On December 2, 2022, DM, a 46 year old asylum immigrant from Uganda, was arrested by the Lowell PD for Assault and Battery on a Pregnant person (a felony) and Assault & Battery on a Household Member. DM and his girlfriend live together and got into an argument and the girlfriend alleged that he pushed her causing her to fall to the floor. She then called 911. On December 5, 2022 DM was arraigned in Lowell District Court and his case was continued to January 24, 2023 for a pre-trial hearing. DM met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. After reviewing all the facts and police reports in detail, and after speaking directly with DM’s girlfriend, Attorney Lewin pointed out to DM that this was a “he said she said” case if it went to trial. If DM and his girlfriend were husband and wife she would have a privilege in Massachusetts not to testify against her husband; however, they were not married and therefore she could be forced to testify against him.
When the police arrived after the 911 call, the girlfriend pulled up in her car. In the car were open containers of alcohol and she had an odor of alcohol. The police report mentioned those items but said that the girlfriend did not exhibit any signs of intoxication. The girlfriend did not want to testify and the “open containers of alcohol” in the vehicle provided her with a way to avoid testifying. If she were to testify, Attorney Lewin could and would ask her about the alcohol containers in the car. It is a crime to have an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. This gave the girlfriend a Fifth Amendment Privilege not to testify. Attorney Lewin explained that to the girlfriend.
On March 6, 2023 DM and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lowell District Court when the case was scheduled for trial. The girlfriend was also present. When the case was called Attorney Lewin informed the Judge that the girlfriend had a Fifth Amendment privilege and that she should be appointed a lawyer. The Judge appointed a lawyer to advise the girlfriend. Attorney Lewin spoke with the lawyer and gave him the paperwork showing that if the girlfriend testified she could incriminate herself. The lawyer met with the girlfriend. The case was called again and the lawyer for the girlfriend reported to the Judge that the girlfriend had a valid Fifth Amendment privilege and would exercise her privilege and not testify. The DA the reported that they could not go forward without the testimony of the girlfriend. The Judge looked at Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin moved for a dismissal of the case. The Judge ordered the case dismissed.