September 29, 2023

Not all criminal investigations start with the suspect being arrested and led off in a police car, despite what you may have seen on television. Instead of being arrested for a petty offense, a suspect may be issued a summons to appear in court before a clerk magistrate. Defend yourself with a clerk magistrate attorney in Barnstable.


You must use this time wisely to maximize your chances of success at the upcoming hearing before the clerk magistrate. Do not risk being officially charged with something after the hearing if you do not vigorously defend your rights.


Clerk Magistrate Hearing Preparation


A skilled criminal defense attorney is the best preparation for a clerk’s hearing. The accusations against you may be dropped without trial if your attorney knows how to put forward the facts effectively.


At the hearing for your case, you can also support your defense if you:


  • Are engaged: The clerk should see your seriousness in the hearing. Before the court, address the issue with your actions. For example, if you are charged with OUI, you can freely sign up for an alcohol treatment program. If you are charged with assault, you can sign up for a course on controlling your anger. These procedures may prevent an official complaint.
  • Are polite: Your clerk’s hearing is as legal as a district court judge’s hearing, even though it is informal. Maintain a respectful demeanor when interacting with the prosecuting attorney and the rest of the court. Avoid jokes since they may be misinterpreted. Stay calm. A clerk may view emotional outbursts as counterproductive in these sessions.
  • Are showing proof: You should tell your lawyer everything you know about the case so they can pick the best evidence to use in court. If you take images or videos of the violation, these may reveal police conducting an illegal search. You could also give statements from trustworthy bystanders who can say that you were not there when the offense was done or that the police did not treat you fairly.
  • Are testifying well: All defendants can speak at the hearing. Your lawyer will let you know if you need to be in court to give testimony or if you can just have them read a statement on your behalf. Your past or position as a first-time offender may minimize the charges against you, and a lawyer can assist you in choosing the words you use to address them.
  • Are heeding your lawyer: it is critical to remember that everything you speak at the trial might be exploited by you later. Your chances of a dismissal or avoiding further criminal charges depend on the information you provide to the clerk and prosecutor.


There are several strategies to win a hearing. Even if the charge is not dropped, the clerk magistrate may “hold” it for a while. Without further complaints, the claim will be dropped.


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