Operating After Suspension – Bad Luck turns to Good Luck In Woburn District Court

On April 25, 2012 JC was driving from his home in Lowell to his place of work in Burlington. JC is 57 years old and is employed as a finish carpenter. Between 1980 and 1997 JC had a tremendous problem with alcohol and was convicted no less than 9 TIMES for DWI. He spent most of the 1990s in jail. When he wasn’t in jail he was out drinking and driving. He got out of jail in 1999 and has not had a drink since. His license was revoked for ten years by the Registry. As of the date of his last DWI Melanie’s law was not yet in effect and the maximum loss of license was ten years – no matter how many prior DWI cases a person had. In 2001 JC was convicted of operating after suspension and served some additional time. In 2009 he tried to get a license from the registry but they turned him down; he went to the Board of Appeal and they turned him down; he went to Superior Court and they turned him down; and he then went to the Massachusetts Appeals Court and they turned him down. Getting back to April 25, 2012. JC’s son had an outstanding warrant. JC’s son’ name is also JC. A Burlington police officer was randomly checking license plates as JC drove by and the warrant to the son showed up. The officer pulled JC over and discovered that his license was still suspended. JC was honest with the officer and the officer did not arrest him but rather issued him a citation. JC contacted Lewin & Lewin. Attorney Robert Lewin instructed JC to immediately request a Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing. JC did request a hearing and a hearing date was scheduled for October 1, 2012 at Woburn District Court. Under the theory that the worst they can say is no, Attorney Lewin approached the Burlington Police Prosecutor and pointed out that JC had been out of trouble for many years and that he was simply driving to work. Attorney Lewin asked if the police would be willing to settle the case in the Clerk’s Office – WITHOUT a complaint issuing against JC. The police agreed. On October 1, 2012 JC, Attorney Robert Lewin, and the Burlington Police appeared before the Clerk-Magistrate at Woburn District Court for the hearing. At the request of Attorney Lewin with the agreement of the Burlington PD the Clerk-Magistrate did not issue a criminal complaint against JC. The Clerk ordered that the papers would be held for six months and if JC stayed out of trouble then the application for the criminal complaint for operating after suspension will be dismissed. What a break! If the complaint had been issued against JC there is no question that he would have been heading back to jail. The lesson in this case is that it pays to ask. Shoot for the moon; the worst the other side can say is no and sometimes – as in this case – they say yes. This is the type of common sense lawyering that comes from the 41 years of experience that Attorney Robert Lewin brings to the table.

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