Chapter 3. Complaints Before Magistrates of California Penal Code >> Title 3. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 3.
A proceeding for the examination before a magistrate of a
person on a charge of a felony must be commenced by written complaint
under oath subscribed by the complainant and filed with the
magistrate. Such complaint may be verified on information and belief.
When the complaint is used as a pleading to which the defendant
pleads guilty under Section 859a of this code, the complaint shall
contain the same allegations, including the charge of prior
conviction or convictions of crime, as are required for indictments
and informations and, wherever applicable, shall be construed and
shall have substantially the same effect as provided in this code for
indictments and informations.
A magistrate is an officer having power to issue a warrant for
the arrest of a person charged with a public offense.
The following persons are magistrates:
(a) The judges of the Supreme Court.
(b) The judges of the courts of appeal.
(c) The judges of the superior courts.
The night-time commissioner of the Santa Clara County Superior
Court shall be considered a magistrate for the purpose of conducting
prompt probable cause hearings for persons arrested without an
arrest warrant as mandated by law.
(a) The presiding judge of the superior court in a county
shall, as often as is necessary, designate on a schedule not less
than one judge of the court to be reasonably available on call as a
magistrate for the setting of orders for discharge from actual
custody upon bail, the issuance of search warrants, and for such
other matters as may by the magistrate be deemed appropriate, at all
times when a court is not in session in the county.
(b) The officer in charge of a jail, or a person the officer
designates, in which an arrested person is held in custody shall
assist the arrested person or the arrested person's attorney in
contacting the magistrate on call as soon as possible for the purpose
of obtaining release on bail.
(c) Any telephone call made pursuant to this section by an
arrested person while in custody or by such person's attorney shall
not count or be considered as a telephone call for purposes of
Section 851.5 of the Penal Code.