Articles Posted in Avoiding Criminal Record

On April 18, 2017 BI, a 28 year old waitress from North Andover with an addiction to opiates, got pulled over by members of the Essex County Drug Task Force, after she was observed making a hand to hand buy of drugs from a dealer who was under surveillance. In addition to working as a waitress BI is also a full time student at a local college with a financial aid package. The police did not arrest BI, but told her that she would receive a notice from Lawrence District Court. The notice came and informed BI that an application for a criminal complaint for Possession of Heroin had been filed against her by the State Police and that a hearing would be held at the Court before a Clerk-Magistrate on September 7, 2017. The purpose of the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing is for the Clerk to determine if there is probable cause to issue a criminal complaint. In BI’s case there was plenty of probable cause. The police had observed a hand to hand sale and she produced the two bags of heroin when stopped by the police.

BI consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin encouraged BI to get into drug treatment/counseling which she did. Attorney Lewin explained the purpose of the hearing to BI and he told BI that he would ask the Clerk-Magistrate not to issue a criminal complaint against BI, but rather to continue the hearing for an appropriate period of time and if she remained clean and out of trouble to then dismiss the application for the criminal complaint. Attorney Lewin explained to BI that his request was a real reach, but the worst the Clerk-Magistrate could say is no.

On September 7, 2017 BI and Attorney Lewin (and BI’s Mother) appeared at Lawrence District Court for the hearing. The Clerk-Magistrate heard the facts of the case from the police prosecutor. Attorney Lewin then explained that BI was addicted to opiates, but that she was in a program of counseling and she was in a vivitrol smart recovery program. Attorney Lewin informed the Clerk-Magistrate that BI both worked and went to college and was on financial aid. A conviction (or even the issuance of a complaint for possession of heroin) could get BI expelled from school and she could lose her financial aid. Because of the rise in opiate deaths (and because BI had a prior arrest for Distribution of Heroin) the Clerk-Magistrate was reluctant to not issue a complaint. Finally, the Clerk-Magistrate addressed BI and said “I am going to take a chance on you and I hope I am not making a deadly mistake”. The Clerk-Magistrate then continued the hearing until December 29, 2017 and told BI that if she stays out of trouble between now and that date then on December 29, 2017 the application for a criminal complaint will be dismissed and she will not be charged, she will  not have to go in front of a judge, and no criminal record will be created as a result of this case.

TN, a 31 year old website developer, owns a home in Peabody. He rents out rooms in the house. A young woman and her boyfriend rented one of the rooms. Arguments developed between TN and the woman and her boyfriend. TN owns a cross-bow and a bow and arrow set. The tenants filed charges against TN alleging that TN had broken into their room and stole items from their room. The boyfriend also alleged that TN had pointed the cross bow at him and said that he would kill him. TN came to see Attorney Lewin and Attorney Lewin was confident that the charges could be defeated. A hearing before a clerk-magistrate at Peabody District Court was scheduled. An application for a criminal complaint had been filed against TN by the woman and her boyfriend. The application sought to have charges of Assault & Battery by Dangerous Weapon (the crossbow), Breaking and Entering, and Larceny Over $250.00 be issued against TN. To gain leverage TN filed an application for a criminal complaint to be issued against the tenant for larceny.

On June 6, 2017 Attorney Lewin, TN, the woman, and her boyfriend all appeared for a hearing in Peabody District Court before a Clerk-Magistrate. It was important for TN to avoid having a felony charge be issued against him because he works in high tech. At the conclusion of the hearing Attorney Lewin argued to the Clerk that none of these people should want to be in a criminal court. Attorney Lewin argued that this was really a dispute over money between a landlord and his tenants. In the end the Clerk-Magistrate denied the applications for criminal complaint. TN walked out of the Court with no criminal charges being issued against him. As a result of this disposition TN has NO criminal record.

