On November 16, 2016, DX, a 24 year old electrician from New Hampshire, was driving from a job site in Massachusetts back to his home in NH. He drove thru a red light in Salisbury and got pulled over by the police. When the officer reached the car and looked inside he immediately observed a fully loaded magazine for a handgun in plain view on the passenger seat. The officer immediately asked the driver if he had a LTC (License To Carry) or an FID (Firearm Identification Card) card and the driver replied no. The officer had the driver exit the car and immediately cuffed the driver. The driver was placed in the rear of the officer’s cruiser. During a subsequent search of the vehicle the handgun (a Smith & Wesson Military and Police 9mm Shield model sidearm) was located in the unsecured glovebox. Also located in the vehicle was a black concealed carry paddle holster. The rounds inside the magazine were found to be 9mm hollow-point rounds. DX was charged with Carrying a Firearm without a LTC (not in the home and not at place of business). This is a felony and carries a mandatory minimum 18 months in jail with no parole and no suspension of the sentence. He was also charged with possession of ammunition without an FID card. This is a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to two years in the House of Correction (no mandatory minimum sentence). The District Attorney and the police were concerned with several aspects of the case. The hollow point bullets are designed to maximize the injury they cause and the holster is designed to be worn in side the pants so as not to be visible. DX was brought to the police station and held on a high cash bail. The following morning DX was brought to Newburyport District Court, he was arraigned, and he was released on a $3,000.00 cash bail. DX and his family interviewed several lawyers and then retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover.
Attorney Lewin met at length with DX and his family. Attorney Lewin explained that he needed to put together a persuasive memorandum for the District Attorney to get the District Attorney to reduce the gun carrying charge from the felony with its 18 month mandatory minimum sentence to a misdemeanor charge with no sentence. Attorney Lewin explained to DX that he was at real risk of getting the 18 month mandatory minimum jail sentence. Attorney Lewin had DX furnish Attorney Lewin with his electrician’s license, his high school and community college diplomas, and a letter from DX’s employer attesting to DX’;s qualities as a good employee.
Gun cases in Essex County are all reviewed by the First Assistant District Attorney for the County. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the supervising Assistant District Attorney at Newburyport District Court (a prosecutor Attorney Lewin has known for over twenty years and with whom Attorney Lewin enjoys a great professional relationship). Attorney Lewin prepared a lengthy memorandum for the DA in which Attorney Lewin advocated for a reduction of the gun carrying charge and a probationary sentence. The supervising Assistant District Attorney in Newburyport sent Attorney Lewin’s Memorandum up to the First Assistant District Attorney for the County in Salem. After a review and some further discussion the District Attorney’s Office agreed to a reduction of the felony gun carrying charge to a misdemeanor with no jail time.
On February 1, 2017 DX (and his family) and Attorney Lewin appeared in Newburyport District Court. Judge Alan Swan – who is probably the toughest District Court judge in Massachusetts – was presiding. The DA’s Office reduced the felony charge to a misdemeanor. Attorney Lewin made a lengthy pitch to the Judge to adopt the joint recommendation of the Defense and the District Attorney for probation. The Judge did adopt the joint recommendation and DX was placed on probation for 2 years.
As a result of this disposition DX does not have a felony conviction and he serves no jail time. DX and his family all breathed a deep sigh of relief upon leaving the courthouse.