Articles Posted in Clerk-Magistrate Hearings

On February 17, 2022, AZ (not the person’s real initials), a 29 year old carpenter foreman for a large construction company, drove to Andover to purchase heroin. He drove to the parking lot of a popular business off Route 93 – a parking lot that is well known to the Andover PD and the State Police as a place where drug transactions are often completed. AZ, then having spoken to his supplier on the phone, drove to a large apartment complex (in Andover) and purchased a small quantity of heroin. AZ then returned to the parking lot (!) and prepared to ingest (by snorting). A plain clothes police officer observed all of AZ’s comings and goings. The officer had actually followed AZ from the parking lot to the apartment complex and then back to the parking lot. The officer then approached the passenger side and looked in (NOT illegal). The Officer saw AZ looking down at his knees. The police report reads: “I observed in plain view, AZ holding a small cut orange straw and had a clear hard plastic object on his lap area that held a visible line of tan powder”.  The police had conversation with AZ, seized the drugs, but sent AZ on his way and told him he would receive paperwork to go to court.  Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to AZ, the DEA came in and arrested AZ’s supplier at the apartment complex.

AZ had a prior arrest for Possession of Heroin in NH and could not afford a conviction here in MA.

AZ consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to AZ  that Attorney Lewin would take care of the case and that it was AZ’s job to get off the Heroin. AZ sought out a counselor for depression and went cold turkey getting off the Heroin. Attorney Lewin advocated on AZ’s behalf with the Andover PD.

AU, a 24 year old architect, moved from Wisconsin to North Reading, MA in early 2021. On December 10, 2021, AU was involved in an accident in Peabody. The police responded to the scene and AU produced his Wisconsin license. When the police asked how long he had been living in MA, AU responded that he had been in MA since the beginning of the year. The police cited AU for unlicensed operation. AU’s work involves certain security clearances and he could not afford to have a criminal record.

AU consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. AU immediately went to the Registry (RMV) and got a MA license. AU also immediately requested a Clerk-Magistrate hearing.

Attorney Lewin went over to the Peabody District Courthouse and met personally with the Peabody Police Prosecutor. Attorney Lewin showed the prosecutor that AU had obtained a MA license.

On November 5, 2020, LT, a 43 year old firefighter in a town north of Boston, was at home with his wife and two sons, ages 5 and 6. The five year old son has behavioral issues and throws tantrums when he does not get his way. The family had supper together and the LT’s wife was getting the two boys ready for bed. The five year old began demanding to eat more. His mother told him no and he had a meltdown. Her was kicking and screaming. LT then got off the couch and went over to the five year old. LT told this son to stop screaming and LT started to count 10, 9, 8 … The boy then stood up, stuck his face out toward LT, and screamed at LT. LT had his right hand extended and swept three fingers across his sons cheek striking the boy’s neckline and chin line. LT then picked his son up and carried him into his bedroom and placed him down on the bed. The sweep across the chin/neck area had left very visible and distinct red marks on the five year old’s neck.

The next morning, with the red marks very visible, the five year old went to school. A teacher noticed the marks and asked the five year old what happened and he told the teacher that his father had hit him the night before. The teacher – being a mandated reporter- immediately called DCF and the police. DCF and the police went to LT’s home to investigate and they confirmed that what the boy told them was true.

The police contacted LT and asked him to come to the station. LT was interviewed at the station by the police and DCF and he admitted to striking his son. DCF opened an abuse case against LT and the police filed an application for a criminal complaint against LT at Lowell District Court. DCF told LT and his wife that LT could not be left alone with the boys or DCF would go to court to seek custody of the boys.

SS, a 40 year old Gulf War Veteran from NY State, came to Methuen for the funeral of a fellow veteran. SS and several other veterans arrived in Methuen on Friday, July 16, 2021. They all checked into a hotel and went out for dinner and some drinks. At 3:00 AM on Saturday, July 17, 2021 the police were dispatched to the parking lot of the hotel on the report of a man with a knife acting belligerently.  The police arrived and saw SS attempting to fight one of his fellow veterans. The police attempted to deescalate the situation but SS did not respond to any of their requests. Ultimately the police were forced to taze SS and he fell to the ground.

The police spoke to SS’s fellow veterans who informed the police that SS suffered from PTSD. Rather than arrest SS, the police brought SS to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen. The police filed an application for a criminal complaint against SS for Assault & Battery and Disturbing the Peace at Lawrence District Court. The Application was set down for a hearing on Friday, October 1, 2021.

SS consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately obtained a copy of SS’s DD-214 (Discharge Summary) and a copy of SS’s VA Determination of Disability. It was clear to Attorney Lewin that this episode was a direct result of SS’s PTSD. In addition, Attorney Lewin got confirmation that SS was in treatment at the VA. Attorney Lewin spoke with the police prosecutor and furnished the police prosecutor with copies of the documents that Attorney Lewin had obtained.

