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Clerk Magistrate Hearings

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Clerk Magistrate Hearings in Massachusetts / Boston Clerk's Hearings

If the police decide to charge you with a misdemeanor that was committed outside of their presence, they are generally unable to arrest you. Instead, the police have to apply for a complaint at the district or municipal court. You are then entitled to a hearing in front of a clerk magistrate. If the complaint issues against you, the charges will appear on your criminal record and you would have to fight the charges again in front of a judge. If the clerk does not issue the complaint, the case is over, and no charge would appear on your record. The clerk magistrate hearing is a crucial stage. Hiring an attorney and going to the clerk’s hearing prepared is well worth your time. While there is no guarantee of success, you will put yourself in the best possible position if you are represented.

Going to a magistrate hearing unprepared can lead to criminal charges being issued. If the clerk decides to issue the charges, you will be facing a much bigger battle, likely facing court dates over a lengthy period of time before your case resolves. An experienced attorney will be able to help you build the best case for you to present at the hearing. Prior to the hearing, I will evaluate your case, possibly contact the arresting officer, speak with witnesses, and prepare an argument on your behalf.

What happens at a magistrate hearing?

At the hearing, the arresting officer or a police prosecutor will appear in court to read a report or describe the alleged incident to the clerk magistrate. Witnesses sometimes appear and testify as well. You have the right to testify on your own behalf, although your attorney will advise you of the pros and cons of taking the stand in your case. There is no public record of the hearing. After considering the evidence and hearing oral arguments from the police officer and your attorney, the clerk magistrate will rule on your case. If the clerk finds that there is probable cause to support the charges, then a complaint will issue. If your attorney is able to convince the clerk to dismiss the case, your criminal record will remain clean.

We have helped people across the state of Massachusetts – literally – to preserve their clean records in the face of serious criminal allegations.  See below for some examples of our recent cases.  If you or a family member have a magistrate hearing (also known as “show cause” or “clerk’s hearing”) coming up, call us today at 781-797-0555 for a free telephone consultation.

Recent Clerk Magistrate Hearings

November 27, 2017

Cambridge District Court
Client, a 22-year-old man, was accused of Possession with Intent to Distribute Class D (Marijuana), Possession in Motor Vehicle of Open Container of Marijuana, and a civil Motor Vehicle Lights Violation. Police pulled over Client’s friend, who was borrowing Client’s car. They allegedly found over four ounces of marijuana, including baggies and a scale. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who uncovered several problems with the police “investigation,” including a warrantless search without probable cause. Attorney Simons persuaded the magistrate to dismiss the complaint. As a result, the charges never appear on Client’s record.
Result: Dismissed.

November 21, 2017

Framingham District Court
Client, a 45-year-old woman, was accused of Violating a Harassment Prevention Order. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who convinced the clerk magistrate to dismiss the application for complaint. As a result, Client is never officially charged.
Result: Dismissed.

September 22, 2017

Quincy District Court
Client, an Albanian man, was accused of Assault and Battery on his former friend. His friend accused Client of hitting him during a ride in the car, reported it to the police, and applied for a criminal complaint. Client hired Simons Law Office to defend him against the false allegations, which could have disastrous consequences on his immigration status. At the hearing Client’s friend was adamant about having the charges issue against Client. Instead, Attorney Attarchi successfully cross-examined the ex-friend, and convinced the clerk magistrate to dismiss the case. Client maintains his clean record and avoids any immigration consequences.
Result: Dismissed.

September 11, 2017

Lynn District Court
Client, a condo owner, was accused of Assault and Battery after allegedly hitting her neighbor in the face. The dispute arose from an argument over property rights of the shared building. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend her against the wrongful accusation. At the hearing, the clerk magistrate agreed not to issue the complaint. Instead, the case was kept open for a year; if there’s no more trouble, the case will be dismissed completely. Client maintains her clean record.
Result: Dismissed.

August 2, 2017

Lynn District Court
Client, a wife and mother, was accused of Shoplifting $100+ by Asportation after a loss prevention officer observed her stealing items at Wal-Mart. Police filed an application for criminal complaint, and Client was summonsed for a magistrate hearing. Client missed the hearing and charges were issued. Client hired Simons Law Office to protect her from the allegations.
Attorney Attarchi filed a motion to dismiss prior to arraignment, arguing that Client was entitled to a magistrate hearing and requested that Client receive another hearing date. Over the prosecutor’s objection, the judge agreed. The case was dismissed, and then re-filed for another clerk magistrate hearing. At that hearing, Attorney Attarchi persuaded the magistrate to dismiss the case. After all that, Client is never officially charged and her clean record is unmarred.
Result: Dismissed.

