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Defense structure, 2017

  • Organization


  • Oversight

    Partial oversight

Iowa provides counsel to indigent youth through a statewide Office of the State Public Defender.  Visit the National Juvenile Defender Center's Iowa state profile for more details.

Waiver of counsel, 2014

Counsel must not be waived by a juvenile less than sixteen years of age without the written consent of the juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian. Waiver's for juveniles at least sixteen years of age is valid only if a good faith effort has been made to notify the parent, guardian, or custodian.

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

    Under 16

  • 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

    No restrictions

Timing of counsel, 2013

In Iowa, an attorney for a juvenile can be appointed at the following points in the process: Custodial Questioning / Talk with Intake Officer; Detention Hearing / First Court Appearance / Arraignment; Once a Petition is Filed / Hearing on the Petition; 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

Indigency determination: Judicially

Iowa indigency law is governed by both juvenile and adult statute, which provide for a determination of indigency. 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 there is a conflict of interest between the juvenile and the parent.

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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