Articles Posted in Assault & Battery on a Household Member

On August 9, 2017 UL, a 36 year old building contractor from Andover, was at home with his wife and children. The kids were asleep and UL and his wife got into an argument. UL’s wife was sitting on a couch in the family room of their home. UL, a very large and strong man, picked up the TV controller and threw it. The controller hit a window behind where UL’s wife was sitting and caused the window to smash. UL’s wife picked up the phone and dialed 911. The police responded. UL admitted throwing the controller. According to the police report UL told the police that he threw the controller at his wife. The police arrested UL and he was brought to the station. The police charged UL with Assault by means of a dangerous weapon (a felony). He was brought to Lawrence District Court the next morning. He was arraigned and released. His case was continued for a pre-trial hearing to September 25, 2017.

UL contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, MA. It became apparent to Attorney Lewin that UL had never intended to strike his wife with the controller. It also became apparent that he did not throw the controller at his wife nor did he ever intend to put her fear of being hit by the controller. A close look at the physical evidence showed that UL’s wife was sitting to the far left of the couch in the family room. UL was standing relatively close to his wife at the time he threw the controller. The controller broke a window to the right of the couch. It became clear that the controller was not thrown at her or towards her.

On September 25, 2017 Attorney Lewin and UL went to Lawrence District Court for the pre-trial hearing. Attorney Lewin spoke with the Assistant District Attorney about the case and showed her the physical evidence and how the physical evidence did not line up with any intent to hit his wife or to place her in fear of being hit. September 25, 2017 was a pre-trial court date, not a trial date. It is most unusual for the District Attorney’s Office to agree  to dismiss a domestic assault case at pre-trial. They almost always wait for the trial date. In this case however, the Commonwealth’s evidence showed that UL had not intended to hit his wife or put her in fear of being hit. The DA agreed to dismiss the case. The case was called and UL and Attorney Lewin went before the Judge. Attorney Lewin explained to the Judge that he and the Assistant District Attorney had conferenced the case and that based on the evidence the Commonwealth would be requesting a dismissal. The DA agreed and the Judge ordered the case dismissed.

KD, a 50 year old electrician from Plaistow, NH, had been in an on again off again relationship with a woman from Pepperell, MA. She had a serious alcohol problem and every time he would break off the relationship she would do something crazy. On one occasion she reported to the police that he had sexually molested his 16 year old daughter who lived with him (he had legal custody). As a result of that report he was investigated by the police and the Department of Children & Families. He was completely cleared of those allegations. In the late fall of 2016 they broke up. On a night in February of 2017 she called him and told him that she had no food in the house and that she needed him to repair an electrical outlet for her. He told her he would come over to her apartment and that he would bring in Chinese food to eat and that he would fix the electrical outlet. KD went to her apartment (3rd floor walk-up) and brought  in a dinner of Chinese food and his electrical tools to fix the outlet. When he arived he put the food down on the table and went to fix the outlet. She had been drinking and she began to accuse him of sleeping with her sister and with whores. He picked up his tools and headed for the door. According to the police report she was standing in the doorway at the top of the flight of stairs from the third floor to the second floor when he shoved her down the stairs causing her to fall and break her ankle. The police report continued that he then stepped over her and left her there laying on the second floor landing with a broken ankle. A tenant on the second floor heard the noise and then came out onto the second floor landing and saw her laying on the floor in pain with a broken ankle. The police were called and responded to her apartment. The police took her statement and then called him and told him to report to the Pepperell Police Station. He refused. The police said they would get a warrant for his arrest.

The next morning KD went to Ayer District Court. He was booked in to Probation and then went into the Courtroom. She was present and had filed for an Abuse Prevention Order. After a lengthy hearing the judge denied her request for an Abuse Prevention Order. KD was arraigned. Bail was set at $2,500.00 which KD posted and the case was continued. KD then retained Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover, MA to defend him in the Assault & Battery case.

In the meantime KD applied for a restraining order in NH against her. The order was granted and the girlfriend was served with the order. Thereafter she began calling him and texting him in violation of the order. As a result two criminal charges against her for Violating the Restraining Order were taken out in court in NH.

On April 27, 2017, WO, a 26 year old warehouse worker from Haverhill, MA was arrested and charged with Domestic Assault & Battery on his girlfriend. WO works second shift at a warehouse and he got home on April 27, 2017 from work at about midnight. His girlfriend (who is also the mother of his two children) was asleep as were the children. WO suspected that she had been communicating with an old boyfriend. WO took his girlfriend’s cell phone and began to read through her recent text messages. Sure enough WO found intimate text conversations between his girlfriend and her (former) boyfriend. According to the police report WO went into the bedroom and woke his girlfriend up and pulled her out of bed and then proceeded to literally physically “throw” her out of the house. She ran to a local convenient store down the street and called 911. The police responded and then went into the house and spoke with WO. According to the police report WO told the police that yes he had woken her up but that when he confronted her about the text messages she struck him in the face and then he told her she had to leave. He denied striking her; he denied physically “throwing” her out of the house. Needless to say the police arrested WO.

