In 2008 JT plead guilty in Westborough District Court to two counts of larceny over $250 and one count of receiving stolen property. He was placed on Probation for 2 years, ordered to pay restitution and court costs, and ordered to have a substance abuse evaluation and treatment and remain drug and alcohol free. JT paid off the restitution and the court costs but then left the state without permission. He failed to follow through with the substance abuse evaluation. The probation department had a warrant issued for his arrest and he was subsequently picked up and brought to Westborough District Court. Attorney Lewin was retained. In November 2010. JT and Attorney Lewin appeared in Westborough District Court for a probation revocation hearing. Attorney Lewin had JT enroll in a substance abuse program. Attorney Lewin and JT met with JT's probation officer and worked out a plan as an alternative to jail. The plan was presented to the Judge who extended JT's probation for six month with the condition that he remian in treatment and not violate the criminal law. All JT had to do was remain clean for the six months and his probation would be terminated. JT was even given permission to relocated to Maine and his Probation supervision was transferred to Maine. Within a month JT was arrested in Maine and chraged with DUI and thereafter with Driving After Suspension Of His License. Maine notified Massachusetts and JT was once again served with a notice of revocation of probation. Attorney Lewin was once again retained and began negotiating with Probation. Ultimately Probation said they would recommend a 60 day committment to the House of Correction and then terminate his probation. On February 14, 2011 Attorney Lewin and JT appeared in Westborough District Court. The Judge found that on the basis of the subsequent arrests in Maine (for the DUI and the Operating After Suspension) that JT had violated probation. The Probation Officer recommended a committment to the house of correction for 60 days. Attorney Lewin reviewed for the Judge the entire history of the case including the fact that the restitution had been paid early on in the probation, that JT was an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the USAF, and that as a result of his arrests in Maine that JT was getting substance abuse treatment in Maine. Attorney Lewin pointed out that JT was employed full time in Maine as a machinist and was supporting his daughter and granddaughter (who also lived in Maine). Attorney Lewin suggested that rather than the State spending the money to house and feed JT for 60 days it would make more sense if JT paid a substantial sum to the Commonwealth to atone for his violations of probation. The Judge, after due consideration, agreed and ordered JT to pay $1,000 in court costs. JT's family went immediately from the Courthouse to the nearest Bank of America, withdrew $1,000.00, returned to the Courthouse, and paid the $1,000.00 to probation. The Judge ordered the Probation terminated and JT was discharged from probation and from any further responsibility to the Court. The three cases in Westborough were closed and JT returned to Maine very happy. He had gone to Court in the morning prepared for the worst and left a happy man.
February 2011 Archives
IS, a 47 year old businessman living in NY, went to obtain a high security clearance. He was told that he had warrants outstanding in an old criminal motor vehicle case in Cambridge District Court. The warrant dated back 30 years! IS emailed Attorney Lewin an inquiry. Attorney Lewin responded that he felt he could clear the warrant immediately. On February 7, 2011 IS sent Attorney Lewin a retainer by wire transfer at 9:00 AM. Within two hours, Attorney Lewin prepared a Motion to Cancel the Warrants and Dismiss the cases. Attorney Lewin went to Cambridge District Court, had the Clerk-Magistrate pull the papers on the cases, spoke with the District Attorney, and had the cases sent into the Courtroom. The Judge granted Attorney Lewin's Motion and ordered the warrants cancelled and ordered the cases dismissed. Attorney Lewin walked out of Cambridge District Court slightly before 11:00 AM and called IS in New York. IS could not believe it was done so quickly. On February 9, 2011 IS got his high security clearance.
