Juvenile Court Procedures

Juvenile Court is held separately from Adult Court. When the case is called, the defendant, parent(s) or guardian(s), the Judge, the Court Officer, High School Principal (if relative to the case), and the Clerk of Court will be allowed in the courtroom during the hearing. The case will be kept confidential by all Court and Police personnel.

The Judge will explain the nature of the charge and request a plea from the defendant. Following are definitions of plea options:
  • GUILTY - A plea of guilty is an admission that all circumstances and conditions, which appear on the citation, are true and correct. Also, this is an admission of guilt to civil liability, if any, arising out of the incident. This is important in a violation where the injured party might sue in a civil court in addition to this court action.
  • NO CONTEST - Neither a plea of guilty nor not guilty, this option will merely get the matter resolved. The Judge will impose a penalty according to the Law. The effect of this plea is that the defendant will be found guilty, but that finding of guilt cannot be used as an admission of fact in some other court proceeding.
If a plea of guilty or no contest is entered, the Judge will then review the Officer’s report. The defendant will be given an opportunity to inform the Court about any extenuating circumstances surrounding the charge. After reviewing all testimony, the Judge will review the defendant’s past record and impose a penalty according to the Law.
  • NOT GUILTY - This plea means the defendant is stating s/he did not commit the violation which has been charged. The case will then be set for trial in Oregon Municipal Courts. An attorney may be hired, at the defendant’s own expense, or s/he may appear without legal representation. The defendant has the right to appeal the decision made at this trial, with payment of appropriate fees.