Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Argersinger v. Hamlin case brief

Argersinger v. Hamlin case brief summary
407 U.S. 25 (1972)

Petitioner sought certiorari review of the Florida Supreme Court's denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, in which petitioner sought relief from his conviction of carrying a concealed weapon and 90-day jail sentence, alleging that he was improperly denied his right to counsel.

Petitioner was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, which was punishable by imprisonment up to six months. During his trial, petitioner was unrepresented by counsel, and he was convicted and sentenced to 90 days in jail. Petitioner sought a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that as an indigent he had been improperly deprived of his right to counsel. After the state supreme court denied the writ, holding that the right to court-appointed counsel extended only to trials for non-petty offensives punishable by more than six months imprisonment, petitioner sought certiorari review.

  • Upon review, the Court reversed. 
  • The Court held that the right to counsel extended to any offense, whether classified as petty, misdemeanor, or felony, for which imprisonment would be imposed. 
  • Therefore, because petitioner was imprisoned after his conviction, he was entitled to court-appointed counsel during his trial. Because he was not afforded counsel, the denial of his writ of habeas corpus was reversed.
The judgment was reversed because petitioner was improperly denied his right to court-appointed counsel when the conviction for the concealed weapon offense subjected him to imprisonment.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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