Articles Posted in Clearing Warrants

KB, a 34 year old army wife living in KY, went to renew her driver’s license in KY but was denied because her right to drive was suspended in Massachusetts because she had defaulted in a criminal case in Peabody District Court back in 2008. On Monday, March 18, 2013 KB wired a retainer to Attorney Robert Lewin. On Tuesday, March 19, 2013 Attorney Lewin appeared in Peabody District Court for KB. The default was removed, the warrant was cancelled, Attorney Lewin paid $200 in court costs from funds that KB had wired, and the case was dismissed. The following day KB paid a small reinstatement fee to the Registry of Motor Vehicles online and her driving privileges were reinstated. KB had been fretting over this case for five years. In one day it was resolved and she never had to leave her home in Kentucky. Attorney Robert Lewin has been practicing criminal defense law since 1975 (38 years) and has a remarkable record of success in clearing old warrants.

DP, a resident of Washington DC, went to get his driver’s license renewed and was told he could not get it renewed because his right to operate in MA was under suspension because of an outstanding court warrant. It seems that in 2010 DP had gotten into a scrape at South Station in Boston and got arrested. He failed to go to court and returned to Washington. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the Boston Municipal Court. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles received a notice form the Court and suspended DP’s right to operate a motor vehicle. That suspension was entered into the NDR (National Driver Register) and when DP went to renew his license in Washington he was refused. DP contacted a Boston Attorney at a large firm whom he knew and the Attorney referred DP to Lewin and Lewin. DP retained Attorney Robert Lewin. The day after being hired Attorney Lewin immediately went over to the Boston Municipal Court and obtained copies of all the papers and police reports in DP’s case. Attorney Lewin also went to the District Attorney’s Office and spoke with the DA Supervisor. After some discussion the DA’s Office agreed to dismiss the charges. Several days later DP flew up to Boston from Washington and on Thursday, February 21, 2013 DP and Attorney Lewin appeared in the Boston Municipal Court. The Judge removed the default, cancelled the warrant, assessed $200 in court costs which DP paid immediately, and ordered the two criminal charges dismissed. The cancellation of the warrant was entered into the warrant management system. DP went to the RMV, paid a reinstatement fee, and got the suspension of his right to operate lifted. He then flew back to Washington and got his license renewed. He is a happy camper!

GS is a successful 49 year old Florida businessman with a past that came back to bite him. In 1984, when he was 21 years old, he was driving drunk and led the police on a chase through several towns. It all ended in a crash and GS was taken from the scene in cuffs. He was brought to Wareham District Court. He was charged with 11 offenses including DWI, Reckless Operation, 2 Counts of Malicious Destruction to Property, Disorderly Conduct, Disturbing the Peace, and so on. Following a trial by Judge he was sentenced to serve 14 months in the House of Correction and his license was revoked. GS appealed. Before his appeal could be heard GS defaulted in court and his appeal was deemed waived and the original 14 month sentences were ordered into effect. A new criminal complaint issued against him for bail jumping. Warrants for his arrest were issued. GS went to Florida and remained in Florida for the next 28 years. He married and raised a family and ultimately started his own business which became very successful. He got a Florida driver’s license and for 28 years he lived the good life. In 2011 he went to renew his Florida driver’s license and the Florida DMV told him they could not renew because the NDR (National Driver Registry) was showing that he was suspended in Massachusetts due to the warrants from 1984. GS told his family about his “problem” in Massachusetts and then contacted the law offices of Lewin and Lewin. Attorney Robert Lewin was retained. Attorney Lewin immediately went to the Wareham District Court to review all the court papers. Sure enough GS had been sentenced to the 14 months in jail and he had defaulted. Under Massachusetts Law a Motion to Revise or Revoke a sentence must be filed within 60 days of the sentence being imposed. That 60 day period had elapsed back in 1984. Attorney Lewin looked for a technical angle and found one. Attorney Lewin prepared a Motion for Reconsideration of certain actions that had been taken by the Court back in 1984. Attorney Lewin met at length with the Assistant District Attorney and filed a Motion to dismiss the case and appeared before the Judge in Wareham. The Judge set the Motion down for hearing but insisted that GS come up from Florida to appear at the hearing. GS came up and on Thursday, May 3, 2012 GS and Attorney Robert Lewin appeared in Wareham District Court. After a full hearing the Judge granted Attorney Lewin’s Motion for Reconsideration. The defaults were removed, the warrants were recalled, all the guilty findings were vacated (after 28 years), all the sentences were vacated, and all the charges were ordered dismissed. The Judge, by agreement, ordered GS to pay $1,000 in court costs which GS paid immediately. The court cases were over. GS and Attorney Lewin waited in the Clerk’s Office to obtain attested copies of all the court papers. Armed with the Court papers, GS and Attorney Lewin then drove from Wareham to Boston to the RMV Driver Control Unit on Washington Street. Two hours later, GS walked out of the RMV with his right to operate reinstated. On Monday, May 7, 2012 GS called Attorney Lewin and told Attorney Lewin that he had just left the Florida DMV with his new license. GS was very very lucky. Many judges would have simply ordered GS to serve the 14 months.

