Blanton v. City of North Las Vegas

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Blanton v. North Las Vegas
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued January 9, 1989
Decided March 6, 1989
Full case name Blanton et al. v. City of North Las Vegas, Nevada
Citations 489 U.S. 538 (more)
Prior history Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Nevada.
Subsequent history 103 Nev. 623, 748 P.2d 494, affirmed.
The right to a jury trial is not found in crimes where the maximum period of incarceration is under six months.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Marshall, joined by unanimous
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. VI

Blanton v. North Las Vegas, 489 U.S. 538 (1989), is a United States Supreme Court case clarifying the limitations of the right to trial by jury.


Melvin R. Blanton was charged with Driving under the influence of alcohol. His petition for a jury trial was denied and he was instead given a bench trial. Blanton appealed, arguing that his sixth amendment right to trial by jury had been violated.

Opinion of the Court[edit]

The Court ruled that Blanton did not have the right to a jury trial because the crime he was charged with was "petty". The Court went on to elaborate: "offenses for which the maximum period of incarceration is six months, or less, are presumptively petty...a defendant can overcome this, and become entitled to a jury trial, showing that additional penalties [such as monetary fines] severe [as to indicate] that the legislature clearly determined that the offense is a serious one."[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Blanton v. City of No. Las Vegas - 489 U.S. 538 (1989)". Justia. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 

External links[edit]