On April 25, 2012 JC was driving from his home in Lowell to his place of work in Burlington. JC is 57 years old and is employed as a finish carpenter. Between 1980 and 1997 JC had a tremendous problem with alcohol and was convicted no less than 9 TIMES for DWI. He spent most of the 1990s in jail. When he wasn't in jail he was out drinking and driving. He got out of jail in 1999 and has not had a drink since. His license was revoked for ten years by the Registry. As of the date of his last DWI Melanie's law was not yet in effect and the maximum loss of license was ten years - no matter how many prior DWI cases a person had. In 2001 JC was convicted of operating after suspension and served some additional time. In 2009 he tried to get a license from the registry but they turned him down; he went to the Board of Appeal and they turned him down; he went to Superior Court and they turned him down; and he then went to the Massachusetts Appeals Court and they turned him down. Getting back to April 25, 2012. JC's son had an outstanding warrant. JC's son' name is also JC. A Burlington police officer was randomly checking license plates as JC drove by and the warrant to the son showed up. The officer pulled JC over and discovered that his license was still suspended. JC was honest with the officer and the officer did not arrest him but rather issued him a citation. JC contacted Lewin & Lewin. Attorney Robert Lewin instructed JC to immediately request a Clerk-Magistrate's Hearing. JC did request a hearing and a hearing date was scheduled for October 1, 2012 at Woburn District Court. Under the theory that the worst they can say is no, Attorney Lewin approached the Burlington Police Prosecutor and pointed out that JC had been out of trouble for many years and that he was simply driving to work. Attorney Lewin asked if the police would be willing to settle the case in the Clerk's Office - WITHOUT a complaint issuing against JC. The police agreed. On October 1, 2012 JC, Attorney Robert Lewin, and the Burlington Police appeared before the Clerk-Magistrate at Woburn District Court for the hearing. At the request of Attorney Lewin with the agreement of the Burlington PD the Clerk-Magistrate did not issue a criminal complaint against JC. The Clerk ordered that the papers would be held for six months and if JC stayed out of trouble then the application for the criminal complaint for operating after suspension will be dismissed. What a break! If the complaint had been issued against JC there is no question that he would have been heading back to jail. The lesson in this case is that it pays to ask. Shoot for the moon; the worst the other side can say is no and sometimes - as in this case - they say yes. This is the type of common sense lawyering that comes from the 41 years of experience that Attorney Robert Lewin brings to the table.
Recently in Clerk-Magistrate Hearings Category
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.