Articles Posted in Clearing Warrants

On June 6, 2007, BQ, a then 29 year old office worker from New Hampshire with an opioid problem was arrested and charged with trespassing in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant in Lawrence. BQ had gone there to buy drugs. She was bailed out that day and never went to court. A warrant for her arrest was issued. For ten years BQ remained under the radar. In 2016 BQ – having been clean for for a considerable time – had a baby and needed to get a license. Because of the outstanding warrant in Lawrence District Court her right to drive in Massachusetts was suspended and as a result she could not renew her New Hampshire license which was now expired. BQ contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. On August 30, 2017 BQ hired Attorney Lewin and on the same day Attorney Lewin and BQ went over to Lawrence District Court. Attorney Lewin had previously gone over to the Lawrence District Court and obtained copies of all the papers (the criminal complaint, the court docket sheet, and the police report) and forwarded them to BQ. In addition Attorney Lewin had previously met with the Assistant District Attorney and discussed a resolution of the case. After some discussion the Assistant DA agreed to Attorney Lewin’s request to dismiss the case. On August 30, 2017 Attorney Lewin and BQ went to the court and appeared before the Judge. The Judge ordered the warrant recalled (canceled) and the Judge ordered the case dismissed prior to arraignment. By ordering the case dismissed prior to her being arraigned the Judge prevented BQ from getting a criminal record as a result of this case. BQ left the courthouse very happy.

As a result of this disposition the following happened:

  • The warrant was cleared (on the very first date in Court).

In May of 1984 KW, then age 24, was arrested in Andover for Operating Under the Influence of Liquor and several other criminal offenses. One month later in June of 1984 KW was arrested again for Operating Under the Influence of Liquor in Wakefield. KW then flew the coop; he left Massachusetts and has been living in Arizona ever since. Warrants for KW’s arrest were issued in both Lawrence District Court and Malden District Court. He was able to get an AZ license and for years ignored the two warrants in MA. Recently Arizona refused to renew KW’s AZ license because he was under suspension in MA because of the two warrants. KW was hesitant to return to MA for fear that he would get locked up – particularly when he went to the first court to get the warrant cleared. He feared that the Judge in the first court would order him put into custody and held for the second court.

KW contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to KW that if he ever wanted to drive legally again he would have to get these warrants and the cases cleaned up. KW retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin was able to get the papers from both courts. The police officer in the Wakefield case retired just four months ago; however, no police report could be found in the Wakefield case. The police officer in the Andover case had retired almost ten years ago, but he was still around(!) and he had the police report from the case!!

On November 21, 2016 KW and Attorney Lewin went into Malden District Court and the Judge ordered the Malden Court warrant cancelled. The Malden Court case was then continued to December 2, 2016 to give the DA one last opportunity to see if they could put the case together. The Judge did not lock KW up on the warrant for Lawrence District Court but allowed KW to go with Attorney Lewin to Lawrence. Two hours later KW and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court. As in Malden District Court, the Judge ordered the warrant in Lawrence District Court cancelled and that case was continued to the same December date.

LN, a 53 year old woman from a metro north suburb, is charged with two counts of Larceny in Concord District Court. She was employed as a cashier at a local pharmacy and is accused of stealing two gift cards from the pharmacy after putting $500 on each of the gift cards. LN has retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover to represent her in Concord District Court. One of the first things Attorney Lewin did was to run her criminal record to make sure there were no surprises on the record. Sure enough, there was a warrant outstanding for LN’s arrest as the result of a default in a Larceny case in Woburn District Court going back to 1989. Attorney Lewin explained to LN that it was important to get the warrant taken care of before LN’s first appearance in Concord District Court, which is scheduled for January 15, 2016. (Attorney Lewin explained to LN that if the warrant in Woburn Court was still outstanding when LN and Attorney Lewin go into Concord District Court that the Judge in Concord District Court could order LN locked up and transported free of charge in the Sheriff’s van to Woburn District Court after spending a night in MCI Framingham.) Attorney Lewin went to Woburn District Court and obtained copies of the papers in the Woburn Court Case.

