January 11, 2010 • Jerod Gunsberg, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
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 your or your child’s case. For help with a probation violation, contact Los Angeles probation violation attorney Jerod Gunsberg for a free consultation about your or your child’s juvenile case.