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Bail & Bail Bonds Regulations:

California Bail & Bail Bonds Regulations

CALIFORNIA CODES - PENAL CODE - SECTION 1268-1276.5


1268.  Admission to bail is the order of a competent Court or
magistrate that the defendant be discharged from actual custody upon
bail.

1269.  The taking of bail consists in the acceptance, by a competent
court or magistrate, of the undertaking of sufficient bail for the
appearance of the defendant, according to the terms of the
undertaking, or that the bail will pay to the people of this state a
specified sum.  Upon filing, the clerk shall enter in the register of
actions the date and amounts of such bond and the name or names of
the surety or sureties thereon.  In the event of the loss or
destruction of such bond, such entries so made shall be prima facie
evidence of the due execution of such bond as required by law.
   Whenever any bail bond has been deposited in any criminal action
or proceeding in a municipal or superior court or in any proceeding
in habeas corpus in a superior court, and it is made to appear to the
satisfaction of the court by affidavit or by testimony in open court
that more than three years have elapsed since the exoneration or
release of said bail, the court must direct that such bond be
destroyed.

1269a.  Except as otherwise provided by law, no defendant charged in
a warrant of arrest with any public offense shall be discharged from
custody upon bail except upon a written order of a competent court
or magistrate admitting the defendant to bail in the amount specified
in the indorsement referred to in Section 815a, and where an
undertaking is furnished, upon a written order of such court or
magistrate approving the undertaking.  All such orders must be signed
by such court or magistrate and delivered to the officer having
custody of the defendant before the defendant is released.  Any
officer releasing any defendant upon bail otherwise than as herein
provided shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

1269b.  (a) The officer in charge of a jail where an arrested person
is held in custody, an officer of a sheriff's department or police
department of a city who is in charge of a jail or is employed at a
fixed police or sheriff's facility and is acting under an agreement
with the agency that keeps the jail wherein an arrested person is
held in custody, an employee of a sheriff's department or police
department of a city who is assigned by the department to collect
bail, the clerk of the municipal court of the judicial district in
which the offense was alleged to have been committed, and the clerk
of the superior court in which the case against the defendant is
pending may approve and accept bail in the amount fixed by the
warrant of arrest, schedule of bail, or order admitting to bail in
cash or surety bond executed by a certified, admitted surety insurer
as provided in the Insurance Code, to issue and sign an order for the
release of the arrested person, and to set a time and place for the
appearance of the arrested person before the appropriate court and
give notice thereof.
   (b) If a defendant has appeared before a judge of the court on the
charge contained in the complaint, indictment, or information, the
bail shall be in the amount fixed by the judge at the time of the
appearance; if that appearance has not been made, the bail shall be
in the amount fixed in the warrant of arrest or, if no warrant of
arrest has been issued, the amount of bail shall be pursuant to the
uniform countywide schedule of bail for the county in which the
defendant is required to appear, previously fixed and approved as
provided in subdivisions (c) and (d).
   (c) It is the duty of the superior  and municipal court judges in
each county to prepare, adopt, and annually revise, by a majority
vote, at a meeting called by the presiding judge of the superior
court of the county, a uniform countywide schedule of bail for all
bailable felony offenses.
   In adopting a uniform countywide schedule of bail for all bailable
offenses the judges shall consider the seriousness of the offense
charged.  In considering the seriousness of the offense charged the
judges shall assign an additional amount of required bail for each
aggravating or enhancing factor chargeable in the complaint,
including, but not limited to, additional bail for charges alleging
facts that would bring a person within any of the following sections:
  Section 667.5, 667.51, 667.6, 667.8, 667.85, 667.9, 667.10, 12022,
12022.1, 12022.2, 12022.3, 12022.4, 12022.5, 12022.53, 12022.6,
12022.7, 12022.8, or 12022.9, or Section 11356.5, 11370.2, or 11370.4
of the Health and Safety Code.
   In considering offenses wherein a violation of Chapter 6
(commencing with Section 11350) of Division 10 of the Health and
Safety Code is alleged, the judge shall assign an additional amount
of required bail for offenses involving large quantities of
controlled substances.
   (d) The municipal court judges in each county, at a meeting called
by the presiding judge of the municipal court at each county seat,
or the superior court judges in each county in which there is no
municipal court, at a meeting called by the presiding judge of the
superior court, shall prepare, adopt, and annually revise, by a
majority vote, a uniform, countywide schedule of bail for all
misdemeanor and infraction offenses except Vehicle Code infractions.
The penalty schedule for infraction violations of the Vehicle Code
shall be established by the Judicial Council in accordance with
Section 40310 of the Vehicle Code.
   (e) Each countywide bail schedule shall contain a list of the
offenses and the amounts of bail applicable thereto as the judges
determine to be appropriate.  If the schedules do not list all
offenses specifically, they shall contain a general clause for
designated amounts of bail as the judges of the county determine to
be appropriate for all the offenses not specifically listed in the
schedules.  A copy of the countywide bail schedule shall be sent to
the officer in charge of the county jail, to the officer in charge of
each city jail within the county, to each superior  and municipal
court judge and commissioner in the county, and to the Judicial
Council.
   (f) Upon posting bail, the defendant or arrested person shall be
discharged from custody as to the offense on which the bail is
posted.
   All money and surety bonds so deposited with an officer authorized
to receive bail shall be transmitted immediately to the judge or
clerk of the court by which the order was made or warrant issued or
bail schedule fixed.  If, in the case of felonies, an indictment is
filed, the judge or clerk of the court shall transmit all of the
money and surety bonds to the county clerk.
   (g) If a defendant or arrested person so released fails to appear
at the time and in the court so ordered upon his or her release from
custody, Sections 1305 and 1306 apply.

