On May 7, 2021, TN, a seventeen year old female student at an Essex County High School, got into an argument with another female student in the ladies bathroom at the school. The female student took out her cell phone and began recording TN at which point TN took her shod foot (a foot with a shoe on it) and kicked the student striking the hand with the phone. The incident occurred in the presence of witnesses and to a great extent was recorded by the other student. TN was charged with assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon (s shod foot) and was summonsed to appear in Newburyport Juvenile Court. TN’s parents consulted with and hired Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. The case was scheduled for an arraignment in Juvenile Court on June 2, 2021.

Essex County has a Juvenile Diversion Program which, in essence, allows a juvenile to avoid getting a record. Attorney Lewin immediately obtained a copy of the video and the police reports and reviewed these with TN and her parents. TN and her family agreed that if TN could get her case diverted it made great sense as the evidence was not “pretty”. Attorney Lewin contacted the director of the Juvenile Diversion program and after reviewing the case she agreed that TN would be a good candidate for diversion.

On June 2, 2021 TN’s case was called for arraignment in Newburyport Juvenile Court. The arraignment was NOT held. By agreement the case was continued to October 6, 2021 (4 months) to allow TN to complete the diversion program.

On June 16, 2019 CT, a 59 year old single mother of two children (a son age 21 and a daughter age 16), went to bed after a night of considerable drinking. Both of her children were at home. She and the children live in Arlington. Her daughter had gone to bed around 10:30 the evening before and her son went to bed around 12:30 AM. CT went to bed at 1:30 AM. After going to sleep she was awakened – according to her – by a person on top of her “stabbing me repeatedly”. She pushed against the person who then fled her bedroom. She yelled out to her children and her son and daughter responded to her room. The daughter immediately called the police. CT was very blooded and the bedsheets were covered in blood. The police responded quickly.  The police report reads as follows: “Directly in the room and on the bed was [CT] who was covered in blood. She was also holding a towel over her neck to apply pressure to the wound. She stated “I’ve been stabbed” When asked who did this she confidently stated “My son”. BT (the son) who was in the room when she said this, immediately denied this but there was no shock nor surprise in his voice. CT responded back “Well if not you then some man.” “

The police questioned BT and he steadfastly denied stabbing his mother. The police noticed two tiny cuts on BT, one on each hand that seemed to be superficial according to the police report. There was no blood on BT and there was no blood on his clothes, and no blood in his room.

Based on his Mother’s statement the police arrested BT and he was charged with Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (a 20 year felony). He was held at he station and brought to court the following day. Subsequently BT’s family searched for a lawyer. Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover was consulted and hired to defend BT. It was obvious to Attorney Lewin that the state could not prove that BT was the person who stabbed his mother. Attorney Lewin’s investigator (a retired Chief of Police and former president of the Massachusetts Private Investigators Association) took lengthy statements from the mother and from BT’s sister.  The statements exonerated BT. The investigator suggested the possibility that the mother had self inflicted her injuries.

WS, a 68 year old lawyer from Essex County, had lived with his wife and mother-in-law. In 2018 his wife died of cancer and thereafter WS and his mother-in-law continued to live in WS’s home. In December of 2020 WS was accused of Assault & Battery on an Elderly Person for allegedly assaulting his mother-in-law, who was then age 82. The mother-in-law had been found walking outside on a frigid night by a neighbor and accused WS of mistreating her. WS was charged with Assault & Battery on an Elderly Person. WS sought out an attorney to represent him and consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover to represent him. It turns out that Attorney Lewin had successfully represented WS’s wife prior to her death on a similar charge.

Attorney Lewin thoroughly reviewed the police reports and it was very clear that no Assault & Battery had occurred. The police had actually charged WS under the wrong criminal statute. The proper charge would have been a charge of Elder Abuse and Neglect by a Caretaker. Attorney Lewin filed a Motion to Dismiss the Assault & Battery charge. After a full hearing in Lawrence District Court, the Judge ordered the Assault & Battery charge dismissed.

Several months passed by and the police then applied for a new criminal complaint against WS for Elder Abuse and Neglect by a Caretaker. Again WS retained Attorney Lewin to defend him. Attorney Lewin thoroughly studied the case law under the Elder Abuse and Neglect law and was convinced that WS had not violated the law. On October 28, 2021 a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing was held at Lawrence District Court on the police application for the new criminal complaint. After a full hearing the Clerk-Magistrate found NO probable cause and denied the application for a criminal complaint.

JP is a 32 year old licensed insurance salesman for a large insurance company in Boston. It is a well paying job that requires that he be licensed by the State Department of Insurance. Any criminal offense on his record could cause him to be ineligible for state licensure and it could cause his employer to fire him. JP lives in Salem, MA with his wife and two children. JP’s mother and step-father had been living in JP’s house for two years. JP and his wife told JP’s mother and step-father that they (the mother and step-father) had to find another place to live as the house was too crowded and relations were getting strained. On May 4, 2021 a loud argument broke out between JP and his mother. The police were called to the house. In the 911 call, all that can be heard is loud yelling (in Portuguese) between a female and a male. The police arrived at the house and the yelling was still going on. The police separate everyone.

