Articles Posted in Firearm Possession

On November 16, 2016, DX, a 24 year old electrician from New Hampshire, was driving from a job site in Massachusetts back to his home in NH. He drove thru a red light in Salisbury and got pulled over by the police. When the officer reached the car and looked inside he immediately observed a fully loaded magazine for a handgun in plain view on the passenger seat. The officer immediately asked the driver if he had a LTC (License To Carry) or an FID (Firearm Identification Card) card and the driver replied no. The officer had the driver exit the car and immediately cuffed the driver. The driver was placed in the rear of the officer’s cruiser. During a subsequent search of the vehicle the handgun (a Smith & Wesson Military and Police 9mm Shield model sidearm) was located in the unsecured glovebox. Also located in the vehicle was a black concealed carry paddle holster. The rounds inside the magazine were found to be 9mm hollow-point rounds. DX was charged with Carrying a Firearm without a LTC (not in the home and not at place of business). This is a felony and carries a mandatory minimum 18 months in jail with no parole and no suspension of the sentence. He was also charged with possession of ammunition without an FID card. This is a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to two years in the House of Correction (no mandatory minimum sentence). The District Attorney and the police were concerned with several aspects of the case. The hollow point bullets are designed to maximize the injury they cause and the holster is designed to be worn in side the pants so as not to be visible. DX was brought to the police station and held on a high cash bail. The following morning DX was brought to Newburyport District Court, he was arraigned, and he was released on a $3,000.00 cash bail. DX and his family interviewed several lawyers and then retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover.

Attorney Lewin met at length with DX and his family. Attorney Lewin explained that he needed to put together a persuasive memorandum for the District Attorney to get the District Attorney to reduce the gun carrying charge from the felony with its 18 month mandatory minimum sentence to a misdemeanor charge with no sentence. Attorney Lewin explained to DX that he was at real risk of getting the 18 month mandatory minimum jail sentence. Attorney Lewin had DX furnish Attorney Lewin with his electrician’s license, his high school and community college diplomas, and a letter from DX’s employer attesting to DX’;s qualities as a good employee.

Gun cases in Essex County are all reviewed by the First Assistant District Attorney for the County. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the supervising Assistant District Attorney at Newburyport District Court (a prosecutor Attorney Lewin has known for over twenty years and with whom Attorney Lewin enjoys a great professional relationship). Attorney Lewin prepared a lengthy memorandum for the DA in which Attorney Lewin advocated for a reduction of the gun carrying charge and a probationary sentence. The supervising Assistant District Attorney in Newburyport sent Attorney Lewin’s Memorandum up to the First Assistant District Attorney for the County in Salem. After a review and some further discussion the District Attorney’s Office agreed to a reduction of the felony gun carrying charge to a misdemeanor with no jail time.

KW, is the 42 year old owner of a medical care corporation. His company is a multi million dollar company. Because he is heavily involved with medicare and medicaid patients both Federal Law and State Law prohibit him from having an administrative or ownership position in the company if he is a convicted felon. In 2008 KW had a large collection of firearms. As the result of a theft case involving a replica gun silencer KW was forced to surrender his License To Carry (LTC) and his Firearm Identification Card (FID). In addition he was required to get rid of all his firearms and ammunition. KW surrendered his LTC and his FID Card and he surrendered all his weapons and ammunition – at least he thought he did. In 2016 (8 years later) the police conducted a consent search of KW’s house in Tewksbury as the result of an investigation of certain criminal accusations being made against KW. During the search the police found a .22 Magnum caliber, North American Arms mini-reolver and 71 rounds of ammunition. The police arrested KW and charged him with (Misdemeanor) Possession of a Firearm (in the home) without a license and (Misdemeanor) Possession of Ammunition (in the home). Because the gun was not properly secured and stored he was also charged with Improper Firearm Storage. The Improper Storage charge is a felony and a conviction would disqualify him from working in the medical care business – the only business he has done for twenty years. Even a continuance without a finding on that charge would not help him as the Federal Government treats a continuance without a finding as if it were a conviction.

KW hired Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. The two misdemeanor charges would not affect KW’s ability to work in the medical care business. The felony charge would put him “out of business”. Attorney Lewin negotiated at length with the DA’s Office at Lowell District Court to dismiss the Improper Storage charge. The DA refused to budge on that charge because there were children in the house and it was one of the children who had brought the presence of the gun and the ammunition to the attention of the police. For eight months Attorney Lewin doggedly advocated on KW’s behalf with the DA to drop the Improper Storage Count. Attorney Lewin put together a lengthy Memorandum for the DA specifying in detail the disastrous consequences that would follow from either a conviction or a continuance without a finding on the Improper Storage Charge. On December 1, 2016 Attorney Lewin and KW appeared in Lowell District Court. The DA finally gave in and agreed to dismiss the improper storage count. KW took a year probation on the other two counts and is still working full steam ahead in his medical care corporation. KW left the Courthouse a very happy man realizing that he had dodged a big bullet, so to speak!

The key in this case was just never giving up. It took eight months to get the result the client needed and for eight months we advocated and persevered. The wait and persistence paid off.

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