Waiver of counsel, 2014

A waiver of the right to counsel by a juvenile must be made in writing unless made in the court on record or made in the presence of the juvenile's parent(s).

  • Restrictions on waivers
  • No restrictions
  • Reflects laws as of the end of 2013 legislative sessions.
  • Age

    No restrictions

  • Crime

    No restrictions

  • Hearing

    No restrictions

  • Placement

    No restrictions

Timing of counsel, 2013

In Delaware, an attorney for a juvenile can be appointed at the following points in the process: Detention Hearing / First Court Appearance / Arraignment; All Stages of Proceedings / All Critical States of Proceedings.

  • Reflects laws as of the end of 2013 legislative sessions.

Indigency requirements, 2013

Organized at the state level

Organizer: Delaware Public Defender Office (Additional detail concerning the organization and administration of juvenile defense is available in a state profile from the National Juvenile Defender Center.)

Indigency is not determined legislatively

Indigency is judicially determined. Court can / must appoint attorney for juvenile if non-indigent parent refuses to pay for juvenile's attorney.

  • Reflects laws as of the end of 2013 legislative sessions.

Courtroom shackling, 2015

No statewide restriction

In Delaware, a law passed in July, 2016, [10 Del.C. § 1007b (per HB 211)] which limits the use of shackles and other restraints on children during juvenile delinquency proceedings except when the court finds that: (1) the use of restraints is necessary and (2) there are no less restrictive alternatives that will prevent flight or physical harm to the child or others in the courtroom.  Any use of restraints must allow the child ‘limited movement of the hands to read and handle documents and writings necessary to the hearing.’

Sex offender registration, 2015


Competency, 2015

Delaware has a statutory section related to juvenile competency, which aligns with the Dusky standard. Procedures include requirements for 6 month reviews and timeframes for dismissing certain allegations. The individualized bases for a finding that a child is not competent may include: “significant mental disorder or incapacity, significant developmental delay, significant cognitive impairment, and/or chronological immaturity.” A determination of competency is required to proceed with delinquency allegations regarding a child under age 10.

  • No juvenile standard

  • Juvenile standard is the adult standard

  • Juvenile justice standard exists

  • JJ standard includes developmental immaturity

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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