Articles Posted in Drug Diversion

On January 18, 2019 at about 6:30 pm JN, a 32 year old HVAC Technician from Londonderry, NH came down to Lawrence with a friend to buy cocaine. Little did they know that they were being watched by the North Shore Gang Unit doing surveillance in Lawrence. After watching JN and his friend make a hand to hand purchase of drugs, the police pulled JN’s vehicle over. The two men were ordered out of JN’s vehicle and a pat down of JN yielded plastic twists of cocaine in JN’s pocket.

JN and his friend got lucky. The police did not arrest them, but rather told them that they would receive a notice to go to court. Six months later (!) in July 2019 JN received a Notice of Magistrate’s Hearing. The police had filed an application for a criminal complaint for Possession of Class B against JN. The case had a hearing date of August 1, 2019.

JN met with and then hired Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. JN and Attorney Lewin thoroughly discussed the case. There were many issues not the least of which was the legality of the stop of JN’s vehicle and the search of JN by the police.

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: