XD, a 60 year old software engineer, is an avid (perhaps over avid) environmentalist. Every day on his way to work he would pass a house in North Andover the owner of which had a pest control and pesticide business. On the front lawn of this North Andover home the owner had a small sign advertising his pest control business. XD does not approve of pesticides. XD would leave for work very early before the sun would come up. Over a period of months he would periodically remove the pest control signs. The homeowner decided to set a trap for this two legged pest. The homeowner set up a camera and one Saturday morning sat in his truck and waited. Sure enough XD came along; XD parked his own vehicle up the street, exited his vehicle, walked down to the lawn, walked over to the sign, and pulled the sign from the ground. The owner leaped from his truck. XD ran to his vehicle and drove away, but not before the homeowner got the license plate. Within an hour the North Andover Police showed up at XD’s door. XD admitted his wrongdoing and the police told him he would receive a summons. The summons came and XD was charged with Larceny. XD consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin told XD that the input of the home/sign owner would be important and it would be helpful if we could win him to XD’s side. Attorney Lewin called the home/sign owner and engaged him in a productive and helpful conversation. Sometimes knowing what NOT to say is more important than knowing what to say. Attorney Lewin was able to get the home/sign owner to agree to speak with the District Attorney and to get him to tell the District Attorney he was not opposed to the criminal charge being dismissed. XD agreed to pay the home/sign owner restitution for the dozen signs that XD had removed ($250.00 total).
On October 21, 2016 XD and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for XD’s arraignment. Prior to the arraignment Attorney Lewin had already spoken to the District Attorney about the case and the DA had agreed to a general continuance of the case for six months with a dismissal. On October 21, 2016 the case was continued generally to January 20, 2017. On January 20,2017 the case was dismissed. A general continuance is not a plea bargain; it does NOT involve a guilty plea or an admission of any kind. It is NOT a continuance without a finding which is a plea bargain and which does involve an admission of guilt.
Because XD works in a security clearance environment avoiding a conviction or even an admission of guilt was important. With a general continuance and a dismissal there was no conviction, no finding of guilt, no “admission to sufficient facts”. On January 20, 2016 XD walked out of Lawrence District Court a happy man.