What do you call a court measure against an accused person before they are convicted or acquitted, such as releasing on bail or putting him into a remand prison? What is the umbrella term for these? In a translation of the Russian criminal procedural code, I saw the term "measure of restriction" (see p. 3 here). Is it really used in the English-speaking world?

  • measure of restriction is a no-go. restricted release. We don't say a remand prison.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 18:54
  • @Lambie What do you say then? Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 12:11
  • A prison is a prison. How you get there (remanded) is an action by the authorities. He was remanded to prison.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 15:05
  • So, released on bail versus remanded into custody.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 16:17
  • @Lambie There's a substantial difference between 'СИЗО' (where a charged person may be put before facing his trial so that he doesn't escape, tamper with witnesses, etc.) and 'тюрьма' in Russian (a place where a person serves his sentence). This difference should be conveyed one way or another Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


The term is "remand" for any action where the accused is not free to move about as they please. That includes holding them in prison, releasing them on bail, or sometimes releasing them with a monitored tracking device.

the disposal of an accused person during further process of law. A person may be remanded on bail or in custody. Now includes non-secure remand, the principal example being ELECTRONIC TAGGING.

remand. (n.d.) Collins Dictionary of Law. (2006). Retrieved August 6 2020 from https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/remand

An example of usage of the verb from Cambridge dictionary:

Of these, about 1,800 untried and more than 300 convicted unsentenced prisoners had been initially remanded into custody more than 120 days earlier.

An example of usage for the noun from Merriam-Webster:

On one side of the prison there was a block of prisoners on remand; on the other side were the convicts...

  • Lexico lists "a committal to custody" as the only meaning of the word 'remand' as a noun: lexico.com/en/definition/remand Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 18:51
  • @SergeyZolotarev And that means pretty much the same thing as the Cambridge definition. "Custody" doesn't necessarily mean "physical imprisonment" in legal terms. I will find an example of the noun's usage.'
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 18:57
  • This is right but he needs this phrasing: released on bail versus remanded into custody
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 16:17

The umbrella term, which covers all possible rulings (including many not mentioned in the question) is either a bail hearing decision or just a bail decision.

From "Bail Hearing Procedures" at FindLaw (the emphasis is my own):

The following is an overview of bail hearing procedures, including the considerations of a defendant's character, whether they should be remanded, and special requirements for defendants out on bail …

Where a defendant poses a threat to the safety of the community, they may be held without bail. In other situations, federal law typically requires that a defendant in a federal criminal case be released on personal recognizance or upon execution of an unsecured appearance bond. Released defendants must not commit any crimes during the period of release.

However, if a court determines that personal recognizance or an unsecured appearance bond won't reasonably assure the defendant's appearance, or determines that the safety of a person or the community is endangered, a defendant may be released upon conditions. Federal law delineates a number of conditions that may be imposed.

Defendants may be required to:

  • Limit travel (perhaps surrendering their passport);
  • Maintain or seek employment;
  • Undergo drug and alcohol testing;
  • Undergo medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment;
  • Maintain or commence an educational program;
  • Comply with a curfew;
  • Refrain from excessive use of alcohol or any use of narcotic drugs;
  • Remain in the custody of a designated person;
  • Comply with periodic check-ins with authorities;
  • Refrain from possession of a firearm;
  • Refrain from contact with crime victim or others designated by the court;
  • Execute a bond agreement with the court or a solvent surety in an amount as is reasonably necessary to ensure the defendant's appearance; or
  • Agree to other reasonable conditions the court may impose to ensure a defendant's appearance.

Both the defendant and the government may appeal an adverse bail decision …

  • Legal terminology can be heavily jurisdiction-specific, and terms that are familiar in (e.g.) the United States may be different in England and Wales, and vice-versa. even within the UK there are differences: in Scotland the police can release a suspect with conditions - this is called investigative liberation, and is analogous to being released on bail with conditions in England and Wales. Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:08
  • @MichaelHarvey However, it's still called a bail hearing in the UK, and the result is still some kind of decision, regardless of what the terminology of the specific decision is. Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:13
  • +1 because sometimes the plain English phrase is more useful than the legal term. Although, bail can be discussed at the arraignment hearing, so it might be worth talking more about the difference between a "bail hearing" and a "bail decision". Aren't bail hearings mostly just to appeal if you think your bail was set too high?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:19
  • @ColleenV I don't believe so. A bail hearing is the first thing that happens in front of a judge. It determines if you get bail (or something else), and, if you do, how much it will be for. If you want to appeal that decision, I think you can schedule an appeal hearing. I think an arraignment hearing is specifically for indictments, which I think is something a bit different (those are related to federal crimes), but which could also be the same in certain situations. Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:35
  • @JasonBassford I thought arraignment was the first step and that bail is set at arraignment and if you don't like it, you schedule a bail hearing. This might just be an US thing though. You hear the charges, get informed of your rights, bail is set, you enter a plea, get a public defender assigned, set future court dates etc.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 20:38

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