In 1989 SFC, a Dominican national, was arrested and charged with Distribution of a Class C Drug and Conspiracy to Violate the Controlled Substance Act in Malden Court. He appeared in Court several times and then went on the run. A warrant for his arrest was issued and remained open for over two decades. In 2012, SFC having remained in the US was married and had three children and wanted to become a citizen. He had to clear up the warrant and get the case resolved. SFC retained Attorney Robert Lewin of Lewin & Lewin. Attorney Lewin went to Malden Court and contacted the Malden Police. Unfortunately for SFC after 23 years the arresting officer and the back-up officer were still on the police department and the drugs (which SFC had allegedly sold to an undercover officer) were still in the evidence locker! Attorney Lewin was able to marshal a great deal of evidence that SFC had lead a crime free life since and that he had become a productive citizen. After several weeks of negotiation the District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss the charges against SFC upon the payment of $1,000 in Court costs. On April 23, 2012, SFC and Attorney Robert Lewin appeared in Malden District Court. Judge Johnson, a tough Judge who does not like these cases of people who are on the run for years, went along with the agreement that had been worked out between Attorney Lewin and the DA’s Office and ordered the case dismissed. With the dismissal of these criminal charges SFC is now in a position to proceed with an application for citizenship.

By late February 2012, CJ had waited until the last days to renew his California driver’s license before it expired. When he went to renew his license, however, the California DMV told him that his license could not be renewed because his right to operate in Massachusetts had been suspended due to an outstanding Massachusetts warrant. CJ was dumfounded, as he had moved out of Massachusetts in 1983 and had not been in any trouble since. More importantly, CJ drives as part of his job and could not continue working if he did not have a valid license. Getting to the bottom of this issue and getting his license renewed quickly was critical. CJ called the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (the “RMV”) to find out what was going on. He was informed by the RMV that his right to operate had been suspended because of a Massachusetts warrant issued in connection with a 1982 criminal case in the Malden District Court. CJ recalled having a case in that court which was continued without a finding in 1983. He believed, however, that the case was over and did not understand why there was a warrant. CJ called Lewin & Lewin on Thursday afternoon March 1, 2012. Attorney Joshua Lewin went to the Malden court and obtained the paperwork from the case. He discovered a warrant had issued because CJ had not complied with all of the terms of his probation and was in default because he did not appear in court at the end of the continuance without a finding and had not paid moneys owing to the court. Attorney Lewin filed a motion with the Court and got the case brought before a Judge on Monday morning, March 5, 2012. Attorney Lewin persuasively argued to the Judge that the warrant should be recalled and the case dismissed and that CJ should not be made to return to Massachusetts to deal with the issue. The Judge agreed with Attorney Lewin’s arguments, cancelled the warrant and dismissed the case. Attorney Lewin then appeared at the Massachusetts RMV and arranged for CJ’s right to operate to be reinstated. The Massachusetts RMV lifted the suspension of CJ’s right to operate on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 and entered that information into the National Driver Register. California received that information and CJ was able to renew his California driver’s license. CJ never had to leave California and within four business days of contacting Lewin & Lewin was back on the road. The attorneys at Lewin & Lewin frequently deal with license suspensions due to outstanding warrants and we represent out-of-state clients whose have license suspensions due to Massachusetts court warrants.

