What is a PR Bail Bond?

By Scott Krohn

PR bail, also referred to as personal recognizance, can facilitate the release of a person from jail without posting bail.

PR bail stands for personal recognizance bail. It is different from other means of getting released from jail in that a bail amount is set but then waived. This means a defendant doesn't pay for a cash bond or surety bond, or post property as collateral for bail. PR bail is based on a promise that the person who has been arrested will appear at all required court hearings. This type of bail is typically offered for lesser crimes when the defendant is not considered to be a flight risk.

Setting Bail

When a person is arrested, a bail amount that is commensurate with the crime will be set. Generally speaking, police stations where arrests are processed will have a record that lists bail amounts for specific crimes, which can facilitate a release of the defendant if PR bail is approved. If PR bail is denied at the police station, the person that has been arrested will be required to post a cash bond or hire a bail bondsman to post a surety bond. Property bonds can usually be posted after the first court hearing. If a court date is missed, a person released on PR bail can be arrested and required to post bail to be released again.

PR Bond Conditions

The court can also implement a set of conditions that the defendant must follow to remain free on PR bail. For example, an arrest for domestic violence might require the defendant to stay away from and avoid contacting the alleged victim. Conditions for release after a drug-related arrest may include attending Nar-Anon meeting during the court hearing process. Failure to meet conditions for release can also result in arrest and the requirement to post bail.

Getting Released on PR Bail

The decision process for release on personal recognizance starts with the consideration of the degree of the crime. For example, the chances of being released for a non-violent misdemeanor are much better than for a felony arrest. The second consideration is whether the defendant poses a flight risk. One example of assessing flight risk would be whether the defendant lives in the local area or was arrested while on vacation from another state. Prior arrests and violent behavior are also significant factors in the decision process.