California Penal Code Section 1043

1043. (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 defendent in a felony case after the trial has commenced in his 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 he has been warned by the judge that he will be removed if he continues his disruptive behavior, nevertheless insists on conducting himself in a manner so disorderly, disruptive, and disrespectful of the court that the trial cannot be carried on with him 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 his right to be present at the trial as soon as he is willing to conduct himself 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 his 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 his counsel to proceed in his 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 if the court finds the defendant has absented himself voluntarily with full knowledge that the trial is to be held or is being held.

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.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1152.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016