Possession of Cocaine Case DIVERTED OUT in Lawrence District Court. NO Criminal Record Created

On January 18, 2019 at about 6:30 pm JN, a 32 year old HVAC Technician from Londonderry, NH came down to Lawrence with a friend to buy cocaine. Little did they know that they were being watched by the North Shore Gang Unit doing surveillance in Lawrence. After watching JN and his friend make a hand to hand purchase of drugs, the police pulled JN’s vehicle over. The two men were ordered out of JN’s vehicle and a pat down of JN yielded plastic twists of cocaine in JN’s pocket.

JN and his friend got lucky. The police did not arrest them, but rather told them that they would receive a notice to go to court. Six months later (!) in July 2019 JN received a Notice of Magistrate’s Hearing. The police had filed an application for a criminal complaint for Possession of Class B against JN. The case had a hearing date of August 1, 2019.

JN met with and then hired Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. JN and Attorney Lewin thoroughly discussed the case. There were many issues not the least of which was the legality of the stop of JN’s vehicle and the search of JN by the police.

JN had no prior criminal record and a great job. He wanted to avoid a criminal record. That was of upmost importance to him. Attorney Lewin explained to JN that the Essex County DA’s Office ran a drug diversion program. If accepted into the program, JN’s case would not be prosecuted, NO criminal complaint would be issued against him, NO criminal record would be created, and the case would be DIVERTED out of the criminal justice system. JN decided that he wanted to do the diversion program. Attorney Lewin met with the people from the Diversion Program and they felt that JN was a good candidate for the program.

On August 1, 2019 JN and Attorney Lewin appeared for the Clerk-Magistrate hearing at Lawrence District Court. Attorney Lewin explained that he had met with the people from the Diversion Program and they were willing to take JN into the program. The police had no objection. The Clerk then took the following action:

  • The Clerk-Magistrate referred the case to the Diversion Program.
  • NO criminal complaint was issued against JN.
  • NO criminal record was created.
  • As long as JN stays out of trouble for 6 months and as long as he remains drug free and completes a drug education program, then on January 31, 2020 the case will be completely closed.

When a case is diverted and when the diversion program is successfully completed the application for criminal complaint is fully dismissed. In reality, it is as if the incident never happened. JN is now half-way through the diversion program and is doing just fine.

When JN and Attorney Lewin left the Court on August 1, 2019 JN was greatly relieved that he would not have a criminal record. He turned to Attorney Lewin and gave him a firm handshake with a big smile. JN was a happy client! From Attorney Lewin’s perspective it does not get much better.