What is an OR bond?

When a loved one is arrested, you might be wondering, “What is an own recognizance release and how do you qualify for one?” 

This is a common question (even if people don’t actually know the term “own recognizance” or “OR”). Because if you’re not asking, “What is an OR bond?”, then you’re likely asking, “Can I be released from custody without posting a cash bond?” These two questions are one and the same.

If you’re required to post a bond, it’s usually not cheap, and it’s this way on purpose. The court needs to give you a bigger incentive to return to court on the appropriate day. If you don’t, your bond will not be returned. If you do, you get all your money back

Even though bail bond companies will post bail on your behalf, you’re still required to pay a percentage of the bond to the bail bond company. And you may even need cosigners who will be responsible for the full amount if you skip your court date. For some people, cosigners and even the bail bond fee are out of reach — which is why an own recognizance release is often requested. 

Who qualifies for an own recognizance release?

  • The court believes you do not require cash bond to return to court
  • The individual has not been charged with an offense punishable by death
  • The individual will not be a threat to public safety

Keep in mind, most people charged with felonies will not be granted an OR.  If it’s your first-offense and you’ve been charged with a low-level offense, it’s a possibility that you could be granted an OR after a background check.

What happens if you don’t get an OR?

If you don’t get an OR and you are required to post a cash bond, then you’ll likely need to reach out to a bail bond company. A bail bond agent can help you through the bail process and get you released from jail quickly. Take a look at some helpful links below to learn more about the bail bond process.