On April 2, 2019, EB, a 14 year old 8th grader from Lynn and a group of other youths gathered at an abandoned school building in Lynn and with a set of large wire cutters attempted to break into the building. The youths were caught by the police and charged with Possession of Burglar’s Tools (a felony), Attempted Breaking and Entering, and Trespass. EB (and his parents) were summonsed to appear in Lynn Juvenile Court for an arraignment on April 19, 2019. EB’s parents consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover to represent EB.

Attorney Lewin immediately went to Lynn Juvenile Court and obtained copies of the police reports. Attorney Lewin then went to the District Attorney’s Office (next door to the Juvenile Court) and met with the staff of the Essex County Juvenile Diversion Program for Lynn Juvenile Court. Attorney Lewin pointed out that this was EB’s first violation of the criminal law and that EB was an excellent candidate for the Juvenile Diversion Program. The Juvenile Diversion Program is a program run by the District Attorney’s Office that literally diverts (removes) a case out of the Juvenile Court system. The program typically consists of some hours of community service, writing a paper, and getting counseling. In return for that the Juvenile case is DISMISSED and NO criminal/juvenile record is created. It is a win-win.

The District Attorney in EB’s case agreed with Attorney Lewin that EB was a good candidate for diversion. On April 19, 2019 EB, his parents, and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lynn Juvenile Court. Although the case was scheduled for EB to be arraigned, the arraignment did NOT take place and EB’s case was diverted out of the Court system. EB has to do 20 hours of community service and meet with a counselor. If EB complies with the program and stays out of trouble then in six months EB will NOT have to return to Court and all the charges will be DISMISSED. Because EB’s case was diverted prior to EB being arraigned, EB will not have any criminal or juvenile record. That is why diversion can be such a favorable resolution of a case.

On December 30, 2018, MQ, a 51 year old woman from Billerica, drove to the Burlington Mall. She entered the parking lot and searched for a space. She spotted a space in an aisle and headed toward the space. As she approached the space a woman (whom we shall call W) driving an SUV coming from the opposite direction pulled into the space directly passing by the front of MQ’s car.  According to a Burlington Police Department Report, W told police that MQ stopped her vehicle and began screaming at W “F–k you, I was waiting for that space.” According to the police report W said that MQ continued screaming. As W (and her teenage daughter) began to walk toward the mall entrance W wrote down the plate number of MQ’s vehicle. W also noticed MQ walking around W’s car. W entered the mall and did her shopping. When she came back out and went to her car there was a long scratch that went around the car (the whole passenger side, the front hood, and the whole driver side). W immediately called the police. The Burlington Police responded. From the license plate they learned that the owner of the car was MQ and they called MQ. According to the police report MQ denied scratching the car, but then began “yelling into the phone “I was walking around the car because I was thinking about keying it but I never did.”

The police filed an application for criminal complaint against MQ for malicious damage to a motor vehicle. A conviction of this offense carries a one year loss of your driver license.

MQ sought out an attorney. She met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained the law in detail to MQ and cautioned her that a conviction would carry a one-year loss of her driver’s license. MQ lived in Billerica and worked in Cambridge and absolutely needed a license to get back and forth to work.

On March 15, 2019, LN, a 35 year old woman from Plaistow, NH, drove to Haverhill, MA and parked outside a house in Haverhill. Shortly thereafter a man came out of the house and went over to LN’s car and sold LN a small amount of cocaine for $30.00. Unfortunately for LN (and the man), undercover plain clothes officers had the man and his house under surveillance for drug distribution. The police stopped LN and seized the cocaine from her. She was subsequently summonsed to Haverhill District Court charged with Possession of Cocaine and Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Law. LN’s arraignment was scheduled for April 18, 2019. LN consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover in the evening of April 15, 2019 (three days before her court date). Attorney Lewin immediately went to Haverhill District Court the next morning and obtained copies of all the relevant court papers and the police report.

