A Release on Personal Recognizance, pending trial, can be achieved through a county law enforcement administered pre-trial release program. Generally, the employees of these programs will interview defendants over the phone while in custody.
These employees will then make recommendations to the court regarding the release of these individuals on their own recognizance, meaning without financial security to ensure their return.
Interviews are conducted with little inquiry into the defendant’s background and merely attempts to determine whether the detainee is likely to appear in court. Generally, no verification of the information provided by the defendant is made.
Since no money, property, or bond is posted to secure the defendant’s appearance in court, they face no economic hardship from the conscious decision not to appear.
A release on citation, or cite out, however, involves the issuance of a citation by the arresting officer, informing the arrestee that they must appear in court at a later date. This usually occurs immediately after an individual is arrested.
The true identity and background of most individuals released on citation are never established due to the failure to follow complete booking procedures. Thus, the arrestee may never be placed in custody.
Like an Own Recognizance release, the defendant’s appearance in court depends on the integrity of the defendant voluntarily returning to court as ordered.