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On March 11, 1997 JL was stopped by the Andover Police for speeding. When the Police ran his license it came back as suspended. When the police checked his record he had three prior convictions for driving on a suspended license. JL went to court for arraignment. The case proceeded in Court and the DA was looking for JL to go to jail. The case was set down for trial in 1999 and JL defaulted on the trial date, a warrant issued for his arrest, and he went on the run. Fast forward 18 years. JL is living in Florida and has a Florida license. He goes to renew his FL license and FL will not renew because FL is now aware of the warrant in Massachusetts. JL continues to drive in FL and gets caught. The Judge in FL tells JL to get his warrant cleared in Massachusetts and get his license reinstated in Massachusetts otherwise the FL judge is going to send him to jail.

JL retains Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover. It takes the Clerk’s Office in Lawrence Court two weeks to locate the papers from 1997; the papers had actually been misfiled. The papers are located. The police report is located and the police officer who stopped JL back in 1997 is still an active duty police officer on the Andover Police Department! Attorney Lewin meets with the District Attorney and convinces the District Attorney to dismiss the case upon the payment of $650.00 in Court Costs. The DA’s Office, however, insists that they will not dismiss the case until and unless JL comes to Court in MA.

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In 1980, EO, then age 26, was drinking and drugging and got into a boatload of trouble stealing checks, forging checks, and passing bad checks. He got locked up and when he was released from jail he had 7 cases in Lawrence District Court where he was placed on probation with a 2 year suspended sentence. As a condition of probation he was also ordered to pay restitution. In 1981, while on probation, he took off from Massachusetts. He never paid the restitution. Years went by. EO stopped drinking and he stopped using drugs. Thirty-five years later in 2015 he is living in the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin refused to renew his driver’s license because of the outstanding warrants in Lawrence District Court. The Federal Immigration Service revoked his passport and refused to let him leave the country because of the warrants. EO retained Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover.

Attorney Lewin immediately went over to Lawrence District Court and requested that all of EO’s Court papers be brought up from the archives. This took about a week. EO, now age 61, did not want to travel to Massachusetts to clear up these warrants and he certainly did not want to have to serve the 2 year sentences (7 of them) that had been suspended back in 1980. Attorney Lewin had EO furnish him with all the good things that had gone on in EO’s life since he became drug and alcohol free. Attorney Lewin opened up a conversation with the Chief Probation Officer at Lawrence District Court. The conversation spanned about one week. The Chief Probation Officer wanted to check all of EO’s Court records to see exactly what EO was facing.

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CB, a 40 year old plumber who needs a license to work, got in trouble in Lynn District Court back in 2009. He left Massachusetts and moved to FL and got a FL license. In 2015 he went to renew his FL license and was told he could not because his license/right to operate had been suspended in MA due to an outstanding warrant in Lynn District Court. In fact CB had a 2009 criminal case in Lynn that was in warrant status due to unpaid money. When CB called Lynn District Court he was told he would have to come up to MA to clear the warrant. On Monday, September 21, 2015 CB retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. On Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Attorney Lewin went to Lynn District Court without CB and paid the moneys that were owing to the Court. The Court removed the default that had been entered against CB, cancelled the warrant, and ordered the case dismissed. The Registry of Motor Vehicles was notified, the suspension on CB’s license/right to operate was lifted, and CB is now able to renew his FL license.

