Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile may waive his or her right to counsel however in instances that could require detention the juvenile must consult with an attorney or parent.

  • 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

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

Timing of counsel, 2013

In South Carolina, 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.

  • 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: South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense (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

South Carolina law for indigent juveniles is governed by both juvenile and adult statutes, which provide a determination of indigency. In South Carolina, under the Defense of Indigents Chapter, by statute, special juvenile law education / training / experience/ program for appointed juvenile counsel. Indigency is judicially determined.

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

Courtroom shackling, 2015

Restricted by legislature

South Carolina statute 6 SC ST § 63-19-1435 (eff. 6/2/14) states if a juvenile appears before the court wearing restraints, the proceeding may not continue unless the court finds that the use of restraints is necessary [(threat of harm to self/other, disruptive courtroom behavior, flight risk with demonstrated evidence] AND no less restrictive alternative will prevent flight or harm. The juvenile’s attorney has the opportunity to be heard before the court orders use of restraints. If ordered, findings of fact in support of the order are required.

Sex offender registration, 2015


Competency, 2015

South Carolina’s Health Code contains a statutory reference to “when a circuit or family court judge has reason to believe that a person on trial before him, charged with the commission of a criminal offense or civil contempt, is not fit to stand trial…as a result of a lack of mental capacity,” the judge must order examination. The statute aligns with the Dusky standard and includes court procedures and detailed criteria for evaluators and elements of the report/s, depending on reason/s for suspecting mental illness, intellectual disability or a related disability, and when dually diagnosed.

  • 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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