Informal Probation Law and Legal Definition

Informal probation is a criminal corrections method to try to avoid formal court intervention. It may be categorized as a conditional sentence, as it is subject to getting revoked if conditions aren't met. Precise definitions vary by jurisdiction.

For example, in juvenile law, it may be offered to those youths who admit to the alleged offenses during the preliminary inquiry process and the alleged offense could be considered minor in comparison with prior history. Some of the factors considered in whether to grant informal probation include strength of family, peers, emotional stability, history of abuse/neglect, prior interventions, behavior at school, at home and in the community. It may be offered in combination with early intervention programs offered by the court and office of juvenile services. The terms, or length, of the probation, may be continued at any time during the term of supervision at the discretion of the supervision probation officer. In some cases, there is no requirement to report to a probation officer on a regular basis.