August 1, 2017

Newburyport District Court
Client, a young man, was accused of Criminal Harassment against his neighbor, who happened to be a police sergeant. Client’s neighbor accused Client of harassing him and his family on several occasions. Client hired Simons Law Office to defend him. At the hearing, police wanted Client to face charges for his alleged behavior against their brother in arms. However, Attorney Attarchi convinced the clerk magistrate to dismiss the case completely. Client walks away with no charges on his record.
Result: Dismissed.

May 22, 2017

Central Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, a college student, was accused of Shoplifting by Concealing Merchandise at Sephora, allegedly trying to steal $200 worth of makeup. Client was stopped at the entrance, photographed, and caught “red handed.”
Client hired Simons Law Office. Despite the overwhelming evidence against Client, Attorney Attarchi convinced the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint. As a result, Client maintains her clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

April 14, 2017

Clinton District Court
Client, an honorably discharged Marine, was accused of Shoplifting by Concealing Merchandise, Larceny over $250, and Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Police alleged that Client walked out of a sporting goods store with several stolen boxes of ammunition, while in possession of two loaded handguns.
Client was summonsed for a magistrate hearing, and hired Simons Law Office. Attorney Simons put in a lot of legwork, contacted the police officers involved, and conduced an independent investigation. At the hearing, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint. Client’s record stays clean.
Result: Dismissed.

March 8, 2017

Waltham District Court
Client, a young man with a visa from China, was accused of Assault and Battery on his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. In reality, the ex-boyfriend had been stalking Client and his girlfriend and showed up at Client’s apartment looking for trouble. Police showed up, but rather than arresting Client, they issued an application for complaint and Client was summonsed for a magistrate hearing. Client hired Simons Law Office. At the hearing, the ex-boyfriend/alleged victim was also represented by an attorney and was adamant about seeing Client charged. After a contentious hearing, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk magistrate to dismiss the case. As a result, Client maintains his clean record and does not suffer any immigration consequences.
Result: Dismissed.

January 13, 2017

Cambridge District Court
Client, a husband and father of two, was accused of four counts of Assault and Battery against his wife. The wife had just filed for divorce, and also a restraining order. Client suspected that his wife was using the allegations as a tactic to help her in the divorce case and hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend his rights. Today at the hearing, Attorney Simons convinced a clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint. Instead, the case is held open for six months. If Client stays out of trouble, the case will be dismissed and he will never have been officially charged with a crime. His criminal record will remain clean, and his immigration visa will not be affected.
Result: Dismissed.

December 28, 2016

Central Division,
Boston Municipal Court

Client, a college student from China, was accused of Shoplifting after allegedly concealing several hundred dollars worth of merchandise at Sephora. Client hired Simons Law Office to try to protect her criminal record. Client was particularly nervous, given her immigration status. Today at the clerk’s hearing, Attorney Sara Attarchi convinced the clerk not to issue the complaint, but rather to hold it open. If Client pays a $100 fine, and stays out of trouble for one year, the case will be dismiss and will never appear on her record.
Result: Dismissed.

September 30, 2016

East Boston Division,
Boston Municipal Court

Client, a 33-year-old professional, was accused of Possession of a Concealed Weapon in Secure Area of an Airport. State Police alleged that Client, a licensed gun owner, had went through security with a loaded firearm in his carryon bag. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend against the allegation. Today, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk magistrate to dismiss the complaint against Client. As a result, Client maintains a clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

July 27, 2016

Lynn District Court
Client, a part-time construction worker, was accused of Driving Without a License and Driving an Uninspected Vehicle. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who convinced the clerk magistrate not to issue the charges. Instead, if Client gets his license and provides proof to the court within six months, the case will be dismissed. As a result, this case will never show up on Client’s criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

April 28, 2016

Quincy District Court
Client, a 67-year-old disabled veteran, was accused of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person 14 or Over.  Client’s neighbor accused Client of inviting her over and then grabbing her breast.  Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend him against this serious allegation, which could land him on the Sex Offender Registry.  Today at the hearing, Attorney Simons persuaded the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint.  As a result, Client avoids this devastating charge on his criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

January 21, 2016

Central Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, an 18-year-old college freshman, was accused of Trespassing after allegedly going into a construction zone with some friends in the middle of the night.  Client had never been in trouble before and, concerned that this case could become a black mark on his previously clean criminal record, hired Attorney Joseph B Simons. At the hearing, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk magistrate to dismiss the application for complaint. Instead the case was dismissed, and will never appear on Client’s criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

