On March 1, 2020, RL, a 22 year old senior at a prestigious local university, went into a market in Waltham and stole (shoplifted) about $36.00 worth of merchandise. She got caught. RL is a Chinese National here on a student visa. She saw her life passing in front of her: she jeopardized her graduation and degree from the University and she jeopardized her ability to return to the United States if she left the U.S. and then tried to return. RL contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin told RL that if the case were handled carefully then prosecution could possibly be avoided. Shortly after March 1 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic RL was forced o return to China.

Attorney Lewin requested a Clerk-Magistrate hearing. The hearing was scheduled for April 2, 2020 but because of the pandemic had to be rescheduled three times. Attorney Lewin spoke at length with the police prosecutor from Waltham and explained the situation that RL had put herself in.  Attorney Lewin advocated for the police to dismiss their application for criminal complaint.

On Thursday, October 29, 2020 a virtual (via zoom) Clerk-Magistrate Hearing was held at Waltham District Court. Attorney Lewin explained RL’s situation and (as Attorney Lewin had requested) the police prosecutor told the Clerk-Magistrate that the police were withdrawing their application for criminal complaint. This was the best of all possible results.

Attorney Lewin left the Courthouse and emailed RL in China and gave her the news that the application for a criminal complaint against her had been withdrawn. Attorney Lewin explained to RL that as a result of this action she should note the following:

  • NO criminal complaint was issued against her.
  • RL was NOT charged with any crime.
  • RL has NO criminal record.
  • A search of the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) System would show that RL has NO criminal record.

As a postscript to all this RL graduated from the University and is now enrolled in a graduate program at another major university in New York City.

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