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Statutes Text

Article - Criminal Procedure




§16–203.

    (a)    (1)    The head of the Office is the Public Defender.

        (2)    The Public Defender shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees.

        (3)    By a vote of at least seven members, the Board of Trustees may remove the Public Defender for:

            (i)    misconduct in office;

            (ii)    persistent failure to perform the duties of the Office; or

            (iii)    conduct prejudicial to the proper administration of justice.

        (4)    To qualify for appointment as Public Defender, an individual shall be an attorney admitted to practice law in the State by the Court of Appeals of Maryland who has engaged in the practice of law for at least 5 years before appointment.

        (5)    The Public Defender shall receive the same salary as a judge of a circuit court.

        (6)    The Public Defender may not engage in the private practice of law.

        (7)    The Public Defender serves for a term of 6 years.

    (b)    (1)    With the approval of the Board of Trustees, the Public Defender shall appoint:

            (i)    a deputy public defender; and

            (ii)    one district public defender for each district of the District Court.

        (2)    The deputy public defender and each district public defender shall have the same qualifications as the Public Defender.

        (3)    A district public defender shall:

            (i)    assist the Public Defender to perform the duties of the Office; and

            (ii)    subject to the supervision of the Public Defender, be in charge of the public defender offices in the district for which the district public defender is appointed.

    (c)    (1)    With the advice of the district public defenders, the Public Defender may appoint assistant public defenders in accordance with the State budget.

        (2)    To qualify for appointment as an assistant public defender, an individual shall be an attorney and admitted to practice law in the State by the Court of Appeals of Maryland.

    (d)    The deputy public defender, district public defenders, and assistant public defenders:

        (1)    shall serve at the pleasure of the Public Defender; and

        (2)    may not engage in the private practice of criminal law.

    (e)    The Public Defender shall appoint investigators, stenographic assistants, clerical assistants, and other personnel as may be required to assist the Public Defender and the district public defenders to perform the duties of the Office in accordance with the State budget.

    (f)    (1)    Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Public Defender shall establish and maintain suitable offices in the State.

        (2)    At least one Public Defender’s office shall be in each district.

    (g)    The number of positions, compensation, and expenses for the Office shall be in accordance with the State budget.



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