What does it mean to be released on bail?

When setting bond (bail), magistrates consider whether the defendant’s release would constitute a danger to the defendant or to the public, as well as the likelihood that the defendant will return as directed for court appearances. Factors enabling this assessment include prior criminal history. Personal recognizance bond means a defendant is placed on bond based on the defendant’s agreement to appear for all subsequent court appearances, and to maintain peace and good behavior (which includes not only obeying all laws, but all rules of any pre-trial agency supervising the defendant). A surety bond is a financial guarantee to back up that agreement to appear as required. Disregard of any of the circumstances imposed will be a reason for revocation of bond established. 

Some criminal offenses carry the presumption that no conditions imposed will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant, nor the safety of the public. If this is the situation, defendants can request a bond hearing, but bond will not be set unless the presumption is rebutted satisfactorily.