LARCENY CHARGES DISMISSED PRIOR TO ARRAIGNMENT: CRIMINAL RECORD AVOIDED

The problem with having a larceny (or even a shoplifting charge) on your record is that no one wants to hire a thief. Getting a job can be made difficult if you have a larceny conviction on your record. On August 30, 2014 H & W (a husband and wife in their early 30s from Salem, NH) got caught stealing 10 metal shopping carts from a large supermarket in North Andover. The facts of the case were unusual in the extreme. H worked for a retail store and was in charge of inventory. His job required him to off load merchandise from delivery trucks and distribute the merchandise throughout the retail store. The retail store did not have large carts and moving the merchandise became a huge chore. H got the idea that he would “borrow” ten shopping carts from the supermarket and use them to offload merchandise. On August 30, 2014 at 3:00 AM H and his Wife drove to the supermarket and each of them took five large shopping carts and began to push them on a half mile journey to the retail store where H worked. The journey took them up a long steep hill. Those carts get heavy. About half way up the hill they were exhausted and stopped for a breather. Along came the North Andover Police. The police made H & W turn around and push the shopping carts back to the supermarket. The police decided not to arrest H & W but told them they would be summonsed to court for an arraignment. In most criminal cases a “criminal record” is created when the arraignment is held. H & W received summonses to appear in Lawrence District Court for an arraignment to be held on November 5, 2014. H & W both wanted to avoid having a criminal record for larceny. H & W retained criminal Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the District Attorney’s Office at Lawrence District Court. Attorney Lewin prepared a background statement for both H & W and then sat down with an Assistant District Attorney and advocated for the DA’s Office to agree to dismiss the charges BEFORE H & W were arraigned. Neither H nor W had a criminal record and this incident was incredibly stupid. This was not the kind of incident that warranted giving H & W a criminal record for a felony charge of Larceny. In a “rare” moment of reasonableness the DA’s Office agreed not only to dismiss the charges but to dismiss them prior to arraignment so that a criminal record would not be created. On November 5, 2014 H & W and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court. The case was called and Attorney Lewin informed the Judge of the agreement that had been reached. The Judge then ordered the case against H and the case against W dismissed prior to arraignment. As a result neither H nor W has a criminal record. It is as if the incident did not happen.