MM, age 50, of Wakefield, failed to pay his auto insurance premiums and his insurance company sent him a notice of insurance policy cancellation. The insurance company in turn notified the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Registry sent MM a notice that the registration to his motor vehicle was being revoked due to lack of insurance. MM ignored the notices and he ignored the fact that his vehicle was uninsured. MM had four prior convictions for operating an uninsured motor vehicle. One Saturday morning he was driving and got hit by another vehicle. The police were called to the scene of the accident and quickly discovered that MM's vehicle was neither registered or insured. In his last case MM had received a substantial suspended sentence with probation and a fine and a loss of his driver's license. MM was concerned that he would get a committed jail sentence for this his 5th offense. For this new case MM retained Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin spoke with the Assistant District Attorney. On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, Attorney Lewin and MM appeared in Malden District Court for a pre-trial hearing. Ultimately Attorney Lewin was able to negotiate a six month continuance without a finding with $500 in court costs. As a result of this disposition MM will not lose his driver's license and in six months time the charge against him will be dismissed. MM was thrilled with the result.
February 2012 Archives
A Judge in Woburn District Court orders drugs seized during a motor vehicle stop suppressed. MD, a 22 year old woman was on probation in Salem District Court for possession of heroin, cocaine, and class E drugs. While on probation she got pulled over by the Reading Police; a search of her pocket book yielded numerous packets of heroin and several implements for drug use. She was faced with two cases: (1) the new drug possession case brought by the Reading Police in Woburn District Court and (2) a probation revocation proceeding brought by her probation officer in Salem District Court. MD retained Attorney Robert Lewin to handle both cases. The facts leading to the stop of MD's car were as follows. A Reading Police Officer was on patrol in an area of Reading where there had been reports of suspicious activity at a house on a particular street. The Officer testified that he had received reports of numerous cars coming and going at a house on a named street. One night at about 10:00 PM the officer observed a black sedan exiting the street. He followed the sedan. The driver (MD) drove slowly and appeared to the officer to be driving "too carefully" so as to avoid being stopped. The officer ran the license plate and was able to determine that the owner of the car was a young woman with an open drug case in Salem District Court. He testified that he observed the woman who was driving stuffing what appeared to be a plastic bag into her purse on the front seat of the car. Based on those facts he pulled her over and searched her purse and discovered heroin. Before an officer can lawfully stop of motor vehicle the officer must have "a reasonable suspicion based upon articulable facts that (the operator) has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime". "A mere hunch is NOT enough" to justify a stop of a motor vehicle. Attorney Lewin filed a Motion to Suppress the evidence discovered by the officer following the stop of the motor vehicle. The Judge in Woburn District Court conducted a full evidentiary hearing at which the Officer and MD testified. After the hearing the Judge wrote a decision in which he ruled that the officer had a hunch, but not a reasonable suspicion. On February 8, 2012 the Judge allowed Attorney Lewin's Motion to Suppress the drugs. The case is next scheduled for February 29, 2012 at which time the District Attorney's Office must decide whether to appeal the Judge's decision or allow the case to be dismissed. In the meantime MD and Attorney Lewin went over to Salem District Court to address the probation revocation proceeding. Attorney Lewin got MD into a drug treatment program (and she is doing well) and the notice of probation surrender in Salem District Court was withdrawn.
AK, a 22 year old woman, was driving home from a bar when she lost control of her car and her car smashed into a fire hydrant on the side of the road in Dorchester. The Boston Police responded to the scene and assisted her. No field sobriety tests were administered to her. The State Police also responded to the scene. It was determined that her car would have to be towed from the scene and the State police conducted a routine inventory search of the car before it was towed. In the car the State Trooper found a prescription bottle in the name of someone other than AK. The prescription bottle was dated 2003 and the bottle contained 19 Ritalin pills and 1 Vyvanse pill. The State Trooper cited AK for 2 counts of Possession of a Class E Controlled Substance. AK contacted Attorney Robert Lewin; Attorney Lewin instructed AK to immediately (i.e., that day) go to Dorchester District Court and request a clerk-magistrate hearing. The purpose of requesting a hearing is to try to prevent a criminal complaint from issuing against AK. AK requested a hearing and a hearing was set up. In preparation for the hearing it was learned that the pills belonged to AK's boss who had been in AK's car in the several days before the accident. AK's boss's car was in the shop getting repaired and AK had been driving her boss around. The boss used that particular prescription bottle to carry a supply of her prescription medication. The bottle had apparently fallen out of the boss's purse and when AK found it on the floor of the car AK put the bottle in her own purse to return it to her boss the following day. In preparation for the hearing Attorney Lewin with the help of AK and her boss brought the following evidence to Dorchester District Court for the hearing: (1) A work order and bill from the repair shop to prove that the boss's car was in the shop; (2) A letter from the boss's doctor stating that the Doctor had prescribed the medications that were found; (3) The boss's written prescriptions from the pharmacy to show that the pills had been obtained pursuant to a valid prescription. Attorney Lewin met with AK and her boss and fully prepared them to testify at the hearing. On February 9, 2012 Attorney Lewin, AK, and her boss appeared at Dorchester District Court. At the hearing the Clerk-Magistrate DENIED the application of the State Police for a criminal complaint against AK. This was a significant win for AK. She is a student at a prestigious college in Boston and could not afford to have a criminal record for a drug case. By getting a clerk-magistrate hearing we were able to avoid having a criminal complaint issue against AK and she has NO criminal record.
