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MICHAEL DUANE GILBERT v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Waiver of counsel — Knowing and voluntary

It is undisputed that appellant, Michael Duane Gilbert, was not represented by an attorney when he was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Howard County of numerous charges related to fleeing an accident and resisting arrest. There is a dispute, however, as to why appellant was not represented by counsel. Appellant asserts that it was because of a deficient express waiver of counsel under Maryland Rule 4-215(b). The State, on the other hand, contends it was because of a properly found waiver of counsel by inaction pursuant to Rule 4-215(d).

Thus, appellant presented the following questions for our review:

1. Did the court accept appellant’s express waiver of counsel under Rule 4-215(b) without determining an announcing on the record that the waiver was knowingly and voluntary?

2. Did the court fail to exercise, or in the alternative, abuse its discretion to postpone trial under Rule 4-215(b)?

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