VIRGINIA MAN WINS DRUG CASE IN MASSACHUSETTS AND GETS HIS LICENSE REINSTATED

Carlos F, a thirty year old laborer, was arrested in Malden, Massachusetts in 2004 with a small amount of cocaine in his sock. He was living in Massachusetts at the time and went to Malden District Court where he was charged with possession of cocaine. Before his case was finished Carlos left Massachusetts for greener pastures in Virginia. As a result of his leaving, Carlos was defaulted in Malden Court and the Court issued a warrant for his arrest. As a result of the warrant the Msssachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles suspended Carlos’s license. Meanwhile Carlos had obtained a Virginia license and lived and worked in Virginia from 2004 to 2011. In late 2010 Carlos received a notice from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles that his Virginia license was being suspended because he was under suspension in Massachusetts. Carlos wrote letters to the Masssachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and he wrote to the Malden District Court trying to resolve the case without coming to Massachusetts; his letters fell on deaf ears. In early March 2011 Carlos retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the District Attorney’s Office to see if they would be willing to dismiss the case without Carlos coming to Massachusetts. At first the DA was adamant that they wanted Carlos to come to Court to face the cocaine charge. The arresting officer was still on the force; the drugs were still in the evidence locker; the state could easily prove its case. Attorney Lewin suggested to the DA that the state could use money – given the difficult economic times. Atorney Lewin suggested dismissing the case upon the payment of $500 in Court costs. The DA bit the bait and when the horse trading finished an agreement was reached to dismiss the cocaine charge on the payment of $1,500 in Court costs. Carlos needs three months to make payment and the DA agreed to a payment schedule of $500 per month. We still needed to get the presiding Judge in Malden Court to adopt this agreement. Judge Johnson is not an easy Judge in this type of case; he does not like people who “take off” and then when their driving privileges get suspended in some other state come back here lookling for relief. He often requires the people to come back to Massachusetts to “face the music”. On Monday morning, March 7, 2011 Attorney Lewin went into Malden Court and presented a written Motion seeking relief. After a hearing in which the DA joined in a request to dismiss the case upon the payment of $1,500 over three months the Judge granted Attorney Lewin’s request. The Judge excused Carlos’s appearance, the Judge removed the default, the Judge cancelled the warrant (the cancellation of the warrant is the first step in getting the driving privileges reinstated), and the Judge ordered the case dismissed upon the payment of $1,500 in three months. Attorney Lewin left court and called Carlos in Virginia and gave him the good news. Attorney Lewin told Carlos that Attorney Lewin was going to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to try to get his driving privileges reinstated. The next day Attorney Lewin went to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and had a hearing with a hearing officer to get Carlos’s driving privileges in Massachusetts cleared. It turned out that Carlos had two Massachusetts Licenses. This took a little doing to unravel but by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 8 Carlos’s driving privileges in Massachusetts were reinstated. Attorney Lewin called Carlos with the news; Carlos then went to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and got his Virginia license reinstated.