Chapter 3. Security To Keep The Peace of California Penal Code >> Title 1. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 3.
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.
(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
(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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If the person complained of is committed for not giving the
undertaking required, he may be discharged by any magistrate, upon
giving the same.
The undertaking must be filed by the magistrate in the office
of the Clerk of the county.
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.
Upon the conviction of the person informed against of a breach
of the peace, the undertaking is broken.
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
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.
Security to keep the peace, or be of good behavior, cannot be
required except as prescribed in this Chapter.