Every case is unique. Occasionally, a police officer will not arrest someone for a criminal charge. Instead, they will issue a summons for you to appear in court or before a clerk magistrate for a hearing. The hearing's legal function is to determine whether there is probable cause to issue criminal process against you.
Because no official complaint has been filed against you before the clerk magistrate hearing, it is a great opportunity to resolve the case prior to any evidence of the charge being issued. It is a great opportunity to protect your rights and your freedom before matters get out of hand.
The clerk magistrate hearing (often called a "show cause" hearing or a probable cause hearing) is held before a clerk magistrate, who need not be an attorney. The clerk magistrate uses a wide range of techniques — including counseling, discussion or threat of prosecution — to resolve a variety of minor criminal matters. These may include drug charges, shoplifting, assault and driving offenses.
At the clerk magistrate hearing, your lawyer's role is to convince the clerk magistrate that there is not sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal charge. To do this, William Barabino will use the facts and relevant laws to create a persuasive legal argument. Time, however, is essential for preparing properly for a clerk magistrate hearing. It is critical that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
If you are facing criminal charges, a clerk magistrate hearing, or are currently under investigation, contact criminal defense attorney William Barabino by calling his Medford, Massachusetts, law office at 781-393-5900. You may also complete his online contact form.
Mr. Barabino serves Medford, Malden, Somerville and towns all along the North Shore.