Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Truancy - Petition Against Child

In California, habitual truancy is treated as a status offense, as per Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 601.  And minors have a right to appointed counsel in status offense proceedings regardless of indigence, as per Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 634.


Additionally, Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 16001.9, which is applicable to "[a]ll children placed in foster care, either voluntarily or after being adjudged a ward or dependent of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300601, or 602," provides an enumerated list of rights, including the right:


(33) To be represented by an attorney in juvenile court; to have an attorney appointed to advise the court of the child's wishes, to advocate for the child's protection, safety, and well-being, and to investigate and report to the court on legal interests beyond the scope of the juvenile proceeding; to speak to the attorney confidentially; and to request a hearing if the child feels their appointed counsel is not acting in their best interest or adequately representing their legal interests.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no