Don’t Go To a Show Cause Hearing Without An Attorney! It is Your Best Opportunity to Beat the Case and Protect your Probation Record.
A Clerk Magistrate’s Hearing (also known as a “Show Cause” Hearing) is one of the first stages in the Massachusetts court system. In some cases, you may be called into a Clerk’s Hearing via a criminal citation or summons through the mail, instead of being arrested and arraigned on misdemeanor charges.
The purpose of a Show Cause Hearing is to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe you have committed a crime, in which case a complaint will issue. You will then be arraigned in court before a judge and prosecuted by an Assistant District Attorney.
I’ve been to Clerk’s Hearings with clients facing charges including drug possession, shoplifting, assault, and criminal traffic offenses. An experienced attorney can help in these matters, keeping you out of jail and ultimately saving you money in fines and insurance rate increases.
It is critically important to have an attorney present at a Massachusetts Clerk’s Hearing/Show Cause Hearing to give you more than a fighting chance of getting the charges against you dropped.
A good criminal defense lawyer will use the Show Cause Hearing as an opportunity to get the entire case thrown out, in which case it will not appear on your CORI. In fact, when I represent a client at a Clerk’s Hearing, more than 80% of the time, no complaint is issued. Some lawyers tell their clients to go to a Clerk’s Hearing themselves, and then call them if a complaint is issued. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS MISTAKE!
Massachusetts Show Cause/Clerk’s Hearing Legal Strategies
The goal of the Show Cause Hearing is to convince the Clerk that there is not sufficient evidence to bring the case forward. I will use every conceivable argument to convince him/her of that. I’ll also argue that it is in the interests of justice not to issue a complaint, even if there is probable cause, particularly if you are a first-time offender.
Call me to speak about your Massachusetts Clerk’s Hearing, and I will give you specific advice about options to protect your rights and your freedom. Being charged is not the same as being guilty! If you are facing a Show Cause/Clerk’s Hearing on any charge, such as shoplifting, assault, trespassing, minor possession of alcohol, or a criminal traffic offense, like operating on a suspended license, without insurance, or an unregistered vehicle, call me for a FREE CONSULTATION.
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