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RULE 4-221. PRELIMINARY HEARING IN DISTRICT COURT

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 4. Criminal Causes
Chapter 200. Pretrial Procedures (Refs & Annos)
MD Rules, Rule 4-221
RULE 4-221. PRELIMINARY HEARING IN DISTRICT COURT
(a) Request and Waiver. A defendant charged with a felony that is not within the jurisdiction of the District Court may request a preliminary hearing at or within ten days after an initial appearance pursuant to Rule 4-213(a). The preliminary hearing shall be held in the District Court. Failure to make a timely request is a waiver of a preliminary hearing, unless the court orders otherwise. Within three days after a defendant waives a preliminary hearing expressly or by not making a timely request, the clerk shall forward to the State's Attorney a written notice of the waiver or a copy of the docket entries showing the waiver. Within ten days after a defendant waives a preliminary hearing, the State may request a preliminary hearing.
(b) Scheduling. The commissioner or the clerk shall schedule a preliminary hearing date within 30 days after a timely request for a hearing and shall notify all parties of the date. For good cause shown, the court may reschedule the hearing.
(c) When Not Available. A preliminary hearing may not be held if before the hearing:
(1) An indictment is filed in circuit court;
(2) The State's Attorney amends the pending charging document or files a new charging document charging an offense within the jurisdiction of the District Court; or
(3) The State's Attorney enters a nolle prosequi or the charge is marked stet on the docket as provided by Rules 4-247 and 4-248.
(d) Conduct of Preliminary Hearing. Before proceeding with a preliminary hearing, the District Court shall make certain that the defendant has received a copy of the charging document and shall read or state to the defendant the substance of each offense. Title 5 of these rules does not apply to preliminary hearings. The court shall receive relevant evidence presented by the State, and evidence may not be excluded on the ground that it was acquired by unlawful means. The defendant is entitled to cross-examine witnesses but not to present evidence.
(e) Determination by Court. If the District Court finds after the preliminary hearing that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed an offense, the conditions of pretrial release previously established shall continue unless changed by the court. Promptly after the finding of probable cause by the court, the clerk shall forward to the State's Attorney a written notice of the finding or a copy of the docket entries showing the finding. If the District Court does not find that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed an offense, it shall dismiss the charging document and release the defendant. A dismissal pursuant to this section is without prejudice.
(f) Action Required by State's Attorney. Within 30 days after a finding by the court of probable cause or within 30 days after the defendant waives a preliminary hearing, the State's Attorney shall:
(1) File a charging document in circuit court;
(2) Amend the pending charging document or file a new charging document charging the defendant with an offense within the jurisdiction of the District Court; or
(3) Enter a nolle prosequi or have the charge marked stet on the docket as provided in Rules 4-247 and 4-248.
After hearing on the record in the presence of the defendant and for good cause shown, the court may extend the time within which the State's Attorney shall take such action.
(g) Dismissal for Lack of Prosecution. If the State's Attorney fails to comply with section (f) of this Rule, the court shall enter an order of dismissal for lack of prosecution. A dismissal pursuant to this section is without prejudice.
(h) State's Attorney's Notification--Transfer of Papers. Upon the filing of a charging document in the circuit court pursuant to section (c) or (f) of this Rule, the State's Attorney shall promptly give notice of the filing to the clerk of the District Court, the defendant, and all witnesses subpoenaed for a preliminary hearing. When so notified, the clerk shall immediately forward all papers to the clerk of the circuit court in which the charging document is filed.
Cross reference: Code, Criminal Procedure Article, ยง 4-103.
Source: This Rule is derived from former M.D.R. 727.

Credits

[Adopted April 6, 1984, eff. July 1, 1984. Amended Dec. 15, 1993, eff. July 1, 1994; Jan. 8, 2002, eff. Feb. 1, 2002.]
MD Rules, Rule 4-221, MD R CR Rule 4-221
Current with amendments received through January 1, 2022. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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