Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
7/23/2017

Article 1. Bail.

§ 19.2-119. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

"Bail" means the pretrial release of a person from custody upon those terms and conditions specified by order of an appropriate judicial officer.

"Bond" means the posting by a person or his surety of a written promise to pay a specific sum, secured or unsecured, ordered by an appropriate judicial officer as a condition of bail to assure performance of the terms and conditions contained in the recognizance.

"Criminal history" means records and data collected by criminal justice agencies or persons consisting of identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, detentions, indictments, informations or other formal charges, and any deposition arising therefrom.

"Judicial officer" means, unless otherwise indicated, any magistrate serving the jurisdiction, any judge of a district court and the clerk or deputy clerk of any district court or circuit court within their respective cities and counties, any judge of a circuit court, any judge of the Court of Appeals and any justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

"Person" means any accused, or any juvenile taken into custody pursuant to § 16.1-246.

"Recognizance" means a signed commitment by a person to appear in court as directed and to adhere to any other terms ordered by an appropriate judicial officer as a condition of bail.

Code 1950, § 19.1-109.1; 1973, c. 485; 1974, c. 114; 1975, c. 495; 1984, c. 703; 1991, c. 581; 1993, c. 636; 1999, cc. 829, 846; 2008, cc. 551, 691.

§ 19.2-120. Admission to bail.

Prior to conducting any hearing on the issue of bail, release or detention, the judicial officer shall, to the extent feasible, obtain the person's criminal history.

A. A person who is held in custody pending trial or hearing for an offense, civil or criminal contempt, or otherwise shall be admitted to bail by a judicial officer, unless there is probable cause to believe that:

1. He will not appear for trial or hearing or at such other time and place as may be directed, or

2. His liberty will constitute an unreasonable danger to himself or the public.

B. The judicial officer shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person or the safety of the public if the person is currently charged with:

1. An act of violence as defined in § 19.2-297.1;

2. An offense for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment or death;

3. A violation of § 18.2-248, 18.2-248.01, 18.2-255, or 18.2-255.2 involving a Schedule I or II controlled substance if (i) the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years or more and the person was previously convicted of a like offense or (ii) the person was previously convicted as a "drug kingpin" as defined in § 18.2-248;

4. A violation of § 18.2-308.1, 18.2-308.2, or 18.2-308.4 and which relates to a firearm and provides for a mandatory minimum sentence;

5. Any felony, if the person has been convicted of two or more offenses described in subdivision 1 or 2, whether under the laws of the Commonwealth or substantially similar laws of the United States;

6. Any felony committed while the person is on release pending trial for a prior felony under federal or state law or on release pending imposition or execution of sentence or appeal of sentence or conviction;

7. An offense listed in subsection B of § 18.2-67.5:2 and the person had previously been convicted of an offense listed in § 18.2-67.5:2 or a substantially similar offense under the laws of any state or the United States and the judicial officer finds probable cause to believe that the person who is currently charged with one of these offenses committed the offense charged;

8. A violation of § 18.2-374.1 or 18.2-374.3 where the offender has reason to believe that the solicited person is under 15 years of age and the offender is at least five years older than the solicited person;

9. A violation of § 18.2-46.2, 18.2-46.3, 18.2-46.5, or 18.2-46.7;

10. A violation of § 18.2-36.1, 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, or 46.2-341.24 and the person has, within the past five years of the instant offense, been convicted three times on different dates of a violation of any combination of these Code sections, or any ordinance of any county, city, or town or the laws of any other state or of the United States substantially similar thereto, and has been at liberty between each conviction;

11. A second or subsequent violation of § 16.1-253.2 or 18.2-60.4 or a substantially similar offense under the laws of any state or the United States;

12. A violation of subsection B of § 18.2-57.2;

13. A violation of subsection C of § 18.2-460 charging the use of threats of bodily harm or force to knowingly attempt to intimidate or impede a witness; or

14. A violation of § 18.2-51.6 if the alleged victim is a family or household member as defined in § 16.1-228.

C. The judicial officer shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person or the safety of the public if the person is being arrested pursuant to § 19.2-81.6.