1269c.  If a defendant is arrested without a warrant for a bailable
felony offense or for the misdemeanor offense of violating a domestic
violence restraining order, and a peace officer has reasonable cause
to believe that the amount of bail set forth in the schedule of bail
for that offense is insufficient to assure defendant's appearance or
to assure the protection of a victim, or family member of a victim,
of domestic violence, the peace officer shall prepare a declaration
under penalty of perjury setting forth the facts and circumstances in
support of his or her belief and file it with a magistrate, as
defined in Section 808, or his or her commissioner, in the county in
which the offense is alleged to have been committed or having
personal jurisdiction over the defendant, requesting an order setting
a higher bail.  The defendant, either personally or through his or
her attorney, friend, or family member, also may make application to
the magistrate for release on bail lower than that provided in the
schedule of bail or on his or her own recognizance.  The magistrate
or commissioner to whom the application is made is authorized to set
bail in an amount that he or she deems sufficient to assure the
defendant's appearance or to assure the protection of a victim, or
family member of a victim, of domestic violence, and to set bail on
the terms and conditions that he or she, in his or her discretion,
deems appropriate, or he or she may authorize the defendant's release
on his or her own recognizance.  If, after the application is made,
no order changing the amount of bail is issued within eight hours
after booking, the defendant shall be entitled to be released on
posting the amount of bail set forth in the applicable bail schedule.

1270.  (a) Any person who has been arrested for, or charged with, an
offense other than a capital offense may be released on his or her
own recognizance by a court or magistrate who could release a
defendant from custody upon the defendant giving bail, including a
defendant arrested upon an out-of-county warrant.  A defendant who is
in custody and is arraigned on a complaint alleging an offense which
is a misdemeanor, and a defendant who appears before a court or
magistrate upon an out-of-county warrant arising out of a case
involving only misdemeanors, shall be entitled to an own recognizance
release unless the court makes a finding on the record, in
accordance with Section 1275, that an own recognizance release will
compromise public safety or will not reasonably assure the appearance
of the defendant as required.  Public safety shall be the primary
consideration.  If the court makes one of those findings, the court
shall then set bail and specify the conditions, if any, whereunder
the defendant shall be released.
   (b) Article 9 (commencing with Section 1318) shall apply to any
person who is released pursuant to this section.

1270.1.  (a) Before any person who is arrested for any of the
following crimes may be released on bail in an amount that is either
more or less than the amount contained in the schedule of bail for
the offense, or may be released on his or her own recognizance, a
hearing shall be held in open court before the magistrate or judge:
   (1) A serious felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section
1192.7, or a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section
667.5, but not including a violation of subdivision (a) of Section
460 (residential burglary).
   (2) A violation of Section 136.1 where punishment is imposed
pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 136.1, 262, 273.5, 422 where
the offense is punished as a felony, or 646.9.
   (3) A violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section
243.
   (b) The prosecuting attorney and defense attorney shall be given a
two court-day written notice and an opportunity to be heard on the
matter.  If the detained person does not have counsel, the court
shall appoint counsel for purposes of this section only.  The hearing
required by this section shall be held within the time period
prescribed in Section 825.
   (c) At the hearing, the court shall consider evidence of past
court appearances of the detained person, the maximum potential
sentence that could be imposed, and the danger that may be posed to
other persons if the detained person is released.  In making the
determination whether to release the detained person on his or her
own recognizance, the court shall consider the potential danger to
other persons, including threats that have been made by the detained
person and any past acts of violence.  The court shall also consider
any evidence offered by the detained person regarding his or her ties
to the community and his or her ability to post bond.
   (d) If the judge or magistrate sets the bail in an amount that is
either more or less than the amount contained in the schedule of bail
for the offense, the judge or magistrate shall state the reasons for
that decision and shall address the issue of threats made against
the victim or witness, if they were made, in the record.  This
statement shall be included in the record.

