SS, a 40 year old Gulf War Veteran from NY State, came to Methuen for the funeral of a fellow veteran. SS and several other veterans arrived in Methuen on Friday, July 16, 2021. They all checked into a hotel and went out for dinner and some drinks. At 3:00 AM on Saturday, July 17, 2021 the police were dispatched to the parking lot of the hotel on the report of a man with a knife acting belligerently. The police arrived and saw SS attempting to fight one of his fellow veterans. The police attempted to deescalate the situation but SS did not respond to any of their requests. Ultimately the police were forced to taze SS and he fell to the ground.
The police spoke to SS’s fellow veterans who informed the police that SS suffered from PTSD. Rather than arrest SS, the police brought SS to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen. The police filed an application for a criminal complaint against SS for Assault & Battery and Disturbing the Peace at Lawrence District Court. The Application was set down for a hearing on Friday, October 1, 2021.
SS consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately obtained a copy of SS’s DD-214 (Discharge Summary) and a copy of SS’s VA Determination of Disability. It was clear to Attorney Lewin that this episode was a direct result of SS’s PTSD. In addition, Attorney Lewin got confirmation that SS was in treatment at the VA. Attorney Lewin spoke with the police prosecutor and furnished the police prosecutor with copies of the documents that Attorney Lewin had obtained.
On October 1, 2021 Attorney Lewin and SS and his fellow serviceman appeared at Lawrence District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. As he had done with the Police Prosecutor, Attorney Lewin explained to the Clerk-Magistrate about SS’s service record and his PTSD. Attorney Lewin advocated for the Clerk-Magistrate NOT to issue a criminal complaint against SS.
After hearing from Attorney Lewin and the police the Clerk-Magistrate made a finding that there was NO probable cause to issue any criminal complaint against SS. Attorney Lewin explained to SS the benefits of that decision:
- NO criminal complaint was issued against SS.
- SS was NOT charged with any crime.
- SS did NOT have to return to court to go before a Judge.
- NO criminal record had been created.
- NO entry will be made in the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) System under SS’s name.
- Because he was NOT arrested, the were NO fingerprints taken and NO booking photo taken.
Attorney Lewin explained to SS that this was the very best possible result. SS thanked Attorney Lewin with a big firm handshake.
Attorney Lewin was an Assistant District Attorney from 1971 t0 1975. He has been practicing criminal defense law since 1975 and has an enviable record of success at Clerk-Magistrate Hearings in all types of criminal cases. There are very few lawyers who can match his level of experience. His years of dealing with the police and with Clerk-Magistrates have taught him how to connect with the police and with the Clerk-Magistrates in order to get winning results.