What Is ‘Release On Citation’?

Exactly where a person goes after an arrest can be determined on the scene by the police or at the arraignment by a judge. A release on citation is a way to deal with low-level offenses from people without large criminal records. Here is an explanation of what a release on citation really means.

 Normal Arrest Procedures

It is important to first understand the normal arrest procedures. Law enforcement officers start by arresting people suspected of committing crimes. The arrested person is typically taken to the local jail where the individual is booked. The accused is placed into jail until arraignment occurs. The arraignment is where a judge determines whether the defendant is eligible for bail, will be released on his or her own recognizance or will be refused bail. If bail is not available or cannot be paid, then the defendant is put back in jail until the criminal trial is over.

How Release On Citation Works

Release on citation is an option give to the arresting officers. A release on citation means that the accused is not taken to jail after an arrest. The individual is simply issued a citation and allowed to go home with the promise of showing up in court later. A citation is just a written notice. This accused is basically released at the scene of the arrest.

Why Officers Use Release On Citation

Police generally use release on citation for situations that are very minor. The individual must be non-violent and pose no risk to the larger community. The accused must often have no notable criminal background. Officers will normally issue a release on citation for something like a minor traffic violation. It is used throughout California to help reduce the burden on the court system and the jails.

What to Do If a Release on Citation Is Not Issued

If a person arrested for a crime is taken to the local jail, then a release on citation was not issued. This means it is time to post bail after the arraignment. The best policy is to go through a bail bond agency like All-Pro Bail Bonds. The bail bond process involves paying the agency 8 to 10 percent of the set bail amount. The agency then posts the full amount of bail for the accused. The defendant will be released from jail usually within an hour after posting bail. The defendant must then show up for all court appearances in order to avoid serious problems. It is possible to finance bail bond payments or even use collateral if cash is not readily available.

The Benefits of Posting Bail

Posting a bail bond through an agency instead of sitting in jail has a few benefits. The first is that the defendant will be able to carefully choose an attorney and participate in the legal defense. The second is that the individual can get back to work, school or other responsibilities like normal. A final benefit is that the defendant can wait at home for trial in a comfortable setting. This is important since it could take weeks or months for a trial to finish.

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