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How does a personal recognizance bond work?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2023 | Criminal Defense

After an arrest, you will have to go before a judge to receive a bond. The bond is what will allow you to get out of custody.

The reason for the bond is to ensure you will show back up to court for your hearings. In many cases, a bond requires some type of collateral to secure the promise to show up to court. But a personal recognizance bond is much different.

What it is

A personal recognizance bond is a promise. You give your word to the court that you will show up for your hearing.

How it works

There is an obvious downside to this type of bond because the court must believe your word is good. For this reason, judges generally will only issue them if they have considerable proof that you will keep your promise. If the judge releases you on this bond, you just need to sign a paper saying you will return for your hearing, and then you will get out of custody.

When it happens

Judges will use personal recognizance bonds in various situations. Sometimes, they will do it if you have a minor crime. It is also common in situations where your charges are not for violent offenses. The judge will consider your situation. He or she will determine if you are a flight risk by looking at your ties to the local area and your standing in the community. A judge generally will not use this type of bond for violent offenders or if you have the means to leave the country easily.

Your attorney can request a personal recognizance bond when you go for your first hearing. But the decision always lies with the judge.