The police speak with JP’s mother who says that JP “grabbed both the left and right collars of her jacket and pulled her forward in a violent motion”. She also tells the police that “she then slapped JP back across the face in self-defense”. The police then speak to JP. At first JP told the police that he and his mother had had an argument when his mother slapped him across the face for no reason. When asked, JP denied touching his mother. The police then told JP that his mother had told them that she had slapped JP in self-defense after he had pushed her. According to the police report “JP then immediately related that he was slapped in the face first and then pushed her in defense.” The police mad a determination that JP was “the dominant aggressor” and the police placed JP under arrest for Domestic Assault & Battery”.

JP was arraigned in Salem District Court the next day and his case was continued for a pre-trial hearing to July 19, 2021. JP sought out a lawyer. JP spoke (via zoom) with Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover and JP hired Attorney Lewin to represent him. JP explained to Attorney Lewin that his application for re-licensure had to be submitted in September and that he had to get the case favorably resolved by that time.

On June 20, 2020, MG, a 23 year old musician was driving northbound on Route 1 near the jug handle in Peabody. Suddenly he rear ended the vehicle in front of him which had come to a stop in traffic. The police responded to the accident scene and it was determined that MG’s license was suspended for non-payment of a speeding ticket. The police cited MG for operating after suspension (a criminal offense) and for  failure to use care (a civil offense).  MG’s driver record was not good. This was his second surchargeable (at fault) accident in less than a year and he also had an out-of-state conviction for using a hand held phone while driving.

MG received a summons to go to Peabody District Court. His arraignment was scheduled for July 13, 2021. On July 12, 2021 (!!!), the day before the scheduled arraignment, MG’s father contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover and asked if he could go to court the next morning. Attorney Lewin said he could rearrange his schedule and he could go to court in Peabody at 8:30 AM for MG’s arraignment. MG’s family hired Attorney Lewin late in the day on July 12. That evening, Attorney Lewin spoke with MG on the phone and took a complete statement of the facts from MG as well as a complete personal history. Attorney Lewin ran MG’s driver record from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The next morning Attorney Lewin appeared with MG and his father in Peabody District Court. Fortunately MG had paid the speeding ticket that was causing his license to be suspended and he paid a reinstatement fee to the Registry so that when they went to Court on July 13, 2021 MG’s license was active.

Attorney Lewin spoke with the Assistant District Attorney at Peabody District Court and pointed out that MG had NO criminal record in MA and that his license was fully reinstated. Attorney Lewin asked the Assistant DA to dismiss the criminal case and the Assistant DA agreed.

MM, a 38 year old woman from Methuen had a 12 page criminal record with 32 separate offenses spanning 15 years. Her record included both felonies and misdemeanors. She worked as a phlebotomist but wanted to go to Nursing School to become an RN. She was concerned – rightfully – that her criminal record would cripple any chance she had of becoming a nurse and sought to get her record sealed.

In Massachusetts there are two ways to get criminal records sealed. Certain criminal records can be sealed administratively by simply submitting a Petition To Seal to the Commissioner of Probation in Boston. These Petitions do not require a court hearing and if all the time requirements are met these Petitions are allowed automatically. Other criminal records require submitting a Petition To Seal to the Court where the case was heard. These Petitions require a hearing before a Judge in Court and the Judge has discretion to either grant the Petition or deny the Petition.

MM’s criminal record began in 2001 and ended in 2015. Twenty-seven of the cases on her record met the timing (and other) requirements for administrative sealing. Five of the cases on her record (all felony charges) did not meet the requirements for administratively sealing and required a court hearing. These felony charges included Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Malicious Destruction of Property, Conspiracy, Insurance Fraud, and Filing as False Motor Vehicle Claim. MM sought out a lawyer. MM met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately ran a copy of MM’s CORI (Criminal Record) and was able to determine which cases could be sealed administratively and which cases required a court hearing.

On Wednesday, July 28, 2021 Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover received a phone call from AL, a 48 year old gentleman from Florida. AL told Attorney Lewin that Florida had suspended his license because AL’s right to drive in Massachusetts was suspended due to a 29 year old warrant out of Gardner District Court. Attorney Lewin told Al that Attorney Lewin would call Gardner District Court to see what the warrant was all about. Attorney Lewin called the Court and learned that in 1992 AL had been arrested and charged with the following offenses in Gardner:

  • Operating After Suspension of his License
  • Giving a False Name to a Police Officer

Attorney Lewin’s string of successful defense of Operating After Suspension of License charges continued full steam ahead in August of 2021. Attorney Lewin appeared in Lowell District Court on August 4, 2021 and was successful in having two clients avoid being prosecuted for operating after suspension.