MC is now age 48 and resides in Vermont. From 1992 to 2000 he lived in Massachusetts and had a string of criminal offenses that brought him into New Bedford District Court, Hingham District Court, Barnstable District Court, and Wareham District Court. His crimes included the following: Larceny By Check (4 counts), Counterfeiting a Motor Vehicle Document (Title), Larceny Over $250 (2 counts), DUI Liquor, Operating to Endanger, and Operating After Suspension of License. In 2000 he left Massachusetts and settled down in Vermont. He started a business and became quite successful. Then he got a notice from the DMV in Vermont that Vermont would not renew his license because of outstanding warrants in four Massachusetts Courts. MC retained Attorney Robert Lewin who immediately went to all four courts. Copies of all the papers from all his cases in all four courts were obtained. The DA’s Offices in all four courts were contacted as well as the probation offices in all four courts. The cases in Barnstable District Court and Hingham District Court required only the payment of money and the obtaining of certain papers. MC paid the moneys that were owing and furnished the necessary papers and the cases in Barnstable District Court and Hingham District Court were resolved by Attorney Lewin without MC having to appear in Court. The warrants in both courts were cancelled and the cases in those two courts were closed. The cases in New Bedford District Court and Wareham District Court posed additional problems for MC. Incredibly all the witnesses in the cases in those two courts were still around and were anxious to testify against MC. MC had screwed several companies out of substantial sums of money and they wanted their money back or a piece of MC’s hyde. The DA’s Offices in both courts were prepared and willing to try the cases. Lengthy negotiations went on about paying the money back and on January 26, 2012 MC and Attorney Lewin appeared in Wareham District Court (at 9:00 AM) and in New Bedford District Court at 11:00 AM. In Wareham District Court MC made a payment of $6,000 in restitution and the Larceny Charges against him were outright dismissed and the warrants were cancelled. MC and Attorney Lewin then drove to New Bedford. In New Bedford District Court MC made a payment of $7,000 in restitution. The $7,000 was one-half of the money that he owed. By agreement with the DA’s Office the warrant against MC was cancelled and the case was continued for three months to pay the remaining $7,000 in restitution. The DAs Office has agreed to dismiss the charges against MC outright on the three month date if the $7,000 balance of the restitution is paid by that date. As a result, MC has walked away from a combination of several felony and misdemeanor charges in 4 courts after having been on default (i.e. on the run) for 12 years. He did not spend a day in jail. All his warrants have been cancelled and his driving privileges have been reinstated. MC was so pleased he gave Attorney Lewin a bonus!

