Keegan Law, Boston Attorneys for Magistrate Hearings
Have you received notice to appear at a Magistrate’s hearing?
If you have received notice to appear as a potential defendant at a Clerk Magistrate’s hearing, it is important to be well informed on what will take place before you go. All too often, people who receive a summons to attend a hearing concerning a criminal offense make the mistake of thinking it is merely some “red tape” and are not prepared to present any defense at the hearing. A Magistrate hearing will be called when a law enforcement officer wants to charge someone with a misdemeanor crime that supposedly took place when the officer was not present.
Clerk Magistrate Hearing vs. Courtroom Trials
A Magistrate hearing is far less formal than a hearing in a courtroom before a judge and the rules of evidence more relaxed. In the hearing the charges against you will be read, and witnesses to the alleged crime may appear to testify. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if there is sufficient evidence of a crime and to determine who committed the crime in order to issue a formal complaint and have the matter heard in court by a judge.
At the hearing, a clerk or magistrate of the court will hear the matter and determine whether or not to send the case to trial. As soon as you have been ordered to appear, you need to secure the help of an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. While charges are filed against the defendant in most cases, a skilled Boston criminal attorney can present such a strong defense that the clerk decides to drop the case or hold the matter to see if there are any reoccurrences of criminal behavior on the part of the accused before making any final decision.
For this reason, it is crucial that the defense you present at your Magistrate hearing is the strongest possible and all weaknesses and flaws in the prosecution’s witness testimony, evidence and investigative procedures are made known at the hearing. Since no written record is kept of what is said in the hearing, if the clerk decides there is insufficient cause or some other good reason not to issue a formal complaint, this matter will not appear on your criminal record and will save you a great deal of time in fighting the charges later.
Avoid Charges with Help from a Boston Criminal Attorney
The Clerk Magistrate hearing, also called a “show cause hearing,” is actually a great opportunity to avoid having any charges filed by presenting a strong defense. It is primarily misdemeanors that will be the subject of the Clerk Magistrate hearings, including juvenile crimes, OUI/DUI and misdemeanor drug crime cases. Instead of showing up to the hearing without any legal representation, you can face your hearing with the confidence you need to avoid criminal charges when you contact our team at Keegan Law. We know how to prepare a solid defense on your behalf and are highly experienced in dealing with Magistrate Hearings throughout Boston.