HZ’s Case

HZ’s case:  HZ is a 38 year old permanent resident alien from China living in Lowell. He has a Doctorate in Bio Medical Engineering and is employed as a principal research engineer at a bio-tech company. In 2019 Dr. Z got a ticket for a marked lanes violation and he failed to pay the ticket. As a result the Registry suspended his license. He claimed not to have received any notice of the suspension. On August 26, 2020 Dr. Z was operating his car on Route 495 in Chelmsford. Suddenly the car in front of him came to a stop and Dr. Z could not stop in time and rear ended the stopped car in front of him. The police responded to the scene and when they ran Dr. Z’s license it came back as suspended. The police issued Dr. Z a citation for Operating After Suspension of License and for Following too Closely (a civil violation). Dr. Z – to his credit – immediately went to the Registry and paid the outstanding ticket from 2019 and he paid a reinstatement fee and got his license reinstated. Dr. Z also sent the citation in to Lowell District Court to request a hearing. Because of covid-19 getting a hearing date was substantially delayed. Finally Dr. Z received a notice from Lowell District Court that his hearing on the State Police Application for a criminal complaint against him was scheduled for August 4, 2021. Dr. Z sought out a lawyer and met with (via zoom) and hired Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted Dr. Z’s insurance company to make certain that the person whose car Dr. Z rear ended had been paid for their property damage in full. Attorney Lewin obtained written confirmation from the insurance company of the payment in full. Attorney Lewin obtained a copy of the police report. Attorney Lewin also obtained written verification from the Registry that Dr. Z had paid the outstanding ticket from 2019 and that his license was fully reinstated by the Registry.

On May 4, 1991, AS, a 19 year old woman, went out on a date with a man in his twenties. AS picked the man up at work and they went out. He told her that he had a license and she allowed him to drive her car. The man was speeding and the police blue lights came on behind them. He pulled over and said to her “switch seats with me as I do not have a license”. They switched seats (which the police officer saw). The police came up to the car and asked the male for his license. He said he had not been driving. The police then looked at AS and she said he had been driving. The police had the man exit the vehicle and they arrested him for unlicensed operation (in fact his license had been suspended). The police issued AS a citation for “permitting an unlicensed person to operate her motor vehicle”. In Massachusetts it is a criminal offense to permit or allow a person who is not duly licensed to operate a motor vehicle.

AS took the citation but never requested a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. (Had she requested a hearing the case most likely would have been resolved without a criminal complaint issuing against her.) In any event, a summons was issued for AS to appear in Gloucester District Court for an arraignment on August 20, 2021. AS’s parents contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover and retained him

Attorney Lewin immediately obtained the police report and then contacted the DA’s Office. AS was working as a deli clerk at a supermarket and she was enrolled in college and she had no criminal record. It was important for AS to try to keep her record clean. A criminal record gets created when a person is arraigned on a criminal charge. Attorney Lewin pointed out all these factors to the Assistant District Attorney and advocated for the DA to agree to a dismissal of the case prior to arraignment. A Judge cannot order  a case dismissed prior to arraignment if the DA does not agree to it. As a result of Attorney Lewin’s advocacy, the DA agreed to dismiss the case prior to arraignment.

On April 5, 2019 ML was working as a bar tender at a hall in Haverhill. There was a mercy meal function and she had been called in to work the function. ML was a 49 year old single mother of two children.  During the course of the evening ML had occasion to go out to a storage hallway behind the bar to pick up an additional bottle of liquor for the bar. While in the back hallway a woman came out of the ladies room (which was located off the hallway) and handed a pocket book to ML. The lady told ML that she found the pocketbook in the ladies room. ML quickly glanced inside the pocketbook and then walked back into the area behind the bar and placed the pocketbook on a shelf under the bar next to her own pocketbook. All the above was captured on a security video in the hallway and behind the bar. At a later point in the evening ML can be seen (on the security video) bending down under the bar in the area where she had placed her own pocketbook and the pocketbook that had been handed to her. Later in the evening a woman at the mercy meal can be seen running around the hall and finally approaching the bar. The woman tells ML that she cannot find her pocketbook. ML is seen immediately getting the pocketbook and handing it to the woman. The lady looks inside the pocket book and yells that her $500 in cash for her rent was missing from the pocket book. The woman dials 911 and the police respond. The police speak to ML who denies stealing anything from the pocketbook.

The next day the police review all the security videos from the bar and charge ML with Larceny (stealing) of the $500 allegedly taken from the pocketbook.

ML then meets with and retains Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. ML and Attorney Lewin go to Haverhill District Court. ML – from day one – insisted to Attorney Lewin that ML was innocent. The case went through an arraignment, a pre-trial hearing, several discovery compliance dates (so that Attorney Lewin could get all the security videos), and ultimately was set down for a trial by jury on March 31, 2020. Then the covid 19 pandemic struck. It took a year and a half to finally get a new firm date for jury trial. The case was set down for trial on Monday, August 16, 2021. In the weeks leading up to the trial ML and Attorney Lewin prepared for the trial. Attorney Lewin prepared ML to testify in her own defense at the trial. At the same time Attorney Lewin “pestered” the DA’s Office to drop the case. On Friday morning, August 13, 2021, the Judge in Haverhill District Court had scheduled a “trial readiness conference” with the Assistant District Attorney and Attorney Lewin (on the phone). The Assistant District Attorney told the Judge and Attorney Lewin that the District Attorney was filing a “nolle prosequi”. A “nolle prosequi” is a termination of the prosecution of a criminal case by the Commonwealth. It is a dismissal of the case that is filed by the Commonwealth.

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