What Determines Own Recognizance Release

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Not all who are arrested are given the opportunity to be released on own recognizance, which is when a defendant signs formal papers promising to show up for court, then is released from jail. Most defendants are granted bail, meaning they have to pay money to the court in order to be released from jail. Some are denied bail altogether. What factors determine own recognizance and bail?

Who determines: The judge.

What factors contribute: A defendant’s prior criminal record, the current crime he or she is accused of, the ties and relationships the defendant has to others in the community, and their financial ability to pay for bail.

As you can probably guess, if a defendant has virtually no prior criminal history, has strong ties to the community, and the crime he or she is accused of is ...