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Defense structure, 2017

  • Organization


  • Oversight

    Partial oversight

Washington provides counsel to indigent youth through a county-based system which includes public defender offices, non-profit corporations, contract attorneys, and private appointed attorneys. Visit the National Juvenile Defender Center's Washington state profile for more details.

Waiver of counsel, 2014

A juvenile who is twelve years of age or older may waive his or her right to counsel only after consulting with an attorney and having the waiver found to be knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily made. A juvenile who is under the age of twelve may have his or her right to counsel waived but the waiver must be made by the juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian.

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

    Under 12

  • Crime

    No restrictions

  • Hearing

    No restrictions

  • Placement

    No restrictions

Timing of counsel, 2013

In Washington, 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 Washington, juvenile indigency law is governed by juvenile statute, juvenile court rule, and Standards for Indigent Defense (Standard 14, Qualifications for Attorneys), which provide for a determination of indigency. In Washington, juvenile indigency laws also apply to juveniles being transferred to criminal court. Under the Standards for Indigent Defense (Standard 14, Qualifications for Attorneys), 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.

Collateral consequences, 2014

The Washington State Juvenile Court Rules proscribe a standard juvenile plea form, which provides written notice of several collateral consequences, including potential immigration consequences, disqualification from public benefits, sex offender registration, revocation of driving privileges, revocation of firearms rights and DNA collection.

There is no requirement under Washington law that a parent be notified of these consequences or otherwise be involved in a child’s plea. The court’s failure to notify a juvenile of the collateral consequences of a plea will not necessarily render the plea involuntary; however, if an attorney misinforms a juvenile about a collateral consequence, it may form the basis for withdrawing a plea.

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

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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