Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile may waive his or her right to counsel as long as it is made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily and is made in open court, recorded, and in writing. The court must make sure that the juvenile has consulted with a parent, guardian, or in case of a felony offense, an attorney prior to waiving counsel. A juvenile cannot waive his or her right to counsel at a hearing conducted to relinquish juvenile jurisdiction, when a serious youthful offender dispositional sentence has been requested or when there is conflict between the juvenile and parent or guardian.

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

    Under 0

  • 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 Ohio, 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) with varying state oversight

Organizer: Office of the Ohio Public Defender (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 Ohio, juvenile indigency law is governed by juvenile statutes, juvenile court rules, adult statutes, which provide a determination for indigency. By statute, special juvenile law education / training / experience/ program for appointed juvenile counsel. The Public Defender makes the determination of indigency. Court can / must appoint attorney for juvenile if there is a conflict of interest between the juvenile and the parent.

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

Courtroom shackling, 2015

No statewide restriction

On 7/1/16, a Rule of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio (Sup.R. 5.01) became effective, requiring local rule development on Juvenile restraints.  Local rules must create a presumption that physical restraints are not to be utilized on children appearing in proceedings before the court or division unless found necessary by the judge or magistrate.  When used, restraints must be the least restrictive necessary and applied in a manner that does not unnecessarily restrict the movement of the child’s hands.

Collateral consequences, 2014

Under Juvenile Court Rule, at the beginning of the Adjudicatory Hearing, the court must inform the parties of the substance of the complaint, the purpose of the hearing, and possible consequences of the hearing, including the possibility that the cause may be transferred to the appropriate adult court where the complaint alleges that a juvenile fourteen years of age or over is delinquent by conduct that would constitute a felony if committed by an adult.

  • Reflects laws as of the end of 2014 legislative sessions.

Sex offender registration, 2015


Competency, 2015

Ohio’s Juvenile Code has juvenile-specific provisions for competency determinations and related matters when youth are alleged delinquent. The basis for juvenile incompetency can be due to mental illness, intellectual disability, developmental disability, or otherwise lacking in mental capacity. Statutory procedures align with the Dusky standard and proscribe requirements in 9 different sections for court procedures, evaluations and dispositions.

  • 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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