1270.2.  When a person is detained in custody on a criminal charge
prior to conviction for want of bail, that person is entitled to an
automatic review of the order fixing the amount of the bail by the
judge or magistrate having jurisdiction of the offense.  That review
shall be held not later than five days from the time of the original
order fixing the amount of bail on the original accusatory pleading.
The defendant may waive this review.

1270.5.  A defendant charged with an offense punishable with death
cannot be admitted to bail, when the proof of his or her guilt is
evident or the presumption thereof great.  The finding of an
indictment does not add to the strength of the proof or the
presumptions to be drawn therefrom.

1271.  If the charge is for any other offense, he may be admitted to
bail before conviction, as a matter of right.

1272.  After conviction of an offense not punishable with death, a
defendant who has made application for probation or who has appealed
may be admitted to bail:
   1. As a matter of right, before judgment is pronounced pending
application for probation in cases of misdemeanors, or when the
appeal is from a judgment imposing a fine only.
   2. As a matter of right, before judgment is pronounced pending
application for probation in cases of misdemeanors, or when the
appeal is from a judgment imposing imprisonment in cases of
misdemeanors.
   3. As a matter of discretion in all other cases, except that a
person convicted of an offense subject to this subdivision, who makes
a motion for release on bail subsequent to a sentencing hearing,
shall provide notice of the hearing on the bail motion to the
prosecuting attorney at least five court days prior to the hearing.

1272.1.  Release on bail pending appeal under subdivision (3) of
Section 1272 shall be ordered by the court if the defendant
demonstrates all the following:
   (a) By clear and convincing evidence, the defendant is not likely
to flee.  Under this subdivision the court shall consider the
following criteria:
   (1) The ties of the defendant to the community, including his or
her employment, the duration of his or her residence, the defendant's
family attachments and his or her property holdings.
   (2) The defendant's record of appearance at past court hearings or
of flight to avoid prosecution.
   (3) The severity of the sentence the defendant faces.
   (b) By clear and convincing evidence, the defendant does not pose
a danger to the safety of any other person or to the community.
   Under this subdivision the court shall consider, among other
factors, whether the crime for which the defendant was convicted is a
violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5.
   (c) The appeal is not for the purpose of delay and, based upon the
record in the case, raises a  substantial legal question  which, if
decided in favor of the defendant, is likely to result in reversal.
   For purposes of this subdivision, a "substantial legal question"
means a close question, one of more substance than would be necessary
to a finding that it was not frivolous.  In assessing whether a
substantial legal question has been raised on appeal by the
defendant, the court shall not be required to determine whether it
committed error.
   In making its decision on whether to grant defendants' motions for
bail under subdivision (3) of Section 1272, the  court shall include
a brief statement of reasons in support of an order granting or
denying a motion for bail on appeal.  The statement need only include
the basis for the order with sufficient specificity to permit
meaningful review.


1273.  If the offense is bailable, the defendant may be admitted to
bail before conviction:
   First--For his appearance before the magistrate, on the
examination of the charge, before being held to answer.
   Second--To appear at the Court to which the magistrate is required
to return the depositions and statement, upon the defendant being
held to answer after examination.
   Third--After indictment, either before the bench warrant is issued
for his arrest, or upon any order of the Court committing him, or
enlarging the amount of bail, or upon his being surrendered by his
bail to answer the indictment in the Court in which it is found, or
to which it may be transferred for trial.
   And after conviction, and upon an appeal:
   First--If the appeal is from a judgment imposing a fine only, on
the undertaking of bail that he will pay the same, or such part of it
as the appellate Court may direct, if the judgment is affirmed or
modified, or the appeal is dismissed.
   Second--If judgment of imprisonment has been given, that he will
surrender himself in execution of the judgment, upon its being
affirmed or modified, or upon the appeal being dismissed, or that in
case the judgment be reversed, and that the cause be remanded for a
new trial, that he will appear in the Court to which said cause may
be remanded, and submit himself to the orders and process thereof.

