In re M.W.

At issue in this appeal was whether a juvenile has a statutory right to counsel during a police interrogation conducted before a complaint is filed or an appearance is made in juvenile court. The juvenile in this case was adjudicated delinquent of aggravated robbery with a three-year firearm specification. The juvenile appealed, arguing that the police sergeant violated Ohio Rev. Code 2151.352 in obtaining a written statement before giving the juvenile an opportunity to obtain counsel. The appellate court rejected the juvenile's claim, concluding that a juvenile proceeding does not commence until the filing of a complaint, and because no complaint had been filed against the juvenile at the time he was interrogated and gave the written statement, section 2151.352 did not apply. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) pursuant to section 2151.352, a child is statutorily entitled to representation by legal counsel upon the filing of a complaint in juvenile court or upon initial appearance in the juvenile court; and (2) thus, the right of a juvenile to counsel pursuant to section 2151.352 attaches when the jurisdiction of a juvenile court is properly invoked. View "In re M.W." on Justia Law