The Tigard Municipal Court provides a local forum for teenagers who are charged with certain crimes (misdemeanors) and status offenses. For those who are guilty of these charges, the goals of the program are to make young people accountable for their actions, prevent future criminal offenses, provide restitution for victims and the community, and educate teenagers about the justice system.
Eligibility for the Program
You must meet the following requirements to be eligible:
If you are eligible for the Youth Court program, the charges against you may be reduced from a misdemeanor (a crime) to a violation. Under Oregon law, you cannot be sent to a juvenile detention facility if you are guilty of a violation. However, you can still be required to pay a fine or serve a period of probation (usually 6 to 12 months). As part of your probation, you can be required to perform community service, provide restitution, write a letter of apology and comply with other conditions imposed by the court (see Disposition below).
You must appear with your parent or legal guardian in the Tigard Municipal Court at the time stated on the summons. If you fail to appear, the Court may issue a warrant for your arrest, enter a default judgment (a fine) against you and take other appropriate action under Oregon law.
Role of Parents
Parents or guardians are required to attend all court proceedings and make sure the youth complies with the court's orders. Under Oregon law, a judge may also require parents to attend counseling, parent-education or other programs that may help to reduce the risk of future law violations.
You have a right to be represented by a lawyer at every stage of your case. Under Oregon law, persons charged with violations are not eligible for a court-appointed attorney. You or your parents may hire an attorney at your own expense. If you choose to be represented by a lawyer, please have your lawyer notify the court as soon as possible. If you need help in finding a lawyer, contact the Oregon State Bar's Lawyer Referral Service at 503-620-0222 or toll-free at 800-452-8260.
Entering a Plea
At the time of your first appearance ("arraignment") in Municipal Court, the judge will ask you to enter one of the following pleas:
If you plead guilty or no contest, or if you are found guilty at trial, the court may require you to do one or more of the following:
If you fail to complete all the requirements imposed by the court, the judge may do one or more of the following:
Under Oregon law (ORS 419A.262), you may be able to have all records of your conviction destroyed or expunged once you reach 18 years of age. You should contact an attorney or the court when you turn 18 if you're interested in applying for an expunction.