Court Process

Walla Walla/Columbia County.
Court Process

What happens after my child is arrested?

If your child has been arrested and held in detention at the time of arrest, you can expect to attend a telephonic hearing (Columbia County only), or detention hearing (Walla Walla County only) within 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays). This hearing will determine whether your child will be released or remain in detention. Your child will also have a “first appearance” at this time.

What happens when my child is summoned to court for an offense(s)?

If your child has been summoned to court s/he will have a “first appearance.”   Prior to this court date, you and your child should expect to meet with a Community Supervision Officer, so the paperwork can be explained to you, and your questions answered.

First Appearance.

At the “first appearance” the Judge will read your child his/her rights and the child will be asked to sign a copy of these rights. The judge will also read the offense(s) and the standard range sentence (consequences) for each. The Judge will appoint an attorney if you have not already hired one. If your child is not going to remain in detention, the Judge will sign an “Order of Release” requiring your child to follow certain rules during the court process.

Do I have to pay for an attorney?

  • If you hire your own attorney, Yes.
  • If the court appoints an attorney, No.
Arraignment.

Arraignment, or plea, usually occurs on the next juvenile docket following the "first appearance." Your child should be served by summons by a law enforcement officer to advise of the court date and time. At this time, a “fact finding” date will be set. If your child has remained in detention, this date will be within 30 days. If your child is not in detention, this date will be within 60 days. 

For Walla Walla County, court will be held on Fridays — For Columbia County, court will be held on Wednesdays.

Fact Finding.

A “fact finding” is similar to a trial in adult court, but there is no jury. The verdict is determined by the Judge only. If your child is found not guilty, the process stops here. If your child is found guilty, you can expect to attend a “Disposition” hearing in approximately two weeks.

Guilty Plea.

If your child chooses to plead guilty, a hearing will be set for this to take place. You can expect to attend a “Disposition” hearing in approximately two weeks.

Disposition.

If your child is sentenced to community supervision, s/he will be notified of the term of community supervision, the number of days to be served in the Juvenile Justice Center, the hours of community service to be performed, and the amount of court costs, crime victim's compensation, and restitution to be paid. The remainder of the conditions will be explained in detail during a visit with the community supervision officer.

If your child is sentenced to Juvenile Rehabilitation (state institution), s/he will be notified of the term of incarceration, the amount of court costs, crime victim’s compensation, and restitution to be paid.

How will I know when my child has Court?

You will either receive a summons, be notified by your attorney, or a court date will be stated at a prior hearing.

Courtroom Etiquette.

  • YOU MUST BE ON TIME FOR COURT.
  • The Columbia County courtroom is located on the third floor of the Dayton Courthouse at 341 E. Main Street, Dayton, WA.
  • The Walla Walla County courtrooms are located on the third floor of the Courthouse at 315 West Main in Walla Walla, WA.
  • You will be required to clear a metal detector — you and your personal items are subject to search.
  • All pagers and cell phones must be turned into security prior to entering the courtroom.
  • You must be dressed appropriately to enter the courtroom.
  • You will not be allowed to enter the courtroom if your clothing is unclean, obscene, sleeveless, see-through,  gang identifying, shorts, or sandals.
  • When it is your child’s turn, his/her name will be called, and s/he will need to come forward and sit at the table.
  • While in the courtroom you (and your child) will not be allowed to chew gum or tobacco, eat or drink, use cell phones, read newspapers, magazines, or books, or engage in other distracting behaviors.