Articles Posted in Clearing Warrants

RW, a 57 year old owner of a landscaping/irrigation business in Tennessee, received a notice from the Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles that his Tennessee License was being suspended because Massachusetts had suspended his right to operate a motor vehicle due to an outstanding warrant in a Massachusetts Court. RW needed a license to run his business and to do all the things that we all do with a license. Unfortunately for RW the warrant was a probation violation warrant. Thirty years earlier, in 1987, RW had been found guilty of Larceny Over $250.00 in Cambridge District Court. He was given a 1 year suspended sentence and placed on probation for 2 years and ordered to pay restitution. Now, 30 years later, he was at risk of having that 1 year suspended sentence put into effect. On Tuesday, October 10, 2017 RW called Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover, MA and explained the situation. Attorney Lewin told RW that he would call him back. Attorney Lewin called the Clerk-Magistrate’s Office and was able to get the details on the case including the bank to whom the restitution was owing. The bank was no longer in business. Attorney Lewin called the probation office at the Court. It turns out that RW’s probation officer from 30 years earlier still worked in the probation department! He was now the Chief Probation Officer. Attorney Lewin explained RW’s situation to the Chief Probation Officer and explained that the bank was no longer in existence. As promised, Attorney Lewin called RW back (that same Tuesday) and explained the situatuion to RW and explained that he felt he could get the warrant canceled and the case resolved without RW coming to Massachusetts. The next day, Wednesday, October 11, 2017, RW hired Attorney Lewin. The following day, less than 24 hours after being retained, Attorney Lewin went to Cambridge District Court and had the case sent into the Courtroom. Attorney Lewin explained to the Judge that the bank was no longer in existence and that the probation office was not looking for any additional sanction. Attorney Lewin explained that RW had left Massachusetts and moved to Tennessee shortly after being placed on probation. Attorney Lewin asked the Judge (a) to waive (excuse) RW’s appearance in court, (b) to allow Attorney Lewin to appear in RW’s absence, (c) to order the warrant canceled, (d) to terminate RW’s probation, and (e) to discharge RW from any further responsibility to the Court. The Judge granted the request and the case was closed.

Attorney Lewin left the courthouse at 9:35 AM and called RW. RW could not believe the news. Attorney Lewin explained to RW that it would take 24 hours for the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to remove the suspension of RW’s right to drive and an additional 24 hours for that to get entered into the National Driver Registry. Two days later RW walked into the Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles and got his Tennessee License reinstated.

After 42 years of criminal defense practice and 4 years before that as an Assistant District Attorney, Attorney Lewin knew just whom to call and what to say to get the quick and most favorable result possible.

TK, a 52 year old sales manager at a car dealership in Burlington, MA, was charged with Larceny By Check Over $250 back in 2001 in Woburn District Court. The charge arose out of a series of bad checks that TK had written in 2001. The checks were written on a business account that TK had. The account had virtually no money in it. TK simply walked away from the case and a warrant for his arrest was issued. For some reason the Registry of Motor Vehicles did not pick up on the warrant until 2017 at which time the Registry revoked TK’s license. TK needed the license to work at the car dealership. TK contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, MA.

Attorney Lewin went over to Woburn District Court and obtained copies of all the relevant court papers and police reports. From the police report Attorney Lewin was able to determine that the bank which was victimized in the case was no longer in business. Attorney Lewin approached the Assistant District Attorney in Woburn District Court and was able to furnish the Assistant District Attorney with evidence that the State (the Commonwealth) could not at this time successfully prosecute the case: the bank was no longer in business;  it would be virtually impossible to find the witnesses (16 years later); and no one could identify TK as the person who wrote the bad checks.

On July 31, 2017 TK and Attorney Lewin appeared in Woburn District Court. The case was called and the Assistant District Attorney stood up and told the Judge that the Commonwealth could not go forward with the case. The Judge looked over at Attorney Lewin and Attorney Lewin then moved (asked) for the warrant to be recalled and the case dismissed. The Judge granted Attorney Lewin’s motion (request). The warrant was recalled (cancelled) and the charges against TK were dismissed.

KH, a 54 year old landscaper living now in Vermont, was arrested in Lawrence, MA in 2003 and charged with Unlawful Possession of Heroin, Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substance Act, and Operating After Revocation of License, 2nd Offense. KH failed to appear in Lawrence District Court following his arrest and a default warrant issued for his arrest. KH left Massachusetts and moved to Vermont. Vermont revoked his right to drive and told him he could not get a Vermont license until his revocation in Massachusetts was cleared. In order to clear his Massachusetts revocation KH had to get the warrant in Lawrence District Court cleared. KH contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, MA.

Attorney Lewin went over to the Court and obtained copies of all the relevant papers in KH’s case (the Court Docket, the Criminal Complaint, the Police Report, and a copy of KH’s Criminal Record). When Attorney Lewin read the police report he recognized the name of the arresting officer and was aware of the fact that the arresting officer had been fired from the police department for misconduct. The police report did mention that a second officer had assisted in the arrest. That second officer was still around. Attorney Lewin met with the Assistant District Attorney at Lawrence District Court and discussed the case at length. The DA’s Office took the position that KH should not be rewarded for “skipping town” for 14 years and they refused to dismiss the case in his absence.

On September 25, 2017 KH came down to Massachusetts and KH and Attorney Lewin went into Lawrence District Court. KH was booked into Probation and then KH and Attorney Lewin went into the First Criminal Session to address the warrant and the case. Attorney Lewin was prepared to address the court when the Assistant District Attorney stood up and told the Judge that the DA’s Office could not go forward because the officer was no longer available. Attorney Lewin then moved to have the warrant recalled (cancelled) and the case dismissed. The Judge granted Attorney Lewin’s motion (request) and ordered the warrant cancelled and the case dismissed.

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!