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What is a 1275 Hold in California?

A ”1275 hold” in the state of California is when a hold is placed on a defendant's bail because there is a reason to believe the money that is used for the bail was acquired through criminal activity, such as drug trafficking.

The name “1275 hold” refers to Penal Code 1275.1 PC, which is the statute regulating the hold, and says if probable cause exists to suspect the money or property used to post bail could come from illegal activity, then the bail will not be accepted.

The amount of bail in a criminal case will always vary based on the crime the defendant is accused of committing. Every California County sets their own bail schedule that will list the amount of bail for specific crimes.

The hold can be placed on the defendant by the arresting police officer, prosecutor, or a judge.

However, it's the arresting police officer who normally places a 1275 hold when someone has been accused of specific offenses, such as:

1275 Bail Hold in California

After the hold is placed, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant. Put simply, whoever intends to post bail has to prove the money or property used to post bail came from a legitimate legal source.

After the court places a hold on defendant's bail, they are allowed the opportunity to challenge the hold at a PC 1275 court hearing.

At this hearing, if the defendant is able to reasonably show the money was acquired legally, the court has to remove the hold.

A judge is allowed to decrease of increase a bail amount based on the details of the case. Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys will review further below.

What Does Defense Have to Show When There is a 1275 Hold Placed on a Defendant in a Criminal Case Bail Situation?

Bail is usually set by a criminal judge in a criminal case, but sometimes what happens is, the prosecutors will argue for what is called a 1275 hold that is discussed above.

Basically, what this means is, the prosecutors are saying, even though you set a bail on this case your honor, we think that the defendant is going to use ill-gotten money in order to post that bail.

Therefore, we are requesting that before the defendant can post the bail, we want to make sure that the money that's being used to post the bail is legitimate and is not being acquired from the crime.

A perfect example would be, let's say a drug dealer gets arrested and there's a $200,000.00 bail set and then there's a 1275 Hold placed on that person.

The drug dealer might be able to use money from drug sales in order to bail out.

This 1275 hold concept tries to block that from happening.  In other words, the prosecutors are saying, we want to see where this person is getting the money from to bail out.

If they're getting it from drugs, that's not appropriate, that's not right, and we're able to block that using Penal Code Section 1275 PC.

So, a defendant could be asked to produce financial records at a hearing in order to prove how you acquired the money being used to post bail or pay a bondsman. The records you could be required to produce include:

  • bank statements,
  • credit card statements,
  • proof of income,
  • car payments,
  • mortgage statements,
  • rent payments

Further, anyone who might appear with you in court could be used to verify the source of the income to post bail, including the bail bondsman.

The 1275 Bail Hearing

What ends up happening in these 1275 cases, and I've done a lot of them, is there's what's called a 1275 hearing, and it works in a certain way.

For example, somebody is going to post bail using their parents and the parents are going to use a bond company. In order to pay that bond company, the parents are going to use their credit card.

1275 Bail Hearing in California

So, let's say it's a $200,000.00 bail and I'm now putting the parents up on the witness stand in order to justify where the money is coming from.

So, I would certainly ask the parents, where are you going to get the money from in order to post this bond?

Well, it's going to be $20,000.00 because the bond agent is charging 10% (sometimes bond agents nowadays charge less, but let's stick with an easy example).

So, we're going to have to come up with $20,000.00.  They can use their credit card if they've got that type of limit on the credit card and they can pay the $20,000.00 and get the person out.

Then the question is going to be, how are you going to pay back that credit card that you have used?

If they've got a job and can show they make, for example, $5,000.00 a month, they've got enough extra money left over at the end of the month to be able to make payments to the bond company, then they can justify the premium.

Property to Secure the Bond – Collateral

We also might have to look at a house, because in a $200,000.00 situation in a 1275 hold, the bond company is probably going to want some sort of property put up in order to secure the bond.

So, if the person flees, then the court is now going to look to the bond company and say, we need to get the $200,000.00, so the bond company would have to say, the people gave us the house.

We'd be able to foreclose on the house and get the money.  So, a lot of times we have to put that evidence on, as well, at a 1275 hearing, and in the end, the judge is assessing whether or not the money that's going to be used to post the bond premium and to post a house, if that's the scenario, is legitimate money.

Of course, the key question is going to be asked of the surety. The person who is posting the bond, when your son or daughter gets out are you going to get paid back, and of course, the answer to that is going to have to be no.

Because if they're going to get paid back with drug money that defeats the purpose of the 1275 hold, so obviously, that's not permitted.

If the judge decides the money used to post bail is from a legitimate source, then they will release the hold and you can post bail to get released from jail.

Contact the Hedding Law Firm for Help with Bail

It's crucial to have a defense lawyer represent you at this hearing who knows how the court operates, including the judge, prosecutor, and the bail bondsman.

So, if you or a loved one was arrested and has a criminal case and you're trying to get your loved one out and trying to get representation, you've come to the right place.

Pick up the phone.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you on the bail issue and I will also assist you using my 27 years of experience related to the criminal case.

Hedding Law Firm can help you prepare for a successful 1275 bail hearing. We are located in Los Angeles County and offer a free case evaluation.