Misdemeanor crimes are most often committed out of the sight of law enforcement officials. In Massachusetts, in order for police to charge a person with a misdemeanor committed away from their presence, other than domestic assault and battery, they must apply for a complaint at a local court. Police cannot later arrest individuals for misdemeanors allegedly committed away from their presence, with the exception of domestic assault and battery. Even if a misdemeanor is committed in the presence of a police officer, this process is sometimes followed instead of arresting and formally arraigning an individual on misdemeanor charges.Entitled To Clerk's Hearing
When police apply for a complaint at the local court, the person charged is entitled to a clerk's hearing. In Massachusetts, a clerk's hearing, sometimes called a "clerk magistrate's hearing" or a "show cause hearing," are used to determine if there exists sufficient evidence or reasonable cause to warrant further legal prosecution.Reasons For Clerk's Hearing
There are different situations where someone may be called in for a clerk's hearing. Common misdemeanors that result in clerk's hearings include charges such as fake ID, motor vehicle offenses, shoplifting, drug possession, simple assault, disorderly conduct, OUI, trespassing, and larceny.Importance Of The Hearing
A clerk's hearing is a pivotal initial stage of a misdemeanor charge. If a complaint stands and is issued against an individual, that person's criminal record will feature the misdemeanor charge. In this case, the charge would appear in any background check. This means that any current or future employer may be able to see the charge. However, the clerk's hearing is also an important opportunity to avoid the complaint being issued against you and to keep a criminal record free of charges. In order to keep a complaint from not issuing against you, and keeping your criminal record clean, experienced and savvy legal help is needed.
The criminal defense attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have a proven record of success in winning clerk's hearings and getting applications for complaints against you dismissed, with no remaining public record, as if the charge never happened. We have successfully managed thousands of clerk's hearings in Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, and throughout Massachusetts. Even if charges are not completely dismissed, the criminal lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. can persuade the magistrate to reduce the charges you face. Without competent representation, though, your criminal record can hinder you in many areas of life, such as obtaining and/or keeping employment. Even if you are later found not guilty by a judge or jury, future employers may be able to see the charge after a background check.
Many times, a person facing misdemeanor criminal charges at a clerk's hearing receives a misdemeanor notification in the mail, before an arrest occurs. It is imperative to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after learning that a hearing is scheduled. Our criminal defense lawyers have successfully handled countless clerk magistrate hearings, most often resulting in charges being completely dismissed. Our Boston and Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers have dealt with the police officers and clerk magistrates involved in the hearings and can often persuade the right players to dismiss any charge against you. We may also be able to advance a legal argument as to why a complaint cannot issue against you. Without experienced attorneys, a defendant will not have the practical experience and legal knowledge to advance the best defense possible to influence a clerk magistrate in dismissing charges and keeping them off a criminal record.
A clerk's hearing is a great opportunity to challenge the evidence the prosecution has against you and keep your criminal record unblemished. Without skilled and experienced representation, you are taking a high risk of the charges standing and your future being compromised. The Boston and Massachusetts criminal attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. understand how to successfully navigate a clerk's hearing to give the highest chance of dismissing a complaint and keeping a criminal record clean. Receiving a notice to appear at a clerk's hearing can be a nerve-wracking and anxiety producing experience, but you don't have to face the legal system alone. We have decades of successful practice experience in Boston, Quincy, Cambridge, and throughout Massachusetts.
Bellotti Law Group, P.C. serves Greater Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Braintree, the South Shore, and all of Massachusetts. Our offices are located in Cambridge and Quincy. Call us today at 617-225-2100. You can also contact us through our online form and we will promptly respond.