In 1992, JB pled guilty to possession of cocaine and heroin in the Lowell District Court. He was sentenced to one year in the House of Correction, but the Judge suspended the jail sentence for one year. This meant that JB would never see the inside of a jail cell so long as he complied with the terms of his probation for one year. During his third month of probation, however, JB left snowy Massachusetts and moved to sunny Florida without getting the approval of his probation officer or the Judge. The Probation Department at Lowell District Court issued a Notice of Surrender for Alleged Violation of Probation and the Court issued an arrest warrant in 1993 for JB. JB never returned, instead establishing himself and a career in Florida. After 17 years living in Florida, however, the law caught up to JB. While attempting to renew his driver’s license, the State of Florida informed him that he had an outstanding warrant in Massachusetts and that Florida would not renew his driver’s license until the warrant was cleared. JB needed his license to work but was scared that the Judge would send him to jail for one year if he returned to Massachusetts. JB called attorney Joshua Lewin and explained the situation. After discussing the case, JB retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin promptly went to the Lowell District Court and was able to get the warrant recalled without JB having to be present in Court. As a result, JB was able to renew his license in Florida and he was not without a license for a single day. But that was only half the battle, as JB was still facing a one year jail sentence in Massachusetts. Attorney Lewin spoke to the probation department and court prosecutors about the case. On a snowy April morning, JB returned from Florida to Lowell and appeared in front of the Judge with Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin persuaded the Judge that it was not in the interests of Justice to send JB to jail. In fact, Attorney Lewin’s argument was so persuasive that the Judge terminated JB’s case entirely and set him free without any punishment. When he came to Massachusetts, JB was facing a one year jail sentence. The only punishment he got was having to deal with a freak New England spring snow storm. That was punishment he was willing to accept. Oftentimes we are able to get the Judges to terminated probation in these old cases without the client having to return to Massachusetts; every now and then, however, we get a judge who insists that the client return to Massachusetts. This was the case here; but when the client did appear the Judge terminated the probation and discharged the client from any further responsibility in the case.

In 1983, WC – then age 28 – went out on a date with a woman and ended up being accused of Rape. He did not deny the charge and was able to negotiate a plea where he was given a 7-10 year suspended state prison sentence and he was placed on Probation for five years. For four years he was a perfect probationer. At the beginning of his fifth year of probation he simply walked away from the probation and moved to Louisiana. From 1988 to 2011he lived in Louisiana. He started a business and became successful. The business was a custom motorcycle engine shop. On a February day he was in his shop when the US Marshalls showed up with a warrant for his arrest for being a fugitive from justice from the state of Massachusetts. They cuffed him and brought him to a local court in Louisiana where he was held for rendition back to Massachusetts. His friends contacted Attorney Robert Lewin in Massachusetts. WC ultimately waived a hearing in Louisiana and was transported back to Massachusetts. He was brought to Middlesex Superior Court (now in Woburn, MA) and brought before a Magistrate where he was ordered held without bail. He was served with a Notice of Surrender for Alleged Violation of Probation. There was no question that he had violated his probation: he left the state without permisssion; he failed to keep in contact with probation; he failed to report to probation; etc. The Probation Department was asking that his probation be revoked and the 7-10 year state prison sentence be put into effect. Attorney Lewin put together a memorandum for the Judge that included letters from associates in Louisiana, business records, and medical records. The case required some thinking outside the box. Extending his probation did not make sense as that would require that he not leave Massachusetts and that he wear a GPS bracelet. Sending him to prison to serve 7-10 years for a crime that occurred 28 years earlier did not make much sense either. WC’s friends in Louisiana were willing to put together a free WC fund and raised $15,000. Attorney Lewin suggested to the Judge that she find WC in violation of his probation and that she assess $5,000.00 as a court cost penalty and terminate his probation. The Judge liked the idea but thought the money way too short. The horse trading began and when the dust settled on March 22, 2011 the Judge ordered $15,000. WC’s friends wired the $15,000 up to Attorney Lewin who paid it to the Court. WC was brought back before the Judge who ordered his probation TERMINATED and ordered him RELEASED FROM CUSTODY. He was then discharged from the case and the case was closed. WC is back in Louisiana building engines and catching shrimp.

