Md. High Court Upholds Ruling: Poor Defendants Entitled To Lawyer At Bail Hearing

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Court of Appeals

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s highest court says it won’t stay its ruling that poor defendants are entitled to have an attorney present at bail hearings.

The high court ruled in September that defendants are entitled to state-furnished counsel at initial hearings before a district court commissioner because the defendant’s liberty is at stake.

The Daily Record reports that on Wednesday, the Maryland Court of Appeals rejected the state’s request to halt the ruling.

Maryland’s Attorney General had asked that the ruling be put on hold because the General Assembly needs time to raise the additional $28 million that the public defender’s office says it will need annually to have attorneys on call for the hearings.

The attorney general’s office says it is reviewing the ruling to determine what action it may take.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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