Right to counsel

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Legislation, Truancy - Petition Against Child

Truancy in Indiana is treated as a delinquency matter. See Ind. Code § 31-37-2-3 ("A child commits a delinquent act if, before becoming eighteen (18) years of age, the child violates IC 20-33-2 concerning compulstory school attendance.").  


Children in such matters have a right to appointed counsel.  Ind. Code § 31-32-4-1 ("Perons entitled to representation by counsel") provides that a child charged with a delinquent act is entitled to be represented by counsel "as provided by IC 31-32-2-2."  Ind. Code § 31-32-2-2, titled "Additional rights of child charged with delinquent act", in turn incorporates Ind. Code § 31-32-4, which states at Section 2:


(a) If:

(1) a child alleged to be a delinquent child does not have an attorney who may represent the child without a conflict of interest; and 

(2) the child has not lawfully waived the child's right to counsel under IC 31-32-5 (or IC 31-6-7-3 before its repeal);

the juvenile court shall appoint counsel for the child at the detention hearing or at the initial hearing, which over occurs first, or at any earlier time. 

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no