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The Differences Between A Formal And Informal Juvenile Diversion Program

Law Office of Katie Walsh

The primary goal of the California juvenile criminal justice system is rehabilitation. 

Formal and informal juvenile diversion programs in California can be offered to ensure that a child is rehabilitated and, in turn, diverted from criminal acts.

Going over what formal and informal juvenile diversion programs are and speaking with a Newport Beach, CA, juvenile defense lawyer at the Law Office of Katie Walsh will allow your child to obtain the best possible legal outcome.

What Is A Juvenile Diversion Program?

A juvenile diversion program is an alternative to standard forms of sentencing, such as incarceration. Rather than being sentenced to time in a juvenile facility, a child who is under the age of 18 can complete a diversion program.

Some of the different components that a juvenile diversion program might consist of are as follows:

  • Specific classes centered on the offenses that were committed.
  • Some form of treatment, such as drug addiction treatment or mental health treatment.
  • Going through job skills training.
  • Being forced to perform community service of one sort or another.
  • Speaking with a counselor on a regular basis.

Each of these components serves the same basic function: to divert your child away from criminal activities and, instead, towards a life that involves abiding by the laws that govern the state of California.

What Is A Formal Juvenile Diversion Program?

A formal juvenile diversion program is a diversion program that occurs when your child enters the criminal justice system and, in turn, is sentenced to a diversion program.

Just as an example, if your child is found guilty of selling illegal drugs, then they may be arrested and then forced to go to court, where they are sentenced to a formal juvenile diversion program with specific terms.

Even though a formal juvenile diversion program can be challenging, it is almost always better than the alternative, which often involves some form of incarceration.

What Is An Informal Juvenile Diversion Program?

An informal juvenile diversion program is a diversion program that occurs when an official chooses not to bring a particular case into the criminal justice system.

Rather than bringing a particular case into the criminal justice system, the official in question outlines a set of conditions that, if they are satisfied, will allow the charges within a case to be dropped.

For instance, a child may be offered an informal juvenile diversion program that involves performing community service. If they perform this community service, the charges will be dropped, and their case will not go to court, ensuring that they do not have a criminal record.

An informal juvenile diversion program can be challenging. But, much like a formal juvenile diversion program, it is almost always better than going through the criminal justice system and obtaining a criminal record.

Speak With An Orange County Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

A diversion program is almost always better than being sentenced to incarceration. Speak with an Orange County juvenile criminal defense lawyer today at the Law Office of Katie Walsh, and we will assist your child in obtaining the best possible sentence.

Client Reviews

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AR- parent of minor client

I hired Katie Walsh to have my felony convictions expunged. She was able to expunge my record within 6 weeks of me giving her all the information. Even though technically I had a probation violation, and therefore the...

AR, criminal client

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GK,TK, parents of juvenile client

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HA, mother of 13 year old Victim Rights client

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KP, juvenile client

Ms. Walsh was like a breath of fresh air throughout this entire process. I was uncertain about the outcome, but she told me everything would be ok- and it was. She had my juvenile record sealed within 3 months of...

LR, former juvenile client

Ms. Walsh got the judge to terminate my son's probation and seal his 2 juvenile cases (Penal Code 288(a) and Penal Code 242) even though he had violated my probation by picking up a new case. By getting his record sealed...

MB- mother of juvenile client

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MB, restraining order client

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NF, criminal client

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SG, mother a juvenile client

My son was charged with possession of Child Pornography P.C. 311.11(a) - a charge I did not realize a child could be guilty of! As parents were beside ourselves when we found this out, and contacted Katie Walsh. She...

SH- mother of juvenile client

From San Diego I contacted Ms. Walsh about sealing my juvenile record in Orange County regarding a Petty Theft charge. She was always very responsive to any of my questions, and consistently kept me updated. Even though...

XL, juvenile client

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