Bail Reduction / Own Recognizance Release

When an individual is arrested for a crime he or she has a constitutional right to bail in all but a few select instances.


Bail is a cash deposit designed to ensure the Courts that a person charged with a crime (a defendant) will show up for all future Court dates, including trial. Once a bail is deposited, or “posted,” the defendant is released from custody. The Defendant is required to be present at all Court dates when out on bail. The Court’s consider a number of statutory factors to determine what the amount of bail should be. They consider things like the risk of flight and the danger to the community when determining what amount bail should be. The monetary amount of bail varies from crime to crime and is set according to a “standard bail schedule” and the individual circumstances of a particular case. When a cash bail is posted, and the case is over, the bail is no longer needed to ensure the Defendant will show up to Court. Since the case is no longer going on, the bail amount is returned to the person who deposited it.

Bond involves paying a portion of a bail amount and a premium, either in collateral or cash, to a bond company, who will then ensure a Defendant’s presence in Court. Normally, 15% of the bail is paid to the bond company and the bond company posts the remaining 85%. However, unlike bail, the money is not returned to the Defendant after the defendant appears in court.


The Court sets the bail amount based on factors such as the risk that the Defendant will flee or the danger to the community. Generally speaking the more serious the crime is thought to be, the higher the bail amount.

In some cases, such as where a Defendant has already been out on bail and picked up new charges, or where a person is accused of First Degree Murder and the “proof is evident and the presumption is great,” the Court will rule that no bail is warranted. This is called a “no bail hold.” In cases where there is a no bail hold, the person charged must remain in custody until their case is over. In almost all other cases however, a person accused of a crime has a Constitutional right to bail.


Yes. You can. A person charged with a crime always has the opportunity to request that the Court lower his or her bail. This is done by way of a Motion filed with the Court. An experienced criminal law attorney knows the law to present and the arguments to make to best convince a Judge that the bail amount should be lowered. Many times, how a Motion for bail is presented and argued is the difference between remaining in custody until the time of Trial, or spending that same time with your friends, family and loved ones.


“OR” stands for Own Recognizance release. This is essentially a personal promise by the person accused of a crime to appear for Court. When a Court grants an “OR” release, there is no requirement that a monetary amount be posted for bail. A criminal law attorney can file a Motion on your behalf and ask the Court for an “OR” release the same way a request can be made for a bail reduction.

Our criminal law attorney, Josh Tomsheck, has written and argued literally hundreds of Bail and OR motions. This experience allows us to know which points work in which situation and what issues are most effective to present to the Judge in Court.

If you, or a loved one, is in custody following an arrest, contact our office right away. We will evaluate your unique situation and tell you if we can assist in obtaining bail, a lower bail, or an “OR” release. We can be the difference between talking to your loved one through bars, or at the dining room table in your own home. 702-895-6760.