Articles Posted in Drug Charges

On March 15, 2019, LN, a 35 year old woman from Plaistow, NH, drove to Haverhill, MA and parked outside a house in Haverhill. Shortly thereafter a man came out of the house and went over to LN’s car and sold LN a small amount of cocaine for $30.00. Unfortunately for LN (and the man), undercover plain clothes officers had the man and his house under surveillance for drug distribution. The police stopped LN and seized the cocaine from her. She was subsequently summonsed to Haverhill District Court charged with Possession of Cocaine and Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Law. LN’s arraignment was scheduled for April 18, 2019. LN consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover in the evening of April 15, 2019 (three days before her court date). Attorney Lewin immediately went to Haverhill District Court the next morning and obtained copies of all the relevant court papers and the police report.

Essex County has a Drug Diversion Program. The purpose of the program is to take persons accused with a drug offense and give them an opportunity to avoid prosecution and get their cases dismissed provided they comply with a treatment program and remain free of drugs, alcohol, and marijuana. One of the considerations in determining an offender’s eligibility is the existence or non-existence of any criminal record. This was a problem for LN as she had two felony welfare fraud convictions; one in Florida and one in New Hampshire. Attorney Lewin met with the Assistant District Attorney and discussed the case with an eye toward getting the case diverted out of the criminal justice system. Attorney Lewin also spoke with the director of the Drug Diversion Program and she felt that LN’s case was a good case for diversion, notwithstanding her two out of state convictions. On April 18, 2019 LN and Attorney Lewin appeared in Haverhill District Court for LN’s arraignment.

Attorney Lewin explained to the Judge that an agreement had been reached for LN’s case to be diverted. The Judge then approved diversion of the case. As a result, the prosecution of the two criminal charges against LN was put on hold. LN has been referred to the Diversion Program. The program will last six months and LN must comply with the following conditions:

On December 6, 2018, KI, a 27 year old store manager, hailed a ride in an UBER. KI feltsick and told the driver to pull over. KI exited the car and began to violently throw up outside the car. A police officer passed by and stopped. The officer approached KI and for safety purposes was about to pat KI down when the officer asked KI if he had anything that the officer should be concerned about. KI said that he had a needle in his pocket. The officer asked KI if he had any drugs and KI said yes that he had heroin. The officers removed the needle and a search of KI’s pockets yielded multiple small bags of heroin. The police arrested KI and charged him with possession of heroin. KI was bailed out and given an arraignment date of December 14, 2018. KI appeared in Dudley District Court on December 14, 2018 and was arraigned and his case was continued to January 25, 2019 for a pre-trial hearing.

KI was concerned as this was his third arrest for Possession of Heroin. KI and his family contacted, met with, and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover to handle this case in Dudley District Court. Attorney Lewin had represented KI in his second case which had been in Lawrence District Court. Attorney Lewin had been successful in getting the second case dismissed with no admission of guilt or wrongdoing. In this case Attorney Lewin reached out to the District Attorney’s Office. Attorney Lewin explained to the Assistant District Attorney that KI had entered and completed an in-patient detox program and was currently in an outpatient treatment program. On January 25, 2019 HE and his father and Attorney Lewin appeared in Dudley District Court. Attorney Lewin was successful in getting the DA’s Office to agree to a disposition of pre-trial probation for six months to July 22, 2019. With pre-trial probation there is NO admission of guilt or wrongdoing. The case – by agreement – is simply left open for a period of time and then dismissed.

KI was greatly relieved. He feared that the Judge would send him to jail because it was his third offense.  The fact that KI had gone into treatment and was continuing in treatment was a great help in getting such a favorable result (for the second time). Good communication between Attorney Lewin and the District Attorney was also very helpful as well.

On November 28, 2017 JH, a 27 year old Assistant Manager at a sports equipment store, was observed sitting in his car in a mall parking lot injecting himself with heroin. The police arrived at JH’s car and removed JH from the car along with a bag of heroin. In 2013 JH had a prior Possession of Heroin case. JH was charged with Possession of Heroin and was summonsed to appear in Lawrence District Court. JH met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to JH that Lawrence was a very treatment oriented court and that if JH was willing to get into treatment (outpatient) that there was a good chance the case could be dismissed.

On February 15, 2018 JH and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for JH’s arraignment. Prior to the arraignment Attorney Lewin had spoken with an Assistant District Attorney about the case. The Assistant DA was concerned about the fact that JH had a prior heroin possession  case. Attorney Lewin stressed to the DA that JH was committed to his treatment program and to remaining drug free. At the arraignment on February 15, 2018 the DA agreed to continue the case for six months and to dismiss the case if JH stayed out of trouble and remained in outpatient drug treatment. On August 15, 2018, JH having successfully remained in treatment, the case was ordered dismissed.

