To bind over in the criminal justice context means to require someone to appear in court on a specific date to face criminal charges. This is typically done when someone has been arrested or detained on suspicion of committing a crime and is released on bail or their own recognizance (meaning they are released without bail but are required to appear in court).
When someone is “bound over” to appear in court, they are given a summons or a subpoena requiring them to appear at a specific time and place for their court hearing. If the person fails to appear in court as required, they may be subject to additional criminal charges and/or a warrant may be issued for their arrest.
The process of being “bound over” to appear in court is intended to ensure that defendants are held accountable for their alleged crimes and that they have an opportunity to defend themselves in court.
[ Glossary ]