Terminology & Glossary


The Juvenile Justice System uses deferent terms than does the Adult Criminal Justice System. Here are just a few of the differences.

Juvenile Justice System AdultAdult Criminal Justice System
Delinquent Act / OffenseCrime
Adjudication HearingTrial
Found DelinquentConvicted / Found Guilty
Juvenile Rehabilitation AuthorityPrison

Justice System Glossary

Adjudication Hearing

(Also called a Fact-finding) The trial court proceeding in which it is determined whether the allegations of the Criminal Information are supported by legally admissible evidence.

Arraignment Hearing

The Juvenile is advised of the charges against him/her and enters a plea of guilty or not guilty.


See Offense.

Criminal Information

The document filed by the State charging a juvenile with a crime.


Questions asked of a witness by the attorney for the party who did not call the witness to testify.


The sending of a case from the juvenile court to adult court for trial.

Defense Attorney

An attorney employed by the defendant or the Public Defender's Office whose job is to represent the juvenile defendant's interests in criminal proceedings.


The commission of an illegal act by a juvenile. A child is "delinquent" when he/she has been found guilty.


Secured facility run by the juvenile probation department. Adult equivalent is jail.


The process by which the prosecutor and defense attorney learn of the evidence the other party will present at trial.


In terms of the adult system, this would be known as sentencing.


See Adjudication Hearing.

First Appearance Hearing - Detention Hearing

A hearing to determine whether a juvenile should be detained or released.

Juvenile Prosecutor

An attorney employed by the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney's Office whose job is to prosecute those youth accused of committing offenses in Clallam County.

Juvenile Rehabilitation Authority

The State agency (under the D.S.H.S. system) that manages various secured juvenile facilities. Adult equivalent would be the prison system.


An act if committed by an adult would constitute a crime.

Plea Agreement

Negotiation of an agreement between the prosecuting and defending counsel for an agreed disposition or penalty.


Events that occur before the Adjudication Hearing.

Pre-Adjudication Interviews

Informal interviews conducted by the prosecutor or defense attorney before the trial at which victims and witnesses are questioned about their knowledge of the crime(s).

Predisposition Report

A report prepared by a probation officer for the Judge's consideration at the Disposition Hearing. This report includes a review of the juvenile's behavior and family history.


In juvenile court, a disposition that allows the juvenile to remain at liberty under the supervision of a probation officer. Detention time can be imposed as part of probation.

Probable Cause

A determination made by the Judge as to the likelihood that the juvenile committed the offense.


A person under the age of eighteen years of age who is charged with committing a delinquent act.


The amount of money that the Judge orders the juvenile to pay the victim as a condition of the juvenile defendant's sentence for the victim's out-of-pocket losses directly related to the delinquent act.


A legal document requiring the person named in the subpoena to appear on a stated day and time at a specified court to give testimony in a case.


A statement or declaration made to establish a fact or facts and given under oath.


A person who has seen or knows something about the delinquent act.