Chapter 7. the Mode of Trial - California Penal Code Section 1043
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California Laws > Penal Code > Chapter 7. the Mode of Trial - 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
(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
(d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not limit the right of a
defendant to waive his right to be present in accordance with Section
(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
(1) Continue the matter.
(2) Order bail forfeited or revoke release on the defendant's own
(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.
Last modified: February 16, 2015