DT is a 29 year old software developer from India in the US on a work visa. On December 10, 2016 he went out for a few drinks and on the way home crashed his car in Lowell. The Lowell police responded to the accident scene and DT gave the police a story that he was too drunk to drive and another fellow (whom DT did not know) was driving the car and that other fellow took off after the accident. The police did not arrest DT nor did they cite him. The next day he gave the same report to his insurance company. About a week later DT received a letter from the Lowell Police saying that they were investigating his accident and they had video evidence that he was in fact the driver. The letter indicated that the police were contemplating charging him with DUI and making a false statement to a police officer and hit and run. (A hit and run charge in Massachusetts can be based on a driver’s failure to identify himself as the driver at the scene of an accident.) DT’s insurance company contacted DT about his “story” and expressed concerns about the veracity of DT’s story. (Making a false insurance claim is a criminal offense.) DT contacted Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to DT that Attorney Lewin knew the Lowell officer in charge of his investigation. Attorney Lewin explained to DT that the best thing to do in DT’s situation would be for DT’s lawyer to quickly communicate with both the Lowell Police Officer and the representative for the insurance company. DT told Attorney Lewin that DT had spoken to numerous lawyers and had gotten all kinds of advice but that Attorney Lewin was the first lawyer who set out a plan of action and was prepared to move on it immediately before things got worse. DT retained Attorney Lewin.

Within 2 hours of being retained Attorney Lewin had DT’s entire situation resolved. Attorney Lewin called the Lowell Police and spoke with the officer in charge of the investigation. The officer agreed that DT would not be charged with any criminal offenses arising out of the accident or his false statement to the officer at the scene of the accident. Attorney Lewin then spoke with a representative from the insurance company. The insurance company then not only agreed not to seek a criminal charge against DT for filing a false insurance claim but the company agreed to pay DT for the complete loss of his vehicle!

Attorney Lewin explained to DT the old adage: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” DT kept getting himself in deeper and deeper with his stories. By jumping on the case immediately and by contacting the police and the insurance company immediately, Attorney Lewin was able to avoid DT from being prosecuted and from being deported. DT is now a happy camper.

On March 13, 2016, ZD, a 26 year old salesman with a medical device company got stopped in Belmont as the result of a marked lane violation. When the police ran his license they discovered that his right to drive had been suspended in Massachusetts as the result of an unpaid ticket. ZD was not arrested but was cited by the police for operating after suspension (a criminal offense) and for a marked lane violation (a civil motor vehicle infraction). ZD’s job requires that he drive all over the Northeastern United States and each year his employer does a criminal record check to see if he has any criminal record. To his credit ZD went immediately to the Massachusetts Registry of  Motor Vehicles and paid the unpaid ticket. He then paid a reinstatement fee to the Registry and his driving privileges were reinstated. ZD received a summons to appear in Cambridge District Court for an arraignment on June 7, 2016. ZD consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin. ZD impressed upon Attorney Lewin that it was imperative that he keep his criminal record clean. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the District Attorney’s Office at Cambridge District Court. Attorney Lewin explained the importance of keeping ZD’s record clean. Attorney Lewin was able to get the District Attorney to agree to not only dismiss the criminal charge, but to dismiss the charge without ZD being arraigned. This is called a dismissal prior to arraignment. The significance of a dismissal prior to arraignment is that NO criminal record is created. As a little frosting on the cake the DA also agreed to a finding of not responsible on the marked lane violation. On June 7, 2016 ZD and Attorney Lewin appeared in Cambridge District Court (in Medford).  Attorney Lewin explained the situation to the Judge and the Judge accepted the agreement that Attorney Lewin had worked out with the District Attorney. The criminal charge was ordered dismissed prior to arraignment and a finding of NOT responsible was entered on the marked lanes violation. This was the very best possible result. ZD walked out of the Courthouse a very happy camper!

On May 24,2015, OM, a Dentist practicing in Boston, was cited on the Massachusetts Turnpike for several civil motor vehicle infractions. She was found responsible and neglected to pay the civil assessments. On June 29, 2015 her license was suspended for failing to pay the assessments. On April 1, 2016 she was traveling again on the Mass. Pike; a trooper was electronically scanning plates (a lawful practice) and her plate came up as owner suspended. The trooper pulled OM over and cited her for driving after suspension of license. He could have arrested her but he did not. She was very concerned about getting a criminal record as she is  on the staff of two major teaching hospitals in Boston. OM contacted Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin advised her to immediately request a hearing and to immediately get her license reinstated. OM paid the outstanding money owing on the ticket from 2015 and she went to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and paid a reinstatement fee and got her license reinstated. Attorney Lewin obtained OM’s driver record from the RMV to show that she was fully reinstated. On May 9, 2016 OM and Attorney Lewin appeared in Newton District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing on the application for criminal complaint that had been filed by the police against OM. Attorney Lewin presented the evidence from the RMV to show that OM had indeed paid the assessments owing on the old ticket and that the RMV had reinstated OM’s license. Attorney Lewin asked the Clerk-Magistrate not to issue the criminal complaint against OM and pointed out that having a criminal record would be very unhelpful to OM – especially in the medical profession. The Assistant Clerk-Magistrate agreed and denied the police application for the criminal complaint.

