Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Types of Probation in California DUI Cases

In California, the Court may impose two different types of probation in DUI cases, either formal or informal:

(1) Formal probation. Formal probation is the suspension of the imposition or execution of sentence and the order of conditional and revocable release into the community under the supervision of a probation officer.

(2) Informal Probation. A conditional sentence, also referred to as court or summary probation, is the suspension of the imposition or execu-tion of sentence and the order of conditional and revocable release into the community subject to the conditions of the court without the supervision of a probation officer.  A conditional sen-tence may be pronounced without referring the case to the probation officer. Pen C §1203b. If the case is not referred to the probation officer, the court may consider any information concerning the defendant that could have been included in a probation report.

A conditional probationary sentence on a DUI case places greater responsibilities on the Judge than formal probation, requiring the court to perform two distict functions normally carried out by the probation officer. First, the court must furnish the defendant a written statement of the terms and conditions of the probation.  Secondly, it must order the defendant to report to the court, so that the probationer's conduct may be supervised.