Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
America may be a great country, but its criminal justice system is a river of complexities that flows slightly differently in certain states.
Understanding the importance of PR bonds in the U.S. is essential knowledge every citizen should know.
Life is unpredictable and anyone can fall into misfortune. If, god forbid, you find yourself in hot water and have no idea what the legal terminology means, resolving the matter will not come easy.
Being arrested is hard enough. Undoubtedly, the number one goal for every accused individual is obtaining freedom.
However, the route to freedom after an arrest is never straightforward. There are usually several options presented to you.
If you choose the wrong one, or cannot adhere to the requirements, it can prolong rather than benefit your route to release. It doesn’t end there.
Often, requesting a PR bond may leave you out of pocket too. Not a great outcome for those faced with other legal costs.
There are various options following an arrest for obtaining retrial release. Therefore, It is vital to know what a PR bond (or Recognizance bond) is, to ensure you are equipped with all the facts.
This article gives you all the crucial information concerning PR bonds and their relevance in the criminal justice system.
Learn all the key facts, benefits, disadvantages and conditions. Look at the comparisons between a PR bond and a Jail bond, and the differences between bond and bail.
Next, learn how to acquire a PR bond, violation implications, and what it may mean for your release from incarceration. Armed with this knowledge, you can pick the option that will deliver the best outcome for your situation.
What Is A PR Bond?
A Personal Recognizance bond or PR bond is permission granted by the court judge at the end of a pretrial hearing.
In the event of a judge deciding an offender is not a risk to society and isn’t likely to abscond, he may be granted a PR bond.
Having a PR bond means the accused will not have to pay, regardless of the fact that a bail amount is set by the judge.
Its stipulations being that the defendant must attend all court appearances. Failure to do so will result in the defendant forking out the full cost as well as being arrested again.
Should You Get A PR Bond?
Clearly, a PR bond comes with benefits. However, there are also disadvantages too. Let’s look at the benefits vs. the disadvantages of having a PR bond:
- Release from jail until verdict is heard
- No costs for the defendant unlike bail
- Misdemeanor – If your offense is a misdemeanor, a PR Bond is usually beneficial.
- Lack of affordability – those in poverty can benefit from early release with a PR bond.
- In Texas, defendants must report in more regularly than other bonds require
- Non-attendance of a court hearing results in the defendant being liable to pay the full amount of court costs (usually about $1,200)
- Violating conditions typically results in rearrest.
- Lengthy release process – the process of being released often takes longer than through a bail bondsman. An interview with a pretrial officer and obtaining personal references is required before release is approved.
Furthermore, it can only be approved by the relevant judge. If he is delayed, you will be.
- Offenses that are more serious are unlikely to be granted with a PR bond approval.
Other PR Bond Facts
Each state has their own guidelines for granting this type of freedom. It is frequently offered to those who cannot afford bail, who have committed a misdemeanor crime. Occasionally, it may be granted in the case of a felony offense.
The Recognizance Act, 2012
This was created as a means for poorer detainees to be granted pretrial release, thus enabling more power and equal rights to all accused individuals.
Requirements For Obtaining A PR Bond
Several requirements are necessary in order that a PR bond is granted:
- A written promise – this is a sworn declaration by the defendant that they are incapable of providing bail monies.
- Certification – social welfare officers must confirm the defendant’s indigence
- Arraignment – this should already have occurred
- Notification by the court – notification must first be given for the application of the PR bond
5.ID – ID of the defendant (photo) must be submitted
How To Get A PR Bond
Some states automatically grant PR bonds, for minor offenses or a lack of funding on behalf of the accused. But this is not always the case. Depending on the jurisdiction, a PR bond may be obtained by the defendant filing a Motion.
Filing a Motion means the defendant sending a one-page document to the magistrate, requesting they are released on their own Recognizance.
PR Bond Versus Bail
A PR Bond has the same purpose as bail. Both are intended to enable pretrial release for the defendant.
Bail Has 3 Main Types
- Cash Bond – this is straightforward payment known as bail,
- Property Bond – where the defendant puts up his own property as the bail. Not complying to bail conditions would result in the defendant losing the right to his property.
- Bond – this is where a third party makes a bail payment on behalf of the defendant.
A PR Bond can be a highly beneficial solution for pretrial release, when the offense is minor and the defendant does not have the money to pay bail.
However, it is important to note that opting for a PR Bond has certain legal implications.
Not only does the initial process of release take longer for the reasons mentioned above, but the defendant has to report more frequently too.
Both bail and PR Bonds come with their own conditions. Failure to comply to these can result in rearrest in both options.
That said, in cases where the offense is minor and the defendant has insufficient funds to enable release via bail, it is an avenue that should be considered.