Summary probation v. Formal Probation


In almost every DUI case here in Orange County, if you plead guilty, as part of your sentence you will receive some form of probation.  Generally, for a first time DUI, summary/informal probation follows.  However, if this is your second or third DUI, or your first DUI with aggravating factors, formal probation may be in your future. Let’s discuss the difference between the two, and the importance of knowing when your probation term has terminated.

Summary/Informal probation can be defined as a term of time where the court reserves jurisdiction over your criminal matter, but you do not have to check in with the court… at all.  The deal is, during the “x” amount of time that you are on summary probation, the court just doesn’t want to see you again.  Chances are, as long as you don’t commit another crime, you’ll glide through your probation term unscathed.

Formal probation however, is much more demanding.  Often times, you are required to check back in with the Court for status hearings, take drug tests, and update the court on your attendance to your required classes.  The punishment during your probation period is usually administered pretty quick.  The basis for this is simple, the more your in front of the court, the more opportunities you have to violate your probation.

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One Response to Summary probation v. Formal Probation

  1. Jay says:

    If I’m on summary probation and a police officer asks me if I’m on probation, do I have to say yes? Am I automatically subject to search if I’m on summary probation?

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