(a)    Appearances; Pleas. The child shall appear before the court at the times set and, unless a written plea has been filed, enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or, with the consent of the court, nolo contendere.

(b)    Preparation of Case. If the child pleads not guilty the court may proceed at once to an adjudicatory hearing, or may continue the case to allow sufficient time on the court calendar for a hearing or to give the state or the child a reasonable time for the preparation of the case.

(c)    Trial by Court. The adjudicatory hearing shall be conducted by the judge without a jury. At this hearing, the court determines whether the allegations of the petition have been sustained.

(d)    Joint and Separate Trials. When 2 or more children are alleged to have committed a delinquent act or violation of law, they shall be tried jointly unless the court in its discretion orders separate trials.

(e)    Testimony. The child may choose to be sworn as a witness and testify in his or her own behalf. The child may be cross- examined as other witnesses. No child shall be compelled to give testimony against himself or herself, nor shall any prosecuting attorney be permitted to comment on the failure of the child to testify in his or her own behalf. A child offering no testimony on his or her own behalf except his or her own shall be entitled to the concluding argument.

(f)     Motion for Judgment of Dismissal. If, at the close of the evidence for the petitioner or at the close of all the evidence in the cause, the court is of the opinion that the evidence is insufficient to establish a prima facie case of guilt against the child, it may, or on the motion of the state attorney or the child shall, enter an order dismissing the petition for insufficiency of the evidence. A motion for judgment of dismissal is not waived by subsequent introduction of evidence on behalf of the child. The motion must fully set forth the grounds on which it is based.

(g)    Dismissal. If the court finds that the allegations in the petition have not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, it shall enter an order so finding and dismissing the case.

(h)    Degree of Offense. If in a petition there is alleged an offense which is divided into degrees, the court may find the child committed an offense of the degree alleged or of any lesser degree supported by the evidence.

(i)     Specifying Offense Committed. If in a petition more than one offense is alleged the court shall state in its order which offense or offenses it finds the child committed.

(j)     Lesser Included Offenses. On a petition on which the child is to be tried for any offense, the court may find the child committed:

(1)    an attempt to commit the offense, if such attempt is an offense and is supported by the evidence; or

(2)    any offense that as a matter of law is a necessarily included offense or a lesser included offense of the offense charged in the petition and is supported by the evidence.

(k)    Dispositional Alternatives. If the court finds that the evidence proved the allegations of the petition beyond a reasonable doubt, it may enter an order of adjudication or withhold adjudication as provided by law. If the pre-disposition report required by law is available, the court may proceed immediately to disposition or continue the case for a disposition hearing. If the report is not available, the court will continue the case for a disposition hearing and refer it to the appropriate agency or agencies for a study and recommendation. If the case is continued the court may order the child detained.