On September 3, 2022 NB, a 19 year old college student from Lawrence, drove to the Wendy’s at the Loop in Methuen. It was close to 11:00 pm at night and there was a large gathering of young people in front of the theatre. NB was going a little too fast for the liking of the police and he got pulled over. When he put the window down the police spotted an open can of beer in the center console next to NB. The police ordered NB out of the car. A series of field sobriety tests was administered to NB and he passed them with flying colors. He had had nothing to drink. The police cited him for the open container violation. NB requested a hearing.
NB (and his father) consulted with and hired Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. It turns out that NB’s father had been working on the car and had put an open beer in the cup holder while he was working on the car. When he finished working on the car he left the can of beer in the cup holder. When NB took the car later that night to go to Wendy’s he did not notice the can.
On November 15, 2022, NB and his father and Attorney Lewin appeared at Lawrence District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. The police prosecutor from Methuen was present at the hearing. The police prosecutor read the citation but had no other report from which he could recite the facts as to what actually happened. When the Police Prosecutor was done the Clerk-Magistrate looked at Attorney Lewin and asked what if anything he had to say. Attorney Lewin smiled and said to the prosecutor “I know when to keep my mouth shut. The police did not present any narrative or evidence as to what had happened; therefore NB is entitled to be found NOT Responsible.” The Clerk-Magistrate then turned to NB and said to him: “Today is your lucky day. I find you NOT Responsible.” NB and his Dad left the courthouse thrilled.
This was a lucky day for NB. The police screwed up and Attorney Lewin had the presence of mind to jump on the screw-up right away and put the case in the win column.