Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) are the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to juveniles. The prominent difference between the following types of probation is non-wardship vs wardship. Non-wardship probation does not allow the Probation Department to remove the juvenile from their home. Wardship Probation means that the Court has jurisdiction over the minor as if the Court was the minor’s parent. In addition, wardship probation allows the Probation Department to remove a juvenile from their home if necessary.
- 654 WIC – Informal Probation: The Probation Officer has determined that the juvenile may benefit from services. This is a voluntary contract between the probation officer, the juvenile, and the parents/guardians only. The juvenile may be placed on informal probation for up to six months. If the juvenile successfully completes this program, the case is then closed and filed away. If the juvenile is unsuccessful, the Probation Department may make a referral to the District Attorney’s office for a formal petition to the Juvenile Court.
- 725 WIC - Probation without Wardship: The Court determines the juvenile should be on probation for 6 months. If the juvenile successfully completes this probation, their record is sealed by the Court.
- 790 WIC – Deferred Entry of Judgment: The Court determines that the juvenile did in fact commit a felony and places him/her on probation. If the juvenile successfully completed DEJ, then the case is sealed and the minor has no record. If the juvenile violates the terms, the Court can declare the juvenile a ward of the Court pursuant to 602 WIC. However, the juvenile must meet certain criteria before they can be placed on this type of probation:
- The juvenile has not previously been declared a ward of the court and the pending matter is the first felony conviction.
- The offense charged is not one of the §707(b) W&I offenses.
- The juvenile has not been committed to the California youth authority (i.e. juvenile prison not to be confused with juvenile hall).
- The juvenile is at least 14 years of age at the time of the hearing.
- The juvenile’s record does not indicate that probation has ever been revoked without being completed.
- The juvenile is eligible for probation pursuant to Section 1203.6 PC.
- 602 WIC – Wardship “Formal” Probation: The Court determines that the juvenile violated the law, places him/her on formal probation under the supervision of the Probation Department, and declares the juvenile a ward of the Court. The Court may maintain jurisdiction of the juvenile up to the age of 21 years, however if the juvenile has been committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice, then jurisdiction may remain until the juvenile is age 24.
To contact your child’s Probation Officer call the Lake County Probation Department at (707) 262-4285.