KIDNAPPING/ASSAULT & BATTERY DANGEROUS WEAPON GETS PROBATION

On a warm night in April 2010 CL, a 48 year old businessman, took his then girl friend (ZM) to the beach to go fishing on Martha’s Vineyard. They were both drinking and an argument broke out between them. CL struck ZM several times and then placed her in his truck and began driving. She tried to get out of the truck but he held her in. They arrived at his house (on the Vineyard) and he brought her inside. The fight continued. He punched her about the head, face, and arms and then took her head and banged it into the glass covering the fireplace. CL then ran from the house, got in his truck and drove away. When ZM came to she called a friend who came and got her and took her to the hospital. Pictures were taken of her face and arms. They were bloody and bruised. The police were called. A warrant was issued for CL’s arrest for Attempted Murder, Kidnapping, Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, 3 counts of Assault and Battery, and one count of Intimidation of a Witness. CL left the Island and and contacted his busness attorneys who referred him to Attorney Robert Lewin. CL met with Attorney Lewin on a Sunday and retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin contacted the local police department on Martha’s Vineyard and then contacted the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case. At first the DA’s Office was reluctant to discuss bail and took the position they wanted CL held without bail. After some negotiations a surrender agreement was reached that if CL appeared at Court the DA would agree to a $15,000 cash bail. Attorney Lewin and CL took the ferry across to Martha’s Vineyard and appeared in Edgartown District Court. CL was arraigned and released on $15,000 cash bail. An investigator was retained to look into ZM. Subsequently, the case was presented to the Grand Jury and CL was indicted for Kidnapping, Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, three counts of Assault and Battery, and one count of Intimidation of a Witness. The Grand Jury declined to indict on the Attempted Murder charge.CL’s wish was to stay out of prison. The case proceeded through court and in February of 2011 the parrties appeared in court to set a trial date. On that February date a major break occurred in the case. When CL appeared in Court, ZM was also in court. However, she was not there to watch the proceedings. She herself was under arrest. She was in cuffs and leg irons. She had been picked up on a detainer (warrant) that had been issued by the Feds for immigration violations. The Judge in Edgartown ordered her held for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agrents to pick her up, which they did. She was brought to Boston. Unfortunately for CL, the DA’s Office does have a “special relationship” with the ICE agents where they can get a person held in ICE custody brought to the Court to testify in a criminal case. Nevertheless, Attorney Lewin saw this as an opportunity to press the DA’s Office for a probationary dispositon of the charges. The DA’s Office balked. During the year that the case had been going through the Court the DA’s Office had always wanted a State Prison sentence. Now they were asking for a 2 year sentence to the House of Correction. CL did not want to go to trial but he was unwilling to plead to jail time. The negotiations continued and finally the DA’s Office agreed to a suspended sentence with Probation. On April 21, 2011 CL and Attorney Lewin appeared in Edgartown Superior Court and CL plead to the charges and received a 2 year suspended sentence with a three year term of Probation, concurrent on all the charges. His conditions of Probation include drug and alcohol counseling and completion of a batterers program. Wins come in all shapes and sizes. CL was so relieved not to be going to prison. A suspended sentence is a sentence that is imposed, but execution of the sentence is suspended for a period of time. If the probationer stays out of trouble during the period of the probation then the probation is terminated and the case is closed and the probationer never serves a day in jail. If the probationer violates any term of the probation then the probationer can be brought back to court, the probation revoked, and the suspended sentence put into effect. CL has to keep his nose clean for the next three years. CL had a choice: he could have rolled the dice and gone to trial. If the DA had been unable to get ZM to court the case would most likely have been dismissed. If the DA was successful in getting ZM to Court then a plea on the date of trial would have yielded a State Prison sentence most likely. If the case had gone ahead to trial the evidence against CL was strong and the likelihood is that he would have been convicted and given a substantial State Priosn sentence. Once the suspended sentence with probation was put on the table CL decided to take the plea, take the probation, and be done with it. In the circumstances this was a wise decision.