January 14, 2016

Stoughton District Court
Client, an 18-year-old high school student in a residential school, was accused of Carrying a Dangerous Weapon on School Grounds, after a staff member told police that she saw Client with a firearm in the school. Client had other open cases, and prior allegations of similar behavior, so the consequences of this allegation could be severe. Client’s family hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend Client against the very serious allegations. Today at the hearing, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint. Instead, the case is held open for six months. If Client stays out of any further trouble, the case will be dismissed, and will not appear on his criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

December 21, 2015

Central Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, an 18-year-old college freshman, was accused of Trespassing after allegedly hopping a fence in a work zone and climbing 60 stories to the top of a skyscraper that is under construction in downtown Boston. Client had never been in trouble before and, concerned that this one stupid decision could cost him an otherwise clean criminal record, hired Attorney Joseph B Simons. At the hearing, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk magistrate not to issue the charges. Instead, the case is held open for three months, and Client had to pay a $50 fine. If Client remains out of trouble, the case will be dismissed in three months, and will never appear on his criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

September 30, 2015

Fitchburg District Court
Client, a single mother from Uganda, was accused of letting an unlicensed driver use her rental car. Given that Client is not yet a citizen, she hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to try to avoid having this accusation mar an otherwise clean criminal record. Attorney Simons investigated the allegations, and today at the hearing, convinced a clerk magistrate not to issue the charge. As a result, Client’s record remains clean and will not be a bar to her becoming a citizen of the United States.
Result: Dismissed.

July 28, 2015

West Roxbury Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, a 28-year-old single mother from Ohio, was accused of Identity Fraud and Credit Card Fraud after her ex-boyfriend accused her of opening up credit cards in his name. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend against the allegations. An investigation revealed that Client’s ex-boyfriend did give Client permission to use the credit cards, and only made the police report after becoming angry with Client for claiming the parties’ children on her taxes. Today at the hearing, the clerk magistrate agreed to dismiss the complaint. As a result, Client maintains her clean record.
Result: Dismissed.

July 16, 2015

Taunton District Court
Client, a 43-year-old senior executive, was accused of Possession of Class B Drugs (Percocet), Operating with a Suspended License, and Marked Lanes Violation. Client, who had no prior criminal history, hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to represent him. Today, Attorney Simons persuaded the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint. The clerk magistrate agreed to hold the case open for one year; if Client stays out of trouble, the charges will be dismissed prior to ever showing up on his record. As a result, Client maintains his clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

May 26, 2015

Dorchester Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, a 40-year-old father, was accused of Threat to Commit a Crime (Bodily Harm) after a heated telephone call with his ex-girlfriend. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who investigated phone records and other relevant evidence to prepare the case for hearing. On the hearing date, the clerk magistrate dismissed the complaint. As a result, Client maintains a clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

April 15, 2015

Dorchester Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, a 34-year-old father, was accused of Violating a Restraining Order against his ex-wife. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend him against this charge, which was brought on by an inadvertent text message sent to all contacts in Client’s phone, including his ex-wife. At the clerk’s hearing, Client’s Wife appeared, along with a Boston Police Detective, who were adamant about pushing the charge. However, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk magistrate that Client had no intention of contacting his wife when he sent out a mass text message to everyone in his phone – and absolutely did not contain any threatening language. As a result, client avoids being formally charged and his record stays clean.
Result: Dismissed.

April 3, 2015

Dudley District Court
Client, a 25-year-old Ph.D. student from China, was accused of Operating with a Suspended License, Left Lane Violation, and No Inspection Sticker after a traffic stop on the Mass Pike. With an I-20 visa, Client could not risk all of his hard work going to waste, so he retained Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph B Simons. Today, at the hearing, Attorney Simons successfully persuaded the clerk magistrate not to issue the criminal complaint. As a result, the charge will never appear on Client’s criminal record and Client was only found responsible for the Left Lane Violation and subject to a $50 fine.
Result: Dismissed.

March 20, 2015

Roxbury Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, a 25-year old pharmacy doctoral candidate, was accused of Malicious Destruction of Property Over $250 (a felony), after allegedly smashing up two vehicles with cinder blocks in the middle of the night with a friend of his. Clients hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who investigated the case, spoke with the victims, and prepared the case for hearing. Boston Police and Northeastern University Police were involved. Both departments were pushing for the charge to go forward, as officers also accused Client of yelling, swearing and generally being belligerent to them. To make matters worse, Client had a history of alcohol-fueled incidents with campus police. In between the incident and the hearing, Client took the first steps toward confronting his alcohol dependence, and had already paid a stiff penalty by way of a two-year suspension from grad school, just months before graduation. Today, at the hearing, Attorney Simons persuaded the clerk magistrate to hold open the case. As a result, if Client remains out of trouble for one year, the case will be dismissed and never appear on his record.
Result: Dismissed.