JH is to be commended. He is working hard to overcome his addiction to opiates. Even though his court case has been dismissed he remains in treatment and he remains drug free. Because Attorney Lewin took the time to meet with the Assistant DA prior to the arraignment JH was able to get a favorable resolution of the case on the arraignment date.

In August of 2014 MD, a 48 year old woman from NH, was a passenger in a car with NH plates that was being observed by under cover cops in Lawrence. The police observed the car being driven in an area which the police said was a high crime area – specifically for sales of heroin. The car stopped and a woman approached and was let into the car. The car drove around the block and then the woman was let out. The police believed that a drug transaction had taken place in the car and pulled the car over. A subsequent search of the car and MD’s pocketbook revealed packets of heroin and straws. Both MD and the woman driving the car were arrested and charged with possession of heroin. MD went to Lawrence District Court and was appointed a public defender. Eventually MD entered the Essex County Drug Diversion Program. As part of the program MD was subject to random drug testing. MD failed to appear for several of her drug tests and then tested positive. MD was sent a notice that she was being terminated from the Drug Diversion Program and she was ordered to appear in Court. MD failed to appear in Court and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

MD is not a citizen; she was born in Portugal and is a resident alien subject to deportation for a drug conviction. MD contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. MD met with Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin reviewed the police reports and he reviewed the facts closely with MD and was convinced that the stop of the car and the search of the car that followed were illegal. Attorney Lewin told MD that a Motion to Suppress the Evidence should be filed. MD retained Attorney Lewin. On April 9, 2018 Attorney Lewin brought MD into Lawrence District Court; the warrant was cancelled and the MD was released and the case was continued to June 6, 2018 for the filing of a Motion to Suppress the Evidence. Attorney Lewin filed the Motion to Suppress and on June 6, 2018 the Judge continued the case for a hearing on the Motion to July 11, 2018. On July 11, 2018 Attorney Lewin and MD appeared at Lawrence District Court ready for a hearing on the Motion to Suppress. Attorney Lewin had filed a lengthy Memorandum  of Law setting out precisely why the police search was unlawful.

At 10:00 AM the case was called and Attorney Lewin answered that the Defense was ready for the Hearing on the Motion to Suppress. The Assistant District Attorney announced that after reviewing the Motion and the facts of the case that Attorney Lewin was correct and the evidence should be suppressed. The Assistant District Attorney then asked the Judge to dismiss the case. The Judge looked over at Attorney Lewin; Attorney Lewin responded with a smile – “The Defense has no objection to the case being dismissed”. The Judge then ordered the case dismissed and MD walked out of the Courtroom a free woman. Once outside the Courtroom MD gave Attorney Lewin a very big hug and a kiss and thanked him profusely. It doesn’t get much better.

On August 1, 2017 TX, a 35 year old technology service coordinator for a school district in California, was stopped at Logan Airport after a search of his luggage revealed 5 MDMA pills. TX had just arrived from Lisbon, Portugal and was due to catch another plane to his home state of California. TX caught break after break. The Federal Authorities said they would not prosecute the case and turned it over to the State Police. The State Trooper who arrived on the scene asked TX if he wanted to go to jail. TX answered “No”. The Trooper then asked TX if he wanted to get arrested. Again TX answered “No”. The State Trooper then told TX to “expect a summons”. On August 24, 2017 the East Boston Municipal Court issued a summons for TX to appear for an arraignment on October 26, 2017 on a charge of Possession of a Class C substance.

TX contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover via phone. Attorney Lewin conducted an initial client interview/consultation with TX over the phone. The consult took about 1 1/2 hours. TX then retained Attorney Lewin.

Attorney Lewin obtained the police reports and reviewed them with TX. Attorney Lewin then contacted the Assistant District Attorney at the East Boston Municipal Court. Attorney Lewin was able to detail for the Assistant District Attorney all of the good points in TX’s background: TX’s lack of criminal record, good education, good employment, etc. Attorney Lewin and TX were concerned that having a drug charge on TX’s record would cause TX to lose his job in the school district where he worked. (Zero Tolerance Policy) Attorney Lewin understood that if the arraignment did not take place then no criminal record would be created. It is the taking place of an arraignment that creates a criminal record. Attorney Lewin suggested to the Assistant District Attorney a pre-arraignment disposition of the case.

