Articles Posted in Domestic Assault Cases

On August 9, 2017 UL, a 36 year old building contractor from Andover, was at home with his wife and children. The kids were asleep and UL and his wife got into an argument. UL’s wife was sitting on a couch in the family room of their home. UL, a very large and strong man, picked up the TV controller and threw it. The controller hit a window behind where UL’s wife was sitting and caused the window to smash. UL’s wife picked up the phone and dialed 911. The police responded. UL admitted throwing the controller. According to the police report UL told the police that he threw the controller at his wife. The police arrested UL and he was brought to the station. The police charged UL with Assault by means of a dangerous weapon (a felony). He was brought to Lawrence District Court the next morning. He was arraigned and released. His case was continued for a pre-trial hearing to September 25, 2017.

UL contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, MA. It became apparent to Attorney Lewin that UL had never intended to strike his wife with the controller. It also became apparent that he did not throw the controller at his wife nor did he ever intend to put her fear of being hit by the controller. A close look at the physical evidence showed that UL’s wife was sitting to the far left of the couch in the family room. UL was standing relatively close to his wife at the time he threw the controller. The controller broke a window to the right of the couch. It became clear that the controller was not thrown at her or towards her.

On September 25, 2017 Attorney Lewin and UL went to Lawrence District Court for the pre-trial hearing. Attorney Lewin spoke with the Assistant District Attorney about the case and showed her the physical evidence and how the physical evidence did not line up with any intent to hit his wife or to place her in fear of being hit. September 25, 2017 was a pre-trial court date, not a trial date. It is most unusual for the District Attorney’s Office to agree  to dismiss a domestic assault case at pre-trial. They almost always wait for the trial date. In this case however, the Commonwealth’s evidence showed that UL had not intended to hit his wife or put her in fear of being hit. The DA agreed to dismiss the case. The case was called and UL and Attorney Lewin went before the Judge. Attorney Lewin explained to the Judge that he and the Assistant District Attorney had conferenced the case and that based on the evidence the Commonwealth would be requesting a dismissal. The DA agreed and the Judge ordered the case dismissed.

KD, a 50 year old electrician from Plaistow, NH, had been in an on again off again relationship with a woman from Pepperell, MA. She had a serious alcohol problem and every time he would break off the relationship she would do something crazy. On one occasion she reported to the police that he had sexually molested his 16 year old daughter who lived with him (he had legal custody). As a result of that report he was investigated by the police and the Department of Children & Families. He was completely cleared of those allegations. In the late fall of 2016 they broke up. On a night in February of 2017 she called him and told him that she had no food in the house and that she needed him to repair an electrical outlet for her. He told her he would come over to her apartment and that he would bring in Chinese food to eat and that he would fix the electrical outlet. KD went to her apartment (3rd floor walk-up) and brought  in a dinner of Chinese food and his electrical tools to fix the outlet. When he arived he put the food down on the table and went to fix the outlet. She had been drinking and she began to accuse him of sleeping with her sister and with whores. He picked up his tools and headed for the door. According to the police report she was standing in the doorway at the top of the flight of stairs from the third floor to the second floor when he shoved her down the stairs causing her to fall and break her ankle. The police report continued that he then stepped over her and left her there laying on the second floor landing with a broken ankle. A tenant on the second floor heard the noise and then came out onto the second floor landing and saw her laying on the floor in pain with a broken ankle. The police were called and responded to her apartment. The police took her statement and then called him and told him to report to the Pepperell Police Station. He refused. The police said they would get a warrant for his arrest.

The next morning KD went to Ayer District Court. He was booked in to Probation and then went into the Courtroom. She was present and had filed for an Abuse Prevention Order. After a lengthy hearing the judge denied her request for an Abuse Prevention Order. KD was arraigned. Bail was set at $2,500.00 which KD posted and the case was continued. KD then retained Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover, MA to defend him in the Assault & Battery case.

In the meantime KD applied for a restraining order in NH against her. The order was granted and the girlfriend was served with the order. Thereafter she began calling him and texting him in violation of the order. As a result two criminal charges against her for Violating the Restraining Order were taken out in court in NH.

On April 27, 2017, WO, a 26 year old warehouse worker from Haverhill, MA was arrested and charged with Domestic Assault & Battery on his girlfriend. WO works second shift at a warehouse and he got home on April 27, 2017 from work at about midnight. His girlfriend (who is also the mother of his two children) was asleep as were the children. WO suspected that she had been communicating with an old boyfriend. WO took his girlfriend’s cell phone and began to read through her recent text messages. Sure enough WO found intimate text conversations between his girlfriend and her (former) boyfriend. According to the police report WO went into the bedroom and woke his girlfriend up and pulled her out of bed and then proceeded to literally physically “throw” her out of the house. She ran to a local convenient store down the street and called 911. The police responded and then went into the house and spoke with WO. According to the police report WO told the police that yes he had woken her up but that when he confronted her about the text messages she struck him in the face and then he told her she had to leave. He denied striking her; he denied physically “throwing” her out of the house. Needless to say the police arrested WO.

