CHAPTER 62. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.
ARTICLE 1C. BAIL.
§62-1C-1. Right to bail; exceptions; review.
(a) A person arrested for an offense not punishable by life
imprisonment shall be admitted to bail by the court or magistrate.
A person arrested for an offense punishable by life imprisonment
may, in the discretion of the court that will have jurisdiction to
try the offense, be admitted to bail.
(b) Bail may be allowed pending appeal from a conviction,
except that bail shall not be granted where the offense is
punishable by life imprisonment or where the court has determined
from the evidence at the trial or upon a plea of guilty or nolo
contendere that the offense was committed or attempted to be
committed with the use, presentment or brandishing of a firearm or
other deadly weapon, or by the use of violence to a person:
Provided, That the denial of bail under one of these exceptions may
be reviewed by summary petition to the supreme court of appeals or
any justice thereof, and the petition for bail may be granted where
there is a likelihood that the defendant will prevail upon the
appeal. The court or judge allowing bail pending appeal may at any
time revoke the order admitting the defendant to bail.
(c) The amount of bail or the discretionary denial of bail at
any stage of the proceedings may be reviewed by summary petition
first to the lower appellate court, if any, and thereafter by
summary petition to the supreme court of appeals or any judge
§62-1C-1a. Release upon own recognizance authorized.
Any other provision of this article to the contrary
notwithstanding, when from all the circumstances, the court or
magistrate is of the opinion that the defendant or person arrested
will appear as may be required of him, either before or after
conviction, such defendant or person arrested may be released upon
his own recognizance.
§62-1C-2. Bail defined; form; receipts.
Bail is security for the appearance of a defendant to answer
to a specific criminal charge before any court or magistrate at a
specific time or at any time to which the case may be continued. It
may take any of the following forms:
(a) The deposit by the defendant or by some other person for
him of cash.
(b) The written undertaking by one or more persons to forfeit
a sum of money equal to the amount of the bail if the defendant is
in default for appearance, which shall be known as a recognizance.
(c) Such other form as the judge of the court that will have
jurisdiction to try the offense may determine.
All bail shall be received by the clerk of the court, or by
the magistrate and, except in case of recognizance, receipts shall
be given therefor by him.
§62-1C-3. Fixing of amount; bail may cover two or more charges.
The amount of bail shall be fixed by the court or justice with
consideration given to the seriousness of the offense charged, the
previous criminal record of the defendant, his financial ability,
and the probability of his appearance. When two or more charges
are filed or are pending against the same person at or about the
same time, the bail given may be made to include all offenses
charged against the defendant.
§62-1C-4. Recognizance; signing; requirements for signers or
surety company; release upon own recognizance;
The recognizance shall be signed by the defendant. It shall
also be signed by one or more adult persons owning real property in
the state. The court or justice may require that justification of
surety be furnished. The assessed value of the real property as
shown on the county land books over and above all liens and
encumbrances shall not be less than one half the amount of the
bail. Or, the recognizance may be signed by the defendant and a
surety company authorized to do business in this state. If the
offense is a felony, the judge of the court that will have
jurisdiction to try the offense may release the defendant on his
own recognizance. If the offense is a misdemeanor, either the
court or justice may release the defendant on his own recognizance.
An indigent person who the court is satisfied will appear as
required shall not be denied bail because of his inability to
§62-1C-5. Recognizance and deposits subject to order of court or
The recognizance shall be returnable to and all deposits shall
be held by the court before whom the defendant is to appear or does
appear, and upon the transfer of the case to any other court the
recognizance shall be returnable to and transmitted together with
any deposits to such other court.
§62-1C-6. Continuing bail.
The bail as initially given may continue in effect pending
indictment, arraignment, continuance, trial and appeal after
conviction, as the court may direct.
WVC 62 - 1 C- 7
§62-1C-7. Forfeiture of bail; basis therefor.
(1) Whenever a person under bail serves as his or her own
surety and he or she willfully and without just cause fails to
appear as and when required or violates any other term or condition
of bail, the circuit court or magistrate shall declare the bail
(2) Whenever a person or entity other than the person under
bail serves as surety, forfeiture of bail shall be declared only
when the person under bail willfully and without just cause fails
to appear as and when required.
§62-1C-8. Same -- Setting aside.
The court or justice may direct that a forfeiture be set
aside, upon such conditions as may be imposed, if it appears that
justice does not require the enforcement of the forfeiture.
§62-1C-9. Same -- Enforcement.
When a forfeiture has not been set aside, the court or
justice, upon motion of the state, shall enter a judgment of
default and execution may issue thereon: Provided,
That if the
forfeiture is declared in a court of record, the order taking
judgment shall be entered at the same term of court in which the
forfeiture was declared: And provided further,
That if the deposit
for bail be by a person other than the defendant, or if the bail be
in the form of recognizance, such person making the deposit or the
surety on the recognizance shall be given ten days' notice by
certified mail at his last-known address to appear and show cause
why a judgment of default should not be entered. Execution shall
issue in the name of the state and shall proceed in the manner
provided by law in civil actions. If the bail be in the form of
bonds or stocks, the judgment order may direct that all or part
thereof be sold through a state or national bank or through a
brokers exchange registered with the federal securities and
§62-1C-10. Same -- Bail in excess of jurisdictional limit of
justice or of particular court.