Essex County has a Drug Diversion Program. The purpose of the program is to take persons accused with a drug offense and give them an opportunity to avoid prosecution and get their cases dismissed provided they comply with a treatment program and remain free of drugs, alcohol, and marijuana. One of the considerations in determining an offender’s eligibility is the existence or non-existence of any criminal record. This was a problem for LN as she had two felony welfare fraud convictions; one in Florida and one in New Hampshire. Attorney Lewin met with the Assistant District Attorney and discussed the case with an eye toward getting the case diverted out of the criminal justice system. Attorney Lewin also spoke with the director of the Drug Diversion Program and she felt that LN’s case was a good case for diversion, notwithstanding her two out of state convictions. On April 18, 2019 LN and Attorney Lewin appeared in Haverhill District Court for LN’s arraignment.

Attorney Lewin explained to the Judge that an agreement had been reached for LN’s case to be diverted. The Judge then approved diversion of the case. As a result, the prosecution of the two criminal charges against LN was put on hold. LN has been referred to the Diversion Program. The program will last six months and LN must comply with the following conditions:

On March 26, 2019, KF, a 14 year old 8th grade student in an Essex County town, was with several friends in the school cafeteria at lunch time. Words were exchanged and KF said to one of the girls at the table “If you tell, I’ll bring a gun to school and shoot you all in the head”. One of the students at the table told their parent who in turned notified the school authorities who in turn notified the police. The police went to the school and spoke with KF and KF’s mother. The police also went to KF’s house and with the consent of KF’s Mother searched the house. KF’s mother’s boyfriend kept a gun at the house. Fortunately the gun was fully secured with a trigger lock and a barrel lock and the gun was locked in a gun safe. KF’s mother’s boyfriend had a valid license to carry. In KF’s bedroom the police found 4 knives. DCF (the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families) was notified. The school suspended KF. The police went to the Juvenile Court and applied for a Juvenile complaint against KF for Threatening to Use a Firearm in a school – a 20 year felony.

KF’s mother contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. KF and her mother met with Attorney Lewin for a free 2 hour long initial consultation. The case was a serious case and demanded that it be handled with care. On April 5, 2019 KF’s mother retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin immediately went to work on the case. The Juvenile Court had scheduled a “show cause hearing” before the Clerk-Magistrate of the Court for April 16, 2019. The purpose of the “show cause hearing” was for the Clerk-Magistrate to decide whether KF would actually be charged. These “show cause hearings” are real important as they are an opportunity to prevent the accused person from actually being charged. Success at a “show cause hearing” means that the accused does not get charged, does not have to appear before a judge, and – most importantly – does NOT get a record. Attorney Lewin had 11 days to get the case ready for the hearing.

Attorney Lewin immediately went to the Court and obtained the police reports and all the other important case papers from the Clerk-Magistrate’s Office. Attorney Lewin then went to the District Attorney’s Office and met with the Coordinator of the Essex County Juvenile Diversion Program. After a lengthy discussion with the people from the Diversion Program, the District Attorney’s Office agreed that KF would be a suitable person for diversion. Attorney Lewin then spoke with the Police Prosecutor and he also agreed that KF would be a suitable candidate for diversion. On April 16, 2019 KF, KF’s Mother, Attorney Lewin, and one of the girls who had been at the table when the incident occurred (who was prepared to testify that they knew that KF was kidding when she made the statement about the gun) all appeared at the Juvenile Court for the show cause hearing.

On March 29, 2019 MM, a 54 year old technician from Wilmington, appeared in Lowell District Court with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, for a Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing on a charge of Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. After a full hearing the Clerk-Magistrate dismissed the application for criminal complaint and no criminal complaint was issued against MM.

On April 3, 2019 DL, a 38 year old waitress from Gloucester, appeared in Gloucester District Court with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing on a charge of Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. After a full hearing the Clerk-Magistrate continued the hearing for six months and ordered that the application for criminal complaint would be dismissed at the end of the six months provided DL stayed out of trouble. The Clerk also ordered that DL would not have to return to court on the six month date.

