Noncriminal and Investigatory Proceedings.

Commit-ment proceedings that lead to the imposition of essentially criminal punishment are subject to the Due Process Clause and require the assistance of counsel.436 A state administrative investigation by a fire marshal inquiring into the causes of a fire was held not to be a criminal proceeding and hence, despite the fact that the petitioners had been committed to jail for noncooperation, not the type of hearing at which counsel was requisite.437 Another decision refused to extend the right to counsel to investigative proceedings antedating a criminal prosecution, and sustained the contempt conviction of private detectives who refused to testify before a judge authorized to conduct a non-prosecutorial, fact-finding inquiry akin to a grand jury proceeding, and who based their refusal on the ground that their counsel were required to remain outside the hearing room.438

Footnotes

436
Specht v. Patterson, 386 U.S. 605 (1967). back
437
In re Groban, 352 U.S. 330 (1957). Four Justices dissented. back
438
Anonymous v. Baker, 360 U.S. 287 (1959). Four Justices dissented. back