Trying to understand exactly what happens after you get arrested and go to jail? In Utah, there are three different types of release: (1) released on your own recognizance, (2) released to pretrial services, or (3) released with bail. What is the difference between these releases?
Released on Your Own Recognizance
Released on your own recognizance means that you are released based on your promise that you will not “go on the run.” You sign a paper promising to show up for court. This is not typical of most people in jail; typically it only happens if the person has never been arrested before or has no prior convictions. No bail money is paid. If you’ve never been in legal trouble and go to jail for a minor crime (public intoxication, trespassing, lewdness, some domestic violence charges, etc), you’ll likely be released on your own recognizance.
Released to Pretrial Services
Released to pretrial services means that your release depends on your willingness to be supervised. You are assigned a pretrial officer who you must contact every day, once a week, or on a schedule determined by your pretrial officer. Pretrial release could also include an ankle monitor, or something more serious like house arrest. You promise that you won’t commit any crime, and if you do, your pretrial release will be revoked and you’ll be sent back to jail.
Released with Bail
Released with bail means that you’re released from jail on the condition that you post a certain amount of cash or property. If you don’t show up for your court date or commit a new crime, the money is forfeited to the government, you return to jail, and your case gets worse!
Bail can be posted by anyone over 18 years old who can pay. Bail can be paid in full to the court or through the services of a bail bonds company. The amount is based on several factors:
- Your criminal history
- severity of the alleged crime
- the probable cause statement
- pretrial services assessment
- witness statements or testimony
- whether you’re a danger to the community
What to Do if Someone You Know Is in Jail
If someone you know is in jail, the most important thing to do is to get them out of jail ASAP. For many obvious reasons (including mental health and safety), it is easier to fight a criminal case if you are out of jail rather than stuck in jail. If you know someone in jail, get them out and then call us so we can work on the next steps of the case.