On November 15, 2017, SS, a 33 year old entrepreneur from Maine, was driving from Maine to New York City to catch a plane to South America to attend a wedding. While on Route 495 South he got pulled over for a marked lane violation. One thing lead to another and during a search of SS’s vehicle the police found a digital scale, 3 pounds of marijuana, 10 grams of mushrooms, 15 grams of THC extract packaged and marked for distribution, and Xanax. In addition SS had $1,000 in US Currency.
SS was arrested and brought to Newburyport District Court where he was charged with the following offenses:
- Possession of Class C with Intent to Distibute (The THC Extract)(A Felony)
- Possession of Class D with Intent to Distribue (The Marijuana)
- Possession of Class C (TheMushrooms)
- Possession of Class E (The Xanax).
SS was arraigned and released on a $1,000 cash bail. SS then continued down to NYC and flew to South America for the wedding. Upon his return SS met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. SS’s marching orders to Attorney Lewin were clear: (1) Job 1 – keep me out of jail; (2) Job 2 – see if we can avoid a conviction, in particular on the felony count of Possession of a Class C Substance (the THC extract) with intent to distribute. Attorney Lewin got the police reports and reviewed them carefully with SS. It seemed clear that a Motion To Suppress the evidence would not be successful as the police had followed the proper protocols in stopping the vehicle and searching the vehicle and seizing the drugs and scale. Attorney Lewin prepared a lengthy breakdown request for the District Attorney. The breakdown request included a background report of SS. A breakdown request is a request to break charges down or a request for a lenient disposition. Attorney Lewin met with the Assistant District Attorney and pointed out how detrimental a felony conviction would be. After much negotiation the District Attorney agreed to continue all the charges without a finding including the felony charge of possession of the THC extract with intent to distribute.
On December 22, 2017 SS and Attorney Lewin appeared before Judge Doyle in Newburyport District Court. Newburyport District Court has the reputation of being the toughest District Court in Essex County. With the agreement of the District Attorney in hand Attorney Lewin requested that all the charges against SS be continued without a finding. The Judge accepted the agreement worked out between Attorney Lewin and the District Attorney; the Judge ordered the cases continued without a finding for two years. If SS remains out of trouble with the law for the next two years then all the charges will be dismissed and SS will be eligible to get his criminal record sealed. SS was very happy with the result; his two requests to Attorney Lewin had been met. NO jail. NO convictions.
This case is an example of how knowing the prosecutors and the judges in the courts is so important. In addition, the case exemplifies the importance of communicating with the District Attorney’s Office and asking for what you want. Attorney Lewin always tells clients that there is no harm in asking. The worst the DA can say is no. In this case they said yes.