Right to counsel

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Legislation, Truancy - Petition Against Child

In Arizona, habitual truancy is treated as an incorrigibility matter, as per Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 15-803(B).  In turn, Ariz. Stat. § 8-221(A) specifies that children have a right to appointed counsel in such proceedings,


The court shall appoint an attorney for a child in all delinquency proceedings that commence with a petition or that may involve detention ... that are conducted pursuant to this title.  The court shall appoint the attorney before the first hearing.  The attorney shall represent the child at all stages of the proceedings...


See Lana A. V. Woodburn, 116 P.3d 1222, 1225-26 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2005) (interpreting Ariz. Stat. 8-221(A), which states that juvenile defendant has right to counsel in proceedings “that may result in detention”, and finding it applies to incorrigibility proceeding).  


Under the former Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-221(E), the court could order the juvenile's parent or guardian to pay all or part of the costs of the attorney's services, if the court found that the parent or guardian had "sufficient financial resources."  However, this provision was removed in 2023 by SB 1197.

Finally, the court must also appoint counsel for a child if they are facing institutionalization and "counsel has not previously been appointed or retained by or for the juvenile." Ariz. Stat. § 8-221(C).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no