On October 2, 2021, NS, a 38 year old alien (green card holder) from India was caught shoplifting in Macy’s in Saugus. Macy’s had her on video and actually had her on video on three prior occasions shoplifting in the store. The loss prevention officer escorted NS back to the security office and the Saugus Police were called. The Saugus Police took her information and did not arrest her; they told her she would receive a notice from the Lynn District Court.

NS and her husband began a search for a lawyer. NS and her husband consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin explained how lucky NS was that the police did not arrest her. They could have and then she would have been fingerprinted and she would have to appear before a Judge and a criminal record would have been created. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the Saugus Police Prosecutor to request that the case be set up for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. This was done.

Attorney Lewin recognized that NS had a serious problem. NS completely lacked the ability to see the situation she was in. NS kept saying it was an accident and a mistake. Attorney Lewin pointed out that stealing merchandise four times from the same store was not an accident or mistake. On four different occasions NS had gone into the store with the intention to steal; she had picked up merchandise, placed it into a bag, then hidden the merchandise under other items in the bag, and then walked out of the store without paying.  Those were all intentional acts that required planning and execution. Attorney Lewin explained to NS and her husband that if Attorney Lewin tried to sell her behavior to the police prosecutor and the Clerk-Magistrate as an “accident or mistake” that the police would not cooperate nor would the Clerk-Magistrate.

MS, a 47 year old female immigrant from Haiti, received a Notice of a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing from Chelsea District Court. The Chelsea Police had applied for a criminal complaint against MS for two counts of Forgery (checks), two counts of Uttering, and two counts of Larceny By False Pretenses. All six counts are felonies and all of the charges could lead to deportation. MS had absolutely no idea what the charges were about.

MS consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately went to Chelsea Court and obtained copies of the Application for Criminal Complaint and the underlying police report. The police had received information from a bank investigator that an account holder at the bank had noticed a series of debits in her bank account for checks that she had not written. The checks were forged. Two of the forged checks had been made payable to MS and had been deposited in MS’s account at the bank.

The police applied for a criminal complaint against MS. It turns out that MS had in fact opened a joint bank account with her son, who was a minor at the time. Some months after opening the account, the two large checks made payable to MS were deposited into the account. The checks were in fact forgeries. Attorney Lewin contacted the bank investigator and asked for documentation showing that MS’s bank account was in fact a joint account. The bank investigator furnished the documentation to Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin also asked for the documentation showing how the account was opened. The Account opening documents show signature cards for both MS and her son and the initial deposit was a work check from MS’s son’s employment. The two large forged checks that were deposited were made out to MS; however, they were deposited remotely online so there was no surveillance photos or videos to show who made the deposit.

On September 3, 2021, SA, a 34 year old certified nursing assistant from Methuen, was driving on Chelmsford Street in Methuen when she rear ended the car in front of her. She stopped for a moment and then fled the scene and drove home. The operator of the other vehicle was able to get the license plate number of SA’s car. The police responded to the accident scene and spoke to the driver of the vehicle that was struck and obtained from her the license plate number of SA’s car. The police ran the plate and learned SA’s address and then drove to SA’s home where they saw the car and spoke with SA. SA admitted her involvement and the police issued her a criminal citation for leaving the scene of a property damage accident. SA took the citation and brought it to Lawrence District Court to request a hearing. SA then looked for a lawyer and consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover.

Attorney Lewin contacted SA’s insurance company to make certain that the claim for the property damage to the other vehicle would be covered. Subsequently, Attorney Lewin obtained written confirmation from the insurance company that the claim would be paid. Attorney Lewin also spoke to the Methuen Police Prosecutor and advocated for the case to be settled at the Clerk-Magistrate hearing without a criminal complaint being issued against SA. On October 14, 2021 SA and Attorney Lewin appeared at Lawrence District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. The Clerk-Magistrate was concerned that there was no input from the driver of the other car or her attorney. The Clerk-Magistrate suggested that he was willing to not issue a criminal complaint but wanted input from the driver of the other car or her attorney. The hearing was continued for a month. Attorney Lewin contacted the lawyer for the driver of the other car and was able to get a written statement from him that both he (the lawyer) and  his client (the driver of the car that SA struck) had no objection to the Clerk-Magistrate NOT issuing a criminal complaint against SA.

On November 18, 2021 SA and Attorney Lewin appeared again at Lawrence District Court. Attorney Lewin presented the written confirmation from the Attorney for the other driver that they had no objection to the Clerk-Magistrate not issuing the complaint. The Clerk-Magistrate then DENIED the police application for the criminal complaint and the matter was dismissed.