On January 24, 1990 CS was arrested in Lowell, MA and charged with DUI Liquor and Operating without a License. He was bailed out from the Lowell Police Station and ordered to appear in Lowell District Court the next morning for an arraignment. CS lived in Maine at the time. CS, who was age 26 at the time, did not go to Lowell District Court and a warrant for his arrest was issued by the Court. Over the next 24 years life went on for CS. He moved to North Carolina, married, had three children, and ultimately started his own business (selling snow cones). He got a North Carolina driver’s license and life was good. In early December 2014 CS went to renew his NC driver’s license and his past came back to bite him. He was told he could not renew his license because his right to drive in Massachusetts was suspended because of the outstanding warrant in Lowell District Court. This information was showing up in the National Driver Register (NDR) and was preventing CS from renewing his license in NC. CS contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover, MA. Attorney Lewin went to Lowell District Court and obtained a copy of the only paper in the court file – a docket sheet from 1990. The court file did not contain a police report. The arresting officer was no longer on the police force. Attorney Lewin contacted the DA’s Office at Lowell District Court and furnished the DA with a copy of the court Docket Sheet. The DA said they would have to see if a police report could be found and – assuming they could determine who the witnesses were – if the witnesses were identifiable and locatable. Attorney Lewin advocated for the DA to drop the case. Attorney Lewin stayed in contact with the DA at least 2 times per week for two weeks. It was becoming apparent that the DA and the police were unable to find a police report let alone any witnesses. On January 5, 2015 Attorney Lewin filed a Motion to excuse CS’s personal appearance in court and to dismiss the case. Lowell District Court requires 7 days notice on scheduling a Motion. On January 13, 2015 Attorney Lewin appeared in court on behalf of CS. The District Attorney agreed that they could not go forward with the case and the DA filed a Nolle Prosequi. A Nolle Prosequi is a dismissal of a criminal charge that is filed by the District Attorney. The Judge accepted the Nolle Prosequi and the Judge granted Attorney Lewin’s Motion to excuse CS. The Judge ordered the warrant recalled & cancelled and the Judge ordered the case dismissed. No court costs or court fees were assessed.
Notice of the the cancellation of the warrant and the dismissal of the case will be transmitted electronically to the Registry of Motor Vehicles by Lowell District Court. The Registry will then lift the suspension of CS’s right to drive and CS will be able to renew his North Carolina License. When Attorney Lewin returned from Court on January 13, 2015 he sent CS an email to update him on what happened in Court. CS then replied in an email as follows: “Great!! I can honestly say I have never had a lawyer work as hard as you have – thank you so much.” Needless to say CS is a happy camper!

In 1986, BC was 20 years old and he had little use for authority. In that one year he was arrested for Breaking & Entering in North Andover, Larceny in North Andover, and Disturbing the Peace in Lawrence. In addition BC had a another case in Lawrence District Court on which he owed a series of fines. It all got a bit much for BC and he decided at the age of 20 to take what we lawyers call “the southern defense”; that is, he left Massachusetts and his four open criminal cases in Lawrence District Court and headed south to Florida. Things in Florida got better for BC: he married, had two children, and ultimately started his own roofing company. His children grew and ultimately left the nest; his business grew and he became financially successful. Then one day in late 2014 BC went to renew his Florida driver’s license and was told he could not renew his license because the NDR (National Driver Register) was showing a hold in Massachusetts because of four outstanding warrants in Lawrence District Court. Twenty-eight years after hitting the road his past had caught up with him. BC contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover.
Attorney Lewin immediately went over to Lawrence District Court and obtained copies of the court papers from 1986. Attorney Lewin examined the papers and realized that the officer involved in the most serious of the cases was dead. It also became apparent that police reports may not be able to be located on these cases and witnesses may not be able to be located. Attorney Lewin contacted the DA’s Office. The DA would not agree to dismiss the cases until BC came back to Massachusetts and appeared in Court. BC (and his wife) flew up from Florida and BC and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court on December 3, 2014. The Judge removed all the defaults in the four cases and cancelled the four warrants against BC. All the cases, except for the Breaking & Entering, were then ordered dismissed. The DA wanted a further opportunity to see if they could put the B & E case together. The Judge continued the B & E case to January 12, 2015 and ordered that BC was excused from appearing on that date. After leaving Court on December 3, 2014 BC and Attorney Lewin went to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles with certified copies of the Court paperwork showing that the warrants had been cancelled and the Registry then removed the suspension of BC’s right to operate a motor vehicle. That night BC and his wife flew back to Florida and within two days BC was able to renew his Florida license.On January 12, 2015 Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court and explained to the Judge that the Commonwealth could not go forward with the case; the Judge then ordered the B & E case dismissed. All four of BC’s cases were dismissed and he got his license back. BC is a very happy camper.

