Over the next few weeks, pretrial release options will be reviewed. When a person is in jail, the court reviews each case and determines any conditions of release. If the charge is not serious and the person has a permanent address, the court may conditionally release the person on their own recognizance, meaning the court is trusting the person to remain law-abiding, and appear for all future court appearances. When a defendant is booked in jail with a more serious charge, bail is set by the court. There are typically three choices, depending on the county, that is allowed for release from jail prior to a court date.
- Cash Bail, where actual cash is deposited with the court to secure a defendant’s return to court
- Commercial Bail, or bail bonds, where the defendant’s return to court is secured by a surety, or bail bond company.
- A taxpayer funded Pretrial Release Program
In all get-out-of-jail situations, defendants must comply with their conditions of release. If a suspect violates a condition, a judge may revoke bail and order the person return to jail. Often requirements of release include the defendant “obey all laws”, but additional arrangements may be added, depending on the crime. For instance, a domestic violence suspect may be ordered to not contact the alleged victim.