release on recognizance (ROR) | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


Course: Introduction

Release on Recognizance (ROR) is a release from custody based strictly on the defendant’s promise to return to court for further proceedings.

Release on Recognizance (ROR) is a pretrial release granted to a defendant based solely on their promise to appear in court for further proceedings. In other words, ROR allows a defendant to be released from jail without posting bail or paying any money as long as they agree to come back to court for their trial.

ROR is a common pretrial release option that is available to defendants who meet certain criteria. To be considered for ROR, a defendant must demonstrate that they are not a flight risk, do not pose a danger to the community, and are likely to appear in court as required. The court considers several factors to determine whether to grant ROR, including the defendant’s ties to the community, employment status, criminal history, and the nature of the charges.

One of the primary advantages of ROR is that it allows defendants who cannot afford bail to be released from custody without having to pay any money. This is particularly important for low-income defendants who would otherwise be forced to remain in jail until their trial simply because they cannot afford bail.

ROR also benefits defendants who would like to return to their families, go to work, and resume their normal lives while awaiting trial. Being released on ROR allows defendants to maintain their employment and family ties, which can be difficult to do while being held in custody.

However, ROR has its limitations. If a defendant fails to appear in court as required, they may face serious consequences, including being charged with a new crime for failure to appear, losing their ROR status, and potentially having a warrant issued for their arrest.

Furthermore, ROR may not be granted to defendants who are deemed to be a flight risk or who pose a danger to the community. In such cases, the court may require the defendant to post bail or remain in custody until their trial.

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Last Modified: 03/18/2023


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