SR is 47 years old and lives in Colorado. SR applied for a gun permit but was denied on the grounds that he had a warrant in Massachusetts that dated back to 1987. The warrant was for a misdemeanor charge of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in Lawrence District Court. SR called the court and was told that he had to come out to Massachusetts to clear the warrant or he could try getting a local lawyer to help. SR called Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, MA. SR retained Attorney Lewin late in the afternoon on Thursday, November 6, 2014. Attorney Lewin interviewed SR by phone on Thursday evening and on Friday, November 7, 2014, Attorney Lewin went over to Lawrence District Court and had SR’s 1987 case put on the court list for that day. Attorney Lewin spoke with an Assistant District Attorney and the Asst. DA agreed to dismiss the case. The case was called and the Judge ordered the warrant cancelled and the case dismissed. Attorney Lewin then obtained attested copies of the Notice of Warrant Cancellation and the Court Docket Sheet (showing that the case was dismissed) and sent them out to SR in Colorado so that he could now get his gun permit. Within two hours after court opened this problem was solved.

In 1983 and 1984 WL, then 23 and 24 years old got into a spate of trouble with the Haverhill Police. He had charges of Violating Probation on an Operating Under the Influence of Liquor charge, Malicious Destruction of Property (a Felony), two charges of Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and a charge of Attaching Plates to Conceal a Vehicle. It all became too much so WL headed out west to California for greener pastures. Months turned into years and years turned into decades. In 2014, WL, now 53 years old, is living in Pennsylvania and he went to renew his Pennsylvania gun license. He was told he could not renew his gun license because he had these warrants in Haverhill District Court. WL first hired a Massachusetts lawyer who does gun license cases. When the lawyer saw the situation in Haverhill District Court, the lawyer told WL you need to get a lawyer who knows the Haverhill District Court and who has experience in getting old cases cleaned up. On Wednesday, September 10, WL contacted Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover, MA. They talked on the phone and then WL retained Attorney Lewin (paying the legal fee by wire transfer). Later that day Attorney Lewin went to Haverhill District Court, reviewed all the papers, and spoke directly to the Probation Department. On the DUI case WL had been put on probation back in 1984 but he utterly failed to comply with his probation. He did not do the DUI Program and he had not paid the court fees and fines. The one big thing that WL did have going for him was that for the last 30 years he had not got into any trouble. Attorney Lewin was able to convince the Probation not to ask that WL’s probation be revoked. On Friday, September 12, 2014, WL flew out to Boston and met Attorney Lewin at Haverhill District Court. Attorney Lewin and WL went in front of the Judge. Attorney Lewin explained to the Judge that over the last 30 years WL had gone on to become a productive citizen, that he had his own business, that he was raising two children, and most importantly that WL had stayed out of trouble. The Judge was impressed with WL’s progress over the last 30 years and agreed to dismiss the probation violation. The Judge then dismissed all five cases against WL and ordered WL to pay a total of $1,000 in court costs. WL paid the $1,000 immediately before anyone changed their mind. Within 48 hours of retaining Attorney Lewin all five of WL’s cases in Haverhill District Court were dismissed. WL was thrilled and flew back to Pennsylvania to get his gun license. Had the Probation Office asked for WL’s probation to be revoked and had the Judge revoked his probation, WL could have been sentenced to up to 2 1/2 years in jail and his right to drive would have been revoked for one year (and Pennsylvania would have revoked his Pennsylvania driver’s license for the one year period). He had a lot at stake and it worked out well. WL gave Attorney Lewin a big thank you and handshake as they left the Courthouse.