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Clerk Magistrate Hearing

What is the Clerk Magistrate's Hearing for Assault Cases?

Normally, misdemeanor criminal cases in Massachusetts are begun by the D.A. issuing a complaint. A Clerk Magistrate's Hearing is given in certain cases to determine whether or not that complaint should issue. So it actually happens before the arraignment, and it is a chance to avoid the arraignment. It's to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that the crime was committed, and was committed by that defendant.

Should I Bring a Lawyer to a Clerk Magistrate Hearing?

There are people that will tell you that you don't need to bring a lawyer to a Clerk Magistrate Hearing in Massachusetts. Technically, they're right, you don't have to; in fact you don't have to appear, but if you don't appear, the complaint is most likely going to issue against you. And the chances of that complaint issuing against you are also going to be much higher if you do not have an experienced attorney representing you at that time to try to prevent the complaint from issuing.

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