Argersinger v. Hamlin

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Argersinger v. Hamlin
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued December 6, 1971
Reargued February 28, 1972
Decided June 12, 1972
Full case name Argersinger v. Hamlin
Docket nos. 70-5015
Citations 407 U.S. 25 (more)
92 S. Ct. 2006; 32 L. Ed. 2d 530; 1972 U.S. LEXIS 139
Procedural history Certiorari to the Florida Supreme Court, 236 So. 2d 442.
Argument Oral argument
A criminal defendant may not be actually imprisoned unless provided with counsel
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Douglas, joined by Brennan, Stewart, White, Marshall, Blackmun
Concurrence Brennan, joined by Douglas, Stewart
Concurrence Burger
Concurrence Powell, joined by Rehnquist
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. VI

Argersinger v. Hamlin, 407 U.S. 25 (1972), is a United States Supreme Court decision holding that the accused cannot be subjected to actual imprisonment unless provided with counsel. Gideon v. Wainwright made the right to counsel provided in the Sixth Amendment applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.


Jon Richard Argersinger was sentenced under Florida law to 90 days in jail for carrying a concealed weapon, but was never represented by counsel. Hamlin was the local sheriff. Argersinger claimed his conviction was unconstitutional, but his case was dismissed by the Florida Supreme Court, who relied on Duncan v. Louisiana, which held that jury trials were not required for crimes with a sentence of less than six months. The Florida court claimed that since jury trials were not required for misdemeanors, then neither was counsel.

Supreme Court decision[edit]

The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed with the Florida courts, and overturned the conviction. The Court held that a criminal defendant may not be actually imprisoned unless provided with counsel.


External links[edit]