All data is current as of 2013, unless otherwise noted.
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How the right to counsel is administered and structured

State commission: yes
Branch of government: executive

The Board of Trustees a 13-person commission in the executive branch. The Governor appoints 11 members with the consent of the Senate – one from each of the state’s 11 judicial districts. The Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Delegates each appoint one member.

The board oversees the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), which is responsible for providing right to counsel services in all courts across the state of Maryland. OPD’s central administrative headquarters are in downtown Baltimore.


How the right to counsel is funded

Percentage of state funding: 100%
Percentage of local funding: 0%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%

The methods used to provide public counsel

The Office of the Public Defender provides trial-level client services primarily by full-time public defenders located in 12 district public defender offices (many cover multiple counties). In cases of conflict, each district defender maintains a roster of local private attorneys handling individual case assignments on an hourly basis.

The Office of the Public Defender also maintains statewide divisions handling appeals, collateral review, aggravated homicide cases, and a juvenile protection division to monitor conditions of confinement for all children committed to the state’s Department of Juvenile Services.


Legal authority

Maryland Constitution, Declaration of Rights, art. 21

Maryland Criminal Procedure Code, §§ 16–101 through 16–403

Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff.