Clerk Magistrate Hearings- Massachusetts
Massachusetts Magistrate Hearing Lawyer
Massachusetts Clerk Magistrate and Show-Cause Hearings
In Massachusetts, police cannot arrest you for a misdemeanor offense unless it allegedly occurred in their presence (except for domestic assault and battery). That said, if they wish to pursue such a charge, you are entitled to a Clerk Magistrate's Hearing before a formal complaint can issue.
What is a Clerk Magistrate's Hearing?
A clerk magistrate's hearing, also known as a “show-cause” hearing, provides the person accused of a crime with the opportunity to avoid formal criminal charges. If either a police officer or a civilian files an application for a criminal complaint against you, you may receive notice to appear at a clerk’s hearing. This process allows the clerk to amend minor criminal offenses down to civil infractions, or dismiss the applications that show no “probable cause” of a criminal offense. At the hearing, the government or civilian presents the clerk magistrate with evidence that you committed the crime as alleged in the application. A clerk will generally allow your attorney to question any witnesses and examine any evidence against you. Because the application is almost always filed by a police officer or a civilian, and there is no assistant district attorney present during this phase of the investigation, having a skilled defense attorney puts you at a significant advantage. I have a strong record of success in defending my clients at these hearings and squashing potential criminal cases before they even begin.
If you have received notice of a clerk magistrate's hearing in Massachusetts, contact my office for your free initial phone consultation:
98 North Washington St.
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: (617) 830-2188
Fax: (617) 507-8188