DRUG DEALER GETS BREAK AFTER BREAK IN

JP, a 25 year old construction worker from Woburn, occasionally deals in weed. One day he got up to go to work. He left the house and worked at his construction job until noon. He then returned home for lunch and discovered that his house had been broken into and his two safes had been stolen. JP then did what any bright drug dealer would do – he called the Woburn PD to report the break. The police responded and JP invited them into the house. The police took note of the evidence of the break but then in “plain view” also noticed baggies, scales, seeds, cuff notes, and the aroma of fresh marijhuana. The police asked JP where the weed was and he opened a drawer and produced two bags full of weed. The police report noted that JP said “I can’t believe they broke in and didn’t steal the weed!”. The police did not arrest JP but rather filed an application for criminal complaint against him at Woburn District Court for possession of class D (marijhuana) with intent to distribute. JP had a prior drug conviction. JP retained Attorney Robert Lewin. It took about 14 months for the hearing before the Assistant Clerk-Magistrate to get scheduled. On September 19, 2011 JP and Attorney Lewin appeared at Woburn District Court for the hearing. Attorney Lewin argued that this would be an appropriate case not to issue a criminal complaint but rather to resolve the case at the Clerk’s hearing with no further criminal proceedings. The police prosecutor agreed with Attorney Lewin’s suggestion and the Assistant Clerk-Magistrate ordered that the hearing would be continued for one year and if JP were in no further trouble then the application would be dismissed. As a result of this disposition JP was not charged, he did not have to go to court in front of a judge, no entry was made on his criminal record, and he did not face the mandatory 2 year loss of driver’s license. (Massachusetts Law requires a mandatory loss of driver’s license for ANY drug conviction – even if no car was involved.) As an Assistant District Attorney, Attorney Robert Lewin had been the chief prosecutor at the Woburn District Court for one year. Since leaving the District Attorney’s Office in 1975 Attorney Lewin has been appearing in Woburn Court almost every week. He is well known, well liked, and well respected by the Judges, the Clerks, the police prosecutors and the Assistant District Attorneys in that court. JP felt his situation was hopeless and was not going to attend the Clerk-Magistrate’s hearing but rather just wait for the criminal complaint to issue. Attorney Lewin told him there is always a chance to favorably resolve the case at the Clerk’s Hearing and that is precisely what happened.