WO consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin took a very detailed statement of the facts from WO. Attorney Lewin then set up an appointment to speak with WO’s girlfriend alone. She indicated to Attorney Lewin that she did not want to testify in the case against WO. Attorney Lewin explained that because she and WO were not married she did not have any spousal privilege to refuse to testify against WO; in other words that if she were called as a witness she could be forced to testify. Attorney Lewin also pointed out to the girlfriend that the police report stated that (according to WO) she had struck WO in the face. Attorney Lewin explained that this would provide her with a basis for exercising her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

WO’s case was set down for trial on August 22, 2017. Just before the trial date WO began to fear having a trial. He was afraid he would be convicted and sent to jail. Attorney Lewin explained that it was most unlikely that the case would go to trial because his girlfriend was going to exercise her Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify and Attorney Lewin was confident that the Judge would uphold the girlfriend’s exercise of the privilege. Attorney Lewin felt that without her testimony it would be very difficult for the state (the Commonwealth) to go forward.

TD, a 52 year old machinist from Haverhill, is married with two children. On June 4, 4017 TD and his wife and children went to a Burger King for lunch and then to the movies at the Loop in Methuen. TD works third shift and typically goes to sleep around 1-2:00 pm. When they all left the movies his wife said they had to go to the supermarket. TD reminded her that he had to go to sleep to be able to get up to go to work. An argument broke out between the two of them; she was driving the family car and she began to poke TD with her right hand. He put his hand up to block her and pushed her right hand away causing it to bruise. She drove to the Haverhill Police Department and went inside and reported to the police that her husband had just assaulted her. The police came out of the station and questioned TD and then arrested him and charged him with a domestic assault & battery. His wife also took out an emergency restraining order against him. The next morning TD appeared in Haverhill District Court; his wife was also present. Her temporary restraining order was extended for one year and TD was ordered out of the house. He was arraigned on the assault & battery charge and that case was continued for a pre-trial hearing to a date in July.

TD then met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin took a very detailed statement of the facts from TD. It was apparent that TD’s wife had herself committed an assault and battery against TD. TD went and applied for a criminal complaint against his wife. This leveled the playing field in this battle between TD and his wife. It was clear that TD’s wife would not exercise her marital privilege. She wanted to testify and she wanted the case against him prosecuted. By TD’s applying for a criminal complaint against his wife, she was now at risk of being prosecuted herself.

TD’s case was then continued for trial to September 26, 2017. On September 26, 2017 TD and Attorney Lewin appeared in Court ready for trial. When the case was called Attorney Lewin told the Judge that there was a criminal proceeding pending against TD’s wife and that she had a Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify in this case. At Attorney Lewin’s urging the Judge appointed a lawyer to speak with TD’s wife and explain to her that if she did testify in the case against TD she could very well incriminate herself. After about 30 minutes of consulting with the court appointed lawyer TD’s wife decided that she would not testify against her husband. The Assistant District Attorney then announced that without her testimony the DA’s Office could not go forward. Attorney Lewin then requested that the criminal charges against TD be dismissed. The Judge then ordered the case dismissed.

On January 28, 2017, SI, a 49 year old federal employee living in Malden with his wife and two children, went out and had a few drinks. When he came home he went into his 18 year old son’s room and asked his son to put his Xbox down and clean his room. The son told SI that he would do it tomorrow. Well, tomorrow never comes. SI and his son got into an argument. SI grabbed the Xbox and broke it. The son told SI to go f— himself. According to the son, SI grabbed the son and pushed him into the wall. SI’s wife called 911 and the police responded. SI got arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on a Household Member. SI went to court and was arraigned and then met with Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin had represented SI in a similar case in 2014. In that prior case Attorney Lewin was successful in not having a criminal complaint be issued against SI and in proceedings with the Department of Children and Families Attorney Lewin was successful in getting the Department to unsupport an allegation of abuse. The present case raised the issue of the right of a parent to use reasonable force to discipline a child. In a 2015 decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court ruled for the first time (in its 213 year history) that a parent may use reasonable force to discipline a minor child. The Court did not decide if a parent can use reasonable force to discipline an adult child. Attorney Lewin fully prepared a legal argument to advocate on SI’s behalf that a parent has the right to use reasonable force to discipline an 18 year old child.

On June 21, 2017 Attorney Lewin and SI appeared in Malden District Court. The case was called for trial and Attorney Lewin answered that the Defense was ready for trial. The DA folded and the case was ordered DISMISSED. SI walked out of Malden Court a very happy client (for the second time).

