TWO POUNDS OF WEED – CASE DISMISSED

AO, a 22 year old entrepreneur, was on probation for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. With three months left on his two year probation, AO helped a college friend move from one apartment to another. AO used his car to help shuttle the friend’s boxes and suitcases from the old apartment to the new apartment. After the last trip, the friend took his remaining belongings from AO’s trunk, thanked AO for the help and went on his way. Or so AO thought. AO ran some errands and was heading back to his house in Watertown. When he was just 3 blocks from his home in Watertown, a State Police officer pulled him over for speeding. The State Police officer believed that he smelled the odor of burnt marijuana from within the vehicle and ordered AO to get out of the car. The State Trooper searched the car and then the trunk. There was a cardboard box mixed with some of AO’s belongings in the trunk. AO’s friend had left the box in the trunk. The State Trooper asked what was in the box and AO explained that the box was not his. The State Trooper was undeterred and opened the box. The box contained two pounds of high quality marijuana. The State Trooper filed an application for criminal complaint charging AO with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Because AO was already on probation for the same thing, he faced not only two years on the new charge but also revocation of his probation and a jail sentence up to two years in the old case. In June 2011, AO was summoned to the Waltham District Court for a show cause hearing (sometimes called a Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing) before a Clerk-Magistrate. The stakes were high, as AO could have been sentenced to two years in jail on each of the two cases if the Clerk-Magistrate issued a criminal complaint. AO retained Attorney Joshua Lewin. Attorney Lewin thoroughly prepared the case for the hearing before the Clerk-Magistrate and made a persuasive presentation at the hearing. After the hearing, the Clerk-Magistrate dismissed the application and did not issue a complaint. Once the new charge was dismissed probation chose not to go forward with a probation surrender. AO walked on both cases and could not have been more thankful for Attorney Lewin’s services.