In 2013, the Court of Appeals ruled that arrested people have a constitutional right to have an attorney present at their initial court appearance. The General Assembly allocated $10 million from the Maryland Judiciary’s budget to create the Maryland Appointed Attorneys Program, which was created by the Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.
Since the program began in July 2014, attorneys appointed under the program have represented people in 221,655 initial appearances. However, two-thirds of arrested people waive their right to an attorney.
Right now, 2,122 attorneys participate in the program, and about 500 receive shifts each month, according to the judiciary.
This week’s poll question asks whether you plan to get involved with the program.
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