January 22, 2015

Northern Berkshire District Court
Client, a 50-year-old cab driver, was accused of Carrying a Firearm without an FID Card and Motor Vehicle Trespassing. The Environmental Police filed an application for criminal complaint against Client for hunting on private land with an expired FID card. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to fight the charges. After taking a number of steps before the hearing, Attorney Simons presented the clerk with an argument on Client’s behalf. Today at the hearing, the clerk agreed not to issue the charges if Client transfers ownership of the firearm to a licensed person within three months. Significantly, this means that client avoids being charged with a felony that comes with an 18-month mandatory minimum jail sentence, and avoids a steep fine for the trespassing (and any insurance premium hikes). Client’s record remains clean.
Result: Dismissed.

January 15, 2015

Roxbury Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, a 24-year-old financial analyst, was accused of Malicious Destruction of Property Over $250 (a felony), after allegedly smashing up two vehicles with cinder blocks in the middle of the night. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who investigated the case, spoke with the victims, and prepared the case for hearing. Today, at the hearing, Attorney Simons persuaded the clerk magistrate to dismiss the charge against Client. As a result, Client maintains his clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

December 3, 2014

Lawrence District Court
Client, a mother of three teenagers, was accused of Assault after a police officer observed her allegedly trying to hit a neighbor. Client and her neighbor had had a contentious relationship, documented in other court records. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to represent her at the hearing. Today, the clerk magistrate agreed not to issue the complaint against Client. As a result, Client maintains her clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

November 13, 2014

Lawrence District Court
Client, a 27-year-old woman, was accused of Filing a False Police Report and Malicious Destruction of Property after an incident in a department store parking lot. Client allegedly cut off a vehicle in the parking lot, and then hit the other car with her purse. According to the police, she chased the other car down the road, and got out at a red light to escalate the altercation. Finally, Client called police to report that she was hit by the other car. Police reviewed surveillance footage and determined she had lied. Fortunately, Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to represent her at the hearing. Today, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk not to issue the charges. If Client stays out of trouble for three months, the application will be dismissed and her record will remain clean.
Result: Dismissed.

September 16, 2014

Dorchester Division
Boston Municipal Court
Client, a 48-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, was accused of Violating a Restraining Order, Criminal Harassment, and Harassing Phone Calls. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who investigated the case and ultimately persuaded the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint. As a result, if Client stays out of trouble for six months, the complaint will be dismissed and will never appear on his criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

September 3, 2014

Falmouth District Court
Client, a 31-year-old woman, was accused of Shoplifting in a retail store. When the police arrived, Client admitted to concealing clothing items in her purse with the intent to steal them. Instead of arresting her, police issued Client a summons to appear at a clerk magistrate hearing. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who persuaded the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint. Instead, the case will be open for six months. If Client remains out of trouble, the complaint will be dismissed and the charge will never appear on her record.
Result: Dismissed.

June 16, 2014

Haverhill District Court
Client, a 36-year-old single mom, was charged with driving while her license was suspended due to an OUI. She was additionally cited for two civil infractions: driving with an unregistered motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who persuaded a judge to dismiss the case prior to arraignment, saving Client’s criminal record (at least temporarily), in favor of a clerk magistrate hearing. At the magistrate hearing, Attorney Simons convinced the clerk to dismiss the criminal charge and one of the civil infractions, leaving Client with only a civil violation and a $100 fine. As a result, Client avoids an entry on her criminal record.
Result: Criminal Case Dismissed.

May 22, 2014

Lynn Juvenile Court
Client, a 17-year-old international student, was accused of driving without a licensed driver over 21 years of age. Client was driving with friends when he was pulled over by a police officer at 1 in the morning. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who persuaded the clerk magistrate to dismiss the complaint. As a result, Client maintains his clean record and also avoids any immigration, insurance, or license consequences.
Result: Dismissed.

February 25, 2014

Somerville District Court
Client, a 27-year-old professional, was accused of Violating a Restraining Order by sending text messages to his former girlfriend. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend him against the allegations. Attorney obtained phone records from the alleged victim and Client, and found that no such text messages were sent. At the hearing today, the clerk magistrate agreed not to issue the complaint. As a result, the charge will never appear on Client’s record.
Result: Dismissed.

