On August 22, 2018 HE, a 16 year old high school student at a prestigious high school in the greater Boston area, went to the gym in Watertown, MA. HE went into another person’s locker and stole that person’s car keys and credit card. HE (and a friend) then went out to the parking lot of the gym, located the car, and with the stolen keys took the car and went to Dunkin Donuts. At Dunkin Donuts they ordered food and used the credit card. They then left the Dunkin Donuts and left the car in the parking lot and threw the keys in the bushes. Four days later HE did the same thing again. He stole another person’s keys and stole that person’s car and took it on a joy ride. He also threw those keys away as well. Through good police work, video surveillance, and an informant the police learned that HE was the culprit in both incidents. The police charged HE with a host of offenses: (1) 2 counts of Larceny of a Motor Vehicle (both felonies), (2) 2 counts of Larceny from a Building (both felonies), (3) 2 counts of use of a motor vehicle without authority, and (4) 1 count of Identity Fraud.
HE is an honor student and a good athlete – go figure why he would do this. His parents, knowing that having a record for this could cripple HE’s chances at getting into a good college, sought out the best representation they could find for their son. The parents contacted and met with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained that the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office runs a juvenile diversion program that prevents juveniles from getting a record. Attorney Lewin explained that the Program is typically NOT available to juveniles who commit felonies (especially on multiple times with multiple victims). Attorney Lewin was able to get HE to retrieve the keys from both of the vehicles that had been stolen. Attorney Lewin arranged to have the keys returned to the owners of the two vehicles. Attorney Lewin spoke to the police detective handling the case and advocated with the police to recommend to the DA that HE be considered for diversion.
A criminal record is created when the accused is arraigned in court before a judge. When a juvenile case is diverted, the arraignment does not take place and NO criminal or juvenile record is created. HE was scheduled to be arraigned on November 9, 2018 in Waltham Juvenile Court. Prior to November 9, 2018 Attorney Lewin had spoken with the Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Court and advocated for HE’s case to be diverted. On November 9, 2018 HE and his parents and Attorney Lewin appeared in Court. The arraignment did NOT take place and the case was continued to November 30, 2018 to see if the Diversion Program would be willing to accept HE into the program. On November 30, 2018 the program reported that they had not yet made a decision in HE’s case because of the seriousness of the charges. The arraignment was further postponed to January 25, 2019. Attorney Lewin furnished the District Attorney’s Office with a memorandum setting out the reasons why HE’s case should be diverted. On January 25, 2019 HE, his parents, and Attorney Lewin appeared in Court again and the Diversion Program agreed to accept HE into the program. As a result HE was NOT arraigned and HE has NO criminal or juvenile record.
As part of the diversion program HE must write letters of apology to the two car owners, he must write an essay about the case, and he must perform 60 hours of community service. If HE complies with the diversion program requirements, then on November 29, 2019 the case will be closed and he will have absolutely NO record.
HE was very lucky. One of the two victims almost missed a wedding because his car was stolen by HE. That victim was furious. The passage of time cooled that victim down. HE and his parents left the Waltham Juvenile Court very pleased with the result in HE’s case.