What happens when my child is arrested or cited?


If your child has been arrested or received a citation for a misdemeanor offense, and is not already on probation, you will be contacted by the Probation Department by mail in approximately 2-3 weeks.  You and your child will be directed to appear at the Probation Department to meet with a Probation Officer to discuss the crime and to potentially discuss a resolution.  At the initial meeting, called an "Intake Interview,"  the Probation Officer will conduct a risk/needs assessment of your child known as the PACT (Positive Achievement Change Tool), to determine your child's risk to commit other crimes.  This will assist the Probation Officer with making a decision on how to proceed in your child's case.  When the Probation Officer is finished speaking to you and your child about the circumstances of the crime and the risk/needs assessment results, the officer will discuss potential resolutions with you.  If a resolution cannot be found at the Intake Interview, it may be necessary for the Probation Department to refer the matter to the District Attorney to consider filing a juvenile petition with the Inyo County Juvenile Court.  If it is necessary for your child to go to court, an attorney will be appointed by the court to represent him or her if you cannot afford to hire one.  

Driving under the influence (DUI):  DUI arrests are the only exception.  If your child was arrested for DUI, the case will be referred to the District Attorney to consider filing a petition with the Juvenile Court.  

If you have not received an Intake Interview letter within 3 weeks of your child being arrested or cited, it is very important that you contact the Probation Department.

If your child is already on probation, and they were arrested or cited, you or your child must contact the Probation Officer within 24 hours of the arrest or citation. 


When a youth is charged with a felony offense, the Probation Department is required to refer the case to the Inyo County District Attorney, who will decide what charges should be filed in the court.  Charges are filed on what is called a, "Juvenile Wardship Petition."  When a petition is filed in the court, you will be notified as to an appearance date, either in Bishop, California or Independence, California.  It is very important that you appear in court when directed to do so.  If you fail to appear without good cause, a warrant could be issued for your child's arrest.  If you cannot make your court appearance, it is very important for you to either contact the court or the Probation Department before the court date.  At your first court hearing, the judge will advise you of certain rights and if you did not hire an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you.  At that point, your attorney will advise you about the best way to proceed.

Dress appropriately for court.  No shorts, hats or inappropriate clothing is allowed.

Address the judge by saying, "Your Honor", "Sir," or Ma'am."


If your child is arrested by law enforcement, no matter the time of day, the Probation Department will be contacted by the arresting law enforcement agency.  At that time, a Deputy Probation Officer will conduct what is known as a detention risk assessment to determine if your child should be detained in secure confinement in juvenile hall.  Consideration will also be given to the seriousness of the crime your child is charged with in making that determination, and whether or not he or she is currently on probation.  

With limited exceptions, if your child is detained in juvenile hall, they will not be transported to the Inyo County Juvenile Center.  The Inyo County Juvenile Center is what is known as a Special Purpose Juvenile Hall and is only utilized for weekend commitments.  Youth who are arrested and detained are generally held in either the El Dorado County Juvenile Hall in South Lake Tahoe, California, or the Kern County Juvenile Hall in Bakersfield, California.  

If your child is arrested and detained:

  • Your child has a right to telephone you and will be given the opportunity to call you shortly after they arrive at juvenile hall.
  • A Deputy Probation Officer will contact you as soon as possible and notify you that your child has been detained and where they are being held, and provide you with contact information.
  • Your child has a right to a detention hearing before a judge within 72 business hours of his or her arrest.  You will be notified by the Probation Officer as to the date, time and location of the hearing.
  • You must contact the Probation Officer the morning of the next business day after your child was arrested.
  • Your child's safety and well-being while in juvenile hall is of primary concern.   He or she will be supervised closely by juvenile hall professionals 24 hours per day.
  • The Probation Officer assigned to your child's case will conduct an interview with you, most often over the phone, and ask you questions about your child and his or her history, to determine your willingness and ability to supervise him or her safely if your child is released from custody.  School records will also be obtained for the court's consideration in determining if your child should be released or detained further.  The Probation Officer will take this information and include it in a Detention Report to the court, along with a recommendation as to whether your child should be released, released on home detention, or held in secure confinement until an appropriate resolution to the case can be reached.