Probation Officer

Juveniles discuss their case

Juveniles discuss their case

If the youth is taken to Juvenile Hall, a probation staff member on duty will determine whether the youth should be booked into Juvenile Hall. A probation officer will subsequently determine if the youth is kept in custody at Juvenile Hall or released to a parent or guardian, pending further proceedings.

Unless the youth is already on probation, the probation officer will review the police report and interview the youth and, if available, their parents to evaluate the following issues:

  • How serious is the crime?
  • Is the youth a threat to themselves or others?
  • Does the youth have proper supervision at home?

In Orange County and most counties, detention beds in juvenile facilities are very scarce, therefore, only the most serious offenders are held in custody.

If a decision is made to detain the youth, police reports are sent to the District Attorney's Office. The District Attorney's Office has 24 hours for misdemeanors and 48 hours for felonies (excluding weekends and holidays) from the time of the arrest to file the charges in Juvenile Court. When the youth remains in custody, the Detention Hearing must be held on the first day the court is in session after the petition is filed.

If the probation officer decides not to request a petition from the District Attorney's Office, the probation officer has three options:

  • Refer the case to Juvenile Traffic Court (less serious offenses).
  • Require a time-specific program of community service, counseling services, restitution payments and/or a program of informal supervision where the youth is required to observe good behavior for a period of six months, and a restriction of activities may be imposed.
  • Not to pursue the matter further.