D. A judicial officer who is a magistrate, clerk, or deputy clerk of a district court or circuit court may not admit to bail, that is not set by a judge, any person who is charged with an offense giving rise to a rebuttable presumption against bail as set out in subsection B or C without the concurrence of an attorney for the Commonwealth. For a person who is charged with an offense giving rise to a rebuttable presumption against bail, any judge may set or admit such person to bail in accordance with this section after notice and an opportunity to be heard has been provided to the attorney for the Commonwealth.

E. The court shall consider the following factors and such others as it deems appropriate in determining, for the purpose of rebuttal of the presumption against bail described in subsection B, whether there are conditions of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the public:

1. The nature and circumstances of the offense charged;

2. The history and characteristics of the person, including his character, physical and mental condition, family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties, past conduct, history relating to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history, membership in a criminal street gang as defined in § 18.2-46.1, and record concerning appearance at court proceedings; and

3. The nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person's release.

F. The judicial officer shall inform the person of his right to appeal from the order denying bail or fixing terms of bond or recognizance consistent with § 19.2-124.

G. If the judicial officer sets a secured bond and the person engages the services of a licensed bail bondsman, the magistrate executing recognizance for the accused shall provide the bondsman, upon request, with a copy of the person's Virginia criminal history record, if readily available, to be used by the bondsman only to determine appropriate reporting requirements to impose upon the accused upon his release. The bondsman shall pay a $15 fee payable to the state treasury to be credited to the Literary Fund, upon requesting the defendant's Virginia criminal history record issued pursuant to § 19.2-389. The bondsman shall review the record on the premises and promptly return the record to the magistrate after reviewing it.

1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1979, c. 649; 1987, c. 390; 1991, c. 581; 1993, c. 636; 1996, c. 973; 1997, cc. 6, 476; 1999, cc. 829, 846; 2000, c. 797; 2002, cc. 588, 623; 2004, cc. 308, 360, 406, 412, 461, 819, 954, 959; 2005, c. 132; 2006, c. 504; 2007, cc. 134, 386, 745, 923; 2008, c. 596; 2010, c. 862; 2011, cc. 445, 450, 480; 2012, c. 467; 2015, c. 413.

§ 19.2-120.1. Presumption of no bail for illegal aliens charged with certain crimes.

A. In addition to the presumption against the admission to bail under subsection B of § 19.2-120, the judicial officer shall presume, subject to rebuttal, that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person or the safety of the public if (i) the person is currently charged with an offense listed in subsection A of § 19.2-297.1, subsection C of § 17.1-805, any offense under Chapter 4 (§ 18.2-30 et seq.) of Title 18.2 except any offense under subsection A of § 18.2-57.2, any felony offense under Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2, or any offense under Article 2 (§ 18.2-266 et seq.), or any local ordinance substantially similar thereto, 4 (§ 18.2-279 et seq.), 5 (§ 18.2-288 et seq.), 6 (§ 18.2-299 et seq.), 6.1 (§ 18.2-307.1 et seq.), or 7 (§ 18.2-308.1 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2, and (ii) the person has been identified as being illegally present in the United States by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, no presumption shall exist under this section as to any misdemeanor offense, or any felony offense under Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2, unless United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has guaranteed that, in all such cases in the Commonwealth, it will issue a detainer for the initiation of removal proceedings and agree to reimburse for the cost of incarceration from the time of the issuance of the detainer.

2008, cc. 469, 834; 2013, c. 746.

§ 19.2-121. Fixing terms of bail.

