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What Can Happen to My Child?

Orange County Juvenile Criminal Sentencing

There are several ways to resolve your child’s case:

Informal Probation

When a case is not very serious, the minor might be eligible for informal probation under W&I Sec. 654 or W&I Sec. 725. This occurs in nonviolent first-time offenses such as Penal Code 484 Petty Theft or Penal Code 602 Trespass.

W&I Sec. 654 Diversion

Under California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 654, the case is “diverted” to probation before a petition filing takes place. Which means it is handled by probation, before the minor’s cases “enters the system.” A probation officer will develop a plan for the minor that can last no longer than six months. The program generally includes education and counseling. If the minor fails to perform, a formal petition can be filed with the DA/juvenile court.

W&I Sec. 725 Informal Probation

Under Welfare & Institutions Code Section 725, the judge makes the decision to place the minor on informal probation, and not declare the Minor a “ward of the court.” The difference from W&I Sec. 654 informal probation is that a petition is actually filed, but it is “put on hold” so the minor gets a second chance.

This is also lasts up to six months, and minor never admits guilt. As long as the minor complies with the probation terms the petition gets dismissed. Probation conditions generally include school attendance, counseling for the minor, Community Work Program, curfew and possible drug testing.

W&I 790 Deferred Entry of Judgment

Deferred entry of judgment (or “DEJ” for short) requires the minor admit guilt upfront, but results in a dismissal of the charges if he/she completes the DEJ program. DEJ is available for first time felonies that are not Section 707(b) (or strike) offenses. DEJ lasts between 12 and 36 months.

Formal Probation

When a California juvenile court declares the minor to be a ward of the court, the court can sentence the minor to terms of probation. Sometimes wards can complete their probation at home (even though they are wards of the court), or in juvenile hall, or drug program.

Probation terms can include anything reasonably necessary for the rehabilitation of the minor, including:

  • mandatory school attendance,
  • community work program,
  • curfew restrictions,
  • substance abuse counseling,
  • not hanging out with certain people,
  • community service,
  • graffiti removal, and
  • restitution.

CYA Commitment

Aside from adult prison, the most serious penalty a minor can face is commitment at CYA (California Youth Authority). Only minors whose most recent adjudication is for a 707(b) “strike” offense, an offense requiring sex offender registration in California can be sent to CYA.

Client Reviews

I hired attorney Katie Walsh to help my son when he was found with a large amount of drugs on school campus. She got us through the Expulsion Hearing, and miraculously he can go back to school at the winter semester...

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

My 16 year old son was charged with possession of Marijuana, HS 11357(b). I was very concerned about what would happen to him and how this would affect his future. I contacted Ms. Walsh and she assured me that everything...

CT, parent of juvenile client

My child was charged with Felony Penal Code 597(a)- Animal Cruelty. After hiring Katie Walsh, she got the charges reduced to a misdemeanor, counseling, and 40 hours of chores at home. We come back in 6 months and the...

DH - Parent of Juvenile client

I hired Katie Walsh to represent my son on sexual abuse allegations- P.C. 288(a) and P.C. 288(b)- they were Strike Charges. After negotiating with the D.A., she got all the strike charges dismissed, and got my son...

DR- mother of juvenile client

Katie Walsh was fantastic throughout this entire process! My 13 year old son was charged with two counts of lewd act on a minor, PC 288(a) and was in juvenile hall. After hiring Ms. Walsh, she GOT MY SON OUT OF JAIL and...

EG, parent of juvenile client

My 14 year old son was arrested at school for P.C. 311 (child pornography). My son had innocent and stupid nude pictures of himself and friends on his phone. Ms. Walsh was extremely easy to talk to, and made my son feel...

GK,TK, parents of juvenile client

Ms. Walsh was a life saver when I didn't know what was going on, or how to handle the situation. My young daughter was attacked at her middle school and was seriously injured. At a time when both the school and the...

HA, mother of 13 year old Victim Rights client

I hired Katie Walsh to seal my juvenile record of PC 288(a) (lewd act on a minor), after my request had been denied by a Judge and by the Probation Department. After speaking with Probation, the DA and the Judge at a...

JW, former juvenile client

I was charged with a Felony Conspiracy charge- PC 182. After hiring Ms. Walsh she got my charged reduced to a misdemeanor right away, and now I just have to do community service and in 6 months my entire case will be...

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

At a very difficult time in my life I contacted attorney Katie Walsh. I am a teacher and was being harassed/stalked by a parent at my school. I wanted a Restraining Order against this person. Ms. Walsh listened to me...

MB, restraining order client

My son was charged with Lewd Conduct, P.C. 647 out of Downey, CA. After hiring Ms. Walsh, she spoke with the District Attorney, Probation, and the Judge. Even though the judge was not pleased with the offer, she was able...

MG, parent of minor

It is with sincere gratitude that I send this recommendation As a parent of a child that was arrested on a Felony Domestic Abuse charge and over 2000 miles away I had to rely on friend of a friends word that you would...

MPF, mother of criminal client

I really liked having Ms. Walsh as my attorney. She visited me in Juvenile Hall. I was charged with four counts of Robbery (Penal Code 211). This was my 8th juvenile petition. Ms. Walsh got 2 of the robbery charges...

MU, juvenile client

I was arrested for a felony Domestic charge, PC 273.5(a). After I hired Katie Walsh, my entire case was dismissed. I never had to appear in court. I felt very comfortable with Ms. Walsh- she was easy to speak with...

NF, criminal client

Katie was instrumental in helping me with a criminal matter as an advocate for me and my children when I was a named victim in a DV case. She patiently and expediently addressed all of my questions and was an invaluable...


My daughter was pulled over arrested for having a Fake ID. After hiring Ms. Walsh my daughter did not have to plead guilty- which would have affected her license status. She did community service, completed a legal...


My 14 year old daughter was involved in an assault and battery- PC 240/242, in Irvine. After hiring Katie Walsh the case was not referred to Court. My daughter was able to complete a class and the case will be dismissed...

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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