As a result of this OM has NO criminal record. Because NO criminal complaint was issued against her she was not charged, she was not arrested, and, most importantly, NO entry was made in the Criminal Offender Record Information System (CORI) against OM. It is as if it did not happen.

KM, an eighteen year old college student, was caught shoplifting at Kohl’s in North Andover on February 13, 2016. She had picked up make-up to the tune of $190.00 and hidden it in her coat pocket. Unfortunately for her a loss prevention officer was watching her on video and saw everything. She headed passed the registers and out the door of the store without paying and was stopped by the loss prevention people and brought back into the store. The North Andover police were called and responded to the store. Subsequently, KM received a Notice of Complaint Hearing from Lawrence District Court. KM and her Mother consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin consulted immediately with the police prosecutor from North Andover. KM wrote out a letter of apology to Kohl’s and Attorney Lewin furnished a copy to the police prosecutor. In addition KM went to speak with a counselor. On March 24, 2016 KM and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for a hearing before the Clerk-Magistrate. The Clerk-Magistrate found probable cause to issue a criminal complaint against KM, but referred her to the Essex County Diversion Program. The Diversion Program – if successfully completed – causes the criminal case to be “diverted” out of the criminal justice system and NO criminal record is created. In KM’s case the diversion program will require KM to complete 15 Hours of Community Service, write an essay, and meet with a counselor. As a result of this disposition KM will have NO criminal record. KM and her Mother left the court house happy with the result.

KC, a 27 year old mechanic from Hampstead, NH, got caught purchasing heroin during a police surveillance operation at a hotel in Andover. He was arrested on Saturday, December 26, 2015 and released to appear in Lawrence District Court for an arraignment on December 29, 2015. KC retained Attorney Robert Lewin to represent him and to appear in Court with him for his arraignment on December 29, 2015. KC’s timing was excellent. KC had no criminal record and is a Veteran. If his arraignment actually took place on December 29, 2015 then a criminal record would be created. It was important to try to avoid an arraignment from taking place.

Attorney Lewin had no less than three approaches to avoiding the arraignment. First, KC, as a Veteran who served in combat, was eligible to have his case diverted out of the criminal justice system under the newly passed Massachusetts Valor Act. Secondly, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office has a drug diversion program for first time drug offenders with no criminal record. Thirdly, Chapter 111E of the Massachusetts General Laws also provides a framework for diversion of drug cases out of the criminal justice system.

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BH, a 52 year old male from South Carolina, had been calling a student help line at a Major University in the Boston area for over three years. The calls were persistent and had strong sexual overtones. The calls would come in the hours just after midnight and would involve masturbation and other sexual topics. The university had traced the calls back to BH and had warned him to stop. For a while BH contained himself but then the calls started up again. The University filed an application for a criminal complaint against BH. The Application sought a criminal complaint for annoying phone calls. The calls were numerous and the penalty for each call was up to three months in jail. The University had documented close to one hundred calls. BH was looking at the real possibility of a jail sentence. Immediately upon receiving the notice from the Court BH contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover.

Attorney Lewin implemented a plan of action. Attorney Lewin told BH he had to immediately enroll in counseling with a licensed psychotherapist with experience in sex offenses. Attorney Lewin told BH it would be imperative for the psychotherapist to furnish a report that BH was in treatment to deal with this specific problem. BH did what Attorney Lewin asked. In the meantime Attorney Lewin contacted the University Detective who had completed the investigation. Attorney Lewin advocated for a result that would avoid an actual criminal complaint from being issued against BH. Attorney Lewin had several conversations with the Detective in the weeks leading up to the Court Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin received a written report from the psychotherapist. The report certified that BH was in treatment for the specific problems underlying the annoying phone calls.

