We Defend Clients in Magistrate Hearings in Quincy
At Nate Amendola Defense, our Quincy, MA criminal defense lawyer represents people in clerk magistrate hearings in Norfolk County. We are formidable, relentless, experienced, and solutions forward advocates for our clients. If you have any questions or concerns about clerk magistrate hearings, we are more than ready to help. To set up your confidential initial appointment with a top-tier Quincy criminal defense attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us today.
It’s not too late
What to Know About Clerk Magistrate Hearings in Quincy
A clerk magistrate hearing is a procedural hearing that may occur within the early stage of the justice process in some criminal cases in Massachusetts. To be clear, a magistrate hearing happens before any charges are actually filed. During this part of the process, a person who is accused of a criminal violation will have an opportunity to raise a preliminary defense.
What does a clerk magistrate in Norfolk County actually do? Their central role is to determine if probable cause exists. Probable cause is the reasonable belief that a crime was actually committed by the defendant. If the magistrate determines that probable cause is lacking, the criminal case can be halted right there—without any charges being filed.
An Overview of the Magistrate Hearing Process
You probably have questions about how the clerk magistrate process actually works. In Norfolk County, a magistrate hearing generally involves three major stages. Proper preparation can help to ensure that you are in the absolute best position to defend yourself against criminal allegations. Here is an overview of the clerk magistrate hearing process in Quincy, Massachusetts:
- Testimony from Party Bringing Complaint: It is this stage of the clerk magistrate hearing whereby the accuser—whether a law enforcement officer or a private citizen—gets to tell their story. In effect, they will lay out criminal allegations against a potential defendant. Among other things, the complainant may present what they believe happened, supported by any evidence they have, including photos, documents, or statements from witnesses.
- Your Defense Against the Allegations: One of the great things about clerk magistrate hearings in Norfolk County is that you do not just have to sit back and take it. You have the right to fight back against any allegations. A top-tier Quincy, MA criminal defense attorney can help. You have the right to provide comprehensive evidence explaining why you are not actually guilty of the allegations—or, more pointedly, that probable cause does not exist.
- An Assessment of Probable Cause: The final act in the process belongs to the magistrate. After hearing both sides, they need to make a big decision: Is there “probable cause” to believe that you might have committed a crime? Probable cause is a legal standard that means more than just a suspicion: There needs to be some evidence pointing towards a crime. If the magistrate decides there’s enough to go forward, your case will proceed to the next stage of the criminal process. Most often, this means formal charges will be filed.
The Possible Outcomes of a Clerk Magistrate Hearing in Quincy, Massachusetts
The potential outcomes in a clerk magistrate hearing in Norfolk County can vary widely. It could be anything from your case being thrown out without charges ever being filed to you being arrested and facing a serious felony offense. Here is a more detailed overview of the possible results of a magistrate hearing in Quincy, Massachusetts:
- The Criminal Complaint is Dismissed (No Charges): Without question, this is the best and most desirable outcome for the person accused of a crime. If the clerk magistrate finds that there is not enough evidence to support the proposed charges—meaning that there is no probable cause— the complaint can be dismissed without any further criminal proceedings. In other words, this means no charges will be filed. It is like the judicial system is saying: “there is not enough here to move forward.” A Quincy, MA criminal defense attorney can help you prepare a defense to fight for this outcome.
- The Criminal Complaint is Continued (A Pause for Further Investigation); Not all cases can be resolved at an initial magistrate hearing. In some situations, the clerk magistrate in Norfolk County may find that more information is needed before a decision can be made. The case will not be dismissed, but will also not be not moving forward. There may be further investigation or further negotiations between the accused and the complainant.
- The Criminal Complaint Moves Forward (Charges Filed): What happens if the magistrate finds that there actually is probable cause? The charges can be filed—meaning that the criminal case can go to court. It could be a misdemeanor and/or a felony charge being filed by prosecutors. The accused will then have to defend themselves in court. Any person facing formal criminal charges should be represented by a top Quincy defense lawyer.
- A Pre-Trial Resolution is Reached (Diversion Program): Finally, in some cases, pre-trial resolution may allow the matter to be resolved without a dismissal, continuance, or any formal criminal charges. The accused might attend classes, do community service, or meet other requirements. If they successfully complete the program, the complaint can be dismissed. As an example, pre-trial diversion may potentially be an option for a person who is facing first-time allegations of drug possession.
Do Not Be Passive: Proactively Defend Yourself Before a Clerk Magistrate
If you or your loved one is facing a clerk magistrate hearing in Quincy, you do not want to simply sit back and take a wait and see approach. Do not fall behind in the criminal justice process. Be proactive. To start, you should know exactly what you are accused of. Knowledge is power in these cases. It will help you gather the relevant evidence and build a viable defense. You should consult with a Quincy criminal defense attorney who has experience with clerk magistrate hearings. Your attorney will understand the process and help you determine exactly what needs to be done to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future.
Why Trust Quincy Criminal Defense Attorney Nate Amendola for Legal Help
Magistrate hearings are complicated. If you are stressed out and confused by the process, you are certainly not alone. With so much at stake, it is vital that you have a reliable and effective advocate on your side. Do not wait to get legal representation. Our founding attorney Nate Amendola is a top-tier Quincy, MA criminal defense lawyer who has extensive experience handling magistrate hearings. Among other things, our criminal defense attorney is prepared to:
- Conduct a thorough, detailed-focused review of your case;
- Answer questions about the magistrate hearing process;
- Gather and prepare all supporting evidence; and
- Proactively develop a defense strategy to protect your rights and interests.
Are you set to go before a clerk magistrate in Norfolk County? We provide the personalized guidance and support that you can rely on when it matters most. Our client testimonials and our history of case results tell the story best. Contact our Quincy criminal defense attorney today to get started with your case.
Schedule a Confidential Case Review With Our Quincy Clerk Magistrate Hearing Lawyer
At Nate Amendola Defense, our Quincy criminal defense lawyer has extensive experience handling clerk magistrate hearings. If you have any questions about your rights or your options, our legal team can help. Contact us today for your strictly confidential, no obligation initial consultation. We represent clients in clerk magistrate hearings in Quincy and throughout all of Norfolk County.
Nate Amendola contact