Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN


  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )


  ( Title 1 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 3. Security to Keep the Peace [701 - 714]
  ( Chapter 3 enacted 1872. )


An information may be laid before any of the magistrates mentioned in Section 808, that a person has threatened to commit an offense against the person or property of another.

(Enacted 1872.)


(a) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), no peace officer or agent of a peace officer shall use a person who is 12 years of age or younger as a minor informant.

(b) No peace officer or agent of a peace officer shall use a person under the age of 18 years as a minor informant, except as authorized pursuant to the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act (Division 8.5 (commencing with Section 22950) of the Business and Professions Code) for the purposes of that act, unless the peace officer or agent of a peace officer has obtained an order from the court authorizing the minor’s cooperation.

(c) Prior to issuing any order pursuant to subdivision (b), the court shall find, after consideration of (1) the age and maturity of the minor, (2) the gravity of the minor’s alleged offense, (3) the safety of the public, and (4) the interests of justice, that the agreement to act as a minor informant is voluntary and is being entered into knowingly and intelligently.

(d) Prior to the court making the finding required in subdivision (c), all of the following conditions shall be satisfied:

(1) The court has found probable cause that the minor committed the alleged offense. The finding of probable cause shall only be for the purpose of issuing the order pursuant to subdivision (b), and shall not prejudice the minor in any future proceedings.

(2) The court has advised the minor of the mandatory minimum and maximum sentence for the alleged offense.

(3) The court has disclosed the benefit the minor may obtain by cooperating with the peace officer or agent of a peace officer.

(4) The minor’s parent or guardian has consented to the agreement by the minor unless the parent or guardian is a suspect in the criminal investigation.

(e) For purposes of this section, “minor informant” means a minor who participates, on behalf of a law enforcement agency, in a prearranged transaction or series of prearranged transactions with direct face-to-face contact with any party, when the minor’s participation in the transaction is for the purpose of obtaining or attempting to obtain evidence of illegal activity by a third party and where the minor is participating in the transaction for the purpose of reducing or dismissing a pending juvenile petition against the minor.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 833, Sec. 1. Effective September 25, 1998.)


When the information is laid before such magistrate he must examine on oath the informer, and any witness he may produce, and must take their depositions in writing, and cause them to be subscribed by the parties making them.

(Enacted 1872.)


If it appears from the depositions that there is just reason to fear the commission of the offense threatened, by the person so informed against, the magistrate must issue a warrant, directed generally to the sheriff of the county, or any marshal, or policeman in the state, reciting the substance of the information, and commanding the officer forthwith to arrest the person informed of and bring him or her before the magistrate.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 872, Sec. 113. Effective January 1, 1997.)


When the person informed against is brought before the magistrate, if the charge be controverted, the magistrate shall take testimony in relation thereto. The evidence shall be reduced to writing and subscribed by the witnesses. The magistrate may, in his or her discretion, order the testimony and proceedings to be taken down in shorthand, and for that purpose he or she may appoint a shorthand reporter. The deposition or testimony of the witnesses shall be authenticated in the form prescribed in Section 869.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 828, Sec. 48.)


If it appears that there is no just reason to fear the commission of the offense alleged to have been threatened, the person complained of must be discharged.

(Enacted 1872.)


If, however, there is just reason to fear the commission of the offense, the person complained of may be required to enter into an undertaking in such sum, not exceeding five thousand dollars, as the magistrate may direct, to keep the peace towards the people of this state, and particularly towards the informer. The undertaking is valid and binding for six months, and may, upon the renewal of the information, be extended for a longer period, or a new undertaking may be required.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 517, Sec. 315.)


If the undertaking required by the last section is given, the party informed of must be discharged. If he does not give it, the magistrate must commit him to prison, specifying in the warrant the requirement to give security, the amount thereof, and the omission to give the same.

(Enacted 1872.)


If the person complained of is committed for not giving the undertaking required, he may be discharged by any magistrate, upon giving the same.

(Enacted 1872.)


The undertaking must be filed by the magistrate in the office of the Clerk of the county.

(Enacted 1872.)


A person who, in the presence of a Court or magistrate, assaults or threatens to assault another, or to commit an offense against his person or property, or who contends with another with angry words, may be ordered by the Court or magistrate to give security, as in this Chapter provided, and if he refuse to do so, may be committed as provided in Section 707.

(Enacted 1872.)


Upon the conviction of the person informed against of a breach of the peace, the undertaking is broken.

(Enacted 1872.)


Upon the District Attorney’s producing evidence of such conviction to the Superior Court of the county, the Court must order the undertaking to be prosecuted, and the District Attorney must thereupon commence an action upon it in the name of the people of this State.

(Amended by Code Amendments 1880, Ch. 56.)


In the action the offense stated in the record of conviction must be alleged as a breach of the undertaking, and such record is conclusive evidence of the breach.

(Enacted 1872.)


Security to keep the peace, or be of good behavior, cannot be required except as prescribed in this Chapter.

(Enacted 1872.)

PENPenal Code - PEN