I have seen many college students in the Boston area summonsed to court for the charge of being a keeper of a noisy and disorderly house. Typically, these students are residents of a house that has been busted for having a party. The Boston Police, specifically at D-14 in Allston-Brighton, have been breaking up parties and then sending summonses to the residents to appear at Brighton Court for a clerk magistrate’s hearing.
It is very important to have strong legal representation at a magistrate’s hearing for several reasons:
1) A lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and explain all of the possible outcomes to you,
2) He or she will be with you at the hearing and will be able to help you answer questions and argue on your behalf and,
3) Help convince the clerk magistrate not to issue the complaint so as to save you from being arraigned in front of judge and having a criminal record.
I have represented many students at the magistrate level on this charge and have been successful and keeping their criminal records clean. Unfortunately, I have also witnessed some students try to handle the hearing on their own and then call me after the fact to represent them in the criminal proceedings. At that point, the damage has really already been done. Once arraigned, a criminal record is generated. The best we can do at that point is fight to get the case dismissed and then discuss other options in regards to whether or not sealing a record is the best option.
The key is to call an attorney as soon as you receive the summons. I have always offered free consultations to allow you to make the best and most informed decision possible before committing to any legal fees.