Hello, I live in W. Massachusetts. On Friday 11/30/12, 8pm I went to my village PO to pick up my mail, which I generally do twice a week, and in it I found a Notice of Next Event /Magistrate Hearing and Application for Criminal Complaint
postmarked 11/23/12, with a hearing date for this coming Wed. 12/05/12, for an event that took place on Sun. 11/18 for alleged animal abuse, regarding the way I was walking my dog (on a long leash from my car, and an accidental tumble she took while doing so). Given it being the weekend, I have not had time to get/find a lawyer, will try to do so tomorrow Asap, but (1) need to know if a general lawyer is OK or ought I attempt to find a criminal lawyer to help me through this magistrate hearing? Or (2) dare I go w/o legal counsel in the event I cannot find someone who is available at such short notice? And (3) ought I try to find out how to apply for a continuance given the short notice I have had and the possibility that I may not be able to get legal help in this short amount of time, only 2 business days! I don't think this is enough time even to request a motion for continuance! And (4), is a continuance something I need legal help to do properly and safely, or do I just go to the court
and ask them how to do it on my own - again- if I am unable to get a lawyer who is available in the brief time window I have before this Wednesday's scheduled hearing...? I am a complete novice in anything legal, have never had anything happen to me before! Am a total dog lover, would never intentionally or knowingly hurt my dog, the person who saw this unfortunate incident who went off at me contacted the police and the complainant now is the local village police chief (vs me). I would very much appreciate any help or advice, THANK YOU.
Nancy, Berkshires, MA
(12/03/12 @ 12:38 a.m.)