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On July 19, 2015 KC, a 22 year old woman from Lawrence, was driving to work in Lexington when she was pulled over by the State Police. Her Massachusetts Driver’s License had been previously suspended by the Registry of Motor Vehicles because she had accumulated three speeding tickets and because she had failed to pay speeding tickets. Because she had 5 convictions for speeding and because she had two payment defaults, her driver record from the RMV was a mess. The State Trooper cited KC for operating after suspension of license and she subsequently received a summons to go to Concord District Court for an arraignment. KC retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately ran KC’s driver record and obtained a copy of the police report. As always, the devil is in the details.

KC had actually received two notices on the same date (July 9, 2015) from the RMV. One notice was a notice of suspension for having accumulated three speeding tickets which informed her that her license was suspended effective July 19, 2015 (the same date she was stopped by the State Police). The second notice was a notice of INTENT to suspend her license for the same three speeding tickets. The effective date of that suspension was October 7, 2015. Attorney Lewin wanted KC to have her licernse back by the time they went to court for the arraignment. KC needed an additional month to complete her requirements to get reinstated. Attorney Lewin had the date of KC’s arraignment postponed until November 23, 2015. In late October 2015 KC got her license reinstated.

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On May 1, 2015, SC, a 19 year old fellow from Dracut with no criminal record, got very high smoking a controlled substance with several neighbors. At 1:00 AM he went to a convenient store in Dracut; the store was closed. SC had a barbell with him and proceeded to break a plate glass window and the window frame attempting to gain entrance to the store. A silent alarm was tripped and the police responded. A neighbor also had seen what had gone on and the store security system video had captured images of SC breaking the window and the frame. The police arrived and observed SC’s condition; it was clear he was under the influence of something. SC called his Mother who also responded to the scene. The police allowed SC to go in the custody of his Mother but told him he would be summonsed into court. Eight weeks later SC received a summons to appear in Lowell District Court to answer to a criminal complaint charging SC with two counts of malicious destruction to property over $250, attempted breaking and entering, and possession of burglars tools (all felonies). SC and his mother came to see Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover and retained Attorney Lewin. SC had no criminal record and having four felony charges on his record could create great problems for SC in terms of getting employment or going to college. Firstly, Attorney Lewin explained to SC that if anything helps make this type of case go away it is paying for the damage done to the store and apologizing to the store owner. SC’s Mother and Grandfather went to the storekeeper and had a heart to heart talk with the storekeeper. The storekeeper had spent $1,062 replacing the large plate glass and fixing the window frame. SC’s grandfather wrote out a check to the storekeeper for the full amount. The storekeeper was very appreciative and wrote out a receipt. On the receipt he specifically requested that all the charges against SC be dropped. Attorney Lewin called the Police Prosecutor from Dracut and explained the situation. Attorney Lewin then went over to Lowell District Court and met face to face with the Police Prosecutor from Dracut. Attorney Lewin asked the police to agree to dismiss the criminal charges prior to arraignment. The significance of the criminal charges being dismissed prior to arraignment is that the charges DO NOT GO ON THE ACCUSED PERSON’S RECORD. A criminal record gets created once an accused person is arraigned in court. The police prosecutor was agreeable. Now it was necessary to get the District Attorney’s Office to agree. Attorney Lewin made a call to the Supervisor of the District Attorney’s Office at Lowell District Court. Attorney Lewin explained the entire case and that the police were agreeable to the charges being dismissed prior to arraignment. Attorney Lewin put the Assistant District Attorney in touch with the police prosecutor and the Assistant District Attorney then agreed to the charges being dismissed prior to arraignment.
On September 15, 2015 SC and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lowell District Court. SC’s case was called in the First Criminal Session and Attorney Lewin informed the Judge that the Commonwealth and the Defense had agreed that all the charges were to be dismissed without SC being arraigned (prior to arraignment). The Judge ordered the charges all dismissed prior to arraignment.
As a result of this disposition SC has NO CRIMINAL RECORD. If a CORI check is done on SC this case will not show up. It is as if it did not happen. SC and his Mother left the Courthouse very very happy with the result.