after being accused and charged with breaking an entering, an uneducated gideon requests an attorney, as he cannot afford to hire one. the state court in florida denies this request , citing florida law, which only requires appointing counsels in cases where one is charged with a capital offense.
gideon is forced to represent himself, loses badly, appeal reaches supreme court.
holding- one's right to a fair trial is violated if one is not assured adequate legal representation. state courts are required to provide counsel when requested by defendants.