In some instances, it is possible to be released from jail on your own recognizance. If so, you only need to make a written agreement to show up for future court dates. If you have a loved one in jail and he or she is seeking to be released, here is what you need to know.
Can Release Be Requested?
Your loved one does have the right to ask to be released on his or her own recognizance. Whether or not it happens is up to the judge. He or she will review certain factors and determine if it is possible.
Although judges can use different criteria to make their decision, many use some of the same factors. For instance, a past criminal record, strong community ties, and the current criminal charge are usually considered.
Can the Judge Be Influenced?
There is no guarantee, but it is sometimes possible to push the judge to consider release without any bail. For instance, an employer, religious leader, or other community leader could contact the court and make the case for your loved one's release.
In some communities, the judge relies on a pretrial officer to help determine whether or not release without bond is possible. Consider contacting him or her and providing the officer with evidence of why your loved one is not a flight risk.
Are There Conditions to the Release?
As with release requiring bond, there are conditions associated with your loved one being released on his or her own recognizance. The judge also gets to set the condition.
The conditions can be as simple as avoiding associations with certain people or going to school and work on a regular basis. It is important to understand that if your loved one fails to follow the conditions, the judge could opt to issue a bench warrant for his or her arrest.
What If The Bond-Free Request Is Denied?
In the event that the judge decides that your loved one does not meet the criteria to be released without bond, the amount that needs to be paid will be set. If the bond is too high, your loved one's attorney can file a petition with the court to request a lower bond amount. The judge will re-evaluate the case and make a decision.
A bail bondsman can be useful in securing the release of your loved one. If he or she has to pay a bond, contact a bondsman as soon as possible to start the process of releasing your loved one from jail.
I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.