Bill Introduced to Overturn Lawyers at Bail Hearing Decision

As predicted, legislation has been introduced to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals from earlier this month that requires public defenders to be provided at bail hearings.

On January 19, 2011, Senator Richard Colburn introduced Senate Bill 165 that would remove the statutory requirement that public defenders appear at bail hearings before district court judges and district court commissioners.

No hearing date has been scheduled on the bill and, until the General Assembly acts, the Office of the Public Defender will continue to provide representation at bail hearings. According to their office, Maryland has about 170,000 bail hearings each year.