Los Angeles Juvenile Defense Attorney

Archive for the ‘Juvenile Probation’ Category

What Happens If My Child Violates Probation?

Monday, January 11th, 2010

The consequences of violating probation depend on what type of probation your child is on.  If you are not sure what the different types of probation are, you may want to read this article first:  ”Juvenile Probation Options and Conditions.”  You can also check the paperwork given to you by the court, which will explain.


If your child is accused of a probation violation in Los Angeles County, it is important to contact a qualified juvenile defense attorney to discuss the case.

Consequences of Violating “Non-Wardship” Probation

If your child is on informal diversion (known as “654″), the court may extend the period of informal diversion until your child complies.  But remember, informal diversion can only last for one year from the date of the offense.  If the year has expired and your child still has not complied or if the court finds that the violation is serious, the case against your child will likely go forward.

This means that the District Attorney will either want your child to admit or deny the charges against him and your child and you will need to decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer or take the case to trial.

If your Child is on Deferred Entry of Judgment (“725″ or “790″)

If your child is on a 6-month Deferred Entry of Judgment Probation for a misdemeanor, the court may wish to revoke 725 and declare your child a ward of the court.  This means that your child’s case will not be dismissed and he or she will be placed on formal wardship probation (known as “Home on Probation” of “HOP”).

With non-wardship probation your child is not entitled to a formal probation violation hearing, however he or she is entitled to a hearing based on a supplemental report prepared by probation which will recommend to the court what should happen to your child.

If the Court wishes to remove your child from the home, he or she has a right to a “contested disposition hearing” where your child’s attorney can present evidence that favors keeping your child in the family home.

If your Child is on already a Ward of the Court and is “Home on Probation” (“H.O.P.”)

If your child is already a ward of the court and on H.O.P. and arrested for violating a term or condition of probation, the district attorney must file what is known as a 777 Petition to revoke and terminate probation (called a “Triple Seven”).  When a 777 petition is filed, whether or not your child is detained in juvenile hall, the same time periods apply as when any other charges are filed (read the article about time periods in juvenile cases).

Your child is entitled to a probation violation hearing.  Before this hearing, the Probation Department will prepare a report detailing how the minor has done on probation and make a recommendation as to whether or not to remove your child from the family home.  The court will consider this report along with other evidence presented by both the defense and prosecution.

Your Child’s Rights At a Probation Violation Hearing

A probation violation hearing has similar rights as an adult probation violation hearing.  Your child has the right to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses and the right to call witnesses to challenge the evidence presented by the District Attorney.

Hearsay evidence is allowed at a probation violation hearing, as long as it is “reliable” in the eyes of the court.  Also, the District Attorney only needs to prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” that your child violated probation.  This means that they only need to show that there was a “50.1% chance” that your child violated probation.  This is a much lower standard than at trial, where allegations must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

If the Court Wants To Remove Your Child From The Family Home
If the Court wants to remove the child from the family home, your child has the right to present evidence to the court as to why your should remain in the home.  As a parent, the court will be interested in what you have to say as to why your child should remain in the home.  Of course, all of this should be organized and strategized by your child’s attorney.

Juvenile Probation Violations in Los Angeles County are very serious matters.  It is important to contact a qualified attorney to discuss you or your child’s case.  For probation violation, contact Attorney Jerod Gunserg at 310-210-0744 for a free consultation about you or your child’s juvenile case.

Probation Conditions in Juvenile Cases

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

In juvenile delinquency cases throughout California, there are two kinds of probation:  “Wardship Probation” and “Non-Wardship Probation.”

Wardship Probation

Under Wardship Probation, the court declares a minor a “ward of the court.”  This means that the Court has jurisdiction over the Minor and may  impose a wide variety of probation terms.  These terms will always include school attendance, counseling (the court can order counseling for the minor and the parent), and curfew restrictions.  Other terms will be tailored to the nature of the offense and may include drug testing and payment of restitution to the victim.  A court may maintain jurisdiction over a minor on Wardship Probation until he or she is 21 years old (this is rare).  If a minor has been remanded into the custody of the Division of Juvenile Justice, a court may maintain jurisdiction over a minor on until he or she 25 years old.

While the most common Wardship Probation plan is to allow a minor to remain in the family home with probation conditions (called “Home on Probation” or “H.O.P.”),  the court does have the power to order the minor removed from the family home.  However, before removing a child from the home, the court must find the following under Welfare and Institutions Code 726(c):

  1. The minor’s parent or guardian has failed to provide, or is incapable of providing, proper maintenance, training, and education;
  2. The minor has been on probation in the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian and has failed to reform; or
  3. The minor’s welfare requires removing the minor from the physical custody of the parent or guardian.

If the court orders the minor removed from the home, the court can place the child in a group home or foster home.  If the court feels the need that the child needs strict and formal supervision, the child may be ordered to a county-run probation camp.

Non-Wardship Probation

In non-wardship probation, the court cannot remove a minor from his/her home.  These probation terms also run for a definite period of time.  If the minor completes a non-wardship probation successfully, the charges are dismissed.

There are 4 non-wardship probation options

Informal Diversion

  • The police or arresting agency refer the case to an informal diversion program.  A case is never filed and charges are never brought.  The police will refer the case to a service agency that provides informal diversion (such as informal victim/offender resolution, “teen court”or other similar programs).  Your minor will never see the inside of a courtroom, these matters are handled before the case is ever referred to a District Attorney.  See Welfare and Institutions Code 626(b).

Informal Diversion Through The Courts (often referred to as “654″):

  • If a case is filed, the District Attorney and/or The Court may agree to informal diversion.  In this situation, a minor does not admit guilt of the charged offense and will have  six months to complete terms and conditions of probation that are laid out by the court.  These conditions may include counseling, community service, improved school performance, and/or drug testing. If the terms are not completed in six months, the court can extend as long as the period of time continued doesn’t exceed the one year anniversary of the offense itself. While this is informal diversion There is no requirement that the underlying offense is a felony or misdemeanor.  You cannot have been placed on 654 previously. However, you may in the interest of justice.  See Welfare and Institutions Code 654.

Six month Deferred Entry of Judgment (often referred to as “725″)

  • If a minor is charged with a misdemeanor, he or she may be available for a six-month deferred entry of judgment.  The minor will admit to at least one of the offenses charged and the court will impose probation conditions.  Terms and conditions of probation  must be completed in 6 months. If  the terms and conditions of probation were not satisfied, the court has the option of declaring the minor a Ward of the Court and putting him or her on “HOP.”  See Welfare and Institutions Code 725(a).

One Year Deferred-Entry of Judgment (often referred to as 790):

  • Applies only to felonies and works in essentially the same way as W&I 725. The difference is the time period which is a minimum of 12 months and can go as long as 36 months (which is rare).  If the minor complies with the terms and conditions of probation, the case will be dismissed.  If not, the minor will be declared a Ward of the Court.  A minor only qualifies for 790 if he/she is at least 14 at the time of the first court hearing, the offense cannot be a “serious or violent felony” (see Welfare and Institutions Code 707(b));   the minor must not have had his/her probation revoked in another matter.

It is important to speak with a qualified juvenile criminal defense attorney regarding probation conditions for you or your child.  If you have a juvenile case in Los Angeles County, contact juvenile criminal defense attorney Jerod Gunsberg at The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg for a free consultation.