United States VS Nachtigal
Respondent was charged with operating a motor vehicle in a national park while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), a federal misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of six month's imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. As an alternative to imprisonment, a court may impose a probation term not to exceed five years. Relying on this Court's decision in Blanton v. North Las Vegas, 489 U.S. 538 , a Magistrate Judge denied respondent's motion for a jury trial, concluding that DUI's maximum imprisonment term made it presumptively a "petty" offense which is not embraced by the Sixth Amendment's jury trial guarantee, and that the additional penalties did not transform it into a "serious" offense for Sixth Amendment purposes. Respondent was tried, convicted, and sentenced to a fine and one year's probation. The District Court reversed, holding that respondent was entitled to a jury trial under relevant Ninth Circuit precedent. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Blanton was inapposite to respondent's case.