What would be your very first priority if one of your loved ones is arrested and put into prison under any charge of criminal offense? Of course, it would be to get your loved one out of the jail before you consider other things, like getting a lawyer, fighting the case, and getting him/her acquitted and out of jail. An instant release is best possible only with a 24/7 available bail bondsman service. While other options like O.R. bond is also available but they can be lengthy, tedious, and uncertain about the results.
There are three ways you can obtain a release for your loved one, when they are arrested and taken to jail:
- First, by citation (in cases of misdemeanor, like the first time driving under the influence arrest)
- Second, by posting bail (cash bail, bail bonds, or property bonds)
- Third, by simply promising to appear for all your court appearances
The third way is what we call in California, the Own Recognizance (O.R.) release.
What’s an Own Recognizance (O.R.) Bond?
An Own Recognizance bond, better known as O.R. bond, is granted by a judge once the review of an individual’s case and criminal history has been completed during a pretrial hearing. You don’t have to pay for the release, and you’re out just by signing your name. However, the judge considers these things in granting an O.R. release:
- The severity of the charges
- The suspect’s criminal record
- The risks of suspect fleeing from the town
- The danger posed to the public (especially the victims or witnesses) if the suspect is released
- The suspect’s ties to the family, community or employment
The Not-So-Easy Process of Getting an O.R. Release
It may seem easy and reasonable to get an O.R. release from the court, but there are a couple of fine-print items you will need to understand before you forgo the traditional bail bondsman for an O.R. bond for getting your loved one out of jail. Take a look at the not-so-easy process of getting an O.R. release from the court:
Before considering your O.R. motion, the judge will send the case out for O.R. report. An O.R. investigator will be assigned to look at the background of the defendant (that’s your loved one), and the circumstances of the alleged crime and recommend whether an O.R. release should be granted or not.
The next stage is to get the prosecutor on board. Your lawyer will have to convince the prosecutor with good information about your loved one (the defendant) about why there is no harm in allowing your loved one an O.R. release. The prosecutor rarely or at least seldom agree on this, which dissuades the judge in granting the O.R. release.
The next thing you do is convince the judge. For that, you may have to bring in the letters of character from family and friends and the defendant’s employer. Sometimes you’ll have to bring in live witnesses to the court to testify about the character of the defendant.
Why Bail Bondsman Is a Better Option (In Comparison to an O.R. Bond)
Here are the reasons why an O.R. bond can become a nightmare when it’s about getting your loved one out of the jail instantly, and why a bail bondsman is a better option:
The process for getting an O.R. bond is certainly longer than a bail bondsman. It takes time to acquire personal references that can vouch for your stability in the community.
The release process in a bail bondsman can be between 10 minutes to 10 hours depending on the the location of the jail the person is in.
Even after you arrange the needed references, and get the prosecutor on board, it’s solely on the conscience of the judge to decide whether to allow you an O.R. release or not.
The court has to grant a bail to you unless you aren’t eligible for a bail in case of some heinous crime.
O.R. bond frees you from paying a full bail amount however, suppose if you are arrested for minor crime involving drugs, the court may order you to enroll in a drug abuse class (for which you have to pay on your own) when it allows you an O.R. release.
The bail bondsman charge only 8-10% of the full bail amount. Also, the bail collateral, which was offered to ensure that you appear in the court, is returned once the defendant appears in the court.
Your prosecutor can go on record to point out the reasons why you shouldn’t be granted an O.R. release. That may dissuade the judge to grant an O.R.
Your prosecutor cannot make any move to dissuade the judge from granting you a bail.
Using a bail bondsman is the fastest way to get out of jail. So, if you or your loved one is arrested for an offense, contact a licensed bail bondsman service near you to come out fastest from the jail.