Appearing at Cambridge District Court – Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have received a summons to appear at Cambridge District Court, you may be experiencing fear and uncertainty about what steps you should be taking next. Do you need to read up on legal statutes? Do you show up alone and try to defend yourself? The short answer is that, when you are due to appear in court, it is never a bad thing to consult with a defense attorney prior to your court date. The expert defense attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP are based in Cambridge, and no one can help prepare you for a date at Cambridge District Court better than we can.

Cambridge District Court, actually located at 4040 Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford, services the areas of Cambridge, Arlington and Belmont, Massachusetts. As thousands of cases flow through its courtrooms every year, the pace of the Cambridge District Court is, by necessity, much faster than other, higher courts such as the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

This quick pace makes it all the more vital that you understand exactly what is going on in regards to your legal situation. It is no huge revelation to mention that the Massachusetts legal system can be tricky to understand. There are a thousand questions that may be running through your head at any given time, and only a trained defense attorney can help provide answers to those important questions.

Dangers of Representing Yourself

One of the most common mistakes people facing any type of legal situation make is to subscribe to the belief that they can walk into a courtroom and somehow verbally convince the judge or magistrate that they are wholly innocent – that the whole thing was a misunderstanding, a combination of forces beyond control and bad timing – which will then immediately set them free of any and all consequences.

It is true that you do not need a lawyer to appear in district court. Unfortunately, in reality you are more likely to suffer negative consequences by representing yourself in a legal situation than if you were to at least consult with a defense attorney beforehand. Even better is to have an experienced defense attorney by your side throughout the arraignment or magistrate hearing to ensure that you are making the right decisions and being made aware of all of the details you are privy to under state law.

District court judges hear a vast number of cases every year, including everything from simple infractions like common misdemeanors to much more serious offenses like domestic violence charges and felonies imprisonable by up to five years in the state penitentiary. Because of this range of cases they hear, a Cambridge District Court judge is very unlikely to find your particular case compelling enough to find a reason to give you a break, unless there is a justifiable legal reason to do so.

You actually have a much better chance of your case not proceeding to a judge’s decision if you are able to get it dismissed in the initial clerk magistrate’s hearing, which is often the first step following receipt of a criminal citation. In these hearings, having a knowledgeable defense attorney is a huge advantage and can lead to a dismissal of charges.

At Altman & Altman LLP, it is our job, responsibility and passion of over 50 years to find those legal avenues that lead to less severe sentences for our clients or the dismissal of charges. We will utilize our decades of knowledge and experience to search for every means possible to help you through what is likely one the scariest, most challenging times in your life.

We understand that each legal situation is unique, just as each client is different with their own personality, needs and expectations. We take a calculated, measured approach to each case we are entrusted with to ensure that you feel as though you are being listened to. We also offer free consultations over the phone, online or in person to assess the exact details of your case.

Whether you are facing something small that you fear may impact your ability to get a good job in the future or you are accused of something much more serious, you can rest assured that we will take any case with the same manner of importance.

Call us for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7.

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