On February 15, 2018, LT, a 55 year old woman from North Andover went to her daughter’s home (also in North Andover) and got into an argument with her 22 year old daughter. The daughter was holding her 1 year old baby and, according to the North Andover Police report, LT “punched [the daughter] on the right side of her face with a closed fist while she was still holding the baby”. The police left the daughter’s home and went to LT’s home and then spoke with LT. LT denied punching her daughter but did admit to pushing her daughter. LT claimed that her daughter had pushed her and had caused a bruise on LT’s face. The police arrested LT.
The next day, February 16, 2018 LT was arraigned in Lawrence District Court. She was ordered released on personal recognizance and her case was continued to April 26, 2018 for a pre-trial hearing. LT met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to LT that the District Attorney’s Office would not simply dismiss the case because LT was a nice lady with no record. Attorney Lewin met with the Assistant District Attorney and explored the possibility of a general continuance of the case. A general continuance is where the parties agree to simply continue the case for a period of time and at the end of the period of time if there have been no further problems the case gets dismissed. With a general continuance there is no admission of guilt or wrongdoing; it is NOT a plea bargain as there is no guilty plea.
On April 26, 2o18 the case was called in Court for a pre-trial hearing. The DA’s Office was unwilling to commit to a general continuance. The case was then continued for a trial by jury to May 30, 2018.
On May 30, 2018 everyone was at Court. Attorney Lewin told the Assistant DA that the evidence would show that the daughter had struck the mother first. Attorney Lewin had photos LT’s chin showing a bruise on LT’s chin. After the Assistant DA had further consultation with LT’s daughter, the two sides agreed to a general continuance of the case. LT and Attorney Lewin and the Assistant DA went before the Judge and told the Judge there was an agreement for a general continuance. The Judge then ordered the case continued for six months to November 30, 2018 with no conditions. On November 30, 2018 LT and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court and the Judge ordered the case dismissed.
A general continuance can be a good result in a case where there is a possibility of a conviction after trial. It avoids a trial; it avoids an admission of guilt and/or wrongdoing; and it ends up in a dismissal. LT left the Courthouse on November 30, 2018 happy that this ordeal in her life came to a favorable conclusion.