I Received a Criminal Citation for Cambridge District Court – Now What?

Never mind utility bills or municipal tax notes, the piece of mail you really never want to get in your mailbox is a Massachusetts criminal citation. You may be uncertain about what happens next and what you should do, and that’s why you should contact an experienced defense attorney from the Cambridge law experts at Altman & Altman LLP today.

A criminal citation is a simple slip of paper that indicates you are officially being accused with a crime, even if you were never arrested or even called into a police station regarding a crime. Criminal citations can be delivered through the mail or handed to you in person by a law enforcement officer – but if you are from the cities of Cambridge, Arlington or Belmont, they all wind up in the same place; Cambridge District Court, which is actually located at 4040 Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford, MA, north of Cambridge.

You may have received a criminal citation for any number of infractions – from everything as simple as a misdemeanor for reckless driving or vandalism to something much more serious such as aggravated assault or leaving the scene of an accident. Receiving the citation means that you are being officially accused of the crime, which means you are required to show up to Cambridge District Court to face a possible arraignment or hearing in front of a district court judge.

The Clerk Magistrate Hearing – Your Best Chance at a Victory

Despite being accused of the crime, this does not mean that you have been officially charged with the crime at this point. Before that potentially happens, the first step is to sign the citation and send it back, after which you will receive a date for a hearing in front of a clerk magistrate, where it will be determined whether or not you will be charged for the crime for which you received the criminal citation.

At this preliminary hearing, a prosecutor will attempt to reason with the magistrate that you should be charged with the crime for which you are accused. This is the moment where it is crucial to have an experienced defense attorney on your side, as we may be able to make the case that there is not sufficient evidence to charge you with the crime in question – or we may be able to rise enough doubt in the magistrate’s mind that you are the one responsible for the crime.

If we are able to raise enough doubt that you should be charged, the criminal citation will be tossed out and you will be free to go without further involvement in the courts nor any negative mark on your record.

However, if the magistrate does find sufficient cause to charge you, our work is not over. You will then be given a date for arraignment, where your case will be heard by a district court judge and we will have another chance to argue on your behalf to dismiss the case or propose a deal. You may opt to plea no contest to the crimes, plead guilty or fight the charge through an official trial. These choices are yours, however it is our sworn responsibility to provide guidance for what your best options are.

Never Go About This Process Alone

Regardless of what crime you have been accused of, and regardless of the fact that you do not need a lawyer for district court processes, there is no benefit to entering Cambridge District Court alone. Having the guidance of an experienced defense attorney from Altman & Altman will only improve your chances of receiving a less severe sentence or having the citation dismissed entirely before it even goes before a judge.

At Altman & Altman, we have over 50 years of experience defending our clients who have been accused of every crime you can think of, and we will utilize those decades of experience to your benefit. 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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