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Terms Relating to Pre-Trial Release

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Definitions of terms

Terms relating to pre-trial release

Pretrial Release Service Program  also known as PRSP or PTS.  A Pre-trial release program or supervised release, administered by the local city or county courts.

Released defendant--Any defendant who was released from custody prior to the disposition of his or her case by the court. Includes defendants who were detained for some period of time before being released and defendants who were returned to custody after being released because of a violation of the conditions of pretrial release.

Detained defendant--Any defendant who remained in custody from the time of arrest until the disposition of his or her case by the court.

Failure to appear--A court issues a bench warrant for a defendant's arrest because he or she has missed a scheduled court appearance.

Types of financial release

Full cash bond--The defendant posts the full bail amount in cash with the court. If the defendant makes all court appearances, the cash is returned. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bond is forfeited.

Deposit bond--The defendant deposits a percentage (usually 10%) of the full bail amount with the court. This percentage of the bail is returned after the disposition of the case, but the court often retains a small portion for administrative costs. If the defendant fails to appear in court, he or she is liable to the court for the full amount of the bail.

Surety bond--A bail bond company signs a promissory note to the court for the full bail amount and charges the defendant a fee for the service (usually 10% of the full bail amount). If the defendant fails to appear, the bond company is liable to the court for the full bail amount. Frequently the bond company requires the defendant to post collateral in addition to the fee.

Property bond--Also known as collateral bond, involves an agreement made by a defendant as a condition of pretrial release requiring that property valued at the full bail amount be posted as an assurance of his or her appearance in court. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the property is forfeited.

Types of non-financial release

Unsecured bond--The defendant pays no money to the court but is liable for the full amount of bail should he or she fail to appear in court.

Release on recognizance--The court releases the defendant on a signed agreement that he or she will appear in court as required. This category also includes citation releases in which arrestees are released pending their first court appearance on a written order issued by law enforcement or jail personnel.

Conditional release--Defendants are released under specified conditions. If monitoring or supervision is required, this usually is done by a pretrial services agency. In some cases, such as those involving a third-party custodian or drug monitoring and treatment, another agency may be involved in the supervision of the defendant. Conditional release sometimes includes an unsecured bond.

Other type of release

Emergency release--Defendants are released in response to a court order placing limits on a jail's population.

Offense categories

Felony offenses were classified into 16 categories. These were further divided into the four major crime categories of violent, property, drug, and public-order offenses. The following offense categories contain a representative summary of most of the crimes contained in each category; however, these lists are not meant to be exhaustive. All offenses, except murder, include attempts and conspiracies to commit.

Violent offenses

Murder--Includes homicide, non-negligent manslaughter, and voluntary homicide. Does not include attempted murder (which is classified as felony assault), negligent homicide, involuntary homicide, or vehicular manslaughter (which are classified as "other violent offenses").

Rape--Includes forcible intercourse, sodomy, or penetration with a foreign object. Does not include statutory rape or nonforcible acts with a minor or someone unable to give legal consent, nonviolent sexual offenses, or commercialized sex offenses.

Robbery--Includes the unlawful taking of anything of value by force or threat of force. This classification includes armed, unarmed, and aggravated robbery, car-jacking, armed burglary, and armed mugging.

Assault--Includes aggravated assault, aggravated battery, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, felony assault or battery on a law enforcement officer, and other felony assaults. Does not include extortion, coercion, or intimidation.

Other violent offenses--Includes vehicular manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent or reckless homicide, nonviolent or nonforcible sexual assault, kidnaping, unlawful imprisonment, child or spouse abuse, cruelty to a child, reckless endangerment, hit and run with bodily injury, intimidation, and extortion.

Property offenses

Burglary--Includes any type of entry into a residence, industry, or business with or without the use of force with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Does not include possession of burglary tools, trespassing, or unlawful entry where the intent is not known.

Larceny/theft--Includes grand theft, grand larceny, and any other felony theft, including burglary from an automobile, theft of rental property, and mail theft. Does not include motor vehicle theft, receiving or buying stolen property, fraud, forgery, or deceit.

Motor vehicle theft--Includes auto theft, conversion of an automobile, receiving and transferring an automobile, unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, larceny or taking of an automobile.

Forgery--Includes forging a driver's license, forging official seals, notes, money orders, credit or access cards or names of such cards or any other documents with fraudulent intent, uttering a forged instrument, counterfeiting, and forgery.

Fraud--Includes possession and passing of worthless checks or money orders, possession of false documents or identi- fication, embezzelment, obtaining money by false pretenses, credit card fraud, welfare fraud, Medicare fraud, insurance claim fraud, fraud, swindling, stealing a thing of value by deceit, larceny by check.

Other property offenses--Includes receiving or buying stolen property, arson, reckless burning, damage to property, criminal mischief, vandalism, criminal trespassing, possession of burglary tools, and unlawful entry.

Drug offenses

Drug trafficking--Includes trafficking, sales, distribution, possession with intent to distribute or sell, manufacturing, and smuggling of controlled substances. Does not include possession of controlled substances.

Other drug offenses--Includes possession of controlled substances, prescription violations, possession of drug paraphernalia, and other drug law violations.

Public-order offenses

Weapons--Includes the unlawful sale, distribution, manufacture, alteration, transportation, possession, or use of a deadly weapon or accessory.

Driving-related--Includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving with a suspended or revoked license, or any other felony in the motor vehicle code.

Other public-order offenses--Includes flight/escape, parole or probation violations, prison contraband, habitual offender, obstruction of justice, rioting, libel, slander, treason, perjury, prostitution, pandering, bribery, and tax law violations.










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