Right to counsel

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Litigation, Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

In Commonwealth v. Gomes, 552 N.E.2d 101 (Mass. 1990), a defendant was jailed without a hearing after failing to pay a court fine.  After holding that he was entitled to a hearing, the high court relied on Argersinger v. Hamlin, 407 U.S. 25, 37 (1972) (right to counsel for misdemeanor felonies) for the proposition that [A]bsent a knowing and intelligent waiver, no person may be imprisoned for any offense, whether classified as petty, misdemeanor, or felony, unless he was represented by counsel at his trial."

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes