On March 13, 2016, ZD, a 26 year old salesman with a medical device company got stopped in Belmont as the result of a marked lane violation. When the police ran his license they discovered that his right to drive had been suspended in Massachusetts as the result of an unpaid ticket. ZD was not arrested but was cited by the police for operating after suspension (a criminal offense) and for a marked lane violation (a civil motor vehicle infraction). ZD’s job requires that he drive all over the Northeastern United States and each year his employer does a criminal record check to see if he has any criminal record. To his credit ZD went immediately to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and paid the unpaid ticket. He then paid a reinstatement fee to the Registry and his driving privileges were reinstated. ZD received a summons to appear in Cambridge District Court for an arraignment on June 7, 2016. ZD consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin. ZD impressed upon Attorney Lewin that it was imperative that he keep his criminal record clean. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the District Attorney’s Office at Cambridge District Court. Attorney Lewin explained the importance of keeping ZD’s record clean. Attorney Lewin was able to get the District Attorney to agree to not only dismiss the criminal charge, but to dismiss the charge without ZD being arraigned. This is called a dismissal prior to arraignment. The significance of a dismissal prior to arraignment is that NO criminal record is created. As a little frosting on the cake the DA also agreed to a finding of not responsible on the marked lane violation. On June 7, 2016 ZD and Attorney Lewin appeared in Cambridge District Court (in Medford). Attorney Lewin explained the situation to the Judge and the Judge accepted the agreement that Attorney Lewin had worked out with the District Attorney. The criminal charge was ordered dismissed prior to arraignment and a finding of NOT responsible was entered on the marked lanes violation. This was the very best possible result. ZD walked out of the Courthouse a very happy camper!
On May 24,2015, OM, a Dentist practicing in Boston, was cited on the Massachusetts Turnpike for several civil motor vehicle infractions. She was found responsible and neglected to pay the civil assessments. On June 29, 2015 her license was suspended for failing to pay the assessments. On April 1, 2016 she was traveling again on the Mass. Pike; a trooper was electronically scanning plates (a lawful practice) and her plate came up as owner suspended. The trooper pulled OM over and cited her for driving after suspension of license. He could have arrested her but he did not. She was very concerned about getting a criminal record as she is on the staff of two major teaching hospitals in Boston. OM contacted Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin advised her to immediately request a hearing and to immediately get her license reinstated. OM paid the outstanding money owing on the ticket from 2015 and she went to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and paid a reinstatement fee and got her license reinstated. Attorney Lewin obtained OM’s driver record from the RMV to show that she was fully reinstated. On May 9, 2016 OM and Attorney Lewin appeared in Newton District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing on the application for criminal complaint that had been filed by the police against OM. Attorney Lewin presented the evidence from the RMV to show that OM had indeed paid the assessments owing on the old ticket and that the RMV had reinstated OM’s license. Attorney Lewin asked the Clerk-Magistrate not to issue the criminal complaint against OM and pointed out that having a criminal record would be very unhelpful to OM – especially in the medical profession. The Assistant Clerk-Magistrate agreed and denied the police application for the criminal complaint.
As a result of this OM has NO criminal record. Because NO criminal complaint was issued against her she was not charged, she was not arrested, and, most importantly, NO entry was made in the Criminal Offender Record Information System (CORI) against OM. It is as if it did not happen.
On April 8, 2015, ET, a 31 year old cable installer from Melrose, was placed on probation for two years in Lowell District Court for a second offense DUI case. His probation included terms that he obey all criminal laws, that he complete the two-week in-patient second offender program, that he complete 26 weeks of aftercare, and other conditions as well. His probation was going well. He completed the two weeks in-patient and he completed his aftercare. In addition he was not driving. And then on February 27, 2016 the lure of the alcohol got to him. He went into Boston to a bar and got roaring drunk. Fortunately for him he was not driving. Unfortunately for him he got on the T and headed back to Melrose to his home. When the train got to the last stop in Melrose he went nuts. He broke a window on the train and then took out his private and urinated on the floor of the train. The police came and arrested him and charged him with Disorderly Conduct, Malicious Destruction of Property, and Indecent Exposure. On February 29, 2016 he was arraigned in Malden District Court on these new charges and when they saw that he was still on Probation in Lowell District Court he was ordered to appear in Lowell District Court the next day. ET called Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover and retained Attorney Lewin to appear with him the next day in Lowell District Court. ET was concerned that he would be detained (held without bail) in Lowell District Court on the alleged violation of probation. Attorney Lewin contacted the probation officer; the probation officer was both surprised and disappointed with ET as he felt that ET had been doing well on probation. Attorney Lewin got probation to not ask that ET be detained. ET and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lowell District Court that next day and ET was arraigned on the probation violation and the case was continued for a final probation surrender hearing to March 24, 2016. ET was released on personal recognizance. Attorney Lewin told ET that he had to get mental health counseling for his obvious alcoholism. ET followed Attorney Lewin’s suggestion and started seeing a counselor. On March 24, 2016 ET and Attorney Lewin returned to Lowell District Court for the final probation surrender hearing. ET was facing a potential 2 1/2 year sentence to the House of Correction. Attorney Lewin had advocated hard with the Probation Officer to give ET an additional chance to avoid jail. The probation officer agreed that counseling was a better outcome than jail. ET’s case was called in the First Criminal Session and the Judge, after a hearing, agreed with Attorney Lewin and the probation officer and re-probated ET with the added conditions that he remain in mental health counseling and that he now remain alcohol free and be subject to random breath testing by probation. ET was extremely relieved that no jail time was imposed. Now ET has to deal with those new charges in Malden Court. More to follow …
KM, an eighteen year old college student, was caught shoplifting at Kohl’s in North Andover on February 13, 2016. She had picked up make-up to the tune of $190.00 and hidden it in her coat pocket. Unfortunately for her a loss prevention officer was watching her on video and saw everything. She headed passed the registers and out the door of the store without paying and was stopped by the loss prevention people and brought back into the store. The North Andover police were called and responded to the store. Subsequently, KM received a Notice of Complaint Hearing from Lawrence District Court. KM and her Mother consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin consulted immediately with the police prosecutor from North Andover. KM wrote out a letter of apology to Kohl’s and Attorney Lewin furnished a copy to the police prosecutor. In addition KM went to speak with a counselor. On March 24, 2016 KM and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for a hearing before the Clerk-Magistrate. The Clerk-Magistrate found probable cause to issue a criminal complaint against KM, but referred her to the Essex County Diversion Program. The Diversion Program – if successfully completed – causes the criminal case to be “diverted” out of the criminal justice system and NO criminal record is created. In KM’s case the diversion program will require KM to complete 15 Hours of Community Service, write an essay, and meet with a counselor. As a result of this disposition KM will have NO criminal record. KM and her Mother left the court house happy with the result.
Over a three week period KW, a 40 year old Indian National and her husband, both from Andover, had been going to a gas station in Lawrence and stealing coffee and firewood. When they were discovered the owners of the gas station went back through the daily videos and observed KW and her husband shoplifting at the gas station ten times over a three week period. The next time KW and her husband arrived at the station the owner called the police and the police responded immediately. KW and her husband were both charged with shoplifting. KW and her husband received a Notice of Complaint Hearing before a Clerk-Magistrate. They thought they would be smart and go to the hearing without a lawyer. At the hearing the Clerk found probable cause to charge them and criminal complaints were issued against KW and her husband charging each of them with Shoplifting. KW is not a citizen and shoplifting is a crime of moral turpitude and presumptively deportable. KW consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately consulted with the District Attorney and pointed out to the DA that any guilty finding or even an admission by KW could cause her immediate deportation. After considerable advocacy by Attorney Lewin, the District Attorney agreed to dismiss the charges against both KW and her husband. On March 24, 2016 Attorney Lewin and KW and her husband appeared in Lawrence District Court and the Judge ordered all the charges dismissed. KW was thrilled with the result and gave Attorney Lewin a big squeeze and a hug outside the Court.
JF, a 36 year old resident alien from Russia, lived in Andover with his wife, also a resident alien from Russia. Both he and she are software engineers. On Friday evening, November 6, 2015, JF went to a retirement party for a fellow employee at a hotel in Andover. JF’s wife was angry with JF because she felt he was having an affair with another woman – an accusation that he denied. She declined to go to the retirement party with him. According to the Andover police reports at 6:40 in the morning on Saturday, November 7, 2015 the police responded to a 911 call from JF’s apartment. Upon arriving they found JF and his stunning 26 year old wife in the apartment. The police report reads: “I could hear crying coming from the bedroom so I entered the room and observed a female sitting on a mattress on the floor in the back corner of the room. .. She was crying hysterically and could barely speak. She had a laceration to her left eye that was red and swollen and a bruise at the corner of her right eye. Her face was red and appeared to be swollen. I also observed scratches on her right arm. She had a bloody paper towel that she was patting her eye with. I asked her what happened and she replied that her husband (JF) came home at 4:30 AM drunk and they began arguing. She stated that her husband then pushed her to the ground and when she tried to get up he grabbed her by the back of the neck with one hand and was punching her in the face with a closed fist with the other hand. She was shaking and hyperventilating while trying to speak to me.” A police photographer was called to the apartment and numerous color photos of JF’s wife were taken. The police arrested JF and brought him to the Andover PD. The following Monday JF was arraigned in Lawrence District Court and his case was continued to December 11, 2015 for a pre-trial hearing. JF contacted, met with, and retained Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover. Attorney Lewin took a detailed statement of the facts of the case and learned that in fact it was JF’s wife who had been the primary aggressor in the fight and she was the person who started the fight. In addition Attorney Lewin learned that it was JF, and not his wife, who made the 911 call to the police because he was afraid that his wife was going to kill him. Attorney Lewin filed the appropriate motions to obtain a copy of JF’s 911 call to the police. (The Commonwealth was slow to turn this over because they knew it hurt their case but the Defense got the 911 call.) In addition JF had been badly beaten and scratched by his wife and (fortunately) the police had taken photos of JF and Attorney Lewin secured color copies of those pictures. On December 11, 2015 JF and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court and the case was continued for a jury trial to February 23, 2016. Attorney Lewin met with JF’s wife and established an excellent relationship with her. Attorney Lewin explained that she had both a Marital Privilege not to testify against her husband as well as a Fifth Amendment Privilege not to testify. Attorney Lewin fully prepared JF for the trial. A “mock trial” was conducted in Attorney Lewin’s office. Attorney Lewin “role played” the part of the Assistant District Attorney and prepared JF for his cross-examination by the District Attorney. On February 23, 2016 Attorney Lewin and JF appeared at Lawrence District Court and answered ready for trial when the case was called. JF’s wife exercised her marital privilege and declined to testify. The Commonwealth decided not to go ahead with the case (although they could have). Attorney Lewin moved that the charge be dismissed and the Judge ordered the case dismissed. Had JF been convicted he may very well have been deported back to Russia. JF and his wife left the Court House arm in arm very happy with the outcome.
In the summer of 2015 a male in his early 20s went into a Market Basket store in Lawrence and stole a Mountain Dew. As he was headed out of the store he was confronted by a loss prevention officer. A scuffle broke out and the police were called. The police responded quickly and the male settled down. When asked for identification he said his name was SG and he gave a date of birth and an address in Nashua, NH. The police told him he would be receiving a summons to go to Court. About six weeks later a mam named SG received a summons to appear in Lawrence District Court to answer to charges of shoplifting and assault and battery. SG knew nothing about this. In fact, SG had never been in the City of Lawrence. Apparently, the male in the store had used SG’s identity as his own.