On January 14, 2017 DM, a 28 year old male social worker, met his 28 year old girlfriend after she finished work as a waitress. They met at a bar in Salem. They had a few drinks and then moved to a second bar where the drinking continued. At closing time they left the bar and after picking up roast beef sandwiches headed back to DM’s apartment in Beverly. They had recently made a commitment to one another that they would not see other people romantically and they both stated they wanted to make a real go of the relationship. They arrived at DM’s apartment, went in, and began to eat their sandwiches. It was a good night; but then the girlfriends phone started buzzing. It was 1:30 in the morning. DM grabbed the phone and ran into the bathroom and locked the door. He looked at the most recent string of text messages and they were from a man that the girlfriend had been seeing. He knew she was not being sincere with him. DM was angry and hurt and came out of the bathroom and demanded that she leave. The girlfriend grabbed DM’s Christmas tree and threw it to the floor causing it to break. She then grabbed the corner of DM’s wide screen TV. DM ran over and grabbed the other corner of the TV. The girlfriend claimed that DM then pushed her down a flight of stairs. DM claimed she tripped and fell down the stairs. In any event she did end up down the stairs and her teeth had actually punctured through her lower lip. There was blood on her clothes and on the wall. She got up an left the apartment. She drove herself to the hospital. Her lip was sutured and photographs were taken of her face and lip. The hospital report stated that she was intoxicated and reported that her blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit.

The next morning she went to the Beverly Police and reported the incident. The police obtained a warrant for DM’s arrest and he was taken into custody and arraigned in Salem District Court and held on $1,500.00 bail. His family posted the bail and he was released.

DM consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin and DM went over the facts of the case in great detail. DM was able to get a picture of the broken Christmas Tree and the damaged television. Photos were also taken of the location of the television right at the top of the stairs. Attorney Lewin pointed out to DM that his girlfriend had a Fifth Amendment privilege to not to testify. If she did testify she could incriminate herself in no less than three crimes: malicious destruction of the Christmas tree, malicious destruction of the television, and operating under the influence. Attorney Lewin went to the Court and filed a Motion for permission to contact the girlfriend. (The Judge, at DM’s arraignment, had ordered DM to have no contact – directly or indirectly – with the girlfriend.) The Judge granted Attorney Lewin permission to contact the girlfriend. Attorney Lewin did contact the girlfriend and explained to her how her testifying against DM could put herself in trouble. Attorney Lewin followed up the phone conversation with a letter to the girlfriend explaining in detail her Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify in the case.

On December 31, 2016 (New Years Eve day) WQ, a 27 year old software engineer who is a resident alien from Russia, got into an argument with her husband. The couple live in Andover, MA. WQ lost control and physically attacked her husband scratching his face and arms and back. He fled the house and went to the police station. He told the police he did not want her arrested. The police photographed his injuries and then went to the house and arrested WQ. She admitted to the police that she had scratched him but she said it was in self-defense.

WQ consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover. Attorney Lewin was quite familiar with WQ and her husband as Attorney Lewin had represented her husband one year earlier in a domestic assault charge that had been filed against the husband by WQ. (See the posting on this blog dated February 24, 2016). The husband agreed to have Attorney Lewin represent his wife in this case.

After reviewing the facts it became clear to Attorney Lewin that a good case of self-defense could be made out by WQ. Attorney Lewin thoroughly prepared WQ for trial based on self-defense. Attorney Lewin and WQ had two lengthy trial preparation sessions during which Attorney Lewin prepared WQ for her testimony in Court.

On December 10, 2016 TD, a 63 year old corporate executive living in Andover, MA got into an argument with his wife. She claimed that TD grabbed her by the wrists and pulled her to the floor. She got on the phone and called 911; he grabbed an extension line and the two of them told the police that each had been assaulted by the other. The police responded to the house, spoke to each of them separately, and TD got arrested. TD and his wife had a long history of assault charges and abuse prevention orders (restraining orders) between them. TD consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover.

Attorney Lewin took a completely statement of the facts from TD and a complete history of TD’s relationship with his wife. It became clear that TD was the victim and that his wife suffering from mental illness. It became apparent that TD’s wife had attacked TD with a Swiffer Mop and then pulled TD’s hair at which point TD did grab his wife’s wrists in self defense.

Attorney Lewin advised TD to take the case to trial and the case was set down for trial on March 13, 2017 in Lawrence District Court. TD and Attorney Lewin met in Attorney Lewin’s office for two  1 1/2 hour trial preparation sessions. TD was thoroughly prepared for all the questions that Attorney Lewin would ask at the trial. In addition Attorney Lewin prepared TD for cross-examination (questions that TD would be asked by the prosecutor). On March 13, 2017 the TD and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court and answered ready for trial. Attorney Lewin had pictures of the Swiffer Mop. The prosecution then announced that they were declining to prosecute and the case was dismissed. (This was the third domestic assault and battery case in the last two weeks that Attorney Lewin was successful in getting dismissed.)

