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California Penal Code Section 859

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 859

859.  When the defendant is charged with the commission of a felony
by a written complaint subscribed under oath and on file in a court
within the county in which the felony is triable, he or she shall,
without unnecessary delay, be taken before a magistrate of the court
in which the complaint is on file. The magistrate shall immediately
deliver to the defendant a copy of the complaint, inform the
defendant that he or she has the right to have the assistance of
counsel, ask the defendant if he or she desires the assistance of
counsel, and allow the defendant reasonable time to send for counsel.
However, in a capital case, the court shall inform the defendant
that the defendant must be represented in court by counsel at all
stages of the preliminary and trial proceedings and that the
representation will be at the defendant's expense if the defendant is
able to employ counsel or at public expense if he or she is unable
to employ counsel, inquire of him or her whether he or she is able to
employ counsel and, if so, whether the defendant desires to employ
counsel of the defendant's choice or to have counsel assigned for him
or her, and allow the defendant a reasonable time to send for his or
her chosen or assigned counsel. If the defendant desires and is
unable to employ counsel, the court shall assign counsel to defend
him or her; in a capital case, if the defendant is able to employ
counsel and either refuses to employ counsel or appears without
counsel after having had a reasonable time to employ counsel, the
court shall assign counsel to defend him or her. If it appears that
the defendant may be a minor, the magistrate shall ascertain whether
that is the case, and if the magistrate concludes that it is probable
that the defendant is a minor, he or she shall immediately either
notify the parent or guardian of the minor, by telephone or
messenger, of the arrest, or appoint counsel to represent the minor.


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Last modified: March 17, 2014