The real SG retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin took a detailed statement from SG as to where he was on the day and time of the offense and whom he was with. It was clear that SG had a solid alibi defense. Attorney Lewin filed the appropriate discovery motions to force Market Basket to produce the store security videos from the date and time of the alleged offense. The videos clearly showed the real offender and it was clear that it was not SG. When SG and his parents saw the video they immediately recognized who the real offender was – it was a cousin of SG’s (who would have known his date of birth). The cousin is a heroin addict so his behavior in the Market Basket was not a surprise.
On Thursday, January 7, 2016 a Salem District Court jury found KU, a former Salem State University freshman, not guilty of Indecent Assault & Battery and Assault & Battery after deliberating for only 18 minutes. The case went back to May of 2014. KU (then a 19 year old male student) and NN (then a 19 year old female student) were both freshman at Salem State. They lived in the same dormitory. On Thursday, May 1, 2014 they went to a concert on the campus and then headed back to the dorm. NN invited KU to her room. He accepted the invite. Once in the room NN put on her television and got out a bottle of vodka and made a drink for herself and for KU. The two sat on NN’s bed and talked and watched TV. They were together in the room for several hours. After that her version of what happened and his version of what happened were very different. In a statement NN gave to the campus police she told the police that KU tried to kiss her and she told him she was not interested. She then told the police that KU said he wanted to f–k her and then he pushed her down on the bed and tried removing her bra and pants (without success). NN told the police that KU grabbed and slapped her buttocks and groped her breasts. The campus police called in KU. He told the police that yes he was in the room and yes he tried to kiss her but that was all that happened. He denied holding her down (the basis of the assault & battery charge) and he denied groping her breasts and touching her buttocks (the basis of the indecent assault & battery charge). The police charged KU with the two offenses.
KC, a 27 year old mechanic from Hampstead, NH, got caught purchasing heroin during a police surveillance operation at a hotel in Andover. He was arrested on Saturday, December 26, 2015 and released to appear in Lawrence District Court for an arraignment on December 29, 2015. KC retained Attorney Robert Lewin to represent him and to appear in Court with him for his arraignment on December 29, 2015. KC’s timing was excellent. KC had no criminal record and is a Veteran. If his arraignment actually took place on December 29, 2015 then a criminal record would be created. It was important to try to avoid an arraignment from taking place.
Attorney Lewin had no less than three approaches to avoiding the arraignment. First, KC, as a Veteran who served in combat, was eligible to have his case diverted out of the criminal justice system under the newly passed Massachusetts Valor Act. Secondly, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office has a drug diversion program for first time drug offenders with no criminal record. Thirdly, Chapter 111E of the Massachusetts General Laws also provides a framework for diversion of drug cases out of the criminal justice system.
LN, a 53 year old woman from a metro north suburb, is charged with two counts of Larceny in Concord District Court. She was employed as a cashier at a local pharmacy and is accused of stealing two gift cards from the pharmacy after putting $500 on each of the gift cards. LN has retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover to represent her in Concord District Court. One of the first things Attorney Lewin did was to run her criminal record to make sure there were no surprises on the record. Sure enough, there was a warrant outstanding for LN’s arrest as the result of a default in a Larceny case in Woburn District Court going back to 1989. Attorney Lewin explained to LN that it was important to get the warrant taken care of before LN’s first appearance in Concord District Court, which is scheduled for January 15, 2016. (Attorney Lewin explained to LN that if the warrant in Woburn Court was still outstanding when LN and Attorney Lewin go into Concord District Court that the Judge in Concord District Court could order LN locked up and transported free of charge in the Sheriff’s van to Woburn District Court after spending a night in MCI Framingham.) Attorney Lewin went to Woburn District Court and obtained copies of the papers in the Woburn Court Case.