Juvenile probation is a court order given to about half of all offenders who enter the juvenile court system. Probation is an alternative to jail that comes with certain rules and restrictions the offender must follow. Probation is beneficial in that the minor can continue to attend school and/or work and will remain part of society. Juvenile probation aims to rehabilitate – instead of punish – the offender.
There are many different types of juvenile probation available in California, as well as various roles of the probation courts. The California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) outlines eight different types of juvenile probation available in the state:
The courts can place the juvenile under formal probation as a ward of the court. The court will have jurisdiction over the juvenile until he/she turns 21. 2.
The Informal Diversion provision holds that an officer can order a juvenile to attend an informal diversion program through a service agency. This type of probation does not involve the courts. However, the juvenile may have to appear in a court of his/her peers.WIC 654. Informal probation (non-wardship) is a diversion program through the juvenile probation department that is without court intervention. The prosecution does not file a formal court complaint – instead, the juvenile goes on probation for six months to a year at home.
This type of informal probation is similar to WIC 654, except that it is under the authority of the juvenile court system. Prosecution files a formal complaint. The juvenile may participate in certain programs in lieu of sentencing.
The juvenile admits to a misdemeanor violation and receives probation of six months via the probation department. The department may extend probation if the juvenile does not complete all terms and conditions. The youth only becomes a ward of the court if he/she violates the terms.
The juvenile becomes a ward of the court. The court then has authority over the juvenile’s probation, which is six months long with applicable terms and conditions.
Wardship probation, in which the juvenile is a ward of the court under the court’s jurisdiction. Only the court has authority over the juvenile’s probation terms and conditions.
The courts may defer judgment and instead impose probation if the juvenile committed a non-serious felony and meets certain criteria, such as not previously declared a ward of the court. There are strict criteria for this type of probation.
The courts will assign a probation officer to the juvenile to make sure the offender obeys the rules of probation. The officer is also in charge of assessing the juvenile and making recommendations for his/her future programs.
When the court places a juvenile on probation, the judge outlines certain criteria the individual can and cannot do for the duration of probation. The youth must attend all required programs and fulfill all terms and conditions of the prohibitive period. The probation officer and the youth’s parents are responsible for making sure the juvenile meets these conditions. The probation officer can impose limits on the youth such as:
Should you or your child face criminal charges in California, understanding the potential types of probation and the role of the juvenile court system can help you navigate the system, and a competent Riverside criminal attorney can help you throughout the process. An attorney can also aim to reduce penalties and argue for a certain type of probation based on the circumstances of the crime. Contact The Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC today.