When a person is
arrested for a crime in the State of California, they will usually be taken to a
local police station for
booking before incarceration in a station lock-up or county
jail. Once booked, the person has several options
for release pending the conclusion of his or her case. The bail system is designed
to guarantee a person's appearance for court hearings.
The FIVE RELEASE OPTIONS available to an arrestee are:
Failure to appear for court in all instances will result in a warrant for the arrest of the person released.
An individual posts the total amount of bail, in cash, to secure his or her return to court on an appointed date, and thereafter until the case is concluded. If the defendant shows up for his/her scheduled court appearances, the entire cash amount posted is returned. If they fail to appear, the entire bond is forfeited to the court.
A surety bond
involves a contractual agreement with with a bail agent, who guarantees to pay
the court the bond
forfeiture if a defendant fails to appear for a
scheduled court appearance. The bail agent's guarantee
is made through a surety company and/or by the pledge of
property owned by the agent.
OWN RECOGNIZANCE (O.R.)
"O.R." is release pending trial through a county or law enforcement administered pre-trial release program. Usually, the staff members of these programs interview individuals in custody and make recommendations to the court regarding release on the person's own recognizance (i.e., without bond). The interview process is often conducted over the telephone, with little inquiry into the individual's background to determine whether the detainee is likely to appear in court and with virtually no verification of information provided by the detainee. Since no money or bond is posted to secure the detainee's appearance in court, he or she faces no personal economic hardship from his or her conscious failure to appear.
A "Cite Out" is the issuance of a citation by the arresting officer, with the person "arrested" being immediately released upon their signed promise to appear for court on a given date and time. As a consequence of the failure to follow complete booking procedures, the true identity and background of most individuals released on citation is never established. This results in the release of numerous arrestees who may have outstanding bench warrants pending. The "arrestee" may never be placed in custody, and like the own recognizance release, such an arrestee's appearance in court depends exclusively upon voluntarily returning to court.
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* Robert J. Hale
is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, Board of Legal
Disclaimer: The Los Angeles and Southern California criminal defense,
drunk driving, DUI, DMV, drivers license suspension, drug crimes, drug
trafficking, domestic abuse, wife abuse, sex crimes, juvenile crime,
Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, or other legal criminal defense
information set forth in this website should not be construed to be
formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client
relationship. Any information or results portrayed here were dependent
on the facts of that individual case. Results will differ from case to
case. Whether by title of criminal lawyer, criminal defense attorney,
juvenile law attorney, or DUI lawyer, please contact the LAW OFFICES OF
ROBERT J. HALE for further advice and consultation. This web site is not
intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of