A conviction for Assault and Battery can affect your life in many unfavorable ways. You can face exposure to a lengthy period of incarceration and many times you will face scrutiny or rejection from potential employers. In addition, certain charges of Assault and Battery, i.e. with a dangerous weapon, become felony offenses. It is essential that you hire an experienced attorney to help navigate you through this process.
Commonly, these types of cases can be handled at what is called a Clerk’s Hearing. At this type of hearing, a Clerk Magistrate (not a judge), will hear evidence and decide if probable cause exists to support the charges. This hearing is your last chance before formal charges issue against you to convince the court there is not enough evidence to support the charges in your case. The hearing is also an opportunity for you or your lawyer to negotiate a resolution prior to the issuance of formal charges, whether probable cause exists or not. Because you are not required to have legal representation at a Clerk’s Hearing, many people charged with Assault and Battery make the enormous mistake of not hiring an attorney to represent them at this type of hearing.
I have successfully fought the issuance of many Complaints at these types of hearings and have on many occasions convinced the Clerk Magistrate not to commence charges against my client even where probable cause existed to support the allegations.