On September 24, 2020 MB, a 21 year old woman from Haverhill, was driving in Haverhill when she collided into another vehicle being driven on the road. The other driver stopped but MB panicked and left the scene of the accident without stopping. Unfiortunatedly for MB her front license plate had fallen off her car at the accident scene. The police responded to the accident scene, found the plate, ran the plate, and learned that the plate belonged to a vehicle registered to MB. The police then went to MB’s home and found MB’s car still warm and with fresh front end damage. The police went to the door and MB came to the door. MB at first told the police that the other driver had fled the scene and MB had placed the accident at a different location. When the police confronted MB that her license plate was found at the scene provided by the other driver MB confessed. The police issued MB a citation for leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

MB consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin made certain that the citation would be set up for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. A Clerk-Magistrate Hearing is an opportunity to settle the case before a criminal complaint is issued. Attorney Lewin contacted MB’s insurance company to make certain that the property damage claim filed by the other driver was paid. Attorney Lewin also spoke with the Haverhill Police Prosecutor and advocated with the prosecutor for NO criminal complaint to be issued against MB. MB was working full time as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) and she was attending a Community College to become a registered nurse. She had no criminal record and it was important to her to avoid being charged with a criminal offense.

On March 12, 2021 MB and Attorney Lewin appeared at Haverhill District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin advocated for the Clerk-Magistrate to NOT issue a criminal complaint against MB. The Clerk-Magistrate then announced that he was going to continue the hearing for six months to September 10, 2021 and that if MB had no further law violations then the Clerk-Magistrate would deny the application for criminal complaint and NO criminal complaint would be issued against MB.

Attorney Lewin’s string of successful defense of Operating After Suspension of License charges continued full steam ahead in August of 2021. Attorney Lewin appeared in Lowell District Court on August 4, 2021 and was successful in having two clients avoid being prosecuted for operating after suspension.

HZ’s Case

HZ’s case:  HZ is a 38 year old permanent resident alien from China living in Lowell. He has a Doctorate in Bio Medical Engineering and is employed as a principal research engineer at a bio-tech company. In 2019 Dr. Z got a ticket for a marked lanes violation and he failed to pay the ticket. As a result the Registry suspended his license. He claimed not to have received any notice of the suspension. On August 26, 2020 Dr. Z was operating his car on Route 495 in Chelmsford. Suddenly the car in front of him came to a stop and Dr. Z could not stop in time and rear ended the stopped car in front of him. The police responded to the scene and when they ran Dr. Z’s license it came back as suspended. The police issued Dr. Z a citation for Operating After Suspension of License and for Following too Closely (a civil violation). Dr. Z – to his credit – immediately went to the Registry and paid the outstanding ticket from 2019 and he paid a reinstatement fee and got his license reinstated. Dr. Z also sent the citation in to Lowell District Court to request a hearing. Because of covid-19 getting a hearing date was substantially delayed. Finally Dr. Z received a notice from Lowell District Court that his hearing on the State Police Application for a criminal complaint against him was scheduled for August 4, 2021. Dr. Z sought out a lawyer and met with (via zoom) and hired Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted Dr. Z’s insurance company to make certain that the person whose car Dr. Z rear ended had been paid for their property damage in full. Attorney Lewin obtained written confirmation from the insurance company of the payment in full. Attorney Lewin obtained a copy of the police report. Attorney Lewin also obtained written verification from the Registry that Dr. Z had paid the outstanding ticket from 2019 and that his license was fully reinstated by the Registry.

On October 8, 2020, RK, a 25 year old software engineer for a communications company from New York City, was travelling from NY to Boston. She had a learner’s permit from NY. The car she was driving had a temporary paper plate that had folded over on itself so that the full plate# was not visible. A State Trooper signaled for her to  pull over on Route 84 and she pulled into a rest area and stopped. She had a male passenger in the car and he had no license. The trooper asked her for her license and she produced her NY State learner’s permit. The Trooper told her and the passenger to exit the vehicle. The Trooper, perhaps suspecting that she was transporting drugs, then completely searched the car including the trunk and the glove compartment – finding nothing. The Trooper said the car would have to be towed and she and her passenger would have to make arrangements to get picked up. The Trooper cited her for Unlicensed Operation (a criminal offense) and for a Number Plate Violation (failure to properly display). RK took the citation and completed the citation and mailed it in to the Dudley District Court to request a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing.

RK has a good job in a good profession and is very upwardly mobile. She absolutely did not want to have any criminal record. RK consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to RK that getting her NY license would be very helpful to getting the case favorably resolved. RK signed up for her driving test in NY. Her driving test was set for April 1, 2021. Her court hearing on the ticket was set for April 8, 2021,

On April 1, 2021 RK was set to take her driving test; however, due to the covid-19 pandemic the DMV was not giving any road tests and her road test was cancelled.

Contact Information