On November 15, 2017, SS, a 33 year old entrepreneur from Maine, was driving from Maine to New York City to catch a plane to South America to attend a wedding. While on Route 495 South he got pulled over for a marked lane violation. One thing lead to another and during a search of SS’s vehicle the police found a digital scale, 3 pounds of marijuana, 10 grams of mushrooms, 15 grams of THC extract packaged and marked for distribution, and Xanax. In addition SS had $1,000 in US Currency.

SS was arrested and brought to Newburyport District Court where he was charged with the following offenses:

  • Possession of Class C with Intent to Distibute (The THC Extract)(A Felony)

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 April 18, 2017 BI, a 28 year old waitress from North Andover with an addiction to opiates, got pulled over by members of the Essex County Drug Task Force, after she was observed making a hand to hand buy of drugs from a dealer who was under surveillance. In addition to working as a waitress BI is also a full time student at a local college with a financial aid package. The police did not arrest BI, but told her that she would receive a notice from Lawrence District Court. The notice came and informed BI that an application for a criminal complaint for Possession of Heroin had been filed against her by the State Police and that a hearing would be held at the Court before a Clerk-Magistrate on September 7, 2017. The purpose of the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing is for the Clerk to determine if there is probable cause to issue a criminal complaint. In BI’s case there was plenty of probable cause. The police had observed a hand to hand sale and she produced the two bags of heroin when stopped by the police.

BI consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin encouraged BI to get into drug treatment/counseling which she did. Attorney Lewin explained the purpose of the hearing to BI and he told BI that he would ask the Clerk-Magistrate not to issue a criminal complaint against BI, but rather to continue the hearing for an appropriate period of time and if she remained clean and out of trouble to then dismiss the application for the criminal complaint. Attorney Lewin explained to BI that his request was a real reach, but the worst the Clerk-Magistrate could say is no.

On September 7, 2017 BI and Attorney Lewin (and BI’s Mother) appeared at Lawrence District Court for the hearing. The Clerk-Magistrate heard the facts of the case from the police prosecutor. Attorney Lewin then explained that BI was addicted to opiates, but that she was in a program of counseling and she was in a vivitrol smart recovery program. Attorney Lewin informed the Clerk-Magistrate that BI both worked and went to college and was on financial aid. A conviction (or even the issuance of a complaint for possession of heroin) could get BI expelled from school and she could lose her financial aid. Because of the rise in opiate deaths (and because BI had a prior arrest for Distribution of Heroin) the Clerk-Magistrate was reluctant to not issue a complaint. Finally, the Clerk-Magistrate addressed BI and said “I am going to take a chance on you and I hope I am not making a deadly mistake”. The Clerk-Magistrate then continued the hearing until December 29, 2017 and told BI that if she stays out of trouble between now and that date then on December 29, 2017 the application for a criminal complaint will be dismissed and she will not be charged, she will  not have to go in front of a judge, and no criminal record will be created as a result of this case.

On May 3, 2016 ZA, a 25 year old grocery clerk from Lynn, ingested a substantial quantity of drugs. He got in his car and was driving through Topsfield. The police found ZA in his vehicle. He appeared to be unconscious. The car was running; his foot was on the brake; his arms were on the steering wheel; and his body slumped over the wheel. The police noticed drool coming from his mouth. The police turned the car off and got ZA up and out of the car. During a search of ZA and the vehicle the police found the following:

  •  Soft case containing $135.00 in rolled up money.
  • Envelope containing $400.

KC, a 27 year old mechanic from Hampstead, NH, got caught purchasing heroin during a police surveillance operation at a hotel in Andover. He was arrested on Saturday, December 26, 2015 and released to appear in Lawrence District Court for an arraignment on December 29, 2015. KC retained Attorney Robert Lewin to represent him and to appear in Court with him for his arraignment on December 29, 2015. KC’s timing was excellent. KC had no criminal record and is a Veteran. If his arraignment actually took place on December 29, 2015 then a criminal record would be created. It was important to try to avoid an arraignment from taking place.

Attorney Lewin had no less than three approaches to avoiding the arraignment. First, KC, as a Veteran who served in combat, was eligible to have his case diverted out of the criminal justice system under the newly passed Massachusetts Valor Act. Secondly, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office has a drug diversion program for first time drug offenders with no criminal record. Thirdly, Chapter 111E of the Massachusetts General Laws also provides a framework for diversion of drug cases out of the criminal justice system.

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