What is a clerks hearing?
A clerk’s hearing is usually the most initial stage of court hearing. In most cases, people are called to a clerk’s hearing by criminal citation being mailed to them or summons being issued instead of being formally charged and arrested on the charges.
The purpose of these hearings is to determine whether the evidence to start a case and issue the warrants is adequate or not. Often on charges of misdemeanor, people are also called in to show cause or explain their side of the story, before the clerk can decide whether to charge them or not.
What is the process if I have received a notice to appear at a clerk’s hearing?
If you have received a notice to appear at a clerk’s hearing, you will be told the court number and the day and date of the proceedings. Attending these hearings is important because they will determine whether you are charged or not.
What should I be prepared for if I have received a summons?
You should be prepared to show cause and highlight the reason for any action that you may have taken which is either a violation of the law or can be borderline offense. You need to clear yourself to the clerk.
What happens if the clerk finds in my favor?
If the clerk finds in your favor, the case will not proceed ahead and you will not even be charged of that offense, let alone stand trial.
What happens if the clerk finds against me?
If the clerk finds against you, you will be asked to stand trial and you will be charged of the offense. Basically the case will move ahead.
Why you should hire a defense attorney for a clerk’s hearing?
A clerk’s hearing is the first step in the initiation of the case, this usually decides whether there will be an arrest warrant issued against you or not, whether the case is maintainable or not, and whether you will be charged with it or not. Using a lawyer at this point can potentially help you walk free even before you are charged with an offense and your reputation called into question.
Call to speak with one of our NJ clerk’s hearing lawyers at Castronovo & McKinney for a free consultation or a second opinion regarding your clerk’s hearing. We can be reached at 973-920-7888 or by filling out our confidential case evaluation form.