Citation

If you are stopped for a minor offense either involving an infraction or misdemeanor, the officer can issue you a citation and release you from the scene. The citation will state the offense(s) that you allegedly committed, what courthouse to appear at, date and time for your arraignment, and your promise to appear at that court date. If you were issued a citation, you have been arrested, but released from the scene.

Own Recognizance

If you were not released by a citation from the scene of the alleged crime, then you were placed in a patrol vehicle and taken to jail. At jail, the officer can still release you from custody by citation. If you are not released by citation, then in most circumstances your case will be evaluated to determine whether or not a judge will release you from custody. This is called own recognizance release. If the judge allows you to be released on your own recognizance, then you will not have to post a bail bond. Being released on your own recognizance means that you made a promise to appear at court for your arraignment at a later date.

Bail

If you are not released by either a citation or own recognizance release, then you will have to post a bail bond. A bond is typically posted in three ways. First, you can post the full amount of the bail bond to the county jail (for example the Administrative Booking Department). These funds will be returned, minus minimal administrative fees, about two to four weeks after the case resolves. Second, you can post a property bond. Usually the equity in the property has to be double of what the bail bond is. Third, you can contact a local bail bond company to post the bond. The bail bond agent’s fee typically is 7% to 10% of the bond amount, which is industry standard.