1. My child is not going to school, what can I do?
A good place to start is by scheduling a meeting with your school’s administrator. Communicate regularly, and work closely as a team with your child’s school.
2. My child uses drugs or alcohol. Where can I go to get help?
The form of help you obtain should depend on your child’s level of use. Your first step should be to obtain a drug and alcohol assessment from a qualified professional. For local drug and alcohol counselors, see Resources.
3. I am a runaway. What can I do?
You can contact the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 427-9490 to ask for help concerning your situation. Please be advised that if you have been taken into protective custody as a runaway, you will not be placed in detention (Washington State only). Arrangements will be made to return you home, find an alternative placement approved by your parents, or be placed in a Crisis Residential Center until your case can be reviewed.
4. My child is a runaway. What can I do?
If you are certain your child has ran away, you can go to the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office and file a runaway report. If your child is taken into custody by a police officer, the first hope is to try and return the child to his/her home. If, due to extenuating circumstances, the child cannot be returned to the home, or the parents are not able to find an alternative placement, the child may be placed in a Crisis Residential Center until the case can be reviewed. Please be advised, if your child has only been placed into custody as a runaway, he/she will not be placed in detention.
5. My child is out of control. What can I do?
This question is probably the most frequently asked of all questions we receive at the juvenile department. Unfortunately, this question is the least likely to have a well-specified answer. There are several ways to approach the problem. The following are some ideas that might prove helpful:
- Obtain individual or Family Counseling.
- Contact the Department of Social and Health Services to request Family Reconciliation Services or to inquire about an At-Risk-Youth Petition. For information call the intake line at: (800) 974-4435.
- Contact law enforcement if a crime has been committed.
6. Is it possible to have my child placed in detention?
Only the court can authorize placement of a youth into a juvenile detention facility. There are strict legal criteria outling when a juvenile offender is eligible for detention. A parent cannot have their child placed in detention.
7. My child was involved in a law violation. What will happen to him/her?
If your child has been involved in a law violation and he/she has been charged with a crime, a police report will be forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The Prosecuting Attorney will review the report and decide how to proceed with the case. If it is decided that a law has been violated, the youth will either be referred to the Juvenile Department for a diversion or will be summonsed to appear in court.
8. How do I get a court appointed attorney for my child?
If your child is referred to court, a court appointed attorney will automatically be assigned. You will recieve notice in the mail stating who has been appointed to your child’s case.
9. Do I, as a parent, have a right to a court appointed attorney?
As the parent of a child involved in a delinquent act, you are not eligible for a court appointed attorney.
10. How long does probation last?
Probation is imposed by a judge. The length of time depends on the seriousness of the offense, the need for supervision, and the youth’s compliance with the conditions of probation. In determining the intital probation time, the Skamania County Juvenile Court uses a sentencing matrix which takes into consideration the youth’s charge(s) and criminal history.
11. I am the victim of a crime committed by a juvenile. How can I find out what is happening with the case?
Call the Skamania County Prosecutor’s Office at (509) 427-3790.
12. Is a juvenile record confidential?
Generally, a juvenile record consists of two parts: social and legal. The social file includes reports and materials relating to the youth’s history and prognosis and are considered privileged. This information is not to be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone other than the judge of the juvenile court, those acting under the judge’s direction, and to the attorneys of record. Information in the legal file which can be released includes the name and date of birth of the youth, the basis for the juvenile court’s jurisdiction over the youth, date, time and place of any juvenile court proceeding in which the youth is involved, the alleged act of the youth, and the portion of the juvenile court order providing for the legal disposition of the charge. The legal record holder is the Superior Court Clerk’s Office.
13. I have been charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Will I lose my driver’s license?
Yes. If you are convicted in court, or sign a diversion contract for Minor in Possession, you will lose your driver’s license for a period of time. If you are age 13 through 17 and convicted of a first alcohol violation, or age 13 through 20 and convicted of a first drug violation, your driving privilege will be revoked for 1 year or until age 17, whichever is longer. For a second offense, your driving privilege will be revoked for 2 years, or until age 18, whichever is longer. You will not be able to obtain a license/instruction permit or take driver’s education during the revocation period. When you are eligible to reinstate your driving privilege, you must have parental consent and take the written and drive tests. You will also need to pay a $75 reissue fee in addition to the usual testing and licensing fees.
14. Can my child’s record be destroyed at some point?