a defense attorney goes a long way toward persuading a judge to grant an ROR. 

If you are granted permission to go home without having a cash obligation, you will more than likely have to report to the Office of Pretrial Services, which supervises individuals who have been released ROR. You may also have to sign a document establishing the conditions of release. Most importantly, you may not commit any new crimes while on release. If you are rearrested, your ROR will be revoked and you could be held in custody with no bond. As you can see, the likelihood of you fulfilling those obligations is arguably the most crucial aspect the judge considers as he or she mulls over releasing you ROR.

The ROR agreement may also include other case-specific conditions, such as a temporary restraining order to stay away from the alleged victim, drug testing, home confinement and the like. 

ROR for Your Case

We know what’s important to you when you are charged with a crime and looking at a life-altering situation: time with your loved ones, ability to work and access to a qualified criminal defense attorney. Let us help you with both of those concerns. Give us a call today at (305) 373-4400 and get set up with a free consultation.

Law Offices of Barry M. Wax