Where the forfeiture has been declared by a justice or by a
court of limited jurisdiction of bail in excess of the
jurisdictional limit of justice or of the particular court, such
forfeiture shall be certified to a court of the county having
sufficient jurisdiction, which court shall thereupon proceed as if
the forfeiture were originally declared in such court.
§62-1C-11. Same -- Remission.
After entry of such judgment, the court or justice may remit
the penalty in whole or in part under the conditions applying to
the setting aside of forfeiture in section eight of this article.
WVC 62 - 1 C- 12
§62-1C-12. Same -- Exoneration; return of deposit.
(a) When the condition of the bond has been satisfied or the
forfeiture thereof has been set aside or remitted, the court or
magistrate shall exonerate the surety and release any bail and, if
the bail be in a form other than a recognizance, the deposit shall
be returned to the person who made the same. The surety may be
exonerated by a deposit of cash in the amount of the bail or by a
timely surrender of the defendant into custody.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the
contrary, when a bail bondsman, as defined in article ten, chapter
fifty-one of this code, has a surety bond forfeited because of the
failure of a defendant to appear before a court or magistrate, that
bail bondsman shall be reimbursed the full amount of the bond
forfeiture, be it cash or surety, if the bail bondsman returns the
defendant to the custody of the court or magistrate, within two
years of the forfeiture of the bond.
(c) The Administrator of the West Virginia Supreme Court of
Appeals shall, ex officio, be empowered to audit, review and
suspend any bail bondsman whose surety on bonds is or becomes
insufficient or whose assets are below the amount of bonds he or
she has in existence.
§62-1C-13. Same -- Defects in form of bail.
No action or judgment for forfeiture of bail shall be defeated
or arrested by the neglect or omission to record the declaration of
forfeiture or by reason of any defect in the form of the bail, if
it appear to have been taken by a court or justice authorized to
take it, and be substantially sufficient.
WVC 62 - 1 C- 14
§62-1C-14. Bailpiece; issuance to surety; taking accused into
(a) A bailpiece is a certificate stating that the bail became
such for the accused in a particular case and the amount thereof.
Upon demand therefor, the court, magistrate or clerk shall issue to
the bail bondsperson a bailpiece. Any officer having authority to
execute a warrant of arrest shall assist the bail bondsperson
holding such bailpiece to take the accused into custody and produce
him before the court or magistrate. The bail bondsperson may take
the accused into custody and surrender him or her to the court or
magistrate without such bailpiece.
(b) If bailpiece is inaccessible due to unavailability of the
court's circuit clerk or magistrate, the bail bondsperson, or his
or her designee, can take an offender to a regional or county jail
without bailpiece, and the jail must accept the offender; provided:
(1) The bail bondsperson, or his or her designee, delivering
an offender to a jail without a bailpiece issued by the court's
circuit clerk or magistrate appears on the registered list
maintained at the jails and approved by the court of original
(2) The bail bondsperson signs an agreement provided by the
jail indicating that the offender has been booked in lieu of
bailpiece. Such agreement shall contain a clause indicating the
incarceration of such offender is lawful and that the jail
accepting the offender shall be held harmless from any claims of illegal incarceration or other relative charges; thereby, such bail
bondsperson assumes the risk and liability of such incarceration;
(3) Bailpiece must be applied for by the bail bondsperson or
his or her designee from the court's circuit clerk or magistrate
and hand-delivered by the bail bondsperson or his or her designee
to the jail housing such offender on the next judicial day
following the initial intake.
(c) Any bail bondsperson who willfully fails to attempt to
obtain the appropriate bailpiece within the allotted time period
provided in subsection (b) of this section is guilty of a
misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be prohibited from
continuing to conduct business in this state and shall be fined not
more than one thousand dollars and confined in the regional or
county jail not more than one year.
(d) No officer, jailer or other person having authority to
accept offenders in a county or regional jail is required to accept
such offenders being housed in lieu of bailpiece if such offender
appears to be in need of medical attention of a degree
necessitating treatment by a physician. If an offender is refused
pursuant to the provisions of this section, he or she may not be
accepted for detention until the bail bondsperson, or his or her
designee, provides the jailer or persons accepting such offender
with a written clearance from a licensed physician reflecting that
the offender has been examined and, if necessary, treated, and which states that it is the physician's medical opinion that the
offender can be safely confined in the county or regional jail.
(e) The regional jail authority, the county sheriff, county
commission, or any of their agents or employees, shall be immune
from liability for any claims of illegal incarceration or other
relative charges for any offender accepted into a facility under
§62-1C-15. Bail for witness.