If the person is admitted to bail, the terms thereof shall be such as, in the judgment of any official granting or reconsidering the same, will be reasonably fixed to assure the appearance of the accused and to assure his good behavior pending trial. The judicial officer shall take into account (i) the nature and circumstances of the offense; (ii) whether a firearm is alleged to have been used in the offense; (iii) the weight of the evidence; (iv) the financial resources of the accused or juvenile and his ability to pay bond; (v) the character of the accused or juvenile including his family ties, employment or involvement in education; (vi) his length of residence in the community; (vii) his record of convictions; (viii) his appearance at court proceedings or flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at court proceedings; (ix) whether the person is likely to obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, or intimidate, or attempt to threaten, injure, or intimidate a prospective witness, juror, or victim; and (x) any other information available which the court considers relevant to the determination of whether the accused or juvenile is unlikely to appear for court proceedings.

In any case where the accused has appeared and otherwise met the conditions of bail, no bond therefor shall be used to satisfy fines and costs unless agreed to by the person who posted such bond.

1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1980, c. 190; 1991, c. 581; 1992, c. 576; 1993, c. 636; 1999, cc. 829, 846.

§ 19.2-122. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1986, c. 327.

§ 19.2-123. Release of accused on secured or unsecured bond or promise to appear; conditions of release.

A. Any person arrested for a felony who has previously been convicted of a felony, or who is presently on bond for an unrelated arrest in any jurisdiction, or who is on probation or parole, may be released only upon a secure bond. This provision may be waived with the approval of the judicial officer and with the concurrence of the attorney for the Commonwealth or the attorney for the county, city or town. Subject to the foregoing, when a person is arrested for either a felony or a misdemeanor, any judicial officer may impose any one or any combination of the following conditions of release:

1. Place the person in the custody and supervision of a designated person, organization or pretrial services agency which, for the purposes of this section, shall not include a court services unit established pursuant to § 16.1-233;

2. Place restrictions on the travel, association or place of abode of the person during the period of release and restrict contacts with household members for a specified period of time;

2a. Require the execution of an unsecured bond;

3. Require the execution of a secure bond which at the option of the accused shall be satisfied with sufficient solvent sureties, or the deposit of cash in lieu thereof. Only the actual value of any interest in real estate or personal property owned by the proposed surety shall be considered in determining solvency and solvency shall be found if the value of the proposed surety's equity in the real estate or personal property equals or exceeds the amount of the bond;

3a. Require that the person do any or all of the following: (i) maintain employment or, if unemployed, actively seek employment; (ii) maintain or commence an educational program; (iii) avoid all contact with an alleged victim of the crime and with any potential witness who may testify concerning the offense; (iv) comply with a specified curfew; (v) refrain from possessing a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon; (vi) refrain from excessive use of alcohol, or use of any illegal drug or any controlled substance not prescribed by a health care provider; and (vii) submit to testing for drugs and alcohol until the final disposition of his case;

3b. Place a prohibition on a person who holds an elected constitutional office and who is accused of a felony arising from the performance of his duties from physically returning to his constitutional office;

3c. Require the accused to accompany the arresting officer to the jurisdiction's fingerprinting facility and submit to having his photograph and fingerprints taken prior to release; or

4. Impose any other condition deemed reasonably necessary to assure appearance as required, and to assure his good behavior pending trial, including a condition requiring that the person return to custody after specified hours or be placed on home electronic incarceration pursuant to § 53.1-131.2 or, when the person is required to execute a secured bond, be subject to monitoring by a GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking device, or other similar device. The defendant may be ordered by the court to pay the cost of the device.

Upon satisfaction of the terms of recognizance, the accused shall be released forthwith.

In addition, where the accused is an individual receiving services in a state training center for individuals with intellectual disability, the judicial officer may place the individual in the custody of the director of the training center, if the director agrees to accept custody. The director is hereby authorized to take custody of the individual and to maintain him at the training center prior to a trial or hearing under such circumstances as will reasonably assure the appearance of the accused for the trial or hearing.

