A recorded obligation, entered into before a tribunal, in which an individual pledges to perform a specific act or to subscribe to a certain course of conduct.
For example, an individual who owes money might enter into a recognizance whereby she agrees to satisfy the debt.
In CRIMINAL LAW, an individual who has been found guilty of an offense can be mandated to enter into a recognizance whereby she agrees to keep the peace in the future. An individual who has been accused but not yet convicted of a criminal offense may be allowed to go free prior to the trial without being required to post a bail bond. The accused individual provides the court with a formal written statement, which declares that his failure to appear will precipitate payment to the court of a specifically indicated sum of money. This is known as a release on one's own recognizance, or personal recognizance.