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On September 8, 2018, NB, a 48 year old Lebanese woman from Lawrence, went into the Stop & Shop Supermarket in Methuen and put $157.24 worth of food into her shopping cart. She then proceeded to walk out the door of the store without paying for the food. NB was stopped by a store loss prevention officer and the Methuen Police were called. NB was charged with shoplifting. On November 1, 2018 NB appeared at Lawrence District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Until about one year ago these shoplifting cases in Lawrence District Court were routinely disposed of at a Clerk-Magistrate hearing without a criminal complaint being issued. Over the last year the Clerk-Magistrates have been issuing criminal complaints in shoplifting cases where the amount in question is over $100 or in cases where the evidence suggests that the accused has engaged in shoplifting before. The Clerk-Magistrate issued a complaint against NB and she had to return to Court for an Arraignment on November 29, 2018. NB retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. On November 29, 2018 NB appeared in Lawrence District Court and after a brief conference between her lawyer and the Assistant District Attorney the shoplifting charge was ordered dismissed. NB left the court very relieved.

It is important to understand that in Lawrence District Court the Clerk-Magistrates now look closely at the evidence in these shoplifting cases and will often issue a criminal complaint.

On December 31, 2016 (New Years Eve day) WQ, a 27 year old software engineer who is a resident alien from Russia, got into an argument with her husband. The couple live in Andover, MA. WQ lost control and physically attacked her husband scratching his face and arms and back. He fled the house and went to the police station. He told the police he did not want her arrested. The police photographed his injuries and then went to the house and arrested WQ. She admitted to the police that she had scratched him but she said it was in self-defense.

WQ consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover. Attorney Lewin was quite familiar with WQ and her husband as Attorney Lewin had represented her husband one year earlier in a domestic assault charge that had been filed against the husband by WQ. (See the posting on this blog dated February 24, 2016). The husband agreed to have Attorney Lewin represent his wife in this case.

After reviewing the facts it became clear to Attorney Lewin that a good case of self-defense could be made out by WQ. Attorney Lewin thoroughly prepared WQ for trial based on self-defense. Attorney Lewin and WQ had two lengthy trial preparation sessions during which Attorney Lewin prepared WQ for her testimony in Court.