This question is dependent upon several factors such as, the seriousness of the charge(s), the jurisdiction (village, town, city or county) where the alleged criminal act was committed and the criminal history of the accused.
Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT)
Typically, if a person is arrested north of New York City (outside one of the five boroughs) and they have a valid form of identification and the charge is for a violation or a nonviolent misdemeanor, the Accused may be issued a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) by the police and permitted to return home. However, a failure to report for Court on the date issued on the DAT will result in a bench warrant with additional charges.
For all other arrests there are several ways for a Defendant to return home while their case is pending. The most popular is by posting bail.
“Bail” is a security (cash or a bond) given by the Accused promising s/he will appear and answer before Court the accusation brought against her/him.
Within 24 hours after being taken into custody, the Accused is brought before a judge where a bail determination is made. The most common criteria used to determine whether bail is set and the amount of bail are:
- Is the Defendant a flight risk? that is, does s/he have the ways and means to leave the jurisdiction?
- Is the Defendant a long time resident of the jurisdiction with ties to the community such as family, property ownership and employment?
- Is the Defendant a threat to the public safety or to any specific person(s)?
- The severity of the alleged criminal act and,
- The criminal history of the Defendant.
Released Under Supervision (RUS)
Another option available the Court is to Release the Defendant Under Supervision. RUS refers to the release of the Accused with the promise that they will appear in Court AND comply with any other conditions that may restrain their behavior and movements that are monitored by the Court. The restrictions vary and may include obeying Orders of Protection, reporting to the Division of Probation, obtaining evaluations for alcohol, drug and mental health, random drug and alcohol testing and curfew checks by law enforcement. Any failure to adhere to a condition of Court may result in the Defendant’s remand back to custody while their matter is pending.
Released on Own Recognizance (ROR)
Simply put, an ROR is no-cost bail. A person who is Released on Own Recognizance is free to return home and need only to promise they will appear in Court as required. Just like the DAT, a failure to appear at on any scheduled Court date will likely result in a Bench Warrant.