JR dated a girl for 2 years. They got engaged and then he discovered she was cheating on him. They broke up. Within several weeks she started calling him on the phone. He would not take her calls. One Saturday night JR was out with friends and went to a night club. He left the night club and when he got out to his car there was a voice message from the girl. She said she missed him terribly and wanted him to come over. He drove to her apartment. She let him in. They talked and then ended up in the sack and made love. After the love they began to argue. He got upset and threw some things in her apartment. She told him to leave and he left. She then called the Everett Police and said that JR had assaulted her with a box cutter. The police went and arrested JR. He was arraigned in Malden Court and charged with Assault and Battery and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (the box cutter). A review of the police reports showed that JR had never touched her (in any assaultive way). Attorney Lewin filed a Motion to Dismiss the charge of Assault and Battery. Assault and Battery requires proof of a battery; a battery is an unconsented to and intentional touching. There was no proof of such a touching and the Motion to Dismiss the Assault and Battery charge was granted. The DA's Office offered to continue the Assault with a Dangerous Weapon charge without a finding. JR refused the offer and took the case to trial. At trial the girl testified that JR waved the box cutter at her and threatened her with it. JR testified that he had only picked up the box cutter and threw it into a closet and that he never threatened her with it. Attorney Lewin was able to impeach the credibility of the girl by shlowing that she had made a number of inconsistent statements to the police. On February 9, 2011 JR was found not guilty of the charge in Malden District Court following a jury-waived trial. Attorney Lewin and JR had met three times in the week and a half before the trial; JR was fully prepared to testify (and he did) and he was fully prepared to handle every question he was asked by the Assistant District Attorney on cross-examination. During their trial preparation sessions Attorney Lewin played the role of the District Attorney and grilled JR with questions. JR was ready and handled the DA's questions with ease.
SN, a 60 year old man from Methuen, was arrested and charged with Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Under 14. The child was his 12 year old niece who complained that he had sexually assaulted her when she was 7 or 8 years old. SN vehemently denied the charge. Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14 is a felony punishable by up to ten years in the State Prison. A conviction requires Sex Offender Registration for up to life and GPS Monitoring with an electronic bracelet. In pre-trial discovery Attorney Lewin was able to discover a police report wherein it was reported that the child had told her sister that she may have been dreaming. During her SAIN Interview the child denied ever saying to her sister that she may have been dreaming. The sister, who lived in New Hampshire, refused to be interviewed by the defense. Attorney Lewin filed proceedings in Lawrence District Court to force the sister to appear in Lawrence District Court for the trial. Papers were sent to Salem District Court in Salem, NH and a hearing was set for a judge in NH to order the sister to appear in Massachusetts for the trial. The sister then agreed to appear at the trial. On Januray 31, 2011 all the parties appeared in Lawrence District Court and the case was called for trial. Both sides answered ready for trial. The Assistant District Attorney approached Attorney Lewin and offered to reduce the charge to simple Assault and Battery. Simple Assault and Battery is a misdemeanor that does not involve sex offender registration and does not involve GPS Monitoring. The DA offered straight probation on a plea to simple assault and battery. As he was required to do, Attorney Lewin conveyed the offer of the DA to SN. SN, who for weeks had had visions of going to state prison and of having to register as a convicted sex offender and of wearing an ELMO (Electronic Monitoring Device), took the DA's offer immediately. He tendered what is called an Alford Plea. An Alford Plea is when you plead guilty but do not admit to having committed the crime. The Court accepted the Alford Plea to simple assault and battery and placed SN on straight probation. SN walked out of the Courthouse and went home. The DA blinked first when she offered the reduced plea to Assault and Battery with a sentence of Probation. Some Defendants would have read the offer as a signal that the State's case was falling apart and would have refused the offer and gone to trial. SN saw that, but decided not to take the risk of going to trial. He blinked and took the plea. These are not easy decisions. We always tell clients "Don't plead guilty to a crime you did not commit." Sometimes, however, clients feel compelled to plead when an offer is made that is too good to turn down. That appears to be what SN thought in this case. It is hard to say that he was wrong. A felony conviction - which was certainly possible - meant jail time, sex offender registration, and GPS monitoring. With the plea to a misdemeanor he locked in Probation with no registration and no GPS. What would you have done? Would you have blinked?