The term “free bail” isn’t officially recognized in legal jargon. However, it’s possible that someone using this phrase could be referring to being “released on your own recognizance” (ROR).
When a judge decides to release someone on their own recognizance, it means the defendant is released from jail without having to post bail. This usually happens in cases where the defendant is charged with a minor or non-violent crime and has strong ties to the community, a clean criminal record, and a history of appearing in court as required.
This type of release is basically a written agreement that the defendant signs, promising to show up for all future court appearances and to not engage in any illegal activity while released. If the defendant fails to show up for a court date, they may be charged with a crime and arrested.
While the person doesn’t need to pay any money upfront to get out of jail, being released on recognizance isn’t entirely “free.” If the person fails to meet the terms of the release, they can be subject to fines or other penalties.