SV, a 39 year old Nigerian alien, was caught shoplifting on December 2, 2022 at Macy’s in Saugus. Unfortunately for SV, she was known to the loss prevention personnel at Macy’s as someone who had stolen from the store on previous occasions but had not been caught. The police charged SV and because she had a prior history at the store the police requested that the Clerk-Magistrate at Lynn District Court issue a criminal complaint against SV without affording her a clerk-magistrate hearing first. The clerk-magistrate granted the request of the police and SV received a summons in the mail to appear for an arraignment at Lynn District Court on April 4, 2023. SV consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Because of her status as an alien, having a record for shoplifting (a crime of moral wrongdoing) could lead to her being deported from the country and being denied citizenship.
Attorney Lewin immediately went to work on the case and obtained all the police reports. Most persons charged with shoplifting are afforded a clerk-magistrate hearing before a criminal complaint is issued. Many of these shoplifting cases get resolved favorably at the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing without a criminal complaint being issued. In SV’s case however, the criminal complaint against her had been issued without a hearing. The complaint was scheduled for an arraignment and it is the taking place of the arraignment that causes a criminal record to be created. And it is the creation of a criminal record for shoplifting that would create big problems for SV as an alien. It became very important for Attorney Lewin to try to avoid the arraignment from taking place.
Attorney Lewin prepared a lengthy motion (written request) to dismiss the charge against SV without the arraignment taking place. Attorney Lewin sent a copy of the Motion to the District Attorney’s Office before the scheduled arraignment date. On April 4, 2023 SV and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lynn District Court. Attorney Lewin met with the Assistant District Attorney handling the case and explained the devastating effects having a criminal record would have on SV. Attorney Lewin asked the Assistant District Attorney to agree to dismiss the case without the arraignment taking place. The Assistant District Attorney agreed.