In Juvenile Court the young person accused of committing an offense is not labelled as a “defendant” instead they are called “offenders.” The alleged wrongful act is not called a “crime” but instead an “offense.” But in short they are the same. Juvenile offenders are not afforded a jury trial to contest the evidence and the underlying offense. In juvenile court the offenders are subject to bench trials (trial by judge not jury) when a resolution cannot be reached between the juvenile and the State. Juvenile offenses may be classified as a misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and felonies.
Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 13.40 is the law that governs juvenile offender actions in Washington.
All above information pertaining to juvenile offenses was derived from the Washington State Legislature website. www.leg.wa.gov