In 2009, DW, a 58 year old car parts salesman, gave a fellow a check for $1,500 that was worthless. The fellow went to the police and the police took out a criminal complaint against DB for Larceny Over $250, Forgery, and Uttering (all felonies). DB left Massachusetts and moved to Virginia and never received the summons to appear in Framingham District Court. A warrant issued for his arrest. Two years later (in 2011) DW learned of the outstanding warrant and contacted Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin spoke to the victim and confirmed that DB made good on the bad check plus interest. Attorney Lewin then contacted the police and the District Attorney’s Office and got the DA’s Office to agree to dismiss all the charges against DB prior to arraignment and without DB having to appear in Court. On April 5, 2011 Attorney Lewin appeared in Framingham District Court on DB’s behalf and the Judge went along and dismissed all the charges prior to arraignment without DB appearing personally. By dismissing the charges prior to arraignment the charges do not go on DB’s criminal record. It is as is it never happened.

For RD, a sixty-two year old California real estate broker, life was good until in 2011 the California Department of Motor Vehicles refused to renew his driver’s license because RD’s driving privileges in Massachusetts were suspended. It turns out that in 1983 (yes, 28 years ago) RD was arrested for DUI in Massachusetts. Back in 1983 he went to Westborough District Court (Massachusetts), pleaded guilty, was placed on probation for one year and ordered to complete a first offender drunk driving program. Before beginning the program RD’s then employer moved his job to California. RD “blew off” the probation and the DUI Program and moved to California. RD got a California license and for the next 28 years life was good. Meanwhile RD’s case in Westborough District Court went into default status, a notice of probation violation was issued, a warrant for his arrest issued, and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles suspended his driving privileges in Massachusetts. Unfortunately for RD, over the years the computer tracking systems dramatically improved and in March of 2011 the California Department of Motor Vehicles notified RD that he could not renew his California license until he got reinstated in Massachusetts. On Friday, March 4, 2011 RD contacted Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin contacted the Westborough District Court and confirmed that RD was in default of his probation and that there was a warrant outstanding against him. The Chief Probation Officer at the Court took the position that RD had “blown off” his probation and therefore they were unwilling to do anything for him unless he returned to Massachusetts. And then Probation’s position was that RD should suffer a 1 year loss of his driving privileges in Massachusetts (the typical penalty in Massachusetts for persons who are either kicked out of the program or fail to attend). This would have meant a one year loss in of license in California. On Saturday, March 5 RD wired a retainer to Attorney Lewin. Over the weekend Attorney Lewin did a one-hour phone conference with RD and gathered all the necessary information from RD so that an effective written and oral presentation could be made to the Judge on Monday and Attorney Lewin prepared a Motion to get the matter cleared up. On Monday afternoon, March 7, 2011 Attorney Lewin appeared in Westborough District Court. The Chief Probation Officer’s position had not softened. After a full hearing on the Motion that Attorney Lewin presented to the Judge, the Judge took the following action: (1) The Judge excused RD’s appearance in Court and allowed Attorney Lewin to appear in his behalf. (2) The Judge removed the default that had entered back in 1983. (3) The Judge ordered the Warrant cancelled. (The cancellation of the warrant is the first required step in getting the driving privileges reinstated.) (4) The Judge found that RD was in violation of his probation because he left the state without permission, because he failed to complete the DUI program, and because he had failed to report to probation. (5) The Judge then reprobated RD and extended his probation for 5 months and ordered that he could now do the First Offender DUI Program in California. (Over the weekend Attorney Lewin had downloaded information on the California First Offender DUI Program and furnished it to the Judge anticipating that the Judge might take that course.) Attorney Lewin left the courthouse late that afternoon and called RD in California. Attorney Lewin told RD that Attorney Lewin still had to go to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to complete the process. On Tuesday morning, March 8, 2011 Attorney Lewin went to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles with the Notice of Warrant Cancellation from Westborough District Court. After a hearing the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles cancelled the suspension of RD’s driving privileges. This information was then entered (electronically) by Masscahusetts into the National Driver Register (NDR) System. Attorney Lewin left the Registry of Motor Vehicles building and called RD in California and told RD to get over to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and get his license. RD told Attorney Lewin “If you were standing in front of me I would give you a big hug!!!!” RD got his California License that same afternoon. Within 48 hours of being hired Attorney Lewin was able to clear up this 28 year old problem.

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