Section 602 Wards

A Section 602 ward is a youth who has committed a crime and is placed under formal wardship.

Three Basic Levels of Crimes

  • Infraction: The least serious offense, specific statute, rule, or local ordinance, and is generally punishable by a fine. Many motor vehicle violations are considered infractions.
  • Misdemeanor: A less serious offense for which the offender may be sentenced to probation, county jail, juvenile detention facility, incurs a fine, or some combination.
  • Felony: The most serious type of crime for which an offender may be sentenced to state prison, Department of Juvenile Justice, county jail, or juvenile detention facility.

If a Youth Is Contacted by Law Enforcement

If a youth is contacted by law enforcement, a police officer issues the youth a citation and then releases the youth to his/her parent. If released to parent, the Probation Department will review the case to determine the appropriate level of intervention.

The Probation Department will contact the youth and parent/guardian regarding the case, or a police officer will arrest the youth and take them to the Placer County Juvenile Detention Facility. The probation officers will assess the youth at intake to determine if the youth can be released to his/her parent or remain detained.

Released to Parent with a Citation

The following is the process for releasing a youth to parent with a citation:

  1. A crime is reported to law enforcement.
  2. Law enforcement will conduct an investigation.
  3. The youth is physically detained and searched.
  4. Citation issued and youth released to parent with a possible Promise to Appear in court.
  5. The law enforcement report is then forwarded to the Probation Department for review.

Probation Department Review Process

A Probation Officer will review the law enforcement report to determine seriousness of the case and the appropriate level of probation services.

The case can be referred to:

  • Alternative Intervention Program (AIP)
  • Citation Hearing
  • District Attorney for prosecution
  • Law Enforcement Diversion Program
  • Traffic Hearing

Referral to District Attorney

Mandatory Referral to the District Attorney

The following situations warrant mandatory referral to the District Attorney:

  • 11350 or 11377 H&S: Drugs on School Grounds
  • 186.22 PC: Gang Activity
  • 245.5 PC: Battery on school employee
  • 2nd felony referral; under 14 years of age
  • 487h PC: Grand Theft or 10851 VC: Vehicle Theft by 14 year old (or older)
  • 626.10 PC: Weapon on school grounds
  • 626.9 PC: Firearm on school grounds
  • Felony; 14 years old (or older)
  • Previous 654 W&I: Informal Handling
  • Restitution Over $1,000
  • Sale/Possession for sale of controlled substance
  • Serious violent crimes listed in 707(b) W&I offenses

Additional Reasons for Referral

Probation can make Referrals to the District Attorney for these additional reasons:

  • Chronic family problems
  • Criminal sophistication
  • Delinquency history
  • Denial/dispute of charges or conduct
  • Home/school/community problems
  • Present offense - Gravity/circumstances
  • Prior rehabilitative attempts
  • Probability of rehabilitation
  • Referring party/agency recommendation
  • Welfare of the youth - Safety/protection of public