Maryland Office of the Public Defender

Maryland Office of the Public Defender

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The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) has at least one district office in each county and Baltimore City. The District Trial Divisions provide felony, misdemeanor, traffic, and juvenile delinquency defense. Its mission is to advocate for securing justice, protecting civil rights, and preserving liberty. They have been the voice of the voiceless across Maryland since 1972. Their work spans criminal, juvenile, parental defense, and involuntary commitment proceedings. OPD also has four divisions that provide direct client representation in different proceedings. The Appellate Division, the Post Conviction Defenders Division, the Parental Defense Division, and the Mental Health Division. The Appellate Division represents OPD clients in direct appeals from the circuit courts to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland in criminal cases, juvenile delinquency cases, and child access (CINA/TPR) cases, the Post Conviction Defenders Division is dedicated to ensuring fairness in criminal convictions and protecting the integrity of our criminal justice system. The Parental Defense Division’s staff attorneys or panel attorneys represent the parents/legal guardians and provide representation in court proceedings regarding abuse or neglect of a child by a parent or legal guardian. The Mental Health Division provides representation to those who are involuntarily committed to mental health hospitals across the state and to those found not criminally responsible (NCR) and incompetent to stand trial (IST). Additionally, OPD has five specialized divisions that directly support the public defenders with their cases and clients, these divisions are; Forensics, Forensic Mental Health, Immigration, Innocence Project, Juvenile Protection and Social Work. If the court has assigned a public defender to your case in the Maryland counties, please contact the office head in the respective county for assistance. You can find the information by going to their website.
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