release on one's own recognizance

A “release on one’s one recognizance” is a court's decision to allow a person charged with a crime to remain at liberty pending the trial, without having to post bail. Also sometimes referred to as “O.R.,” “R.O.R.,” or judicial public bail. California, for example, provides for release on one’s own recognizance in Penal Code § 1270, which states that “[a]ny person who has been arrested for, or charged with, an offense other than a capital offense may be released on his or her own recognizance by a court or magistrate who could release a defendant from custody upon the defendant giving bail.” Likely candidates for such release are those with strong roots in the community, regular employment, and those with the recommendation of the prosecutor. The type of crime charged may also play a role, and it is granted routinely in traffic matters, minor and technical crimes, and to people with no criminal record who display stability.

[Last updated in April of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]