• Office of the State’s Attorney for Howard County, MD
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Administration/Howard County State’s Attorney’s Main Office

Carroll BuildingCarroll Building – Second Floor
3450 Court House Drive, 2nd Floor
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Phone: 410-313-2108
Fax: 410-313-3294

 

Bad Check Restitution Program

The State's Attorney's Office provides a bad check program to obtain full restitution for the victim merchants much sooner than often occurs after formal court proceedings. Additionally, merchants can receive restitution without adding these cases to the already busy court dockets and without the merchants ever having to spend any time attend court.  The Bad Check Restitution Program operates in conjunction with American Corrective Counseling Services which works between the private and public sectors. First time offenders are given the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by attending a mandatory, eight-hour class, in addition to paying restitution. All of this is accomplished without any cost to the taxpayers. Checks ineligible for the State's Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program may be pursued via small claims court process, criminal court proceedings, or by a private collection agency.

Bad Check Restitution Program
1-800-831-6577
 www.checkprogram.com/howardcountymd

Board of Education Liaison

The State’s Attorney’s Office is committed to working with Pupil Personnel Workers (PPW) from the Howard County Board of Education in truancy cases. Our office criminally charges and prosecutes those parents and guardians responsible for unlawfully failing to send their children to school. Prior to taking the serious step of instituting criminal charges, the State’s Attorney’s Office works with the PPWs by reviewing truancy cases and by warning parents and guardians that if they do not correct the truancy issue, they may face criminal prosecution.

Citizen Charging/Screening Program

Our office reviews these cases as quickly as possible through our Citizen Screening Program in the District Court Division.  This Screening Program is a valuable opportunity to: (1) gather more information from the victim about the incident so we can properly prosecute the case; (2) explain the criminal process to the victim; and (3) to evaluate the case and determine whether the case should proceed for trial, be diverted outside formal prosecution, or dismissed.

Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center and Prison Liaison

The State’s Attorney’s Office works with representatives of the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, the Howard County Detention Center, and the State Division of Correction to screen and prosecute criminal cases occurring in those institutions. Occasionally, crimes occur within these facilities, including assaults of patients, inmates, or employees of the facility. The liaison works with the security departments of these facilities to obtain all of the relevant evidence and makes appropriate charging and prosecution decisions.

Drug/DUI Court

The Howard County Drug/DUI Court fosters partnerships between prosecutors, defense attorneys, case managers, law enforcement and alcohol/drug treatment professionals. Offenders must voluntarily enter the program and they are subject to strict compliance with rigorous treatment protocols that are verified by frequent testing, close community supervision and interaction with the judge during regular in-court review hearings. Members of the Drug/DUI Court are dedicated to changing the behavior of offenders addicted to alcohol or drugs who are arrested for DUI and drug-related offenses. The goal of this program is to protect public safety by attacking the root cause of the offenders’ criminal case which is alcohol and/or drug abuse. The Drug/DUI Court team work to systematically change participant behavior early in the legal process through mandatory rehabilitative services. The end goal for offenders is a lifetime of substance-free living, enhancing the quality of life for both the offender and the Howard County community.


District Court Division

The District Court Division of the State’s Attorney’s Office prosecutes the vast majority of criminal cases initiated in Howard County. Currently, the District Court Division handles over ­­­­17,000 criminal charging documents and serious traffic citations each year. On any given day, the criminal docket is comprised of cases involving a wide variety of crimes including assault, possession of drugs, theft, harassment, stalking, trespassing, and malicious destruction of property. The serious traffic docket includes offenses such as drunk driving, hit and run, driving without a license, and driving with a suspended or revoked license.


District Court Multi-Purpose CenterOffice of The State’s Attorney
District Court Multi-Purpose Center
3451 Courthouse Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Phone: 410-313-3100
Fax: 410-313-3144

District Court group


Juvenile Division

The Juvenile Division of the Howard County State's Attorney's Office prosecutes crimes committed by anyone under the age of 18. The primary focus of juvenile court is rehabilitation. This division reviews cases submitted by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, files appropriate charges, prepares cases for trial and post-trial proceedings and seeks to collect restitution for victims through the juvenile system. Detention, community service and treatment plans are also sought in appropriate cases.

The Juvenile Division works closely with the Department of Juvenile Services and other social service agencies to ensure that juvenile offenders are receiving proper supervision, treatment and rehabilitation. The division also works in partnership with the Board of Education to address issues of juvenile crime and rehabilitation.


Carroll BuildingOffice of The State’s Attorney
Carroll Building – First floor
3450 Court House Drive, 1st Floor
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Phone: 410-313-2142
Fax: 410-313-3645


Alcohol Diversion Program

The Alcohol Diversion Program of the State's Attorney's Office provides an opportunity for first-time offenders 18 years of age and older who are charged with minor alcohol offenses (Drunk Driving cases are not eligible for the diversion program) to avoid a criminal conviction. The accused are offered the chance to accept alcohol education or treatment in lieu of formal prosecution. If the offenders choose to enter the program, their cases are removed from an active criminal status and made "inactive."  Upon successful completion of the program, the case is dismissed, thereby allowing the accused to expunge his or her police and court records. If the accused does not successfully complete the program, the case is made active and scheduled for formal prosecution.

By diverting these offenders into education and treatment, the program improves the operational effectiveness of the court process by providing early diagnosis of alcohol-related problems, providing education and or treatment for those problems and offering an alternative to criminal penalties for the accused when the community benefits more from treatment.

To guarantee a high quality of service to Diversion Program participants, the State's Attorney's Office holds periodic meetings with and reviews of treatment providers and other agencies that provide services to participants.


Carroll BuildingOffice of The State’s Attorney
3450 Court House Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Phone: 410-313-3017
Fax: 410-313-3144


Circuit Court Division

Circuit Court buildingOffice of the State’s Attorney
8360 Court Avenue
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Phone: 410-313-2108 (Circuit Court cases)
Fax: 410-313-3294
Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm

Major Crimes Unit (MCU)

The Major Crimes Unit handles a large portion of the Circuit Court felony cases including murder, major theft, robbery, arson, burglary, wiretapping investigations, large drug operations, economic crimes, vehicular manslaughter, first-degree assault and firearms crimes.

Special Victims Unit (SVU)

The Special Victims Unit handles sensitive cases that typically involve sexual assault and/or sexual abuse, child abuse-both physical and sexual, crimes against vulnerable adults, human trafficking, domestic violence and animal abuse.  This unit also chairs the Howard County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (HCDVFRT), whose primary goal is to reduce domestic violence in our county through a multi-disciplinary approach.

General Crimes Unit (GCU)

The General Crimes Unit is responsible for matters which originate in District Court and jury trial demand is elected. Once a jury trial demand is made, the matter is removed from District Court and set for prosecution in Circuit Court. The defendant is given a summons by the Assistant State’s Attorney in District Court to report for trial in Circuit Court approximately 21 days later. All cases will be assigned to a “settlement docket” for resolution or the assignment of motions and trial dates. Additionally, the attorneys in the General Crimes Unit are responsible for the prosecution of “low-level” felony cases and the prosecution of firearm cases in the county.


Please send inquiries to the following e-mail: sao@howardcountymd.gov

MDEC E-Filing please use the following email addresses only:
Juvenile: HOCOSAOJUV@howardcountymd.gov
District: HOCOSAODistrict@howardcountymd.gov
Circuit: HOCOSAOCircuit@howardcountymd.gov