WO consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin took a very detailed statement of the facts from WO. Attorney Lewin then set up an appointment to speak with WO’s girlfriend alone. She indicated to Attorney Lewin that she did not want to testify in the case against WO. Attorney Lewin explained that because she and WO were not married she did not have any spousal privilege to refuse to testify against WO; in other words that if she were called as a witness she could be forced to testify. Attorney Lewin also pointed out to the girlfriend that the police report stated that (according to WO) she had struck WO in the face. Attorney Lewin explained that this would provide her with a basis for exercising her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

WO’s case was set down for trial on August 22, 2017. Just before the trial date WO began to fear having a trial. He was afraid he would be convicted and sent to jail. Attorney Lewin explained that it was most unlikely that the case would go to trial because his girlfriend was going to exercise her Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify and Attorney Lewin was confident that the Judge would uphold the girlfriend’s exercise of the privilege. Attorney Lewin felt that without her testimony it would be very difficult for the state (the Commonwealth) to go forward.

TD, a 52 year old machinist from Haverhill, is married with two children. On June 4, 4017 TD and his wife and children went to a Burger King for lunch and then to the movies at the Loop in Methuen. TD works third shift and typically goes to sleep around 1-2:00 pm. When they all left the movies his wife said they had to go to the supermarket. TD reminded her that he had to go to sleep to be able to get up to go to work. An argument broke out between the two of them; she was driving the family car and she began to poke TD with her right hand. He put his hand up to block her and pushed her right hand away causing it to bruise. She drove to the Haverhill Police Department and went inside and reported to the police that her husband had just assaulted her. The police came out of the station and questioned TD and then arrested him and charged him with a domestic assault & battery. His wife also took out an emergency restraining order against him. The next morning TD appeared in Haverhill District Court; his wife was also present. Her temporary restraining order was extended for one year and TD was ordered out of the house. He was arraigned on the assault & battery charge and that case was continued for a pre-trial hearing to a date in July.

TD then met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin took a very detailed statement of the facts from TD. It was apparent that TD’s wife had herself committed an assault and battery against TD. TD went and applied for a criminal complaint against his wife. This leveled the playing field in this battle between TD and his wife. It was clear that TD’s wife would not exercise her marital privilege. She wanted to testify and she wanted the case against him prosecuted. By TD’s applying for a criminal complaint against his wife, she was now at risk of being prosecuted herself.

TD’s case was then continued for trial to September 26, 2017. On September 26, 2017 TD and Attorney Lewin appeared in Court ready for trial. When the case was called Attorney Lewin told the Judge that there was a criminal proceeding pending against TD’s wife and that she had a Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify in this case. At Attorney Lewin’s urging the Judge appointed a lawyer to speak with TD’s wife and explain to her that if she did testify in the case against TD she could very well incriminate herself. After about 30 minutes of consulting with the court appointed lawyer TD’s wife decided that she would not testify against her husband. The Assistant District Attorney then announced that without her testimony the DA’s Office could not go forward. Attorney Lewin then requested that the criminal charges against TD be dismissed. The Judge then ordered the case dismissed.

On January 28, 2017, SI, a 49 year old federal employee living in Malden with his wife and two children, went out and had a few drinks. When he came home he went into his 18 year old son’s room and asked his son to put his Xbox down and clean his room. The son told SI that he would do it tomorrow. Well, tomorrow never comes. SI and his son got into an argument. SI grabbed the Xbox and broke it. The son told SI to go f— himself. According to the son, SI grabbed the son and pushed him into the wall. SI’s wife called 911 and the police responded. SI got arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on a Household Member. SI went to court and was arraigned and then met with Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin had represented SI in a similar case in 2014. In that prior case Attorney Lewin was successful in not having a criminal complaint be issued against SI and in proceedings with the Department of Children and Families Attorney Lewin was successful in getting the Department to unsupport an allegation of abuse. The present case raised the issue of the right of a parent to use reasonable force to discipline a child. In a 2015 decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court ruled for the first time (in its 213 year history) that a parent may use reasonable force to discipline a minor child. The Court did not decide if a parent can use reasonable force to discipline an adult child. Attorney Lewin fully prepared a legal argument to advocate on SI’s behalf that a parent has the right to use reasonable force to discipline an 18 year old child.

On June 21, 2017 Attorney Lewin and SI appeared in Malden District Court. The case was called for trial and Attorney Lewin answered that the Defense was ready for trial. The DA folded and the case was ordered DISMISSED. SI walked out of Malden Court a very happy client (for the second time).