Boston Clerk Magistrate Hearing Attorneys
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While a person can be charged with a crime after getting arrested, if the police did not witness an alleged crime, the criminal charges can also be filed upon the conclusion of a “clerk magistrate hearing.” Also known as a “show-cause” hearing, an officer files a complaint with the Clerk of the District Court. If the magistrate determines that probable cause exists, then a criminal charge will be issued.
If you or a loved one is facing a clerk magistrate hearing in Massachusetts, let DeGiacomo & Mikhlin, P.C. help you avoid facing criminal charges. Attorneys James G. DeGiacomo and Sergey Mikhlin are former prosecutors who have handled thousands of cases. They understand the requirements the magistrate must meet in order to file criminal charges and what it takes to protect the rights and freedom of their clients.
About Clerk Magistrate Hearings in Massachusetts
As mentioned above, a show-cause hearing is the first step of a criminal case where a police officer or another individual fills out an application to request the court to file a criminal complaint against you. However, you have an opportunity to defend yourself and prevent a complaint from being issued.
A clerk magistrate hearing is not conducted in the courtroom. Instead, it is held in the clerk’s office or a meeting room. Additionally, the hearing is not recorded and the standard criminal procedure does not apply, which means evidence such as hearsay is permitted.
The magistrate will then examine the evidence and decide if there is probable cause that you committed the offense in question. Probable cause is a much lower standard to meet compared to guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the magistrate establishes probable cause, a criminal complaint will be issued against you and you will be arraigned. If the magistrate does not find probable cause, the application for the complaint will be dismissed. Lastly, the clerk may also put the application on “hold,” which means the application will be dismissed at a later date.
Fortunately, you have the right to be represented by a criminal defense attorney during the hearing. Your lawyer can help you tell your story and provide evidence that will support your case.
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Just because you are subject to a clerk magistrate hearing, does not mean you are automatically guilty. You still have a chance to avoid criminal charges with the help of DeGiacomo & Mikhlin, P.C. Get nearly a decade of legal experience on your side!