Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile can waive the right to counsel in open court as long as the court finds it to have been voluntarily and understandingly made. However, if the juvenile's parent or guardian ad litem objects or the court determines that it is not in the best interest of the juvenile or the public, the waiver will not be accepted.

  • 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 Michigan, an attorney for a juvenile can be appointed at the following points in the process: Detention Hearing / First Court Appearance / Arraignment; 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

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

In Michigan, adult statutes, juvenile statutes, and juvenile court rules provide the legal authority for indigency, determination of indigency, and several useful definitions. Indigency laws apply to juveniles being transferred to criminal court. By statute, special juvenile law education / training / experience/ program for appointed juvenile counsel. Indigency is judicially determined. Court can / must appoint attorney for juvenile if non-indigent parent refuses to pay for juvenile's attorney. Court can / must appoint attorney for juvenile if parent cannot be located / parent refuses to go to juvenile.

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

Courtroom shackling, 2015

No statewide restriction

Sex offender registration, 2015


Competency, 2015

Michigan’s Juvenile Code (of statutes) has sections related to juvenile competency for delinquency proceedings, which align with the Dusky standard. Provisions include procedures for hearings, examinations, treatments, timelines, and application to certain offenses. Qualified Juvenile Forensic Mental Health Examiners must base the evaluation on the “juvenile adjudicative competence interview (JACI)” or another interview method approved by the court The number of hearings and juveniles found incompetent to proceed is reported to the state court administrator. A juvenile less than 10 years of age is presumed incompetent to proceed.

  • 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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