February 4, 2014 By Paul Wallin

What Happens if You Violate an Own Recognizance Release Agreement? (Penal Code Section 1318)

If you are accused of a crime, bail can be set to guarantee your appearance in court. Depending on the offense charged, the facts of the case and your personal history, the judge is permitted to release you on your “own recognizance” (O/R) – meaning you do not have to put up any bail money nor do you have to be detained in jail while your case is pending.

You may face jail time and be forced to pay a fine if you violate your own recognizance release agreement.
Being released on own recognizance is a privilege and you should honor this agreement.

O/R release is authorized under California Penal Code Section 1318 and comes with certain conditions; among these include you not leaving the state without the court’s permission and your promise to appear in court on specific dates.

Violating Your Own Recognizance Release Agreement is a Bad Idea

You need to remember that being released on Own Recognizance is a privilege. You would be wise to honor your O/R release agreement and invest in the cost of hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who will make certain you get the best possible result in your case.

If you’ve promised to appear in court (personally or through your criminal defense attorney), you must show up on time. Running 10 or 15 minutes late to court can irritate a judge and cause him or her to revoke your own recognizance privilege and impose bail. Click here to find out what you need to know about posting bail.

Additionally, new misdemeanor or felony charges may be filed against you if you fail to appear.

Consequences of Failing to Appear in Court

A misdemeanor conviction for failure to appear (FTA) is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine. If you are convicted of felony FTA, you can be sent to jail for up to three years, fined up to $10,000, or both.

In the following case, the defendant was granted own recognizance release and twice failed to appear in court. Violating her O/R release agreement led to serious consequences.

People v. Carroll (Case No. C067395, California Court of Appeal, January 15, 2014)

In May 2010, Tesla Renee Carroll was charged with a felony for receiving a stolen vehicle in violation of Penal Code Section 496d. The judge permitted her own recognizance release, pending disposition of her case. She subsequently failed to appear in court as required the following month. She was granted O/R a second time and again failed to appear.

The defendant was ultimately convicted by a jury on both counts of failing to appear and sentenced to two years in custody, plus an additional one-year enhancement for each of the two prior prison terms she had previously served.

The court held that the O/R release agreement signed by the defendant substantially complied with Penal Code Section 1318. Therefore, her sentence upon conviction for twice failing to appear was valid.

Call the Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

If you or someone you love has violated the terms of an own recognizance agreement in an on-going criminal proceeding, you need to contact our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Not only do you face the possibility of being jailed unless you can post bail, you can be charged with a separate misdemeanor or a felony if you fail to appear in court as required.

Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 40 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with crimes. We are dedicated to providing you with the very best legal representation throughout your criminal proceeding. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich will employ every available strategy to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are available throughout Southern California to make certain you receive the personal attention you deserve and are treated fairly throughout your criminal case.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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