Local News
8:43 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Bail Hearings Require Defense Attorney in Maryland

Credit freeclipart.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A requirement for an attorney to be present at initial bail review hearings before a district court commissioner is taking effect.

The requirement ordered by the state's highest court begins Tuesday.

The Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 last year that having an attorney at an initial bail hearing is a constitutional right. Lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on how to overhaul the state's bail system in the last legislative session to address the ruling. Instead, lawmakers put $10 million in the budget to pay for attorneys.

Gov. Martin O'Malley has created a commission to examine best practices around the country and to evaluate the use of a risk-assessment system to help determine who should be detained and who should be released before trial.