What Does Being Released Own Recognizance (O.R.) Mean?

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Release on “O.R.” (own recognizance) is one option for release from jail. Being released on one’s own recognizance (O.R.) , means that a defendant will be released from jail without having to post bail. It means the court judge has confidence that the defendant will take the responsibility to appear for any mandated court proceedings.

When deciding to release someone on O.R., the judge will take several things into consideration, such as the defendant’s record (if they have one), the seriousness of the crime committed, any danger the defendant may pose toward the general public,  community ties, employment, family connections, etc.

The terms of release can also include a certain degree of supervision from the court, such as periodic reporting to an officer, restricted travel or stay-away orders.

Once the defendant has been released on O.R., they must follow through with every promise made to the court prior to their release. They will have signed a written document from the court stating all of their promises. 

For some reason should they “fail to appear” to any of their court proceedings, or not follow-through with their promises to the court, they will in turn be subject to immediate arrest. Furthermore, they will no longer be able to post bail.