Blog Archives

Defining when this right to counsel must be made available

calendar_900px

Now that we have discussed the types of criminal charges in which the defendant has a constitutional right to the assistance of counsel – namely, any case involving the potential of time in jail – it’s equally important for us

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in The Fundamentals of the Right to Counsel

Understanding Alabama v. Shelton

What Shelton means

LaReed Shelton was accused in 1998 in Etoway County, Alabama, of third degree assault.  Under state statute, he faced a maximum of one year in jail plus a $2,000 fine if he was convicted.  The trial judge warned Mr. Shelton

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in The Fundamentals of the Right to Counsel

Appointing counsel in the post-Scott era

Probation

As we discussed last time, the vast majority of misdemeanors in the late 1970s did not result in jail time, and that is still true today.  So if there’s no jail time, what happens instead?  Does the judge just let

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in The Fundamentals of the Right to Counsel

Drawing the line at Actual Imprisonment

map_usa1979_appointingcounsel

When governments legislate that certain actions are against the law, they will also set a maximum punishment that the courts are allowed to dole out for a violation of each law.  Say, $25 for jaywalking.  Maybe $500 plus 60 days

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in The Fundamentals of the Right to Counsel

Fundamental Fairness Revisited

fl_leoncounty

Jon Argersinger was nineteen in 1970 when he appeared at his arraignment in a Florida court having been charged with carrying a concealed weapon.[1]  He had no lawyer, as he was unable to afford one on his own.  The judge

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in The Fundamentals of the Right to Counsel

The Lower Courts in the Post-Gideon Era

map_usa1967_pdoffices

Every state crafts its own criminal codes, and each state does so differently from the next.  An action that might be classified as a felony offense by the legislature in California, for example, might be a misdemeanor in Nevada.  But

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in The Fundamentals of the Right to Counsel


The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches to any court case (adult or juvenile, civil or criminal) in which an individual faces potential time in jail. But, somewhere, somehow, the requirements of government in meeting this obligation have become increasingly muddled and complicated. The Sixth Amendment Center revisits the history behind the right to counsel to explain what is required of state and local governments under the law, and why.

Browse by Date Published

Browse by Keyword & Jurisdiction