As a result of these dispositions it should be noted:

On May 11, 2018, LM, a 49 year old black man from NYC, was driving a car with Georgia plates in Saugus.  His cousin, MG, a 47 year old black female was with LM. A State Trooper claimed that the license plate was obscured and pulled LM over. (This was your classic “DWB” – Driving While Black – stop of a motor vehicle.) The Trooper claimed that the name of the state on the license plate (Georgia) was obscured by a plate frame. After the stop the Trooper searched the vehicle and seized a host of items including three Microsoft Surface Pro Tablets (stolen), eight Pennsylvania driver’s licenses in the name of MG, one Pennsylvania license and two New Jersey licenses with the picture of LM on them, six Western Union Master Card debit cards and four PayPal MasterCard debit cards with different names on them. Seven charges were filed against LM:

(1) Receiving Stolen Property over $1,200 (The three Tablets)

(2) Identity Fraud

In June of 2010 JA, a then 27 year old Indian immigrant, was charged with Offering Money for Sex (2 counts), Kidnapping, Assault & Battery, Assault, and Indecent Exposure. On December 1, 2011, a year and a half after first appearing in Court, all the charges against against JA were dropped when the complaining witness failed to appear in Court on the date the case was scheduled for trial.  JA had to wait to seal his record because he was going through immigration issues. Immigration gets to see records that are sealed and immigration demands to see all the paperwork in any criminal case – even if the record is sealed. In 2019 JA had become a citizen and now wished to seal his record. In January 2019, JA, now age 36 and a resident of the State of California, contacted Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover about sealing his record. Attorney Lewin gathered the information needed, prepared a petition to seal, sent it out to California for JA to sign, and then filed it with the Commissioner of Probation. On February 28, 2019 the Commissioner of Probation sealed all the charges that had been pending against JA – including the Kidnapping (a felony) and the three sex charges. The sealing of records is an important benefit under Massachusetts law. There are certain offenses which cannot be sealed; however, where it is permitted, sealing should be done in virtually every criminal case

For many years a feud had simmered between two brothers. The older brother is age 60 and the younger brother is age 38. On Saturday, January 26, 2019 the younger brother was helping another brother (this is a very large family) move out of a three family house owned by the older brother in Haverhill. The older brother had ordered the younger brother not to come onto the property. The younger brother ignored the order and was in the house helping the other brother move. During the moving process the hardwood floors got scratched, a wall got dented, and an exterior door frame got damaged. The older brother confronted the younger brother and the two brothers got face to face in the presence of about 4 witnesses. The younger brother reported to the Haverhill Police that the older brother then punched the younger brother in the face twice before the two men were separated by the witnesses who were present. According to the police reports the younger brother had visible cuts on his face from the punches.

The Haverhill Police filed an application for a criminal complaint for Assault & Battery against EJ, the older brother. EJ has a job working in a public school system and an assault & battery charge could have drastic consequences for his continued employment and his pension. EJ sought out an attorney. EJ contacted and met with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin also met with EJ’s wife; she was present when this happened. Attorney Lewin fully prepared EJ and his wife for the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing.

On February 13, 2019 EJ and his wife and Attorney Lewin appeared in Haverhill District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. The police prosecutor read the police report to the Clerk-Magistrate. The report clearly stated that EJ punched his brother twice in the face in the presence of four witnesses causing cuts to the face. The legal test for a Clerk-Magistrate is probable cause; if the Clerk-Magistrate determines that there is some credible evidence that the crime occurred then the Clerk-Magistrate may issue the criminal complaint. The Clerk-Magistrate does not determine if the accused is guilty or not guilty, but merely is there some credible evidence that the crime occurred. It is a very low threshold. EJ and his wife testified that EJ had not punched his brother. In addition Attorney Lewin presented photos at the hearing of the damage that the younger brother had caused to the property. Attorney Lewin also presented photos of EJ; the photos showed bruises on EJ where he had been grabbed by his younger brother.

On December 6, 2018, KI, a 27 year old store manager, hailed a ride in an UBER. KI feltsick and told the driver to pull over. KI exited the car and began to violently throw up outside the car. A police officer passed by and stopped. The officer approached KI and for safety purposes was about to pat KI down when the officer asked KI if he had anything that the officer should be concerned about. KI said that he had a needle in his pocket. The officer asked KI if he had any drugs and KI said yes that he had heroin. The officers removed the needle and a search of KI’s pockets yielded multiple small bags of heroin. The police arrested KI and charged him with possession of heroin. KI was bailed out and given an arraignment date of December 14, 2018. KI appeared in Dudley District Court on December 14, 2018 and was arraigned and his case was continued to January 25, 2019 for a pre-trial hearing.

