Some criminal cases can be over even before they “begin,” that is, before formal criminal charges are even levied against the accused, keeping your record as clean as it was before. Also known as a “show-cause hearing, this process affords the clerk the discretion to amend or dismiss the charges where no probable cause of a criminal offense is presented. At the hearing, your accuser must present the clerk magistrate with evidence that you committed the crime. You have the right to question any witnesses and examine any evidence against you. You only have one chance at a hearing like this, therefore, having a skilled defense attorney to examine the witnesses and the evidence puts you at a distinct advantage.
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