On June 29, 2013 FW, a 41 year old Chinese woman threatened to kill her husband with a kitchen knife and struck him with her hands. He called 911 and the Reading police responded. Once the police arrived at the home it became readily apparent that FW was mentally ill and was experiencing a paranoid break with reality. Rather than arrest her the police submitted a Section 12 Petition (a mental health commitment petition) and brought her to Winchester Hospital, She was then transferred to a mental hospital where she remained in-patient for 44 days. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. A regimen of medications was established and her condition improved markedly over the time she was in the hospital. The police filed an application for a criminal complaint for assault with a dangerous weapon (a felony) and for assault and battery to issue against FW in Woburn District Court. FW and her husband retained Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin immediately had FW obtain copies of her hospital records. In addition Attorney Lewin obtained reports from FW’s mental health counselor. Attorney Lewin then reached out to the Reading Police and had a substantive discussion with the police about FW’s condition and her case. Attorney Lewin suggested to the police a resolution of the case that did not involve a criminal complaint being issued against FW at the hearing before the clerk-magistrate.The police agreed not to push for the issuance of a criminal complaint at the hearing before the Clerk-Magistrate. On March 18, 2014 Attorney Lewin and FW appeared before the Clerk-Magistrate at Woburn District Court. Attorney Lewin explained to the Clerk-Magistrate that he had spoken with the police ahead of time and the two sides were asking the Clerk not to issue the complaint. The Clerk wanted to see an updated report from FW’s counselor and Attorney Lewin had obtained a report the day before the hearing. Attorney Lewin gave the report to the Clerk who read it and then agree not to issue a criminal complaint against FW. The Clerk stated that if there are no reports of any law violations by FW over the next six months then on September 19, 2014 no one would have to return to court and the Application for Criminal Complaint would be dismissed and no charges would be issued against FW. As a result FW has no criminal record, was not charged, and did not have to appear in front of Judge. In these types of cases good communication between a criminal defense lawyer and the police prosecutor can be the difference between being prosecuted and not being prosecuted. Attorney Lewin’s five years as an Assistant District Attorney and his 39 years practicing criminal defense have given him the experience and know how to deal with all these situations. FW and her husband walked out of Woburn District Court very happy that FW was not charged.

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