KI was concerned as this was his third arrest for Possession of Heroin. KI and his family contacted, met with, and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover to handle this case in Dudley District Court. Attorney Lewin had represented KI in his second case which had been in Lawrence District Court. Attorney Lewin had been successful in getting the second case dismissed with no admission of guilt or wrongdoing. In this case Attorney Lewin reached out to the District Attorney’s Office. Attorney Lewin explained to the Assistant District Attorney that KI had entered and completed an in-patient detox program and was currently in an outpatient treatment program. On January 25, 2019 HE and his father and Attorney Lewin appeared in Dudley District Court. Attorney Lewin was successful in getting the DA’s Office to agree to a disposition of pre-trial probation for six months to July 22, 2019. With pre-trial probation there is NO admission of guilt or wrongdoing. The case – by agreement – is simply left open for a period of time and then dismissed.

KI was greatly relieved. He feared that the Judge would send him to jail because it was his third offense.  The fact that KI had gone into treatment and was continuing in treatment was a great help in getting such a favorable result (for the second time). Good communication between Attorney Lewin and the District Attorney was also very helpful as well.

On August 22, 2018 HE, a 16 year old high school student at a prestigious high school in the greater Boston area, went to the gym in Watertown, MA. HE went into another person’s locker and stole that person’s car keys and credit card. HE (and a friend) then went out to the parking lot of the gym, located the car, and with the stolen keys took the car and went to Dunkin Donuts. At Dunkin Donuts they ordered food and used the credit card. They then left the Dunkin Donuts and left the car in the parking lot and threw the keys in the bushes. Four days later HE did the same thing again. He stole another person’s keys and stole that person’s car and took it on a joy ride. He also threw those keys away as well. Through good police work, video surveillance, and an informant the police learned that HE was the culprit in both incidents. The police charged HE with a host of offenses: (1) 2 counts of Larceny of a Motor Vehicle (both felonies), (2) 2 counts of Larceny from a Building (both felonies), (3) 2 counts of use of a motor vehicle without authority, and (4) 1 count of Identity Fraud.

HE is an honor student and a good athlete – go figure why he would do this. His parents, knowing that having a record for this could cripple HE’s chances at getting into a good college, sought out the best representation they could find for their son. The parents contacted and met with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained that the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office runs a juvenile diversion program that prevents juveniles from getting a record. Attorney Lewin explained that the Program is typically NOT available to juveniles who commit felonies (especially on multiple times with multiple victims). Attorney Lewin was able to get HE to retrieve the keys from both of the vehicles that had been stolen. Attorney Lewin arranged to have the keys returned to the owners of the two vehicles. Attorney Lewin spoke to the police detective handling the case and advocated with the police to recommend to the DA that HE be considered for diversion.

A criminal record is created when the accused is arraigned in court before a judge. When a juvenile case is diverted, the arraignment does not take place and NO criminal or juvenile record is created. HE was scheduled to be arraigned on November 9, 2018 in Waltham Juvenile Court. Prior to November 9, 2018 Attorney Lewin had spoken with the Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Court and advocated for HE’s case to be diverted. On November 9, 2018 HE and his parents and Attorney Lewin appeared in Court. The arraignment did NOT take place and the case was continued to November 30, 2018 to see if the Diversion Program would be willing to accept HE into the program. On November 30, 2018 the program reported that they had not yet made a decision in HE’s case because of the seriousness of the charges. The arraignment was further postponed to January 25, 2019. Attorney Lewin furnished the District Attorney’s Office with a memorandum setting out the reasons why HE’s case should be diverted. On January 25, 2019 HE, his parents, and Attorney Lewin appeared in Court again and the Diversion Program agreed to accept HE into the program. As a result HE was NOT arraigned and HE has NO criminal or juvenile record.