Cal. Pen. Code § 1043

Current through the 2021 Legislative Session
Section 1043 - Presence of defendant
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the defendant in a felony case shall be personally present at the trial.
(b) The absence of the defendant in a felony case after the trial has commenced in their physical presence shall not prevent continuing the trial to, and including, the return of the verdict in any of the following cases:
(1) Any case in which the defendant, after being warned by the judge that they will be removed if they continue their disruptive behavior, nevertheless insists on acting in a manner so disorderly, disruptive, and disrespectful of the court that the trial cannot be carried on with the defendant present in the courtroom.
(2) Any prosecution for an offense which is not punishable by death in which the defendant is voluntarily absent.
(c) Any defendant who is absent from a trial pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) may reclaim the right to be present at the trial as soon as they are willing to act consistently with the decorum and respect inherent in the concept of courts and judicial proceedings.
(d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not limit the right of a defendant to waive the right to be present in accordance with Section 977.
(e) If the defendant in a misdemeanor case fails to appear in person at the time set for trial or during the course of trial, the court shall proceed with the trial, unless good cause for a continuance exists, if the defendant has authorized their counsel to proceed in their absence pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 977.

If there is no authorization pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 977 and if the defendant fails to appear in person at the time set for trial or during the course of trial, the court, in its discretion, may do one or more of the following, as it deems appropriate:

(1) Continue the matter.
(2) Order bail forfeited or revoke release on the defendant's own recognizance.
(3) Issue a bench warrant.
(4) Proceed with the trial in the defendant's absence as authorized in subdivision (f).
(f)
(1) A trial shall be deemed to have commenced in the presence of the defendant for purposes of subdivision (b), or may proceed pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (e), if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, all of the following to be true:
(A) The defendant is in custody and is refusing, without good cause, to appear in court on that day for that trial.
(B) The defendant has been informed of their right and obligation to be personally present in court.
(C) The defendant has been informed that the trial will proceed without the defendant being present.
(D) The defendant has been informed that they have the right to remain silent during the trial.
(E) The defendant has been informed that their absence without good cause will constitute a voluntary waiver of any constitutional or statutory right to confront any witnesses against them or to testify on their own behalf.
(F) The defendant has been informed whether or not defense counsel will be present.
(2) The court shall state on the record the reasons for the court's findings and shall cause those findings and reasons to be entered into the minutes.
(3) If the trial lasts for more than one day, the court is required to make the findings required by this subdivision anew for each day that the defendant is absent.
(4) This subdivision does not apply to any trial in which the defendant was personally present in court at the commencement of trial.
(g) Nothing herein shall limit the right of the court to order the defendant to be personally present at the trial for purposes of identification unless counsel stipulate to the issue of identity.

Ca. Pen. Code § 1043

Amended by Stats 2021 ch 196 (AB 700),s 2, eff. 1/1/2022.
Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1152.