In Massachusetts, there are 2 types of citations that are handed out: civil and criminal. If you receive a citation for a criminal violation, it is important to take the steps to best defend the citation.
With any criminal matter, it is important to contact an attorney at your earliest oppurtunity. While a criminal citation may seem trivial, they can in fact impact your criminal history.
Read the citation. In MA, you have 4 days to return the criminal citation to the court that has jurisdiction. While it is not necessary to do so, it gives you the added benefit of the scheduling of a show cause hearing. A show cause hearing is a preliminary hearing in front of a magistrate where the magistrate has the chance to NOT ADVANCE THE MATTER. If the matter is disposed of at the show cause level, it will not appear on your criminal history.
As with any criminal matter, anything you say can be used against you. This goes for any statements made by you at the show cause hearing. Because of this, it is strongly advisable to have an attorney with you at the show cause level to speak on your behalf.
Broadbent & Taylor handles the criminal citations at every level, from the show cause, to the arraignent, up to the trial. Contact us if you have received one of these citations to discuss how you should proceed going forward.
THIS POST IS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT. IT IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE.