Journalist's Guide

violent crime and narcotics, bank robberies, mail and wire fraud, tax fraud, firearms violations, environmental crime, white-collar crime, public corruption, and health care fraud, as well as civil and financial litigation. They also defend the federal government and its agencies in civil actions. The U.S. Attorney is appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Office of the Federal Public Defender The Office of the Federal Public Defender was established in Maryland in 1974 as an agency within the judicial branch. The office is supervised by a Federal Public Defender appointed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In addition to the Federal Public Defender, the office is staffed by many attorneys, an investigative staff, and a support staff. The Federal Public Defender is responsible for providing legal defense services to indigent persons charged with federal criminal offenses. Representation is also provided for indigent defendants charged with committing certain misdemeanors on federal facilities such as Joint Base Andrews, Fort Meade, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Naval Academy. A defendant’s financial eligibility for representation and the appointment of counsel itself are made by the court. Defendants deemed financially eligible for appointed counsel are represented by the Federal Public Defender; other defendants are represented by private attorneys selected from a panel which is appointed by the federal court. The Office of the Federal Public Defender is divided into two branches, serving each of the two federal court divisions in Maryland. Cases in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties are generally tried at the Southern Division Courthouse in Greenbelt. Cases in other counties generally are tried at the Northern Division Courthouse in Baltimore.


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