The bail for a witness for or against the accused shall be
conditioned upon his appearance at such time and place as the court
or justice shall direct.
§62-1C-16. Guaranteed arrest bond certificate.
For a misdemeanor violation of any motor vehicle law of the
state or any municipality, except reckless driving or driving while
intoxicated, the guaranteed arrest bond certificate of any surety
company licensed to do business by the insurance commissioner, when
presented by the person whose signature appears thereon shall be
accepted as bail in lieu of cash or recognizance in an amount not
to exceed five hundred dollars. A "guaranteed arrest bond
certificate" shall mean any printed card or certificate issued by
an automobile club or association to its members in good standing
bearing the signature of the member and containing a printed
statement that such club or association and a surety company will
guarantee the payment of any fine or forfeiture imposed on the
member in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars if the
member fails to appear in court as required.
§62-1C-17. Offenses against municipalities.
Bail for a person accused of an offense against a municipality
shall be governed by the provisions of this article applicable to
a justice, except that the bail may be deposited with the mayor or
with such other officer of the municipality as may be designated by
the mayor or other chief executive officer of the municipality, and
proceedings for forfeiture shall be prosecuted in the name and for
the benefit of the municipality.
§62-1C-17a. Bail in situations of alleged child abuse.
(a) When the offense charged is an offense defined in article
eight-d, chapter sixty-one of this code, it shall be a condition of
bond that the defendant shall not live in the same residence as and
shall have no contact with the victim of the alleged offense and
the court may make such other conditions of bond with respect to
contact with the victim as it deems necessary under the
circumstances to protect the child: Provided,
That the requirement
of no contact with the victim of the alleged offense and all other
conditions of bond may be reviewed by summary petition from the
magistrate court to the circuit court or from the circuit court to
the supreme court of appeals or any justice thereof.
(b) In cases where the charge is a sexual offense, as defined
in chapter sixty-one of this code, against any person, the court,
upon a showing of cause, may make such conditions of bond on the
defendant or on any witness bond issued under section fifteen of
this article as it deems necessary with respect to contact with the
§62-1C-17b. Failure to appear; penalties.
(a) Any person, who, having been released upon his personal
recognizance pursuant to section one-a of this article or having
been otherwise admitted to bail and released in accordance with
this article, and who shall willfully and without just cause fail
to appear as and when it may be required of him, shall be guilty of
the offense as hereinafter prescribed, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be punished in the manner hereinafter provided.
(b) If any such person was admitted to bail or released after
being arrested for, charged or convicted of a felony and shall
thereafter be convicted for a violation of the provisions of
subsection (a) of this section, such persons shall be guilty of a
felony and shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or
imprisoned not less than one nor more than five years, or both such
fine and imprisonment.
(c) If any such person was admitted to bail or released after
being arrested for, charged or convicted of a misdemeanor and shall
thereafter be convicted for a violation of the provision of
subsection (a) of this section, such persons shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor and shall be fined not more the one thousand dollars or
confined in the county jail for not more than one year, or both
such fine and confinement.
(d) If any such person was admitted to bail or released
pending appearance as a material witness and shall thereafter fail
to appear when and where it shall have been required of him, such
persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not more the one thousand dollars or confined in the county jail not more than one year, or both such
fine and confinement.
(e) Any penalty authorized by this section shall be in
addition to any forfeiture authorized or mandated by this article
or by any other provision of law.
§62-1C-17c. Bail in cases of crimes between family or household
(a) When the offense charged is a crime against a family or
household member, it may be a condition of bond that the defendant
shall not have any contact whatsoever, direct or indirect, verbal
or physical, with the victim or complainant.
(b) In determining conditions of release, the issuing
authority shall consider whether the defendant poses a threat or
danger to the victim or other family or household member. If the
issuing authority makes such a determination, it shall require as
a condition of bail that the defendant refrain from entering the
residence or household of the victim, the victim's school, and the
victim's place of employment or otherwise contacting the victim
and/or minor child or household member in any manner whatsoever,
and shall refrain from having any further contact with the victim.
A violation of this condition may be punishable by the forfeiture
of bail and the issuance of a bench warrant for the defendant's
arrest or remanding the defendant to custody or a modification of
the terms of bail.
(c) The clerk of the court issuing an order pursuant to this
section shall issue certified copies of the conditions of bail to
the victim upon request without cost.
(d) Where a law-enforcement officer observes any violation of
bail condition, including the presence of the defendant or at the
home of the victim, the officer shall immediately arrest the
defendant, and detain the defendant pending a hearing for
revocation of bail.
§62-1C-18. Repeal of inconsistent laws.
All provisions of this code which are inconsistent with the
provisions of this article are hereby repealed to the extent and
only to the extent of such inconsistency.
If any provision of this article or the application thereof to
any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall
not affect other provisions or applications of the article which
can be given effect without the invalid provision or its
application, and to this end, the provisions of this article are
declared to be severable.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session