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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4500
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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An application for a criminal complaint has been filed against

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An application for a criminal complaint has been filed against me in Massachusetts for an incident/complaint in 2010. The police charge is for a misdemeanor only, no arrest warrant, and it says I'm required to show. I received the court form via regular Post. I'm an Ohio resident. I have legal counsel in OH, but he's not admitted to practice in MA. My questions are: Does a Municipal Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have the legal authority to charge, serve and require an Ohio resident's appearance? Can they realistically be expected to cause an arrest in Ohio and an extradition to MA based upon a misdemeanor warrant on a case as thin as this? Should I obtain counsel in MA?

The Massachusetts courts have jurisdiction over any crime that occurred in Massachusetts. It does not matter where the alleged perpetrator resides. They can issue a summons and if you fail to appear, can issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If that happens, Massachusetts does not have to effect the arrest. Ohio police can arrest you and hold you for 30 days while Massachusetts decides whether to extradite you. Realistically, they probably will not for a minor offense, but you could be tangled up in the system while they decide. If the case is thin, then it would benefit you to resolve it. If you obtain an attorney in Massachusetts, and the case is lacking in evidence, the attorney might be able to negotiate with the prosecutor there for a dismissal without you having to appear. If the prosecution does insist on going forward then you may have to appear, and hopefully your attorney can get the matter specially set so you know for sure the case will be heard on that specific date. But hopefully the matter can be resolved without your presence, given that the case is old and you say it is not a very good case.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So you're suggesting that I obtain a lawyer in MA for this matter for better results, and not bother with OH counsel?

Yes. There's nothing really that an Ohio lawyer can do for you unless they are licensed also in Massachusetts. A Massachusetts lawyer may be willing to try to take care of it for a flat fee since it is a minor case. If you need help finding a lawyer in Massachusetts, you can use a directory like which will allow you to find criminal defense attorneys in the city where the case is being heard.
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