Types of Juvenile Probation

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:  this is a diversion program where the Probation Officer has determined that the juvenile may benefit from the 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 terminates this program, the case is then closed and filed away.  If the juvenile unsuccessfully terminates this program, the Probation Department then makes a referral to the District Attorney’s office for a formal petition to the Juvenile Court.


  • 654.2 WIC – Informal Probation:  this is a Court ordered diversion program.  This means that the District Attorney’s Office has filed a formal petition with the Juvenile Court.  However the Court has decided that instead of sentencing the juvenile, the case is placed on hold to allow the juvenile to participate in a six month diversion program with the Probation Department.  If the juvenile successfully completes the program the Court dismisses the alleged charges and the case is closed.  If the juvenile fails to successfully complete the program then the Court finds the juvenile did violate the law and gives the juvenile a sentence.


  • 725(a) WIC – Non-Wardship Probation:  This means that the Court found that the juvenile did violate the law and was placed on probation for a period of six months only.  The Court imposes a series of terms and conditions that must be followed in order to successfully terminate the probation term. 


  • 725(b) WIC – Wardship Probation:  The juvenile is a ward of the Court (i.e. the Court has jurisdiction and authority over the juvenile).  This is only a six period probation term with specific probation terms and conditions.


  • 727 WIC – Wardship Probation:  The Court has found the juvenile did violate the law and has imposed certain terms and conditions.  The supervision of the juvenile lies solely in the order of the Court, not on the Probation Department.


  • 790 WIC – Deferred Entry of Judgment Probation:  This means that the Court has found that the juvenile did in fact commit a felony and places him on probation.  However, the juvenile must meet certain criteria before they can be placed on this type of probation.
  1. The juvenile has not previously been declared a ward of the court and the pending matter is the first felony conviction.
  2. The offense charged is not one of the 707b offenses.
  3. The juvenile has not been sentenced to the California youth authority (i.e. juvenile prison not to be confused with juvenile hall).
  4. The juvenile is at least 14 years of age at the time of the hearing.
  5. The juvenile’s record does not indicate that probation has ever been revoked without being completed.
  6. The juvenile is eligible for probation pursuant to Section 1203.6 PC.


  • 602 WIC – Wardship Probation:  This means that the Court found that the juvenile violated the law, placed on formal probation under the supervision of the Probation Department, and the juvenile is now a ward of the Court.  The Court may maintain jurisdiction of the juvenile up to the age of 21 years of age, however if the juvenile has been committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice, then jurisdiction is up to the age of 24.