What to Expect at a Clerk Magistrate Hearing
About Clerk Magistrate Hearings
In the state of Massachusetts, there exists a legal process independent of traditional arrest and arraignment. If you are suspected of wrongdoing but a police officer has not witnessed the offense firsthand, you may be summoned to a clerk magistrate hearing. These proceedings, also called “show cause” or “probable cause” hearings, are an important step in determining whether you will walk free or charged for criminal actions.
What Happens at a Show Cause Hearing?
You will be notified of your hearing through standard US Mail. Because these letters arrive without a lot of fanfare, it is easy for the average citizen to discount the weight of these proceedings. Failing to appear at your show cause hearing, or forgetting to hire someone to represent you, can result in an unsatisfactory outcome and criminal record.
During a clerk magistrate hearing, the complainant – the officer in question – will present a case to the magistrate. They will provide any applicable documentation, such as a police report or copy of the citation, in an effort to prove that criminal charges should be filed. There will also be a time for you or your counsel to present a response in your defense.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer
The process of a clerk magistrate hearing can be difficult to navigate by yourself. Additionally, the stakes are higher than most people realize. Don’t let poor planning be the reason why you are arrested or get a mark on your criminal record. Having a skilled lawyer on your side can ensure that you have an experienced, educated advocate in your corner.
The legal team at Coughlin Law Group has successfully resolved countless clerk magistrate hearings. If you are in the Boston area and have received a summons for a show cause hearing, reach out today for a cost-free consultation. We are ready to advocate on your behalf and protect your rights. Call (617) 758-8888 today.