B. In any jurisdiction served by a pretrial services agency which offers a drug or alcohol screening or testing program approved for the purposes of this subsection by the chief general district court judge, any such person charged with a crime may be requested by such agency to give voluntarily a urine sample, submit to a drug or alcohol screening, or take a breath test for presence of alcohol. A sample may be analyzed for the presence of phencyclidine (PCP), barbiturates, cocaine, opiates or such other drugs as the agency may deem appropriate prior to any hearing to establish bail. The judicial officer and agency shall inform the accused or juvenile being screened or tested that test results shall be used by a judicial officer only at a bail hearing and only to determine appropriate conditions of release or to reconsider the conditions of bail at a subsequent hearing. All screening or test results, and any pretrial investigation report containing the screening or test results, shall be confidential with access thereto limited to judicial officers, the attorney for the Commonwealth, defense counsel, other pretrial service agencies, any criminal justice agency as defined in § 9.1-101 and, in cases where a juvenile is screened or tested, the parents or legal guardian or custodian of such juvenile. However, in no event shall the judicial officer have access to any screening or test result prior to making a bail release determination or to determining the amount of bond, if any. Following this determination, the judicial officer shall consider the screening or test results and the screening or testing agency's report and accompanying recommendations, if any, in setting appropriate conditions of release. In no event shall a decision regarding a release determination be subject to reversal on the sole basis of such screening or test results. Any accused or juvenile whose urine sample has tested positive for such drugs and who is admitted to bail may, as a condition of release, be ordered to refrain from use of alcohol or illegal drugs and may be required to be tested on a periodic basis until final disposition of his case to ensure his compliance with the order. Sanctions for a violation of any condition of release, which violations shall include subsequent positive drug or alcohol test results or failure to report as ordered for testing, may be imposed in the discretion of the judicial officer and may include imposition of more stringent conditions of release, contempt of court proceedings or revocation of release. Any test given under the provisions of this subsection which yields a positive drug or alcohol test result shall be reconfirmed by a second test if the person tested denies or contests the initial drug or alcohol test positive result. The results of any drug or alcohol test conducted pursuant to this subsection shall not be admissible in any judicial proceeding other than for the imposition of sanctions for a violation of a condition of release.

C. [Repealed.]

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent an officer taking a juvenile into custody from releasing that juvenile pursuant to § 16.1-247. If any condition of release imposed under the provisions of this section is violated, a judicial officer may issue a capias or order to show cause why the recognizance should not be revoked.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a court from imposing a recognizance or bond designed to secure a spousal or child support obligation pursuant to § 16.1-278.16, Chapter 5 (§ 20-61 et seq.) of Title 20, or § 20-114 in addition to any recognizance or bond imposed pursuant to this chapter.

Code 1950, § 19.1-109.2; 1973, c. 485; 1975, c. 495; 1978, cc. 500, 755; 1979, c. 518; 1981, c. 528; 1984, c. 707; 1989, c. 369; 1991, cc. 483, 512, 581, 585; 1992, c. 576; 1993, c. 636; 1999, cc. 829, 846; 2000, cc. 885, 1020, 1041; 2001, c. 201; 2006, c. 296; 2008, cc. 129, 884; 2011, cc. 799, 837; 2012, cc. 476, 507; 2013, c. 614; 2014, c. 466.

§ 19.2-124. Appeal from bail, bond, or recognizance order.

A. If a judicial officer denies bail to a person, requires excessive bond, or fixes unreasonable terms of a recognizance under this article, the person may appeal the decision of the judicial officer.

If the initial bail decision on a charge brought by a warrant or district court capias is made by a magistrate, clerk, or deputy clerk, the person shall first appeal to the district court in which the case is pending.

If the initial bail decision on a charge brought by direct indictment or presentment or circuit court capias is made by a magistrate, clerk, or deputy clerk, the person shall first appeal to the circuit court in which the case is pending.

