This is a development website for JJGPS. Visit the live site »

Defense structure, 2017

  • Organization


  • Oversight

    Partial oversight

Michigan provides counsel to indigent youth through a county-based system which includes public defenders, contracts with private attorneys and assigned counsel. Visit the National Juvenile Defender Center's Michigan state profile for more details.

Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile can waive the right to counsel in open court as long as the court finds it to have been voluntarily and understandingly made. However, if the juvenile's parent or guardian ad litem objects or the court determines that it is not in the best interest of the juvenile or the public, the waiver will not be accepted.

  • 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

    No restrictions

Timing of counsel, 2013

In Michigan, 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

Indigency determination: Judicially

In Michigan, adult statutes, juvenile statutes, and juvenile court rules provide the legal authority for indigency, determination of indigency, and several useful definitions. Indigency laws apply to juveniles being transferred to criminal court. By statute, special juvenile law education / training / experience/ program for appointed juvenile counsel. 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 parent cannot be located / parent refuses to go to juvenile.

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.

Continue reading »


Tell us what you think of JJGPS. Questions, feedback, or other comments are welcomed.

Questions or feedback »

Follow on Twitter »