Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN


  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )


  ( Title 10 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 1. Bail [1268 - 1320.5]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted 1872. )

ARTICLE 3. Bail Upon an Indictment Before Conviction [1284 - 1289]
  ( Article 3 enacted 1872. )


When the offense charged is not punishable with death, the officer serving the bench warrant must, if required, take the defendant before a magistrate in the county in which it is issued, or in which he is arrested, for the purpose of giving bail. If the defendant appears before such magistrate without the bench warrant having been served upon him, the magistrate shall deliver him into the custody of the sheriff for the purpose of immediate booking and the recording of identification data, whereupon the sheriff shall deliver the defendant back before the magistrate for the purpose of giving bail.

(Amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2198.)


If the offense charged is punishable with death, the officer arresting the defendant must deliver him into custody, according to the command of the bench warrant.

(Amended by Code Amendments 1880, Ch. 47.)


When the defendant is so delivered into custody he must be held by the Sheriff, unless admitted to bail on examination upon a writ of habeas corpus.

(Enacted 1872.)


(a) The bail shall be put in by a written undertaking, executed by two sufficient sureties (with or without the defendant, in the discretion of the court or magistrate), and acknowledged before the court or magistrate, in substantially the following form:

An indictment having been found on the ____ day of ____, 20__, in the Superior Court of the County of ____, charging ____ with the crime of ____ (designating it generally) and he or she having been admitted to bail in the sum of ____ dollars ($____), we, ____ and ____, of ____ (stating their place of residence and occupation), hereby undertake that the above-named ____ will appear and answer any charge in any accusatory pleading based upon the acts supporting the indictment above mentioned, in whatever court it may be prosecuted, and will at all times render himself or herself amenable to the orders and process of the court, and, if convicted, will appear for pronouncement of judgment or grant of probation; or, if he or she fails to perform either of these conditions, that we will pay to the people of the State of California the sum of ____ dollars ($____) (inserting the sum in which the defendant is admitted to bail). If the forfeiture of this bond be ordered by the court, judgment may be summarily made and entered forthwith against the said (naming the sureties, and the defendant if he or she be a party to the bond), for the amount of their respective undertakings herein, as provided by Sections 1305 and 1306.

(b) Every undertaking of bail shall contain the bail agent license number of the owner of the bail agency issuing the undertaking along with the name, address, and phone number of the agency, regardless of whether the owner is an individual, partnership, or corporation. The bail agency name on the undertaking shall be a business name approved by the Insurance Commissioner for use by the bail agency owner, and be so reflected in the public records of the commissioner. The license number of the bail agent appearing on the undertaking shall be in the same type size as the name, address, and phone number of the agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 104, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2005.)


The provisions contained in sections 1279, 1280, 1280a and 1281, in relation to bail before indictment, apply to bail after indictment.

(Amended by Stats. 1927, Ch. 736.)


After a defendant has been admitted to bail upon an indictment or information, the Court in which the charge is pending may, upon good cause shown, either increase or reduce the amount of bail. If the amount be increased, the Court may order the defendant to be committed to actual custody, unless he give bail in such increased amount. If application be made by the defendant for a reduction of the amount, notice of the application must be served upon the District Attorney.

(Amended by Code Amendments 1880, Ch. 47. Note: This version was suspended from Jan. 1, 1981, until Dec. 31, 1985, during operation of the temporary amendment by Stats. 1979, Ch. 873.)

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