1274.  When the admission to bail is a matter of discretion, the
Court or officer to whom the application is made must require
reasonable notice thereof to be given to the District Attorney of the
county.

1275.  (a) In setting, reducing, or denying bail, the judge or
magistrate shall take into consideration the protection of the
public, the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous criminal
record of the defendant, and the probability of his or her appearing
at trial or hearing of the case.  The public safety shall be the
primary consideration.
   In considering the seriousness of the offense charged, the judge
or magistrate shall include consideration of the alleged injury to
the victim, and alleged threats to the victim or a witness to the
crime charged, the alleged use of a firearm or other deadly weapon in
the commission of the crime charged, and the alleged use or
possession of controlled substances by the defendant.
   (b) In considering offenses wherein a violation of Chapter 6
(commencing with Section 11350) of Division 10 of the Health and
Safety Code is alleged, the judge or magistrate shall consider the
following:  (1) the alleged amounts of controlled substances involved
in the commission of the offense, and (2) whether the defendant is
currently released on bail for an alleged violation of Chapter 6
(commencing with Section 11350) of Division 10 of the Health and
Safety Code.
   (c) Before a court reduces bail below the amount established by
the bail schedule approved for the county, in accordance with
subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1269b, for a person charged with
a serious felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7, or
a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5,
the court shall make a finding of unusual circumstances and shall set
forth those facts on the record.  For purposes of this subdivision,
"unusual circumstances" does not include the fact that the defendant
has made all prior court appearances or has not committed any new
offenses.

1275.1.  (a) Bail, pursuant to this chapter, shall not be accepted
unless a judge or magistrate finds that no portion of the
consideration, pledge, security, deposit, or indemnification paid,
given, made, or promised for its execution was feloniously obtained.

   (b) A hold on the release of a defendant from custody shall only
be ordered by a magistrate or judge if any of the following occurs:
   (1) A peace officer, as defined in Section 830, files a
declaration executed under penalty of perjury setting forth probable
cause to believe that the source of any consideration, pledge,
security, deposit, or indemnification paid, given, made, or promised
for its execution was feloniously obtained.
   (2) A prosecutor files a declaration executed under penalty of
perjury setting forth probable cause to believe that the source of
any consideration, pledge, security, deposit, or indemnification
paid, given, made, or promised for its execution was feloniously
obtained.  A prosecutor shall have absolute civil immunity for
executing a declaration pursuant to this paragraph.
   (3) The magistrate or judge has probable cause to believe that the
source of any consideration, pledge, security, deposit, or
indemnification paid, given, made, or promised for its execution was
feloniously obtained.
   (c) Once a magistrate or judge has determined that probable cause
exists, as provided in subdivision (b), a defendant bears the burden
by a preponderance of the evidence to show that no part of any
consideration, pledge, security, deposit, or indemnification paid,
given, made, or promised for its execution was obtained by felonious
means.  Once a defendant has met such burden, the magistrate or judge
shall release the hold previously ordered and the defendant shall be
released under the authorized amount of bail.
   (d) The defendant and his or her attorney shall be provided with a
copy of the declaration of probable cause filed under subdivision
(b) no later than the date set forth in Section 825.
   (e) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a defendant from
obtaining a loan of money so long as the loan will be funded and
repaid with funds not feloniously obtained.
   (f) At the request of any person providing any portion of the
consideration, pledge, security, deposit, or indemnification paid,
given, made, or promised for its execution, the magistrate or judge,
at an evidentiary hearing to determine the source of the funds, may
close it to the general public to protect the person's right to
privacy in his or her financial affairs.
   (g) If the declaration, having been filed with a magistrate or
judge, is not acted on within 24 hours, the defendant shall be
released from custody upon posting of the amount of bail set.
   (h) Nothing in this code shall deny the right of the defendant,
either personally or through his or her attorney, bail agent licensed
by the Department of Insurance, admitted surety insurer licensed by
the Department of Insurance, friend, or member of his or her family
from making an application to the magistrate or judge for the release
of the defendant on bail.
   (i) The bail of any defendant found to have willfully misled the
court regarding the source of bail may be increased as a result of
the willful misrepresentation.  The misrepresentation may be a factor
considered in any subsequent bail hearing.
   (j) If a defendant has met the burden under subdivision (c), and a
defendant will be released from custody upon the issuance of a bail
bond issued pursuant to authority of Section 1269 or 1269b by any
admitted surety insurer or any bail agent, approved by the Insurance
Commissioner, the magistrate or judge shall vacate the holding order
imposed under subdivision (b) upon the condition that the
consideration for the bail bond is approved by the court.
   (k) As used in this section, "feloniously obtained" means any
consideration, pledge, security, deposit, or indemnification paid,
given, made, or promised for its execution which is possessed,
received, or obtained through an unlawful act, transaction, or
occurrence constituting a felony.

