Juvenile Probation

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS (Click the question to reveal each answer.)

415 E. Cypress Avenue
Lompoc, Ca. 93436
Santa Maria
2121 S. Centerpointe Parkway
Santa Maria, Ca. 93455
Santa Barbara
4500 Hollister Ave
Santa Barbara, Ca. 93110
The Probation Department serves the community and the Juvenile Court by providing intake, investigation, and supervision services to juvenile offenders.  Deputy Probation Officers generally supervise those offenders who represent the greatest risk for reoffending, and provide them with interventions designed to reduce delinquent behavior.  Deputy Probation Officers regularly utilize the services of community organizations in these efforts and work closely with the families of offenders.  Deputy Probation Officers author a variety of reports for the Juvenile Court's consideration at different hearings.  These reports help Judges and other persons assess an offender's behavior and compliance with conditions of probation.
This is a condition of probation often ordered by the Juvenile Court which allows a Deputy Probation Officer or law enforcement officer to search an offender's person, residence, or personal belongings, as described in the court order, without first obtaining a search warrant or gaining permission.  Items discovered during a search may be seized and held as evidence if they are prohibited by a condition of probation.  Those items may be used as evidence in a probation violation or to sustain a new law violation.  A violation can also result if an offender who has been ordered by the court to "submit to seach and seizure" refuses to comply with that order.
Juveniles are "adjudicated," not convicted, and therefore do not have to report "convictions." Juveniles tried as adults are required to report convictions.
Juvenile Probation matters are confidential, though victims will be provided with relevant information as provided by law.
Contact your local law enforcement agency.  They are equipped to provide immediate assistance in locating your child or spreading information to other law enforcement agencies about your child's behavior.
Contact the school.  Schools have various programs and interventions that address truancy issues and can work closely with parents in resolving such problems.
Contact your local law enforcement agency.  Also, telephone help via 211 and SAFETY 1-888-334-2777 are other resources that may be of assistance, depending on the circumstances involved.  Probation may require a referral from law enforcement to process a case, and may therefore become involved later.


Law enforcement will provide supporting documents regarding the citation to the Probation Department.  Probation will investigate the matter and can assess how best to handle the matter.  This includes informal handling wihtout referral to the District Attorney's Office or formal handling before the Juvenile Court.  In either case you and your child will be notified and advised of what to expect.
Law enforcement agencies may arrest a juvenile offender for a law violation and bring the offender to the Juvenile Hall.  Once there, the offender may be released to his or her parents if it is determined detention is not necessary.  If detention is necessary and the offender is not released, the matter is referred to the District Attorney's Office.  That office will decide if a petition alleging the law violation should be filed.  If one is not filed, the offender will be released immediately to his or her parent.  Otherwise, a hearing will be held within 2-3 Court days regarding the allegations.  The parent will be notified about Court dates and times.  The initial Court hearing will determine if continued detention is necessary.  The Court may then request Probation to conduct an investigation and provide a recommendation as to the disposition of your child's case.
Parents and certain other persons specified by law may obtain copies of juvenile case file information.
Law enforcement referrals are initially processed by an Intake Officer.  Depending on the circumstances, the matter may be referred to another agency, processed within the Probation Department, or referred to the Juvenile Court.  If the matter is referred to the Juvenile Court, and the Court orders the Probation Department to complete a report, and Investigations Officer will be assigned.  Once that investigation is complete, and the Court places a minor on Probation, a Field Supervision Officer will be assigned.  This Field Supervision Officer will supervise the offender and his or her compliance with the conditions of Probation.
Please bring the following items to your interview:
  • Juvenile Worksheet/packet - you will be provided this in person, in Court, or by mail
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status if applicable

    Contact your local law enforcement agency, then notify the Deputy Probation Officer (DPO). If your child is a ward of the Court, the DPO may file a petition alleging the child has violated Probation terms and conditions and request that a warrant be issued for the child's arrest. The DPO may also have the discretion to handle the matter informally, given the child has returned home or his/her whereabouts are known, and refer the child and the parents to appropriate agencies for services.
    Schools remain the best resource for addressing truancy issues and have services to address this problem.  For offenders on probation, the assigned DPO may be able to intervene and address school attendance issues informally or formally.  Attendance at school is routinely a condition of probation.
    An offender's case is assigned to a DPO when the offender is placed on probation.  The assigned DPO will notify the offender and his or her parent within one or two weeks by phone or mail.  An appointment will then be set.
    Probation grants for juvenile offenders will vary in length based on a variety of factors.  There is generally no set time frame.  Some offenders can be on probation for as little as six months or remain on probation for a year or longer.  The severity of the offense, the offender's compliance and progress, and other factors will determine when a case may be successfully terminated.  A juvenile offender can remain under the Juvenile Court's jurisdiction until age 21, and in some cases until age 25.
    Parents of a juvenile offender should discuss any plans to move to another county with the assigned DPO.  The case may be transferred to the other county for supervision.
    Since juvenile probation grants are not time specific, technically there is no early termination.  Termination of probation can occur at any time based on the nature of the case.  In some cases, review dates are set to determine if termination of probation is appropriate.  Under certain circumstances these dates may be advanced; however, ultimately the Judge will decide when cases terminate.
    Referrals will be provided by the Juvenile Division of the Probation Department to other agencies.  There are a variety of options available, and many programs offer both a sliding fee scale and payment plan options.  The Probation Department holds contracts with some organizations to provide services to juvenile offenders at no cost to families.


    Instructions for sealing juvenile records are provided to an offender when the Probation Department receives an application for sealing.  The Probation Department will provide the necessary packet to an offender and upon the completion of that packet and the payment of a fee of $85.17 the request for sealing will be processed with the Juvenile Court.  A photograph identification card is required.