February 19, 2014

Dedham District Court
Clients, a husband and wife, were accused of Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft. Husband’s mother accused the pair of opening up credit cards in her name, and charging up large debts. Clients hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who investigated the allegations and found that the alleged victim had given permission to obtain credit. A miscommunication had occurred between the parties, and Attorney Simons persuaded the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint. As a result, the complaint was held open for six months in order for Clients to pay off the debt, and then ultimately dismissed. No charge will appear on Clients’ records.
Result: Dismissed.

February 14, 2014

Cambridge District Court
Client, a 52-year-old man, was accused of pushing a stranger at a MBTA subway station (Assault and Battery). The alleged victim, a 29-year-old woman, told police that Client had approached her and started pushing her without warning. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to defend him at the clerk magistrate hearing. After reviewing all available information, it appeared that the allegations were largely exaggerated and out of context. At the hearing date, the clerk agreed to dismiss the charge against Client. As a result, Client maintains his clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

September 27, 2013

Wareham District Court
Client, a mother and nonprofit president, was accused of repeatedly violating a harassment order and threatening to commit arson. Client also had a harassment order against the alleged victim, which was in place prior to this complaint. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to fight the allegations. Today, while checking into the clerk magistrate’s office, Client was notified of a second complaint against her for violating the harassment order. At the clerk’s hearing, Attorney Joseph B Simons persuaded the clerk magistrate to dismiss both complaints. As a result, Client maintains her clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

August 6, 2013

Woburn District Court
Client, a 22-year old woman, was accused of trespassing on her neighbor’s property. Client’s neighbor alleged that she traveled through his back yard and attempted to gain access to his house by opening the back door. The neighbor, who happened to be a police officer, was home at the time and called additional officers on scene. The police then filed this criminal complaint against Client. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who ultimately persuaded the clerk magistrate to hold open the case and not issue the charges. As a result, Client maintains her clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

July 25, 2013

Barnstable District Court
Client, a 43-year-old husband and father, was accused of Assault and Battery on a Police Officer and Resisting Arrest. The police alleged that Client pushed and swung his fist at an officer during an emergency call to Client’s home. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who investigated hospital records and interviewed witnesses prior to the hearing. The investigation turned up evidence that Client’s daughter had called 911 for a medical emergency on the day of the incident. When police arrived, Client had just been revived and was unsteady on his feet. Everything pointed to the fact that Client did not intend to touch the officer in any way, but rather was confused and trying to regain his bearings, before being taken by ambulance to the hospital. Today, at the hearing, Attorney Joseph B Simons convinced the clerk magistrate that charges should not issue against Client.
Result: Dismissed.

May 3, 2013

Salem District Court
Client, a 24-year-old woman, was accused of assault and battery by kicking her 12-year-old niece on the day before Easter. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons, who interviewed witnesses and investigated the case against Client. Client’s mother, a witness to the incident, and Client’s neighbor, who made the initial call to police, made it clear that the incident was largely exaggerated. Today, at the clerk’s hearing, Attorney Joseph B Simons persuaded the clerk magistrate that justice would not be served if Client were charged. As a result, Client maintains her clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

April 5, 2013

Salem District Court
Client, a mother and grandmother, was accused of fraudulently opening utility and telephone accounts in her adult daughter’s name. Client hired Attorney Joseph B Simons to represent her. Today, at the clerk’s hearing, Attorney Joseph B Simons submitted evidence that Client’s daughter gave permission for the accounts to be opened in her name, and persuaded the clerk magistrate that no complaint should issue against Client. As a result, Client maintains her clean criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

February 21, 2013

Boston Municipal Court
Central Division

Client, a 30-year-old woman, was accused of Embezzling over $22,000 from her former employer, a Newbury Street retail store. The police alleged that Client funneled money from various customer accounts into her personal store account. Client retained Attorney Joseph B Simons, who thoroughly investigated and gathered information from several former employees to refute the allegations against Client. Today, at the clerk’s hearing, Attorney Joseph B Simons cross-examined a store representative, brought in two witnesses for Client, and ultimately persuaded the clerk magistrate that no charge should issue. As a result, this case will be dismissed and will never appear on Client’s criminal record.
Result: Dismissed.

January 2, 2013

Somerville District Court
Client, a recent law school graduate, was accused of Domestic Assault and Battery by his live-in girlfriend. The police alleged that Client pushed his girlfriend’s head into the dashboard while driving. Client’s girlfriend was also summonsed for Domestic Assault and Battery against Client. After the incident, the parties split up but remained friends. Neither side wanted to pursue the case. Today, at the clerk’s hearing, Attorney Joseph B Simons persuaded the clerk magistrate that no charge should issue. As a result, this case will be dismissed and will never appear on any background check.
Result: Dismissed.

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