Articles Posted in Minor In Possession Of Alcohol

On February 10, 2017, BH, a sixteen year old student at a prestigious private school, decided to have a party. BH invited a number of school age friends – and of course they brought along a few other friends one of whom brought alcohol to the party. They all drank for several hours. One of the young girls at the party apparently consumed some drugs. BH became very drunk and ultimately went out the back door of his house and collapsed in the snow. The girl left the party and went to a local store and collapsed in the store. She had to be brought to a local hospital. The police were summonsed to the house by neighbors. The rest of the party-goers scattered. The police found BH collapsed in the snow and brought him to the hospital. After investigation the police determined that the girl who collapsed in the store had been at the party and had consumed alcohol and drugs at the party. BH had hosted the party. Subsequently BH received a Notice of Complaint Application from the Essex County Juvenile Court. The police had applied for a juvenile complaint for minor in possession of alcohol against BH. BH was fortunate that the police did not charge him with furnishing alcohol to a minor (the girl). BH’s parents came to Massachusetts (they live out of state). BH and his parents met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover.

Attorney Lewin took a detailed statement of the facts of the case from BH. It became clear the the girl had brought the drugs to the party herself and had consumed the drugs without any help or encouragement from BH. Attorney Lewin met with the police prosecutor from the town involved and advocated for the charge against BH to be “diverted” out of the juvenile justice system. The Essex County District Attorney’s Office – to their credit – has created the Essex County Juvenile Diversion Program. The program is designed to prevent first time offenders from getting a criminal/juvenile record by diverting the case out of the criminal/juvenile justice system.

On February 28, 2017 BH, BH’s parents, and Attorney Lewin appeared in the Essex County Juvenile Court, Lawrence Division, for a hearing on whether or not a juvenile delinquency complaint would be issued against BH. BH is an honor student with a brilliant future and the last thing he needed was a criminal/juvenile record. Attorney Lewin had thoroughly prepared an argument to advocate for the diversion of the case. In addition, before the hearing date Attorney Lewin had met face to face with the director of the juvenile diversion program to discuss the case with her and to seek her approval of BH’s referral to the program. At the hearing before the Clerk-Magistrate of the Juvenile Court Attorney Lewin advocated firmly for diversion of the case. The police were on board and the people from the diversion program were on board. The Clerk-Magistrate adopted Attorney Lewin’s proposal and BH’s case was referred to the juvenile diversion program.

On February 17, 2015, DR, an 18 year old senior at a local high school was in the back seat of a car with several friends. The boys were drinking. The car was parked in an area that was closed and the police approached the car and observed DR kicking what appeared to be a bottle of whiskey under the front seat. DR was ordered out of the car, admitted to the police the bottle was his, and was charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol. He was not arrested; the police applied for a criminal complaint against DR and a hearing before a Clerk-Magistrate at Lawrence District Court was scheduled. DR had been accepted to a number of colleges and was still waiting to hear from other schools and was concerned that this case would get onto his criminal record and could affect his ability to go to college. DR’s parents retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the police prosecutor from North Andover and explained the situation to him and advocated for the case to be diverted out of the criminal court system and to be sent to the “juvenile” diversion program. Even though DR was not a juvenile, the Essex County Juvenile Diversion Program will accept young adults in certain cases. Attorney Lewin also spoke directly with the people from the Diversion Program and they agreed that DR was an appropriate candidate for the diversion program.On March 26, 2015 DR, his mother and father, and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin made a full presentation to the Clerk-Magistrate of all the good qualities and accomplishments in DR’s background and why he merited this opportunity to keep his record clean. The Police and the Clerk-Magistrate agreed and the Clerk-Magistrate diverted DR’s case out of the criminal court system and referred DR to the Diversion Program. As a result of this disposition NO criminal complaint was issued against DR and NO criminal record was created. It is as if the incident did not happen. DR and his parents left the Court very relieved.