When you are accused of committing a crime, spending time in jail is the last thing you want to do. Your future is on the line, and being able to work with a criminal defense attorney is vital. Because of this, you may wonder about your options for a bond.
For many, the best option is a personal recognizance or PR bond. But what sets this type of bond apart from the rest, and how can you get this kind of bond? Your defense attorney can guide you through your questions.
What Is a PR Bond?
A personal recognizance bond, also called a personal bond or signature bond, allows you to be released from jail without paying anything. Unlike a bail bond, which calls for you to pay for a particular bail amount, your bond amount simply requires an oath that you will appear in court for your date. That also means you do not need a bail bondsman to act as a third party.
While PR bonds may have some expenses, it is much cheaper than a typical bail bond. That bond reduction can help protect you financially during this time.
However, if you fail to appear in court, the judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest. That warrant may be served anywhere, at any time, which can be stressful and embarrassing. Because of this, it is typically better to talk to your lawyer first about bonds and how best to handle your case.
Who Is Eligible for a PR Bond?
When being arrested for criminal charges, you may have grounds for a PR bond. But how do you know you are eligible? Typically, you must convince the judge to allow a PR bond since they determine whether you are eligible for release before your trial.
You may have to prove you are a community leader or a valued community member in major cities to get a PR bond. That means gathering personal references from family members and elsewhere, which can take time.
Criminal history may also matter. If the defendant’s criminal history includes violent crime or they are a flight risk, the judge may consider this. Sometimes, they may decide it is not worth the risk to allow a pretrial release.
Finally, to be eligible for a personal recognizance bond, you must promise to appear at your scheduled court appearances. If the defendant fails to appear in court, they may be returned to jail or taken into custody, where they may lose their bond privileges and may even have to await their court date in jail.
Can You Leave the State on a PR Bond?
In some cases, travel may be an essential part of your life. For example, you may need to travel for your job before your day in court. But if handled incorrectly, you may be labeled a flight risk, or they may believe you are fleeing.
If you must travel before your court case, you need express permission from the court or judge. If you have a PR or your own recognizance bond, you may be able to get this permission and move more freely, keeping your life on track while you prepare for your defense.
If you are unsure whether you are free to travel while on a PR bond? Talk to your criminal defense attorney in San Marcos. They can give you the answers you need about your case and how your lawyer can help.
Personal Recognizance Bond FAQ
When you are accused of a criminal offense, a personal recognizance bond may be an option, but what can you expect? You may have many questions for your lawyer, especially if you are worried about your job and family.
Your lawyer can help you through this challenging time, answering your questions about your criminal charges and the case ahead. If you are facing criminal charges, seek a lawyer’s guidance. While you wait for personal, specific answers, check out the list of general questions we receive from our clients and how we can help.
Is a PR bond different from a bail bond?
A bail or surety bond generally requires money upfront to secure a jail release. Unlike a PR bond, you will also need to go through a bail bondsman or a third party who provides this money upfront and to whom you will owe that money if you fail to appear in court. A PR bond does not include this financial risk.
What is a flight risk?
If the judge deems you a flight risk, they believe releasing you from jail may lead to you fleeing prosecution or committing more criminal offenses. In these cases, your criminal history, current criminal charges, and other factors can impact your future. If your criminal history could impact your bond options, talk to a criminal defense attorney about your case.
What is the process for getting a PR bond?
Rather than settling on a bail amount, the legal process for a PR bond is based on the judge’s approval and the oath you make that you will appear in court as arranged. If not, the consequences include a bench warrant, arrest, and jail time until your court date. That means less financial risk and potentially fewer fees as you prepare for your court date.
Connect with a Lawyer About Your PR Bond
If you are dealing with a criminal case and worried about your freedom, you may need to seek a personal recognizance bond. Unfortunately, if you do not know the rules, it can be challenging to get approval for one. Worse, making a mistake that costs you your freedom is easy.
If you are unsure you are taking the proper steps with your PR bond, contact the team at Weber Law. We offer pretrial services and courtroom representation to make your criminal case as simple and easy as possible. When you need help navigating the courtroom, call or fill out our online contact form.