Argersinger v. Hamlin - 407 U.S. 25 (1972)
U.S. Supreme Court
Argersinger v. Hamlin, 407 U.S. 25 (1972)
Argersinger v. Hamlin
Argued December 6, 1971
Reargued February 28, 1972
Decided June 12, 1972
407 U.S. 25
The right of an indigent defendant in a criminal trial to the assistance of counsel, which is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment as made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth, Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U. S. 335, is not governed by the classification of the offense or by whether or not a jury trial is required. No accused may be deprived of his liberty as the result of any criminal prosecution, whether felony or misdemeanor, in which he was denied the assistance of counsel. In this case, the Supreme Court of Florida erred in holding that petitioner, an indigent who was tried for an offense punishable by imprisonment up to six months, a $1,000 fine, or both, and given a 90-day jail sentence, had no right to court-appointed counsel, on the ground that the right extends only to trials "for non-petty offenses punishable by more than six months imprisonment." Pp. 407 U. S. 27-40.
236 So.2d 442, reversed.
DOUGLAS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, STEWART, WHITE, MARSHALL, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. BRENNAN, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which DOUGLAS and STEWART, JJ., joined, post, p. 407 U. S. 40. BURGER, C.J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, post, p. 407 U. S. 41. POWELL, J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, in which REHNQUIST, J., joined, post, p. 407 U. S. 44.