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Court to reconsider bail hearing requirement

Thursday - 1/23/2014, 5:40pm  ET

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Maryland's highest court will review its decision to require a lawyer at every defendant's initial bail hearing.

The Court of Appeals announced on Thursday that it will hear oral arguments for the case on March 7.

The court ruled 4-3 last year that having an attorney at the initial bail hearing is a constitutional right. The state later asked it to review this decision. That's because staffing every bail hearing with a defense lawyer would cost $28 million to $30 million a year.

The attorneys must file any new written arguments by early March, before the oral hearing.

Regardless of what the court decides later this year, reforms to Maryland's bail process are looming over the legislative session.

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