If the appeal of an initial bail decision is taken on any charge originally pending in a district court after that charge has been appealed, certified, or transferred to a circuit court, the person shall first appeal to the circuit court in which the case is pending.

Any bail decision made by a judge of a court may be appealed successively by the person to the next higher court, up to and including the Supreme Court of Virginia, where permitted by law.

B. The attorney for the Commonwealth may appeal a bail, bond, or recognizance decision to the same court to which the accused person is required to appeal under subsection A.

C. In a matter not governed by subsection B or C of § 19.2-120 or § 19.2-120.1, the court granting or denying such bail may, upon appeal thereof, and for good cause shown, stay execution of such order for so long as reasonably practicable for the party to obtain an expedited hearing before the next higher court. When a district court grants bail over the presumption against bail in a matter that is governed by subsection B or C of § 19.2-120 or § 19.2-120.1, and upon notice by the Commonwealth of its appeal of the court's decision, the court shall stay execution of such order for so long as reasonably practical for the Commonwealth to obtain an expedited hearing before the circuit court, but in no event more than five days, unless the defendant requests a hearing date outside the five-day limit.

No such stay under this subsection may be granted after any person who has been granted bail has been released from custody on such bail.

D. No filing or service fees shall be assessed or collected for any appeal taken pursuant to this section.

Code 1950, §§ 19.1-109.3, 19.1-112; 1960, c. 366; 1973, cc. 130, 485; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1984, c. 703; 1991, c. 581; 1999, cc. 829, 846; 2007, cc. 462, 549; 2010, cc. 404, 592; 2013, cc. 408, 474; 2016, c. 621.

§ 19.2-125. Release pending appeal from conviction in court not of record.

A person who has been convicted of an offense in a district court and who has noted an appeal shall be given credit for any bond that he may have posted in the court from which he appeals and shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of this article.

Code 1950, § 19.1-109.4; 1973, c. 485; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1999, cc. 829, 846.

§ 19.2-126. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1999, cc. 829 and 846.

§ 19.2-127. Conditions of release of material witness.

If it appears by affidavit that the testimony of a person is material in any criminal proceeding, and it reasonably appears that it will be impossible to secure his presence by a subpoena, a judge shall inquire into the conditions of his release pursuant to this article.

Code 1950, § 19.1-109.6; 1973, c. 485; 1975, c. 495; 1999, cc. 829, 846.

§ 19.2-128. Penalties for failure to appear.

A. Whoever, having been released pursuant to this chapter or § 19.2-319 or on a summons pursuant to § 19.2-73 or § 19.2-74, willfully fails to appear before any court or judicial officer as required, shall, after notice to all interested parties, incur a forfeiture of any security which may have been given or pledged for his release, unless one of the parties can show good cause for excusing the absence, or unless the court, in its sound discretion, shall determine that neither the interests of justice nor the power of the court to conduct orderly proceedings will be served by such forfeiture.

B. Any person (i) charged with a felony offense or (ii) convicted of a felony offense and execution of sentence is suspended pursuant to § 19.2-319 who willfully fails to appear before any court as required shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

C. Any person (i) charged with a misdemeanor offense or (ii) convicted of a misdemeanor offense and execution of sentence is suspended pursuant to § 19.2-319 who willfully fails to appear before any court as required shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 19.1-109.7; 1973, c. 485; 1975, c. 495; 1981, c. 382; 1982, c. 271; 1999, c. 821.

§ 19.2-129. Power of court to punish for contempt.

Nothing in this chapter shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of the Commonwealth of its power to punish for contempt, except that a person shall not be sentenced for contempt and under the provisions of § 19.2-128 for the same absence.

Code 1950, § 19.1-109.8; 1973, c. 485; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-130. Bail in subsequent proceeding arising out of initial arrest.

