On June 24, 2012 RM was driving home from a tavern in Lowell. He was on Thorndike Street and in front of him he noticed a State Police Road Block. RM entered the road block. The "greeter officer" noticed an odor of alcohol and asked RM if he had been drinking. RM responded yes and the "greeter officer" directed RM into the large parking lot the State Police were using to conduct the investigations. RM pulled in and was directed to a spot. He was asked to produce his license and registration. According to the Trooper RM just sat in the seat and did not respond. The Trooper asked again and this time RM got his license and registration and gave them to the officer. The Trooper asked RM to exit the vehicle which RM did. Two field sobriety tests were administered. The one legged stand and the 9 step heel to toe walk. (The HGN Test - horizontal gaze nystagmus test - was also administered but was not allowed into evidence at the trial. A portable breath test was administered in the field but this also was not allowed into evidence at the trial.) According to the police report RM failed the field sobriety tests and RM was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of liquor. RM was brought to the Concord Barracks where he elected to take a breathalyzer test. He blew a .07 which is in the gray area. RM retained Attorney Robert Lewin. At the pre-trial hearing Attorney Lewin got the DA's Office to stipulate to the .07 and to stipulate that it would be admissible without the necessity of bringing in the breath test operator. On October 25, 2012 the case went to trial. On the advice of Attorney Lewin a jury was waived and the case was tried to the judge without a jury. The greeter officer and the arresting officer testified. RM and his wife testified. His wife testified that she was at home in bed when the phone rang at 2:45 AM. It was RM calling from the State Police Barracks. She testified that he was coherent and his speech was perfectly normal. She testified that she detected no signs of intoxication either in what he said or the way he said it. She also testified that he gave her specific driving directions on how to get from their home in Lowell to the State Police Barracks in Concord - a mighty task for someone who is allegedly under the influence. She was on the witness stand for about three minutes but her testimony was very helpful. RM testified. RM did a great job. His testimony was clear and concise; he was polite yet confident. The DA could not shake him on cross-examination (for which Attorney Lewin had thoroughly prepared him). At the close of his testimony both sides rested. Attorney Lewin made his closing and the DA made her closing argument. The Judge then said "I have considered all the testimony, I have taken into account the law and the burden of proof, and I find the Defendant not guilty." RM is a truck driver and it was important for him to win. Several observations about the case: (1) The facts were good, especially the .07 breath test result; (2) RM and his wife were very well prepared. In meetings with Attorney Lewin both RM and his wife were put through a "mock" trial. They were put through both direct and cross examination. When they got on the witness stand in court they were ready; there were no surprises; and (3) The decision to try the case to the Judge alone without a jury was the right choice. Juries in Middlesex County can be difficult in DUI cases. Some months ago there was a series of stories in the Boston Globe about certain Judges who almost always say not guilty in DUI cases. Since that series in the Globe many Judges have been less ready to say not guilty in these cases. Nevertheless most Judges will still say not guilty if the evidence is not convincing beyond a reasonable doubt. This was one of those cases where Attorney Lewin felt the judge would say not guilty and the client agreed.
Recently in DWI/OUI Category
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.
On June 9, 2012 FE and a friend drove to Hampton Beach, NH and spent the evening at a club. FE was age 20. When they left the club in the early morning hours of June 10, 2012 the friend was too drunk to drive and asked FE to drive the friend's pick up truck. FE agreed and drove and headed down Rt 495S toward Lowell. FE was tired and pulled into the rest area on the southbound side of Rt. 495 in Merrimac, MA. There was a thirty pack of Coors Light on the rear floor. There was an open 12oz. Keystone Beer in a rear door pocket. There was also a 12 oz. Coors Light can (open) on the rear floor behind the center console. There was a cooler with ice in the back. After pulling into the rest area and parking laterally across three parking spaces, FE put the truck in park and both FE and his friend fell asleep with the engine running. The State Police entered the rest area and observed the truck.After waiting about ten minutes the Trooper approached the pick up to do a "wellness check" on the occupants. He banged on the doors and windows and got no response from the sleeping occupants. The Trooper then opened the drive's door and FE, who was sleeping, started to fall out of the truck but was caught by the Trooper. FE awoke at that point.The truck wreaked of beer as did both occupants. The Trooper got FE out of the truck and administered Field Sobriety Tests. FE did well on the nine step heel to toe walk, he did poorly on the one legged stand, he did fair on the counting backwards test. He failed the horizontal gauze nystagmus test (HGNT). He was then arrested. He was brought to the Newbury State Police Barracks where a breathalyzer test was administered. The result was a .079! This gets rounded down to a .07 which is in the gray area in Massachusetts. On October 2, 2012 the case went to trial in Newburyport District Court. Attorney Robert Lewin represented FE. Attorney Lewin recommended to FE that the case be tried jury-waived (to a judge alone without a jury). The case was tried to a judge alone. The Judge excluded the results of the HGNT. The trial took about 20 minutes and the Judge returned a finding of NOT guilty. Because he was under 21, FE still loses his license for 180 days because his breath test result was over .02.
