(a)    Answers. The child, parent, or custodian of the child may enter an oral or written answer to the petition or remain silent. If the child remains silent or pleads evasively, or the parent, guardian, or legal custodian denies it, the court shall enter a denial of the petition. The court shall determine that any admission or consent to the petition is made voluntarily and with a full understanding of the nature of the allegations and the possible consequences of such admission or consent and that the parties have been advised of the right to be represented by counsel. The court shall incorporate these findings into its order in addition to findings of fact specifying the act or acts, by whom committed, and facts upon which the findings are based. If the answer admits the allegations of the petition it shall constitute consent to a predisposition study.

(b)    Arraignment. If a written answer has not been filed by the child, parent, guardian, or legal custodian before the adjudicatory hearing, the court shall conduct a hearing to determine whether an admission, consent, or denial of the petition shall be entered and whether the parties are represented by counsel or are entitled to appointed counsel as pro-vided by law. If an admission or consent is entered, the court shall proceed as set forth in rule 8.690. If a denial is entered the court shall set an adjudicatory hearing within the period of time provided by law and appoint counsel when required.

(c)    Withdrawal of Plea. The court may at any time before the beginning of a disposition hearing permit an admission of the allegations of the petition to be withdrawn and, if an adjudication has been entered thereon, set aside such adjudication. In the subsequent adjudicatory hearing the court shall disregard an admission that has been withdrawn.

(d)    Prehearing Conference. Before the conduct of any adjudicatory hearing the court may set or the parties may request that a prehearing conference be held to determine the order in which each party may present witnesses or evidence and the order in which cross-examination and argument shall occur. The court also may enter findings on the record of any stipulations entered into by the parties and consider any other matters which may aid in the conduct of the adjudicatory hearing.