Bail Bonds Law: Authority to Approve & Accept Bail
1269b. (a) The officer in charge of a jail in which 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 in which 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 superior court of the county 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 court judges in each county to prepare, adopt, and annually revise a uniform countywide schedule of bail for all bailable felony offenses and 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. (d) A court may, by local rule, prescribe the procedure by which the uniform countywide schedule of bail is prepared, adopted, and annually revised by the judges. If a court does not adopt a local rule, the uniform countywide schedule of bail shall be prepared, adopted, and annually revised by a majority of the judges. (e) In adopting a uniform countywide schedule of bail for all bailable felony 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 of this code, or Section 11356.5, 11370.2, or 11370.4 of the Health and Safety Code. In considering offenses in which 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. (f) The countywide bail schedule shall contain a list of the offenses and the amounts of bail applicable for each as the judges determine to be appropriate. If the schedule does not list all offenses specifically, it 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 schedule. 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 court judge and commissioner in the county, and to the Judicial Council. (g) 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 clerk of the court. (h) 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.