GS is a successful 49 year old Florida businessman with a past that came back to bite him. In 1984, when he was 21 years old, he was driving drunk and led the police on a chase through several towns. It all ended in a crash and GS was taken from the scene in cuffs. He was brought to Wareham District Court. He was charged with 11 offenses including DWI, Reckless Operation, 2 Counts of Malicious Destruction to Property, Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace, and so on. Following a trial by Judge he was sentenced to serve 14 months in the House of Correction and his license was revoked. GS appealed. Before his appeal could be heard GS defaulted in court and his appeal was deemed waived and the original 14 month sentences were ordered into effect. A new criminal complaint issued against him for bail jumping. Warrants for his arrest were issued. GS went to Florida and remained in Florida for the next 28 years. He married and raised a family and ultimately started his own business which became very successful. He got a Florida driver's license and for 28 years he lived the good life. In 2011 he went to renew his Florida driver's license and the Florida DMV told him they could not renew because the NDR (National Driver Registry) was showing that he was suspended in Massachusetts due to the warrants from 1984. GS told his family about his "problem" in Massachusetts and then contacted the law offices of Lewin and Lewin. Attorney Robert Lewin was retained. Attorney Lewin immediately went to the Wareham District Court to review all the court papers. Sure enough GS had been sentenced to the 14 months in jail and he had defaulted. Under Massachusetts Law a Motion to Revise or Revoke a sentence must be filed within 60 days of the sentence being imposed. That 60 day period had elapsed back in 1984. Attorney Lewin looked for a technical angle and found one. Attorney Lewin prepared a Motion for Reconsideration of certain actions that had been taken by the Court back in 1984. Attorney Lewin met at length with the Assistant District Attorney and filed a Motion to dismiss the case and appeared before the Judge in Wareham. The Judge set the Motion down for hearing but insisted that GS come up from Florida to appear at the hearing. GS came up and on Thursday, May 3, 2012 GS and Attorney Robert Lewin appeared in Wareham District Court. After a full hearing the Judge granted Attorney Lewin's Motion for Reconsideration. The defaults were removed, the warrants were recalled, all the guilty findings were vacated (after 28 years), all the sentences were vacated, and all the charges were ordered dismissed. The Judge, by agreement, ordered GS to pay $1,000 in court costs which GS paid immediately. The court cases were over. GS and Attorney Lewin waited in the Clerk's Office to obtain attested copies of all the court papers. Armed with the Court papers, GS and Attorney Lewin then drove from Wareham to Boston to the RMV Driver Control Unit on Washington Street. Two hours later, GS walked out of the RMV with his right to operate reinstated. On Monday, May 7, 2012 GS called Attorney Lewin and told Attorney Lewin that he had just left the Florida DMV with his new license. GS was very very lucky. Many judges would have simply ordered GS to serve the 14 months.
On December 24, 2011 in the early evening the Woburn Police responded to a one car crash in Woburn. A car had crashed into a guard rail and into two large stone pillars coming to rest against the second stone pillar. When the police arrived the owner of the vehicle, KB, was seated on the steps of a home facing the accident scene. She appeared to the police to be highly intoxicated. According to a Fire Department report the Fire Department had been called to KB's house about one hour earlier and had found her in a highly drunken state and had put her to bed. KB was taken from the accident scene to Lahey Clinic where she was admitted and treated and released the next day. She was issued a citation for OUI-Liquor. KB retained Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin immediately requested a clerk-magistrate hearing and obtained the hospital reports and the blood test reports. Remarkably the blood test results showed the presence of NO alcohol. It appears that KB had had a reaction to medication that she was taking; the medication (Ambien CR) can cause sleep walking, sleep driving, and other activities performed while in a sleep state. An expert witness (an MD) was consulted and a letter was obtained from the Doctor explaining that sleep driving is a recognized consequence of this medication. On March 21, 2012 a hearing was held at Woburn District Court and the Clerk found no probable cause and refused to issue a complaint against KB. KB left the Court a happy woman!
On December 31, 2010, New Years Eve, after having a lobster dinner at home with his wife, GS decided to have a celebratory drink. His wife, however, did not like when GS drank at home. With drinking at home out of the question, GS decided to take a 40 oz. bottle of beer and to go for a ride. GS proceeded to drive around the towns of Reading and Stoneham, drinking his beer out of a red plastic cup. About forty-five minutes later, GS was pulled over by a Reading police officer. After approaching GS's vehicle, the officer smelled the odor of alcohol, detected a slur in GS's speech, observed GS's eyes to be bloodshot and glassy, and noticed GS fumbling through papers while trying to locate his license and registration. The officer also noticed a plastic cup in the center console half-full with beer, as well as a 40oz. glass bottle of Busch beer on the floor. GS was ordered out his vehicle. He agreed to perform "field sobriety tests" - including trying to stand on one leg for thirty seconds and walking a straight line heel to toe. GS failed both tests miserably. He could not complete the one-legged stand for more than two seconds before falling to the side. He did not complete more than two steps of the heel-to-toe test before losing his balance. The officer arrested GS and brought him to the Reading police station, where he was video and audio recorded for nearly forty-five minutes. The Reading Police administered the breathalyzer test and GS's blood alcohol reading was .06. GS was charged in the Woburn District Court with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol (also commonly known as "Drunk Driving" or "DWI") and two civil motor vehicle infractions. GS retained Attorney Joshua Lewin of the Law Firm of Lewin and Lewin to represent him. On January 19, 2012 the case went to trial and GS decided to have the case heard by a Judge alone and not a Jury. Two Reading Police officers testified against GS and the forty-five minute audio/video of GS was played for the Judge. Attorney Lewin aggressively cross-examined both officers and GS testified in his own defense. After closing arguments, the Judge returned a verdict of "Not Guilty" on the criminal charge of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol ("OUI"). GS did not incur any criminal penalties as a result and did not lose his license even for one day. The lawyers at Lewin & Lewin vigorously represent clients in OUI cases and have an enviable record of not guilty verdicts in the cases that go to trial.
DM, a 45 year old male nurse, and two friends went to a charity dance at the Tewksbury Country Club. After an evening of dancing and several drinks DM and his two companions left the dance hall and were followed out by an angry crowd who thought that DM and his companions had stolen items from the charity dance. DM and his companions got into DM's car and left the parking lot of the country club and headed out onto the street. DM stopped in traffic and then found his vehicle surrounded by an angry mob. Several people in the mob began beating on DM's vehicle, smashing the windows, and punching DM. DM sustained injuries to his cheek, forehead and neck and he sustained a fractured clavicle (shoulder bone). During the assault he attempted to escape and his car struck and the vehicle in front of his. The police and fire department arrived at the scene. DM was asked to exit his vehicle which he did. The police had him perform field sobriety tests which he was unable to do to the officer's satisfaction. DM got arrested for DWI. He was brought to the station, booked, photographed, videoed, and bailed. After getting bailed he went to the hospital where he was examined. The injuries to his face and his shoulder were noted in the hospital reports. DM retained Attorney Robert Lewin. Investigation revealed that there was a video of the front foyer of the Country Club Function Hall. Attorney Lewin obtained that video. After sifting through hours of the video DM was seen on the video twice: once walking from the function room to the men's room (and back) and more importantly once at the end of the dance leaving the function room, walking across the foyer to the front door. In both instances his walking was perfectly normal. He did not stagger or exhibit any signs of intoxication or impairment. Defense counsel was furnished with copies of the booking videos and the booking photos. The photos were initially furnished in black and white. Attorney Lewin insisted that color photos be produced and they were. The color photos showed the bloody injuries to DM's cheek, forehead, and neck. Attorney Lewin interviewed the driver of the car in front of DM and he confirmed DM's account of the mob assault on DM and DM's car. On October 17, 2011 the case went to trial in Lowell District Court. DM elected to have a jury-waived trial (that is a trial by a judge alone without a jury). DM testified; the two people he went to the dance with testified; the driver of the car that he struck after being assaulted testified; and the medical records were produced. The Judge immediately found DM not guilty. The key to success in the case was in the full preparation for trial. DM and his witnesses were thoroughly prepared for both direct examination and cross examination. All the necessary videos and photos were obtained and studied. The medical records were obtained. No stone was left unturned. DM left the court a happy man.
