“Not Guilty” Verdict in BMC of Malicious Destruction of Property

JA went out in Boston on a “party bus” with a large group of friends on a Friday night. There was a lot of drinking on the bus and the party made its way to a club in downtown Boston. JA was drinking heavily and ‘blacked out’ at about midnight. He woke up in a jail cell at the Boston Police station the next morning. He had no idea what happened or why he had been arrested. The last thing he recalled was being at the night club. He was informed that he was being charged with malicious destruction of property in excess of $250 (a felony). In the Boston Municipal Court (BMC) on Monday morning, JA heard the Assistant District Attorney read the facts of the case from a police report: a citizen in the South End of Boston had called 911 at about 4:00 a.m. to report a young man yelling, screaming and kicking in the front door of a brownstone apartment building next door. The police responded to the scene and found the front door of the apartment building bashed in and broken. JA was lying asleep on the floor just inside the door, with broken wood from the door strewn about around him. The police officers woke up JA and arrested him. JA appeared to the officers to be heavily intoxicated. After his arraignment, JA hired Lewin & Lewin to defend his case. The Assistant District Attorney offered JA probation if he would plead guilty but JA wanted his day in Court. Attorney Joshua Lewin prepared the case in great detail and represented JA at his trial. Attorney Lewin knew that the government would have a difficult time proving that JA acted “maliciously”–a difficult standard under the law. The police officer and the property manager testified for the government at trial and were cross-examined vigorously by Attorney Lewin. When the government rested its case, Attorney Lewin presented a memorandum of law and argued to the Judge that the government had failed to prove that JA acted “maliciously” and that the Judge was required under the law to find him “not guilty.” The Judge read the memorandum, listened to Attorney Lewin’s arguments, and immediately rendered a verdict of “not guilty.” The Assistant District Attorney and the police officer were stunned. JA was ecstatic and could not believe it–he had just won a seemingly unwinnable case. Attorney Lewin knew that the case was won because of his diligent preparation and sound strategy. The lawyers at Lewin & Lewin dig deep into every case and look for every possible way to win every case. JA was the beneficiary of Attorney Lewin’s thorough preparation for trial.