What happens at a criminal complaint hearing?

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2012

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What happens at a criminal complaint hearing?

Charges were for shoplifiting by concealing merchandise under $250. It was a 23 year old male, no record, was on meds at time for post stress.

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Most likely the "criminal complaint hearing" that you have written about is the first appearance in the criminal matter called an "arraignment". At the arraignment, the defennat who has been charged with the offense is read the complaint filed against him or her and makes a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.

If you have been charged with the offense that you are writing about, I recommend that you consult with a criminal defense attorney about the matter that you have been accused of well before the arraignment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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