One third of defendants who are released pending trial are charging with misconduct while their cases are pending, says the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. In a new report on state pretrial release of felony defendants, BJS said that about 10 percent of defendants are arrested for new felonies. The most common form of misconduct, 23 percent of those released, is failure to make a court appearance. The study covered the years 1990 to 2004; pretrial misconduct rates were stable over that period, BJS said.
Overall, 62 percent of felony defendants are released pending disposition of the case. About half are released with financial conditions, and about 20 are freed on “personal recognizance.” When the bail amount was under $5,000, about 70 percent of defendants were released. Only 30 percent were released when the bail was above $25,000. Some 19 percent of accused murderers were released pending disposition; the figure rose to 44 percent for robbery defendants and 53 percent for rape defendants.