Defense structure, 2017

  • Organization


  • Oversight

    Full oversight

Virginia provides counsel to indigent youth through a combination of public defender offices and private attorneys appointed by the court. The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, an independent state agency within the judicial branch, oversees indigent defense in Virginia.  Visit the National Juvenile Defender Center's Virginia state profile for more details.

Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile may waive his or her right to counsel when the parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person standing in loco parentis agree in writing. A juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult, can waive the right only after consultation with an attorney.

  • 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

    No restrictions

  • Placement

    No restrictions

Timing of counsel, 2013

In Virginia, 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

Indigency determination: Legislatively

In Virginia, both juvenile and adult statutes provide the basis for juvenile indigency law and set the standard for determining indigency. In Virginia, indigency law applies if a juvenile is being transferred to criminal court. Under the statutory terms of the procedures developed by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, by statute, special juvenile law education / training / experience/ program for appointed juvenile counsel. Juveniles are legislatively presumed indigent.

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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