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What is Summary Probation?

Summary vs. Formal Probation

Summary probation, AKA informal probation, is typically an option for those convicted of a misdemeanor and involves meeting with a probation officer every few months. While formal probation requires a set number of meetings with a probation every month and is typically associated with felonies.

For example, an individual on formal probation has to report regularly to a probation officer. This officer can even make random visits, wherein the individual would have to show compliance with his or her terms of the probation at any given time. As well, a violation of felony probation is sometimes seen as a felony in and of itself, meaning that individuals could face serious jail time for a small violation.

An individual on summary probation will not have to regularly report to a probation officer. At the very worst, an individual on summary probation will have to periodically – every 6 months or so – check in with a judge and show that he or she is meeting the terms of the probation. Violation of summary can result in jail time, but it would not be a notably long stint in jail, and most of those matters can be settled with an extension given by the judge during the progress report.

Common Terms of Summary Probation

Also called “Misdemeanor Probation,” summary probation is a very common stipulation after a first, second, or third DUI offense in Ventura County, California. The reason a fourth offense is not listed here is because a fourth DUI offense is very likely going to be charged as a felony. That would then yield felony, or formal probation, which is very different and much more severe than summary probation.

For a DUI, most of the conditions have to do with completing the court's orders and maintaining a sort of “straight and narrow” lifestyle, these include but are not limited to:

  • Paying fines, completing classes and community service, and installing an ignition interlock device
  • Abstaining from alcohol illegal drugs – in some cases, even staying away from establishments whose chief sale is alcohol (bars, liquor stores, etc.)
  • Agreeing not to violate any laws.

In short, complying with summary probation can be simple, as long as the individual can complete the court-ordered tasks that accompany a DUI conviction, and otherwise stay out of handcuffs.

Duration of summary probation can vary from 24 months after a 1st DUI to 48 months after a 2nd DUI conviction. In any case, Wilfert Law P.C. can work to obtain a reduced summary probation sentence and even calling for an early termination based on excellent compliance and the lessened need to monitor your behavior.

Contact our offices today for any legal issues related to a DUI case or misdemeanor (summary) probation.