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Clerk-Magistrate Hearings

Sam Zaganjori is a Woburn criminal defense attorney that represents clients who are facing clerk-magistrate hearings in District Court and Juvenile Court. A clerk-magistrate hearing is also known as a “show cause hearing.” It is often the only opportunity a person may have to avoid being charged with a crime. If you have received a summons to appear for a clerk-magistrate hearing, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney. Attorney Zaganjori will thoroughly prepare for the hearing and do everything possible to avoid the issuance of a criminal complaint.

In Massachusetts, a person who is accused of a misdemeanor offense, including most motor vehicle offenses, and was not arrested is usually entitled to a hearing before a court clerk before criminal charges can issue. At the hearing, the clerk must determine whether there is probable cause that a crime occurred. If the clerk finds probable cause, he or she will issue a criminal complaint charging the person with a crime.

The clerk-magistrate hearing is often the last line of defense before someone is charged with a crime. Do not wait until you have been charged with a crime. Call Sam Zaganjori at 781-496-2848 as soon as possible so that you can begin to prepare for the hearing.

What to Expect at the Hearing

On the day of the hearing, you will report to the appropriate District Court or Juvenile Court. The hearing is not typically held in a courtroom and is not open to the public. You will be in a hearing room with the clerk and a representative of the police department. The police will sometimes present live witnesses but usually simply read from police reports. The clerk’s job is to hear the evidence and decide whether there is probable cause to charge the person with a crime.

It is important to understand your rights at a clerk-magistrate hearing. You can challenge the evidence against you and you have the right to present evidence of your own. This evidence can include documents, pictures, witness statements and audio recordings. You are permitted to testify and you can call your own witnesses.

A clerk-magistrate hearing is not a formality. It is an important opportunity to fight a criminal charge before it issues. Sam Zaganjori is a Woburn criminal defense attorney that can assist you with your District Court or Juvenile Court clerk-magistrate hearing.

Defending You at a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing

Defending against the issuance of a criminal complaint is a process that starts well before the date of the hearing. Attorney Zaganjori will meet with you as soon as possible, explain your options, and prepare you for the hearing. He will gather favorable evidence and identify any potential witnesses. He will take a close look at the allegations and investigate any legal shortcomings in the prosecution’s case.

At the hearing, he will aggressively challenge the allegations against you. He will present your side of the story and make sure that your voice is heard. He will do everything possible to resolve the case without the issuance of a criminal complaint.

If a complaint issues, the person must come to court on a later date for an arraignment. This is the official start of the criminal case. If the complaint issued without an adequate legal basis, Attorney Zaganjori will file a motion to dismiss the case. The most common argument is that there was no probable cause for the complaint. If a judge agrees that the clerk did not hear sufficient evidence, the judge can dismiss the case. A judge can also dismiss the case if he or she finds that the defendant was deprived of his right to a clerk-magistrate hearing.

Call Attorney Zaganjori to Discuss your Case

Call a Woburn Criminal Defense Attorney regarding your clerk-magistrate hearing today. Call Attorney Zaganjori at 781-496-2848 today.