Expert Show Cause / Clerk’s Hearing Assistance 617-886-0500
Do you need a Lawyer for a Clerk’s Hearing or a Show Cause Hearing?
The law in Massachusetts entitles you to a “show cause hearing,” also known as a clerk’s hearing, if you have been accused of committing a misdemeanor offense and have not been arrested. A show cause hearing is held before a district court clerk magistrate who has the authority to determine if there is probable cause to believe you have committed a crime. If probable cause is established, the clerk magistrate will issue a summons or a warrant and subsequently, you will be given a date to appear at arraignment. If probable cause is not determined then a complaint will not be issued against you.
Probable cause is determined if there is “reasonable cause” to believe that a crime has been committed and that the accused has committed that crime. It is essential to hire an experienced defense attorney because show cause hearings can present complex issues. For example, the clerk magistrate must determine whether the facts from the complainant are probably true based on the evidence. The complainant can either be a police officer or civilian.
Be advised of the following rules:
(1) You are not entitled to a show cause hearing if you were arrested on the charges, if the charges include a felony, or if the clerk magistrate believes that you are either likely to injure someone or commit another crime.
(2) Absent emergency situations, you must be notified of your right to a show cause hearing. If you have received a motor vehicle citation with only misdemeanor offenses then you can request a show cause hearing within four days. The court will send you a notice of the hearing and the complaint.
(3) Clerk magistrates are not allowed to hold an application open when either the Commonwealth or the complainant objects or engage in arbitration-like conduct during show cause hearings. However, clerk magistrates are allowed to mediate between the two opposing parties at a show cause hearing.
(4) At most, you will be entitled to a dismissal without prejudice, if you have been improperly deprived of a show cause hearing. This means that the complaint against you can still be refilled.
Contact Vincent A. Tofani Today…
Attorney Tofani provides free and confidential phone consultations. Please contact him immediately at 617-886-0500 to discuss your case