After the Arrest

Worcester Criminal Defense Lawyers Helping You After an Arrest

What Can I Expect at a Show Cause Hearing?

If you are facing criminal charges, particularly misdemeanors, you want to resolve the issues and you want them resolved quickly. One of the best ways to ensure that your criminal case does not move forward is to participate in a clerk magistrate, or show cause hearing, which will prevent the court from issuing a criminal complaint.


If you receive a letter in the mail notifying you of a Massachusetts clerk magistrate hearing in your case, you should call an aggressive and intelligent Worcester criminal defense attorney at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP at (508) 425-6330. This may be your opportunity to stop your criminal case from moving forward.


What Is a Show Cause Hearing?

A show cause hearing can serve to stop the prosecution from moving your case forward by preventing the Commonwealth from issuing a criminal complaint against you. In order to have a criminal complaint issued, there must be a demonstration of probable cause.

A Massachusetts clerk magistrate hearing is your chance to demonstrate that probable cause does not exist. The key is to have a Worcester criminal defense attorney at the show cause hearing. An intelligent and aggressive attorney with experience in Worcester County district courts can represent you at a clerk’s hearing.

What Happens at Show Cause Hearings?

At a clerk magistrate hearing, the prosecution will present the evidence against you in front of a clerk magistrate. Their burden is to demonstrate that probable cause exists to issue a complaint against you. Probable cause is a low standard. It is simply a sufficient amount of facts to determine that you were involved in a criminal act that occurred or was about to occur.

Next, you will have an opportunity to respond to the prosecution. Having an aggressive and intelligent Worcester criminal defense attorney to represent you at a show cause hearing is incredibly valuable.

The lawyers at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP have vast experience advocating for clients at clerk’s hearings. As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we understand the importance of:

  • Preparing a litigation strategy at the earliest stage

  • Talking to investigators and witnesses before the show cause hearing


  • The nuances of the law surrounding the probable cause standard


  • The facts needed to demonstrate that there is not enough probable cause for a criminal complaint to be issued

  • The value of aggressively advocating on your behalf

At the close of the Massachusetts clerk magistrate hearing, the clerk magistrate will make a decision known as a finding. If the clerk magistrate determines that there was no probable cause on some or all charges, a criminal complaint will not be issued on those charges. You will not have a CORI or any other record of the charges that do not proceed to a criminal complaint.

Request a FREE Consultation or Call (508) 425-6330.
We are devoted to effective trial lawyering. We know how to deliver aggressive defense strategies and we know how to speak to juries and judges alike.

Criminal Defense

Diligent. Prepared. Determined.

Murphy & Rudolf LLP handles a wide range of legal issues, including criminal defense matters to complex civil litigation cases. No matter what your case involves, we understand you may be concerned about your future, rights, and interests. Our team of Worcester lawyers do all the investigatory work needed to help leverage your case into a favorable position. We fight tirelessly to secure a positive outcome with the results you need.  

Call us at (508) 425-6330 today for a free consultation.

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Contact Our Worcester Family & Criminal Law Attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP Today! (508) 425-6330
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