DUI: Formal vs. Informal Probation

DUI ProbationDrivers who are convicted of a DUI offense can be sentenced to serve time in jail or prison or can be placed on probation for a specified period of time. Judges will typically give defendants an opportunity to complete probation, however failure to comply with the terms and conditions of probation can result in imposition of a jail sentence. Defendants can be sentenced to either formal probation, where they are assigned a probation officer who will monitor progress, or informal probation, where the defendant will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the various terms and conditions of probation.

What is Required on Formal Probation?

Formal probation is typically only required for defendant’s who have been convicted of a felony level DUI offense. This would include a defendant’s fourth DUI conviction within a ten year period as well as offenses such as DUI with injury pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23153 VC, which is a “wobbler” that can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor. In addition, defendants convicted of vehicular manslaughter under the influence or gross vehicular manslaughter under the influence can also be sentenced to serve formal probation in addition to jail time.

The defendant would be required to check in with the county probation office within days of being sentenced or released from custody. The defendant would be able to transfer probation to his or her home county or state, depending on where he or she lives. The defendant would pay a probation fee and would be expected to report regularly to his or her probation officer. Probation may make surprise visits and may require drug testing and unscheduled home searches and inspections.

If restitution is owed, the defendant would be expected to make payments to the victim through probation. Any probation violations would be reported to the Court, who would then bring the defendant back to the Court to address the allegation.

What is Required on Informal Probation?

The majority of defendants convicted of misdemeanor DUI offenses are placed on informal, or summary probation. Ventura County is an exception and requires formal probation, even for defendants convicted of first time DUI offenses.

For defendants on informal probation, the Court will set forth the terms and conditions of probation and will provide the defendant will various due dates by which they must submit proof of completion or proof of compliance. The defendant will not be assigned a probation officer to monitor probation, but instead will be expected to complete their assignments by the required due dates. The Court may set future court dates for the defendant to show proof of progress or proof of completion or the Court may just set a due date to submit proof of completion documents to the court clerk’s office.

If a defendant on informal probation fails to meet a due date, the Court will issue a probation violation and bench warrant. The Court may reinstate the defendant’s probation and impose additional penalties to address the violation.

If the defendant owes restitution, he or she would be required to pay the victim directly. If the defendant is unable to pay the full amount owed, the Court will hold an ability to pay hearing and will set a monthly amount due to the victim or victims as a condition of probation.

If you or someone who you know have been accused of a DUI offense, it is imperative that you meet with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Michael Kraut fights hard on behalf of his clients through all stages of the DUI process.

For more information about formal and informal DUI probation, and to schedule your free consultation, contact the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Client Reviews
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us.
I hired Attorney Mike Kraut and I'm am so happy and grateful that I did! I was arrested for a DUI because my BAC level was over the .08 limit. I ended up getting a wet and reckless instead of a DUI. I still have to do some classes and I'm on probation, but I do not have a DUI on my record. If you have a DUI hire Attorney Kraut, he definitely knows his stuff!
Avvo User
There aren't enough positive words to write about Mike, but let me be clear that this is the only lawyer worth hiring in Los Angeles. Mike is professional, caring, and an absolute champion at winning in court.
Kyle, Avvo User
Mike Kraut is not a typical lawyer. He is a straightforward person with a true heart and a sympathetic ear. He is also smart and connected and he cares about the people who seek out his help. He got my son out of a jam. He did it quickly and painlessly. I recommend Mike Kraut to anyone that needs his services.
Thank you Mike for helping my son.
Mark, Avvo User
Michael Kraut is a rock star lawyer. I was really happy and satisfied with the results I received from Michael and his team. A few months back I was being accused of a serious felony. Mike gave me sound legal advice and worked diligently to clear my name. Mike was great at always keeping me updated and returning calls. Great, great lawyer I cant say enough about this man!
Eric, Google User
How can I express how relieved and pleased I am with Michael's professional abilities to have my Felony brought down to a misdameanor to a possible dismissal with deferment. With his care my life has been turned around and cannot say how helpful he's been not only in my case but life. He, himself has changed how I view criminal lawyers. Thank you so much Michael!
Owen, Google User
He gave me the peace of mind that my DUI case was going to be resolved. He fought for what it was needed and helped me by answering all my questions. Mike is not an average attorney. He’s a very experienced, honest and straightforward person that is there for you!
Eve Sal