ED, a 61 year old financier, lives on the first floor of a two family house in North Andover. His brother and father live on the second floor. ED and his brother have been on bad terms with one another for years. On February 19, 2017 ED went upstairs to the second floor apartment to check on his father. ED and his brother got into an argument. The brother called the North Andover Police and told the police that ED had pushed the brother to the floor. The police came to the house and spoke first to the brother. The brother repeated that he had been pushed to the floor by ED. The police then went and spoke to ED. ED told the police that there had been an argument and that the two brothers had pushed one another. The North Andover Police filed applications for criminal complaints for assault against both brothers. The applications were set down for a hearing on March 16, 2017.

ED consulted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. ED had no criminal record and worked in banking and was at risk of losing certain banking and finance licenses. Attorney Lewin learned that ED and his brother do not talk to one another. Attorney Lewin reached out to the brother and spoke with the brother. Attorney Lewin impressed upon the brother that criminal court is a place where no one wants to be if it can be avoided. The brother agreed with Attorney Lewin’s assessment of the situation.

On March 16, 2017 ED and Attorney Lewin and ED’s brother appeared in Lawrence District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin indicated to the Clerk-Magistrate that neither brother wished to go ahead. The Clerk-Magistrate dismissed both applications for criminal complaint that had been filed by the North Andover Police.

In the late summer of 2016 NU, a 31 year old technician from Lowell and his then girlfriend KD were going through a breakup in their relationship. The biggest issue in the breakup was a “custody dispute” over who was going to get the dog. (You could not make this story up.) KD wrote to Judge Judy (the TV Judge) and told Judge Judy about the case. Judge Judy wanted the case for TV and flew both NU and KD to California where the two of them AND THE DOG appeared on the show. Judge Judy ruled that KD had not made out her case that the dog was hers and the dog remained with NU. On October 15, 2016 NU and the dog flew back to Massachusetts. On October 16, 2016 NU and the dog were in NU’s apartment. NU began receiving text messages from KD that she needed to see the dog and have “one last reunion with the dog”. KD pleaded that she was heartbroken and wanted to see the dog. NU said no. KD’s text messages continued and then she began calling him and then she told him that she was outside his apartment building in the street and would he bring the dog out. NU relented and brought the dog outside. KD and NU went to a bench in a park across the street from NU’s apartment building. KD’s car was parked in the street in front of NU’s apartment building. Suddenly NU grabbed the dog and ran through the park toward another car that was parked across the park. As she approached that other car the back door of the car opened and a man reached out for the dog. A second man was sitting in the driver’s seat of the running car.  KD claimed that NU pushed her to the ground injuring her arm and leg and grabbed the dog and then ran back to his apartment with the dog. KD called the Lowell Police who responded. KD told the police the dog was hers and that NU had pushed her to the ground causing her to injure her arm and leg. The police went to NU’s apartment; the police arrested NU!! The police charged him with Assault & Battery on his ex-girlfriend. The police seized the dog and gave the dog to KD. NU was held in the police station overnight and was brought to Lowell District Court on the next morning and was arraigned. The case was continued for pre-trial hearing.

NU, after speaking with several lawyers, met with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover and hired Attorney Lewin. NU vehemently denied pushing or touching KD in any way. NU said KD got injured when she fell trying to run to the car with the dog.

On January 18, 2017 the case was called for jury trial in Lowell District Court. Attorney Lewin answered that he was ready for trial. Attorney Lewin then told the Judge that the two men – both of whom were present in Court and ready to testify for the Commonwealth – and KD had engaged in a criminal conspiracy to steal the dog from NU. Attorney Lewin said that each of the three witnesses for the Commonwealth could themselves be prosecuted for the crime of Conspiracy to Steal and that each of the three witnesses should be warned of their right not to incriminate themselves. The Trial Judge agreed and the Judge appointed three separate attorneys to speak to the three witnesses. Attorney Lewin explained to each of the lawyers the circumstances showed overwhelmingly that the two men and KD had conspired (agreed) to go to NU’s apartment in Lowell, to lure him and the dog outside, and then to grab the dog, throw the dog in the awaiting car with the two men, who would then drive off with the dog. Within ten minutes the two men let it be known that they would exercise their right not to incriminate themselves and NOT testify in the case. It took another twenty minutes and then KD (the ex-girlfriend) saw the light and she decided not to testify. The case was called again by the Judge and the DA told the Judge that their three witnesses were declining to testify and the Commonwealth could not go forward. Attorney Lewin immediately moved for a dismissal of the case and the case was ordered dismissed.