Any person admitted to bail by a judge or clerk of a district court or by a magistrate shall not be required to be admitted to bail in any subsequent proceeding arising out of the initial arrest unless the court having jurisdiction of such subsequent proceeding deems the initial amount of bond or security taken inadequate. When the court having jurisdiction of the proceeding believes the amount of bond or security inadequate or excessive, it may change the amount of such bond or security, require new and additional sureties, or set other terms of bail as are appropriate to the case, including, but not limited to, drug and alcohol monitoring. The court may, after notice to the parties, initiate a proceeding to alter the terms and conditions of bail on its own motion.

Code 1950, § 19.1-111.1; 1972, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1991, c. 581; 2008, cc. 363, 812.

§ 19.2-130.1. Bail terms set by court on a capias to be honored by magistrate.

A magistrate who is to set the terms of bail of a person arrested and brought before him pursuant to § 19.2-234 shall, unless circumstances exist that require him to set more restrictive terms, set the terms of bail in accordance with the order of the court that issued the capias, if such an order is affixed to or made a part of the capias by the court.

2010, cc. 312, 375; 2011, c. 112.

§ 19.2-131. Bail for person held in jurisdiction other than that of trial.

In any case in which a person charged with a misdemeanor or felony, or a juvenile taken into custody pursuant to § 16.1-246 is held in some county, city or town other than that in which he is to be tried upon such charge, he may be admitted to bail by any judicial officer of the county, city or town in which he is so held in accordance with the provisions of law concerning the granting of bail in cases in which persons are so admitted to bail, when held in the county, city or town in which they are to be tried.

In such case, such judicial officer before whom he is brought may, without trial or examination, let him to bail, upon taking a recognizance for his appearance before the court having cognizance of the case. The fact of taking such recognizance shall be certified by the court or officer taking it upon the warrant under which such person was arrested or taken into custody and the warrant and recognizance shall be returned forthwith to the clerk of the court before whom the accused or juvenile taken into custody pursuant to § 16.1-246 is to appear. And to such court, the judicial officer who issued such warrant shall recognize or cause to be summoned such witnesses as he may think proper.

Code 1950, §§ 19.1-118, 19.1-119; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1992, c. 576.

§ 19.2-132. Motion to increase amount of bond fixed by judicial officer; when bond may be increased.

If the amount of any bond fixed by a judicial officer is subsequently deemed insufficient, or the security taken inadequate, or if it appears that bail should have been denied or that the person has violated a term or condition of his release, or has been convicted of or arrested for a felony or misdemeanor, the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which the person is held for trial may, on reasonable notice to the person and, if such person has been admitted to bail, to any surety on the bond of such person, move the appropriate judicial officer to increase the amount of such bond or to revoke bail. The court may grant such motion and may require new or additional sureties therefor, or both or revoke bail. Any surety in a bond for the appearance of such person may take from his principal collateral or other security to indemnify such surety against liability. The failure to notify the surety will not prohibit the court from proceeding with the bond hearing.

The court ordering any increase in the amount of such bond, ordering new or additional sureties, or revoking such bail may, upon appeal, and for good cause shown, stay execution of such order for so long as reasonably practicable for such person to obtain an expedited hearing before the court to which such order has been appealed.

Code 1950, § 19.1-120; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1978, c. 755; 1989, c. 519; 1991, c. 581; 1999, cc. 829, 846; 2010, cc. 404, 592; 2013, cc. 408, 474.

§ 19.2-132.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 581.

§ 19.2-134. When bail piece to be delivered to accused; form of bail piece.

In all cases in which recognizances, at the suit of the Commonwealth, may have been, or shall hereafter be entered into, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court in which, or in the clerk's office of which, any recognizance is filed, to deliver to the accused and his sureties upon request, a bail piece, in substance, as follows: "A. B. of the county or city of......, is delivered to bail, unto C. D. of the county or city of......, at the suit of the Commonwealth. Given under my hand, this day of........, in the year............."

Code 1950, § 19.1-123; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1991, c. 581; 1992, c. 576.

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