Permitting Unlicensed Operation – Dismissed Prior To Arraignment

On May 4, 1991, AS, a 19 year old woman, went out on a date with a man in his twenties. AS picked the man up at work and they went out. He told her that he had a license and she allowed him to drive her car. The man was speeding and the police blue lights came on behind them. He pulled over and said to her “switch seats with me as I do not have a license”. They switched seats (which the police officer saw). The police came up to the car and asked the male for his license. He said he had not been driving. The police then looked at AS and she said he had been driving. The police had the man exit the vehicle and they arrested him for unlicensed operation (in fact his license had been suspended). The police issued AS a citation for “permitting an unlicensed person to operate her motor vehicle”. In Massachusetts it is a criminal offense to permit or allow a person who is not duly licensed to operate a motor vehicle.

AS took the citation but never requested a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. (Had she requested a hearing the case most likely would have been resolved without a criminal complaint issuing against her.) In any event, a summons was issued for AS to appear in Gloucester District Court for an arraignment on August 20, 2021. AS’s parents contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover and retained him

Attorney Lewin immediately obtained the police report and then contacted the DA’s Office. AS was working as a deli clerk at a supermarket and she was enrolled in college and she had no criminal record. It was important for AS to try to keep her record clean. A criminal record gets created when a person is arraigned on a criminal charge. Attorney Lewin pointed out all these factors to the Assistant District Attorney and advocated for the DA to agree to a dismissal of the case prior to arraignment. A Judge cannot order  a case dismissed prior to arraignment if the DA does not agree to it. As a result of Attorney Lewin’s advocacy, the DA agreed to dismiss the case prior to arraignment.

On Friday, August 20, 2021 Attorney Lewin and AS appeared in Gloucester District Court. The case was called and Attorney Lewin and the DA told the Judge that they had an agreement to dismiss the case prior to arraignment. The arraignment did not take place and the Judge ordered the case dismissed prior to arraignment.

As a result of this disposition of the case Attorney Lewin explained the following at AS:

  • AS has NO criminal record as a result of this case.
  • NO entry has been made in the Massachusetts CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) system under AS’s name.
  • It is as if the incident did NOT happen.

AS left the Gloucester District Court a very happy young lady!

The significance here is that many inexperienced criminal lawyers – and sadly even some experienced criminal lawyers – would not think to ask the DA to dismiss the case prior to arraignment.  Most criminal lawyers would ask for a dismissal, but it is asking for a dismissal prior to arraignment that separates Lewin & Lewin from most criminal lawyers. Going that extra step – which Attorney Lewin always does – kept the client from getting a criminal record.


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