On December 22, 2011 EO drove from his home in Woburn to the parking lot of the Chateau restaurant off Route 93 in Andover. He waited. Shortly after his arrival a vehicle with New Hampshire plates pulled in. A woman exited the vehicle with NH plates and she got into EO's vehicle. All this was happening under the watchful eye of an undercover State Trooper who was sitting in an unmarked car in the same parking lot. It appeared to the officer as if an exchange of some type was taking place in EO's car. After a while the woman got out of EO's car and headed back to her car. The undercover trooper went over to EO's car and told EO to stay put. The trooper then went over to the woman's car; according to the trooper she admitted selling 90 percocette pills to EO. The trooper arrested her. The trooper then went over to EO and asked EO if EO had anything the trooper should know about. EO handed the trooper a plastic bag with the 90 percocette pills. EO said the pills were for his own use; the Trooper said tell it to the judge and arrested EO and charged him with Possession of Class B with intent to distribute. This is a felony and a conviction carries a three year loss of license. EO retained Attorney Robert Lewin. EO insisted the pills were for his own use and that he was not a dealer. The history that EO presented is very common. EO had been employed by the public works department of a small town north of Boston. In 2005 he fell down a 30 foot manhole fracturing his leg. He had surgery on his leg and a rod was implanted with screws. When he was discharged from the hospital he was given a prescription for percocette - a highly addictive pain medication. In 2010 he developed an infection around the surgical location and a second operation was conducted. For the pain he was again prescribed percocette. He became addicted to the percocette and bought them in bulk from a drug dealer (the woman). Attorney Lewin obtained the following pieces of evidence and presented them to the Assistant District Attorney in an effort to get the DA's Office to reduce the charge from Possession with Intent To Distribute to Simple Possession: (1) A color photo taken in 2005 of the open manhole into which the EO had fallen; (2) the fire department report from the day of the accident of the rescue of EO from the manhole; (3) the ambulance report showing that EO had been brought to the hospital; (4) the surgical report from Mass. General Hospital detailing the implant of the rod and screws into EO's leg; (5) an x-ray showing the rod and screws in EO's leg; (6) the discharge summary from the hospital showing the prescription for percocette; (7) the hospital reports from 2010 showing the second surgery and the re-prescribing of percocette. Attorney Lewin presented all this evidence to the Assistant DA. The Assistant DA was convinced that EO was not a drug dealer and that these pills were for EO's personal use in controlling his pain. The DA dropped the "intent to distribute" charge. On February 8, 2012 EO and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court and the Judge took the reduced charge of simple possession and continued it without a finding for one year. If EO stays out of trouble for the one year the case will be dismissed and then the record can be sealed. As a result there is no conviction and no loss of license and in one year EO's record will be wiped clean.
TK, a 66 year old retired man from Boxford, was caught stealing dinnerware from Building 16 in Haverhill. He was charged with Larceny Over $250, a felony in Massachusetts. A review of the facts indicated that TK had lost his employment as a result of the recession. TK retained Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin met with the Assistant District Attorney in Haverhill District Court and convinced the Assistant DA that TK was worthy of a break. On February 8, 2012 Attorney Lewin and TK appeared in Haverhill Court and by agreement TK's case was continued for six months without a finding. The judge waived the probation supervision fee and so long as TK stays out of trouble the case will be dismissed at the end of the six months. Under the new Massachusetts Criminal Records Law, TK will be eligible to request that his record be sealed at the end of the six months.