Call Today! Free Immediate Response 877-781-1570


What Is a PC 1275 Bail Hold?

Posted by Dmitry Gorin | Apr 27, 2024

The term “PC 1275 hold” means a hold is placed on your bail because a police officer, prosecutor, or judge believes the money or collateral used for the bail was acquitted through criminal activity, such as drug sales. The name “PC 1275” comes from California Penal Code 1275 PC, the statute allowing the bail hold.

Suppose the court places a hold on your bail. In that case, you can challenge it through a separate PC 1275 court hearing. If you can show, through a preponderance of the evidence (more likely true than not), that your bail money was legally acquired, then the court must release the hold.

What Is a PC 1275 Bail Hold?
A PC 1275 hold can be placed on your bail if the court believes it came from criminal activity.

The bail amount will always vary depending on the crime. All California counties have bail schedules listing the amount of bail for each criminal offense. 

Judges can increase or decrease bail amounts depending on the case details. You can request a bail hearing to ask the judge to reduce the bail. Judges can also set, modify, reinstate, or exonerate your bail at arraignment.

A 1275 hold are the most common in cases of drug trafficking, money laundering, gang crimes, and extortion. If you're charged with a crime in California, the judge will determine bail for your pre-trial release. As noted, bail money cannot have been obtained illegally through criminal activity.

If it is suspected that you have used, or will use, illicit funds to post bail, the court could place a PC 1275 hold on your bail. This means your release from custody will be delayed, and you must prove the source of the bail money before securing your release from custody.  

California Penal Code 1275 PC

As mentioned above, the name “PC 1275 hold” comes directly from California Penal Code 1275.1 PC, the statute defining the rules regarding bail holds. Once a hold is placed on bail, you must challenge it at a court hearing.

PC 1275 says, “(a) (1) In setting, reducing, or denying bail, a judge or magistrate shall take into consideration the protection of the public, the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous criminal record of the defendant, and the probability of his or her appearing at trial or at a hearing of the case. 

California Penal Code 1275 PC

The public safety shall be the primary consideration. In setting bail, a judge or magistrate may consider factors such as the information in a report prepared per Section 1318.1.

(2) In considering the seriousness of the offense charged, a judge or magistrate shall include consideration of the alleged injury to the victim, alleged threats to the victim or a witness to the crime charged, the alleged use of a firearm or other deadly weapon in the commission of the crime charged, and the alleged use or possession of controlled substances by the defendant.

(b) In considering offenses wherein a violation of Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11350) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code is alleged, a judge or magistrate shall consider the following: 

(1) the alleged amounts of controlled substances involved in the commission of the offense, and (2) whether the defendant is currently released on bail for an alleged violation of Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11350) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code.

(c) Before a court reduces bail to below the amount established by the bail schedule approved for the county, in accordance with subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1269b, for a person charged with a serious felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7, or a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, the court shall make a finding of unusual circumstances and set forth those facts on the record. 

For purposes of this subdivision, “unusual circumstances” does not include the fact that the defendant has made all prior court appearances or has not committed any new offenses.”

What Are the Common Crimes For a Bail Hold?

As noted above, Penal Code 1275.1(a) stipulates that bail "shall not be accepted unless a judge or magistrate finds that no portion of the consideration, pledge, security, deposit, or indemnification paid, given, made, or promised for its execution was feloniously obtained." 

This means 1275 holds are typically imposed when there is suspicion or evidence that the bail money or collateral offered to secure a defendant's release is tainted by criminal activity.  

When a hold has been ordered, the bail money must be proven lawful before the defendant can be released. A PC 1275 hold can be initiated by a judge, prosecutor, or the arresting officer when there is probable cause to believe the money was derived from criminal activity, such as the following crimes:

  • Drug trafficking,
  • Money laundering,
  • Gang crimes,
  • Extortion,
  • Embezzlement,
  • Felony grand theft, etc.

When a PC 1275.1 hold is placed on your bail, it suspends the bail process. This means that even if you have the necessary amount for bail, you cannot secure release from custody unless you get the hold lifted. 

What Are Some Examples?

EXAMPLE 1: Roger is charged with drug trafficking, and his bail is set at $200,000. His friend John brings the cash to bail him out of jail, but due to the nature of the crime, prosecutors place a PC 1275 hold on it because they have probable cause to believe the cash is from drug sales. It will now be up to Roger and his attorney to demonstrate the money belonged to him and was not obtained through drug trafficking.

EXAMPLE 2: Sarah is charged with multiple counts of felony theft. Her parents pay a bail bondsman a commission to procure a bail bond to get her out of jail. Even though she didn't put the ball up herself, prosecutors placed a PC 1275 hold on her bail because they hadn't recovered the stolen merchandise, and they suspected she would pay her parents back the commission money with illicit funds. Her parents might have to prove they can pay off their credit card from their income before the hold is released.

EXAMPLE 3: Sam is charged with money laundering in a larger organized criminal scheme. He places his house up as collateral for a bond, but prosecutors suspect it was purchased with the proceeds of illegal activity. Therefore, they put a PC 1275 hold on his bail until he can prove he paid for the house with legitimate money.

Can You Challenge a PC 1275 Hold?

Yes, If a PC 1275 hold is placed on your bail, you can challenge it through a 1275 bail hearing. You have the burden of proof to provide concrete evidence that the bail money comes from legal sources, such as the following:  

  • Bank statements,
  • Credit card statements,
  • Pay stubs, and
  • Income tax returns. 

These sources need to conclusively support your claim regarding the legal source of the funds. Your lawyer might also introduce testimonies or affidavits from individuals who can affirm your financial status. 

For example, Suppose your bail money was borrowed from a friend or family member. In that case, they might have to testify or provide a written statement specifying the lending circumstances.

Suppose your lawyer successfully proves the legality of the bail money by a preponderance of the evidence. The PC 1275 hold is released, and you can be set free on bail. 

If you cannot provide substantial proof that no part of your bail comes from illicit sources, the hold will remain in place, your bail will be rejected, and you will be denied bail pending trial. In some cases, a bail bondsman can help secure the removal of a 1275 hold. Contact us for a case review. Eisner Gorin LLP has offices in Los Angeles, CA.

Related Content:

About the Author

Dmitry Gorin

Dmitry Gorin is a licensed attorney, who has been involved in criminal trial work and pretrial litigation since 1994. Before becoming partner in Eisner Gorin LLP, Mr. Gorin was a Senior Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles Courts for more than ten years. As a criminal tri...

We speak English, Russian, Armenian, and Spanish.

If you have one phone call from jail, call us! If you are facing criminal charges, DON'T talk to the police first. TALK TO US!

Anytime 24/7