In Massachusetts, the Clerk Magistrate Hearing, also referred to as a "probable cause hearing" or simply "clerk's hearing," is the legal process where an official of the court determines if probable cause exists to issue a criminal complaint after hearing allegations outlined. The hearing begins the legal process against the defendant, where no arrest usually involves a misdemeanor criminal offense. The police or a private person can file applications.
Although they seem informal, show cause hearings are a crucial step in criminal proceedings. The hearing is your one chance to get rid of the case against you before you are formally charged with a crime, and that charge becomes a part of your permanent record. Your goal at the hearing is to convince the magistrate that insufficient evidence makes it more likely than not that you have committed a crime because of this having a criminal defense lawyer who understands the elements of the crimes at issue and how the evidence relates to those crimes. A lawyer can also advise you about the benefits or drawbacks of testifying on your behalf at the hearing.
A person accused of a crime by the police, or a private individual has the absolute right to bring their criminal defense lawyer to this hearing to enforce critical constitutional laws. Here at Castel & Hall, we are skilled professionals that can accompany you to court and enforce your rights. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer is critical at these hearings and to market the defendant to the court to invoke the discretion that clerk magistrates exercise not to issue a complaint in each case, even if ample evidence exists to support one.