Some form of bail must be set in all misdemeanor, felony or homicide cases in Pennsylvania. By far the most common form of bail is ROR, especially here in Centre County, where we have a lot of non-violent offenses like DUI, small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. ROR stands for "released on own recognizance." That means that the defendant need not post any form of cash bail. Rather, the defendant must simply promise to appear at all future court proceedings.
Bail is the tool, which the courts use to assure a defendant's appearance at future court dates. In Pennsylvania, criminal charges are filed in the magisterial district courts, and, therefore, it is the task of magisterial district judges to set bail. Bail is set in all misdemeanor and felony cases, while a defendant is not entitled to bail if he is charged with an offense punishable by death or life in prison. In rare non-homicide cases, a magisterial district court could refuse to set bail if it appears that pre-trial detention is the only means of securing a defendant's appearance.