☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 545

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1939    bottom

  545.820.  Court shall assign prisoner counsel, when. — If any person about to be arraigned upon an indictment for a felony be without counsel to conduct his defense, and be unable to employ any, it shall be the duty of the court to assign him counsel, at his request, not exceeding two, who shall have free access to the prisoner at all reasonable hours.


(RSMo 1939 § 4003)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3614; 1919 § 3957; 1909 § 5164

(1956) Defendant is not entitled to more than one court appointed attorney and trial court has discretion as to whether more than one shall be appointed. State v. Lord (Mo.), 286 S.W.2d 737.

(1957) Eighteen-year-old defendant who was stranger in county who entered plea of guilty to charge of robbery in first degree by means of dangerous and deadly weapon, a capital offense, held denied due process of law where court did not appoint counsel to conduct his defense even though he did not request counsel. Edwards v. Nash (A.), 303 S.W.2d 211.

(1958) Defendant held to have waived right to be represented by counsel and to have been capable of doing so. State v. Glenn (Mo.), 317 S.W.2d 403; Cert. den. 358 U.S. 942, 79 S.Ct. 348.

(1961) Where individual, convicted and given life sentence in the penitentiary, filed a motion under supreme court rule 27.26 alleging that he had no counsel when he pleaded to the offense and the circuit court made no inquiry as to whether he had counsel or could obtain counsel and also that he was uneducated and without experience or knowledge of the law, it was error for the court to dismiss the motion without a hearing on the ground that a prior proceeding had been instituted in the court. State v. Moreland (Mo.), 351 S.W.2d 33.

(1963) Since there was no showing that defendant by reason of age, ignorance or mental incapacity was unable to make an intelligent decision as to need for counsel he had effectively waived his right to be represented by counsel when he declined to employ an attorney or have one appointed to defend him. State v. Rickard (Mo.), 364 S.W.2d 561.

(1966) Procedure prior to 1964 whereby trial court was authorized in its discretion to appoint counsel to represent defendant on appeal or to leave defendant to prosecute appeal on his own failed to afford indigent defendant equal protection of the law. Bosler v. Swenson, 363 F.2d 154. Affirmed 87 S.Ct. 996.

(1966) Arraignment is a critical stage in a criminal proceeding requiring the appointment of counsel not only in homicide cases but upon arraignment for any felony. State v. Scott (Mo.), 404 S.W.2d 699.

(1966) Appointment of counsel is required at arraignment at request of person charged with felony. State v. Scott (Mo.), 404 S.W.2d 699.

(1967) Court's compelling defendant of limited education to go on trial for felony without counsel immediately upon the withdrawal without notice of his employed counsel resulted in a denial of due process of law. State v. Martin (Mo.), 411 S.W.2d 215.

(1967) The decision of United States Supreme Court in Douglas v. California that an indigent defendant is entitled to appointed counsel on state appeal applied retrospectively to the case of an indigent prisoner whose conviction was affirmed when he was not represented by counsel. Swenson v. Donnell (A.), 382 F.2d 248.

(1968) Failure to furnish counsel to accused during interrogation before confession at a time before decision in Escobedo case was not so prejudicial as to infect the subsequent trial with an absence of fundamental fairness. Howard v. Swenson (A.), 404 F.2d 469.

(1971) After September 1, 1972, attorneys no longer required to furnish legal service gratuitously to indigent accused. State v. Green (Mo.), 470 S.W.2d 571.

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1939 ----

use this link to bookmark section  545.820

Effective dates prior to 1940 may not be the actual effective date. See FAQ 'When do laws become effective?'

Click here for the Reorganization Act of 1974 - or - Concurrent Resolutions Having Force & Effect of Law
In accordance with Section 3.090, the language of statutory sections enacted during a legislative session are updated and available on this website on the effective date of such enacted statutory section. Revisor Home    

Other Information
 Recent Sections Editorials May Be Cited As Tables & Forms Multiple Enact
Repeal & Transfer Definitions End Report

Site changes Pictures Contact

Other Links
Legislative Research Oversight MOLIS
Library MO WebMasters
Missouri Senate
State of Missouri
Missouri House