1276.  (a) A bail bond or undertaking of bail of an admitted surety
insurer shall be accepted or approved by a court or magistrate
without further acknowledgment if executed by a licensed bail agent
of the insurer under penalty of perjury and issued in the name of the
insurer by a person authorized to do so by an unrevoked power of
attorney on file in the office of the clerk of the county in which
the court or magistrate is located.
   (b) One person may both execute and issue the bail bond or
undertaking of bail if qualified as provided in this section.

1276.5.  (a) At the time of an initial application to a bail bond
licensee for a bail bond which is to be secured by a lien against
real property, the bail bond licensee shall provide the property
owner with a written disclosure statement in the following form:
"DISCLOSURE OF LIEN AGAINST REAL PROPERTY DO NOT SIGN 
THIS DOCUMENT UNTIL YOU READ AND UNDERSTAND IT!
THIS BAIL BOND WILL BE SECURED BY REAL PROPERTY 
YOU OWN OR IN WHICH YOU HAVE AN INTEREST.  THE FAILURE 
TO PAY THE BAIL BOND PREMIUMS WHEN DUE OR THE 
FAILURE OF THE DEFENDANT TO COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS OF
BAIL COULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF YOUR PROPERTY!"

   (b) The disclosure required in subdivision (a) shall be made in
14-point bold type by either of the following means:
   (1) A separate and specific document attached to or accompanying
the application.
   (2) A clear and conspicuous statement on the face of the
application.
   (c) The property owner shall be given a completed copy of the
disclosure statement and of the note and deed of trust or other
instrument creating the lien against real property prior to the
execution of any instrument creating a lien against real property.
The failure to fully comply with subdivision (a) or (b), or this
subdivision, shall render the deed of trust or other instrument
creating the lien against real property voidable.
   (d) Within 30 days after notice is given by any individual,
agency, or entity to the surety or bail bond licensee of the
expiration of the time for appeal of the order exonerating the bail
bond, or within 30 days after the payment in full of all moneys owed
on the bail bond obligation secured by any lien against real
property, whichever is later in time, the bail bond licensee shall
deliver to the property owner a fully executed and notarized
reconveyance of title, a certificate of discharge, or a full release
of any lien against real property to secure performance of the
conditions of the bail bond.  If a timely notice of appeal of the
order exonerating the bail bond is filed with the court, that 30-day
period shall begin on the date the determination of the appellate
court affirming the order exonerating the bail bond becomes final.
Upon the reconveyance, the licensee shall deliver to the property
owner the original note and deed of trust, security agreement, or
other instrument which secures the bail bond obligation.  If the
licensee fails to comply with this subdivision, the property owner
may petition the superior court to issue an order directing the clerk
of the superior court to execute a full reconveyance of title, a
certificate of discharge, or a full release of any lien against real
property created to secure performance of the conditions of the bail
bond.  The petition shall be verified and shall allege facts showing
that the licensee has failed to comply with this subdivision.
   (e) The violation of this section shall make the violator liable
to the person affected by the violation for all damages which that
person may sustain by reason of the violation plus statutory damages
in the sum of three hundred dollars ($300).  The property owner shall
be entitled, if he or she prevails, to recover court costs and
reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court in any action
brought to enforce this section.

Please Note: This material is provided for bail and bail bonds general information purposes only. While all attempts were made to ensure correct California bail and bail bonds statutes were stated correctly as found at The Official California Legislation Site, Josh Herman Bail Bonds does not warrant this infomation as complete, accurate or up to date. Please refer to the current California bail and bail bonds legislation for any legal purposes.

Contact Us:  (800)-7-Get-Me-Out (310)-208-BAIL (714)-974-4550
(800)-743-8636 (818)-787-3278 (310)-208-2245 (213)-626-1010

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