What Should I Expect at a Clerk Magistrate or Probable Cause Hearing in Massachusetts?

Sometimes, you will be summonsed to appear for a probable cause or Clerk Magistrate hearing instead of being arrested. This is a great opportunity for you to quickly end your case with limited or no effects. You should absolutely take advantage of this opportunity by contacting an attorney to determine how to proceed.

A probable cause hearing is where a district court judge determines whether there is enough evidence to charge you with a crime not within the district court’s jurisdiction so that you can be “bound over” to a higher court. It basically functions like a grand jury but there is one important difference: at a probable cause hearing the defense can offer evidence whereas grand jury proceedings are completely one-sided and based solely on prosecution evidence.

A clerk magistrate hearing is where the clerk magistrate looks at the given facts and determines whether there is probable cause to issue a criminal complaint. These occur in many misdemeanor cases. If the clerk determines that there is probable cause and a complaint is issued, then you will be arraigned. Having a lawyer at your clerk magistrate hearing is important because a lawyer might be able to get your case dismissed or voided. You might be under the impression that clerk magistrate or probable cause hearings are not very serious, but that is not the case. The stakes are very high at clerk magistrate and probable cause hearings, and having an attorney present creates an invaluable advantage.

Call the Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys of Altman & Altman LLP Today at 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199

If you are facing a clerk magistrate or probable cause hearing, call a lawyer. This is a tremendous opportunity for you to nip your case in the bud and clear your name. At Altman & Altman, our team of criminal defense lawyers has many decades of combined experience that we will draw on to get the best outcome for you. We will present you in the best possible light and hopefully help you to avoid a potentially long legal ordeal that can seriously affect your future. We have represented individuals for all types of criminal matters throughout Massachusetts, and we look forward to representing you. Call Altman & Altman at 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199. We are available to answer your questions 24 hours per day and seven days per week.

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