Defense structure, 2017

  • Organization


  • Oversight

    Partial oversight

Louisiana provides counsel to indigent youth at the judicial district level. Visit the National Juvenile Defender Center's Louisiana state profile for more details.

Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile may waive counsel if the court determines that the juvenile has consulted with an attorney, parent, or caretaker and that both the juvenile and the consulted adult have been instructed by the court about the juvenile's rights and the possible consequences of waiver, and that the juvenile is knowingly and voluntarily waiving his or her right to counsel.

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

    No restrictions

  • Crime

    Juveniles cannot waive right to counsel if alleged to have committed specified act that would be specified crime if committed by adult.

  • Hearing

    Juveniles cannot waive right to counsel for specified hearings.

  • Placement

    Juveniles cannot waive right to counsel if possibility of specified placement(s).

Timing of counsel, 2013

In Louisiana, an attorney for a juvenile can be appointed at the following points in the process: Once a Petition is Filed / Hearing on the Petition; Loss of Freedom / Institutionalization / Commitment / Imprisonment; All Stages of Proceedings / All Critical States of Proceedings.

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

Indigency requirements, 2013

Indigency determination: Legislatively

Louisiana indigency law is governed by both juvenile and adult statutes, which provide a determination of indigency. Under the Louisiana Public Defender Act, by statute, special juvenile law education / training / experience/ program for appointed juvenile counsel. Juveniles are legislatively presumed indigent. Court can / must appoint attorney for juvenile if there is a conflict of interest between the juvenile and the parent. Court can / must appoint attorney for juvenile if parent cannot be located / parent refuses to go to juvenile.

Collateral consequences, 2014

When the juvenile appears to answer the petition, the court must first determine that the juvenile is capable of understanding statements about his rights under the Children's Code. If the juvenile is capable, the court must then advise the juvenile of the following items in terms understandable to the juvenile:

  1. The possible consequences of his admission that the allegations are true, including the maximum and minimal dispositions which the court can impose pursuant to Children's Code.
  2. If the juvenile is fourteen years of age or older and the petition charges the juvenile with the perpetration, attempted perpetration, or conspiracy to commit certain offenses, the court must inform the juvenile that, if he admits to allegations of the petition, or the allegations of the petition are found to be true, he can be required to register as a sex offender, and the court must inform the juvenile regarding applicable required registrations and their duration.
  • Reflects laws as of the end of 2014 legislative sessions.

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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