Richard Fritz - States Attorney

The State's Attorney is an independently elected state official who serves as the chief law enforcement officer and lead prosecutor for Saint Mary's County. The role of the State's Attorney is to enforce criminal statutes, defend the interests of the citizens of our County according to the law, provide leadership in the prevention of crime, and fairly and impartially seek just punishment for those found guilty of illegal behavior.

The State's Attorney is staffed with 13 full-time prosecutors, including the elected State's Attorney, and supported by highly trained paralegals, legal assistants, investigators, evidence analysts, and victim and witness support personnel. These dedicated public servants are here to serve all Saint Mary's County residents. The prosecutors who work in this Office protect the public and seek justice in an aggressive and fair manner on behalf of the victims of crime and our community. We see ourselves not merely as trial lawyers, but as problem-solvers. Our mission is to serve the public interest through fair and honest administration of justice by exercising responsibilities to prosecute criminal violations in Saint Mary's County. To support that mission, we educate the public on criminal-justice issues, train lawyers for future service, address inequality, promote fairness and ensure equal and open access to the criminal justice system, promote professional relations with judges and attorneys, and further the efficient use of criminal-justice resources.

The State's Attorney also maintains a Child Support Division responsible for establishing paternity and child support orders and representing the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement in collection and contempt proceedings. Our Office administers the community service and bad check programs that divert minor offenders from the criminal justice system. This Office is one of the leading participants in establishing Project Graduation and the Substance Abuse Recovery Court to keep our citizens safe from the detrimental impact of alcohol and drugs. In addition, the State's Attorney collects restitution in many criminal proceedings to compensate victims for losses caused by criminal acts. Our Office also seizes money and other assets from criminals involved in illegal narcotics trafficking.

Our prosecutors coordinate with allied federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to identify problems before they manifest adverse consequences and remain available every day and night to provide assistance. Focused prosecutions, such as gun violence, domestic assaults, child abuse, narcotics trafficking, drunk and drugged drivers, and cyber-crime are also pursued by specially trained prosecution teams.

As the County's chief law enforcement agency, the State's Attorney's Office is part of a proactive team where prosecutors operate outside of the courtroom environment bringing effective crime-fighting solutions and increased safety to Saint Mary's County residents. In addition, the State's Attorney serves as legal advisor to the Grand Jury and attends all Grand Jury sessions. The Office of the State's Attorney conducts its own independent investigations into all police-involved shootings and any criminal matters when determined by the State's Attorney to be appropriate.

GOALS

  • Prevent crime, enforce Maryland law, and protect the rights of our citizens.
  • Combat the threat, incidence, and prevalence of violent crime by forging partnerships with allied law enforcement agencies and community service providers to investigate, arrest, and prosecute violent offenders and illegal firearms traffickers.
  • Prevent and intervene in crimes against our community and uphold the rights of all victims of crime.
  • Disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations to combat the threat, trafficking, diversion, and use of illegal and illicit drugs.
  • Investigate and prosecute corruption and economic crimes to protect the financial assets and defend the interests of Saint Mary's County.

OBJECTIVES

  • Fairness. Ensure and support the fair, impartial, efficient, and transparent administration of justice in Saint Mary's County. Target the most serious offenses for prosecution and judiciously use diversion and probation programs to aid defendants in successfully reentering society.
  • Partnerships. Prosecutors frequently operate in several areas of law enforcement and the administration of justice. Many goals and objectives of our Office are undertaken in collaboration with, or in support of, other federal, state, and local agencies. The State's Attorney remains committed to continuing and strengthening collaborative efforts with other law enforcement and government agencies.
  • Leadership. As an agency with unique authorities, opportunities, and capabilities, the State's Attorney has essential leadership responsibilities to those who fight crime and administer justice.
  • Deterrence. The State's Attorney remains committed to maintaining our capability to respond quickly to newly emerging criminal threats, including those threats posed by new technology, giving special attention to internal core infrastructure needs to ensure that adequate skills, tools, and processes are in place for meeting the unique challenges that face the Office.
  • Integrity. The State's Attorney's leadership role and the funds entrusted to it by the taxpaying public demand that it maintains the highest levels of integrity and trustworthiness. This affects not only the way the Office carries itself as a representative of the law but also the way it manages the resources entrusted to it to carry out our mission.

As the State’s Attorney, I pledge an oath to do everything in my power to keep our county safe.

We look forward to working with you to make St. Mary’s County all that it can be.

Richard Fritz - States Attorney