Waiver of counsel, 2014

Waiver of counsel can occur only after the juvenile has had a meaningful opportunity to confer with counsel regarding the juvenile's right to counsel, the consequences of waiving counsel, and any other facts that would assist the juvenile in making the decision to waive counsel. No waiver must be accepted if it appears that the party is unable to make an intelligent and understanding choice. If a waiver is accepted at any stage of the proceedings, the offer of assistance of counsel must be renewed by the court at each subsequent stage at which the juvenile appears without counsel.

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

    Under 0

  • Crime

    No restrictions

  • Hearing

    No restrictions

  • Placement

    No restrictions

Timing of counsel, 2013

In Florida, an attorney for a juvenile can be appointed at the following points in the process: Custodial Questioning / Talk with Intake Officer; Detention Hearing / First Court Appearance / Arraignment; Once a Petition is Filed / Hearing on the Petition; Loss of Freedom / Institutionalization / Commitment / Imprisonment; All Stages of Proceedings / All Critical States of Proceedings. By statute, in Florida, legal counsel representing a juvenile who exercises the right to counsel must be allowed to provide advice and counsel to the juvenile at any time subsequent to the juvenile's arrest.

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

Indigency requirements, 2013

Organized at the local level (county/judicial district)

(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

Florida law is governed by adult statute and juvenile statute and juvenile court rule, which provide for a determination of indigency. Florida indigency law applies to juveniles being transferred to criminal court. Indigency is judicially determined. Court can / must appoint attorney for juvenile if non-indigent parent refuses to pay for juvenile's attorney. Specialized juvenile training available or required.

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

Courtroom shackling, 2015

Restricted by judiciary

Florida’s Court Rule of Juvenile Procedure § 8.100(b)  (p. 62, updated 2/26/15) prohibits routine use of restraints. Restraints must be removed prior to appearance unless the court finds:

  1. It is necessary [to prevent harm to self/others-w/evidence of recent behavior, substantial flight risk, or history of disruptive courtroom behavior (has criteria)] and
  2. No less restrictive alternatives exist (w/examples).

Sex offender registration, 2015


Competency, 2015

Florida has detailed requirements related to juvenile competency in juvenile statute as well as juvenile court rule, and (adult) criminal court rules may apply. The Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Families must both be notified of all competency proceedings. Evaluation criteria are specified (age or immaturity; mental illness; intellectual disability or autism, or any other reason). The reports of at least 2 (no more than 3) court-appointed evaluators are reviewed. Court orders finding incompetency must state whether youth are in need of secure or non-secure placement and/or treatment/training. Statute assigns particular agencies responsible for dispositions, case management, supervision, and planning consultation according to the bases for incompetency. Treatment and discharge plans are reviewed by the court at least every 6 months for up to 2 years. If, at that point there is no evidence the child will attain competency within one year, the court must dismiss the delinquency petition.

  • 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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