Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile may waive his or her right to counsel as long as the court is satisfied that in light of the totality of the the circumstances that such a waiver was made knowingly and voluntarily.

  • 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 Rhode Island, an attorney for a juvenile can be appointed at the following points in the process: Detention Hearing / First Court Appearance / Arraignment; Once a Petition is Filed / Hearing on the Petition; Loss of Freedom / Institutionalization / Commitment / Imprisonment.

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

Indigency requirements, 2013

Organized at the state level

Organizer: Rhode Island Office of the 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 Rhode Island, juvenile indigency law is governed by juvenile statutes, juvenile court rules, and adult statutes, which provide a determination of indigency and some well-thought-out definitions. Indigency is judicially determined. 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

Collateral consequences, 2014

By Juvenile Court Rule of procedure, when a juvenile appears before the court for arraignment in accordance with the summons, the court must explain the right to counsel and determine whether the parties are represented and must appoint counsel for the juvenile where necessary. The court must inform the juvenile of (or satisfy itself on the record that the juvenile has been informed by counsel) of consequences, including the maximum sentence that could be imposed and the jeopardy of trial as an adult for all crimes if a juvenile has been twice adjudicated as delinquent by reason of felonies.

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

Sex offender registration, 2015


Competency, 2015

Rhode Island does not specifically address juvenile competency in statute and there is no reference to apply other (adult) code/s or standards to juveniles. A statutory section regarding family court, entitled “Complaints Pertaining to Feeble-Minded Persons,” refers to another statutory title (behavioral health and developmental disabilities), which may offer protections for incompetent juveniles, but no elements specific to juvenile competency are mentioned.

  • 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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