For RD, a sixty-two year old California real estate broker, life was good until in 2011 the California Department of Motor Vehicles refused to renew his driver's license because RD's driving privileges in Massachusetts were suspended. It turns out that in 1983 (yes, 28 years ago) RD was arrested for DUI in Massachusetts. Back in 1983 he went to Westborough District Court (Massachusetts), pleaded guilty, was placed on probation for one year and ordered to complete a first offender drunk driving program. Before beginning the program RD's then employer moved his job to California. RD "blew off" the probation and the DUI Program and moved to California. RD got a California license and for the next 28 years life was good. Meanwhile RD's case in Westborough District Court went into default status, a notice of probation violation was issued, a warrant for his arrest issued, and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles suspended his driving privileges in Massachusetts. Unfortunately for RD, over the years the computer tracking systems dramatically improved and in March of 2011 the California Department of Motor Vehicles notified RD that he could not renew his California license until he got reinstated in Massachusetts. On Friday, March 4, 2011 RD contacted Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin contacted the Westborough District Court and confirmed that RD was in default of his probation and that there was a warrant outstanding against him. The Chief Probation Officer at the Court took the position that RD had "blown off" his probation and therefore they were unwilling to do anything for him unless he returned to Massachusetts. And then Probation's position was that RD should suffer a 1 year loss of his driving privileges in Massachusetts (the typical penalty in Massachusetts for persons who are either kicked out of the program or fail to attend). This would have meant a one year loss in of license in California. On Saturday, March 5 RD wired a retainer to Attorney Lewin. Over the weekend Attorney Lewin did a one-hour phone conference with RD and gathered all the necessary information from RD so that an effective written and oral presentation could be made to the Judge on Monday and Attorney Lewin prepared a Motion to get the matter cleared up. On Monday afternoon, March 7, 2011 Attorney Lewin appeared in Westborough District Court. The Chief Probation Officer's position had not softened. After a full hearing on the Motion that Attorney Lewin presented to the Judge, the Judge took the following action: (1) The Judge excused RD's appearance in Court and allowed Attorney Lewin to appear in his behalf. (2) The Judge removed the default that had entered back in 1983. (3) The Judge ordered the Warrant cancelled. (The cancellation of the warrant is the first required step in getting the driving privileges reinstated.) (4) The Judge found that RD was in violation of his probation because he left the state without permission, because he failed to complete the DUI program, and because he had failed to report to probation. (5) The Judge then reprobated RD and extended his probation for 5 months and ordered that he could now do the First Offender DUI Program in California. (Over the weekend Attorney Lewin had downloaded information on the California First Offender DUI Program and furnished it to the Judge anticipating that the Judge might take that course.) Attorney Lewin left the courthouse late that afternoon and called RD in California. Attorney Lewin told RD that Attorney Lewin still had to go to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to complete the process. On Tuesday morning, March 8, 2011 Attorney Lewin went to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles with the Notice of Warrant Cancellation from Westborough District Court. After a hearing the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles cancelled the suspension of RD's driving privileges. This information was then entered (electronically) by Masscahusetts into the National Driver Register (NDR) System. Attorney Lewin left the Registry of Motor Vehicles building and called RD in California and told RD to get over to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and get his license. RD told Attorney Lewin "If you were standing in front of me I would give you a big hug!!!!" RD got his California License that same afternoon. Within 48 hours of being hired Attorney Lewin was able to clear up this 28 year old problem.
CC, a very attractive 30 year old financial analyst, and two girl friends spent a night in Boston at the Harpoon Fest. On the way home CC was travelling on Rt. 16 in Everett when she approached and entered into a sobriety checkpoint roadblock. The police detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage and directed CC into the "pit area" so-called. She pulled in and was asked to exit her vehicle. Field sobriety tests followed, a preliminary breath test (in the field) was administered with a .10 result. She was then placed under arrest for operating under the influence and a formal breath test was administered with a resulting BAC of .08. Under the law in Massachusetts a .08 is a failing reading and is sufficient all by itself to sustain a conviction. During discovery Attorney Lewin learned that the breath test machine used in CC's test was reading slightly high. Attorney Lewin developed the argument that the .08 was in reality something less than .08. The trial took place in Malden District Court on September 29, 2010. Attorney Lewin was able to keep the .08 reading out of evidence. The case was tried jury-waived (that is, to a judge without a jury). The Judge found CC not guilty. CC is a happy camper.
On Friday, June 11, 2010 a 63 year old Methuen man was found not guilty of DWI 2nd Offense following a two day trial in Lawrence District Court. RL was followed by the State Police on Route 93 North from the Dascomb Road exit to River Road where he was pulled over for numerous lane violations. As the trooper approached the car he noticed the driver drinking from a mouthwash bottle. The trooper also noticed that the driver had lowered all four windows of the car, not just the driver's window. When the trooper asked what the man was doing with the mouthwash, the driver, after some hesitation, said he was coming from the Beijing in North Andover. Field sobriety tests followed and then the arrest. At trial Attorney Lewin introduced photos of Route 93 showing numerous potholes and the obliteration of most of the lane markings. The bill from The China Blossom (not Beijing) was introduced and it showed that RL had consumed only 1 Mai Tai all evening. RL's girl freind was called as a witness and she confirmed that he had consumed only one Mai Tai. The case had been thoroughly prepared; RL and Attorney Lewin had no less than three trial practice sessions in Attorney Lewin's Office to make certain that RL was ready for both direct and cross examination. As a result of this win RL did not lose his license for two years, he did not have to go to the two week in-patient program; and he will not be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in his car. He has his license. This is another example of how important it is to be properly prepared for trial.