(a) Duty of the Court. The court shall advise the child of the child’s right to counsel. The court shall appoint counsel as provided by law unless waived by the child at each stage of the proceeding. Waiver of counsel can occur only after the child has had a meaningful opportunity to confer with counsel regarding the child’s right to counsel, the consequences of waiving counsel, and any other factors that would assist the child in making the decision to waive counsel. This waiver shall be in writing.
(b) Waiver of Counsel.
(1) The failure of a child to request appointment of counsel at a particular stage in the proceedings or the child’s announced intention to plead guilty shall not, in itself, constitute a waiver of counsel at any subsequent stage of the proceedings.
(2) A child shall not be deemed to have waived the assistance of counsel until the entire process of offering counsel has been completed and a thorough inquiry into the child’s comprehension of that offer and the capacity to make that choice intelligently and understandingly has been made.
(3) If the child is entering a plea to or being tried on an allegation of committing a delinquent act, the written waiver shall also be submitted to the court in the presence of a parent, legal custodian, responsible adult relative, or attorney assigned by the court to assist the child. The assigned attorney shall verify on the written waiver and on the record that the child’s decision to waive counsel has been discussed with the child and appears to be knowing and voluntary.
(4) No waiver shall be accepted if it appears that the party is unable to make an intelligent and understanding choice because of mental condition, age, education, experience, the nature or complexity of the case, or other factors.
(5) If a waiver is accepted at any stage of the proceedings, the offer of assistance of counsel shall be renewed by the court at each subsequent stage of the proceedings at which the party appears without counsel.