Client is a software engineer from India who would suffer the loss of employment if her company became aware of her being charged with the felony of larceny over $250. She is here on an H-1 B business visa and is the sole provider for her family back in India. Based on the extreme hardship she would suffer I was able to speak with the prosecutor explain situation and convince the Commonwealth to agree to postpone arraignment for her to complete 40 hours of community service. Upon completion of 40 hours of community service at a nonprofit organization they agreed to dismiss charges of larceny over 250 and receiving stolen property prior to arraignment.
Client was found with over two thousand dollars worth of merchandise that was taken from two stores. Since the merchandise was valued over $250 she was not charged with shoplifting but the more serious felony charge of larceny over $250 and receiving stolen property. The receiving stolen property charge was related to the property in her possession which was from another store. These types of matters can either be scheduled for a clerk magistrate hearing or in this case the person can be arrested, a bail set and scheduled for arraignment. She was arrested by the Braintree police and released on her own personal recognizance to appear in Quincy district court today.
As a criminal lawyer in Boston Frank Fernandez has handled many magistrate hearings some in Quincy, Boston Municipal Court and many other counties all around Massachusetts. A Clerk magistrate hearing is a hearing before a clerk in which the clerk of court decides whether probable cause exists to charge someone with a crime. The officer involved in the arrest does not need to appear. At times a witness or victim may be summonsed to testify. Hearsay is allowed and a clerk may hear from an officer not involved with the case who merely reads the police report as a summary of what took place. A person can then ask questions of the officer or be sworn in and testify themselves as to their version of the events. Anything you say can be used in future proceedings against you if charged with a crime. It is important to have a criminal attorney represent you to be able to speak on your behalf without you making any admissions or make statements which can later be used against you. A criminal lawyer can inform the clerk as to your personal situation and give reasons why a charge should not issue. Attorney Fernandez has been very successful in convincing the court to not proceed with charges although probable cause exists.