-D was sentenced to a jail term of 30 days, which the trial court immediately suspended, placing D on probation for two years.
-Court followed Scott v. Illinois (1979) in that counsel need not be appointed when the D is fined for the charged crime, but is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
Rule: Actual imprisonment: a penalty different in kind from fines or the mere threat of imprisonment, and is the line defining the constitutional right to appointment of counsel in nonfelony cases.
Holding: Yes. A suspended sentence that may “end up in the actual deprivation of a person’s liberty” may not be imposed unless the D was accorded “the guiding hand of counsel” in the prosecution for the crime charged.
Reasoning: Argersinger applies to Ds who receive suspended sentences rather than actual incarceration. A suspended sentence is a prison term imposed for the offense of conviction. Once the prison term is triggered, the D is incarcerated not for the probation violation, but for the underlying offense.
-The uncounseled conviction at that point results in imprisonment – the actual deprivation of a person’s liberty. Deprived of counsel when tried, convicted, and sentenced, and unable to challenge the original judgment at a subsequent probation revocation hearing, a defendant in Shelton’s circumstances faces incarceration on a conviction that has never been subjected to “the crucible of meaningful adversarial testing.”