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Robert D Lewin
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Robert Lewin’s Answers

278 total


  • Applying for tourist visa to China. Arrest record (case dismissed). Disclose?

    I was arrested a couple years back on a misdemeanor charge -- the case was dismissed and there was no conviction -- in fact the case has also now been sealed. I am now planning on traveling to China for an important family engagement and the visa ...

    Robert’s Answer

    You state that the case has now been sealed. The Massachusetts sealing statutes contain the following provisions relative to answering a question about a record: "An applicant for employment with a sealed record on file with the commissioner of probation may answer ‘no record’ to an inquiry herein relative to prior arrests or criminal court appearances. In addition, any applicant for employment may answer ‘no record’ with respect to any inquiry relative to prior arrests, court appearances and adjudications in all cases of delinquency or as a child in need of services which did not result in a complaint transferred to the superior court for criminal prosecution.” The attorney general may enforce the provisions of this paragraph by a suit in equity commenced in the superior court."

    The Massachusetts statute continues:

    "The commissioner [of probation], in response to inquiries by authorized persons other than any law enforcement agency, any court, or any appointing authority, shall in the case of a sealed record or in the case of court appearances and adjudications in a case of delinquency or the case of a child in need of services which did not result in a complaint transferred to the superior court for criminal prosecution, report that no record exists."

    You will note that the part of the law that allows you to say that you have no record deals with your being an "applicant for employment". You do have a criminal record that has been ordered sealed. For purposes of immigration, you have to disclose a sealed record. I agree with the other lawyers that you should ask someone who is familiar with Chinese Law; however, I would be concerned about answering that question "no record" in these circumstances. An application for a visa is not an application for employment. Good Luck.

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  • What will be the outcome when I go to court?

    I was recently released from Kohls as an employee for shoplifting. LP interviewed me and I was honest and told them all the things that I had taken. It came out to be 204.99 dollars, I also returned the items back to them the very next day, they d...

    Robert’s Answer

    As usual, Attorney Pang's answer is complete and accurate. You will not go to jail in this case, assuming that you have no other criminal record. You want to try to avoid having a criminal complaint being issued against you because once the complaint issues you then will have a criminal record and no one wants to hire a thief. You should consult NOW with a good criminal lawyer in your area. There are things a lawyer can do NOW to point your case in the direction of a Clerk-Magistrate's Hearing. That is the hearing that you want to try to have - instead of an arraignment. Once there is an arraignment there is a criminal record. At a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing the Clerk-Magistrate can resolve the charge against you without a criminal complaint being issued and therefore without you getting a criminal record.

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  • What to do if I get a summon to appear as a witness and cant attend hearing?

    Got a summon to attend as a witness for a case but will be out of town that day and cant attend. What are my options in this scenario? The letter says that if you don't attend it will be considered as a contempt of court and may lead to arrest.

    Robert’s Answer

    Attorney Lazar's suggestion that you contact the lawyer who sent you the summons is good advice. That is a good starting point. The lawyer who summonsed you as a witness most likely has determined that your testimony is important and will want you to be available and in court on the day of the hearing. The lawyer may be willing to go to Court and seek a postponement of the court hearing to a date when you (and everyone else) is available. If that does not work you could retain a lawyer to seek a change in the date; if you have a valid and important reason and if your engagement cannot be reasonably changed the court may be willing to change the date of the hearing to accommodate your schedule. You say you will "be out of town and cant attend". A judge could accommodate you depending upon why you must be "out of town". If you simply fail to show up the court could issue an immediate warrant for your arrest.

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  • I'm married an my husband threw a drink in my face ,my friend called the police he went to jail no bond not going 2court .

    Pass DV but he didnt hit me,me nor my friend are going to court hoping it will b dismissed

    Robert’s Answer

    Dear Wife from Lynn: Obviously some judge felt your husband's situation was serious as it appears from your question that he has been held without bail and has been sent to Middleton Jail. You need to speak to your husband's lawyer and you may want to consider speaking to a criminal lawyer yourself. You have a right NOT to testify against your husband at a criminal trial. Your friend, however, can be forced to testify against him. Most important of all is that your husband must have a good criminal lawyer. Good Luck

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  • My son was hit with his girlfriends car he hit the car and dented it he also through $ at her to get it fixed she's

    charging assault &battery and malicous destruction. My son has no record what can he expect

    Robert’s Answer

    In order to properly answer your question much more information is needed. These type of situations can often be resolved quite favorably if approached early and correctly; but much more information is needed; however, in a public forum such as AVVO you ought not get too deep into the facts of the case as that can come back to bite you. You should bring your son to speak to a good criminal lawyer NOW. There is much that can be done before the case gets into court. If the case is already in court then your son needs a lawyer to represent him in court. Don't delay, get your son a lawyer.

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  • My son was placed on pretrial probation for a year. Will this show up on a CORI check if he fulfills the year, ending soon?

    Unfortunately, his attorney was recently disbarred and charged for not filing things in court for other clients, lying, etc. So, my son is not sure if he was lied to, although we were in court with him when the judge agreed to the pre-trial proba...

    Robert’s Answer

    The record of your son's case will remain on his CORI even after the case is dismissed. The question is who gets access to this record. Other than courts and police, once the case is dismissed virtually no one will have access to this case. Schools and employers are limited in their access to cases contained in a CORI Record. Generally speaking once a case is dismissed schools and employers do not get access to the record of the dismissed case. The CORI response will be NO AVAILABLE RECORD. Petitioning to get the record sealed is a good idea.

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  • Not Guilty DUI

    I was found Not Guilty of DUI. The judge allowed CORI sealed. Will I be ok if I want to drive to Montreal?

    Robert’s Answer

    This DUI case should not be an impediment to your traveling to Canada. You were found not guilty. Before you got the record sealed did you obtain an attested copy of the Docket Sheet showing the NOT guilty? If you did not and if you want to obtain an attested copy of the Docket Sheet now, you will have to Petition to Unseal the record. Is your license/right to drive restored? If it is, you can drive. if it is not, then you cannot drive.

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  • Are their any attorneys that can help my son pro bono on a criminal firearm and. Ammunition charge?

    My son was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was sleeping on a couch when the police woke him up and arrested him for being in an apartment where they found a firearm with ammunition.

    Robert’s Answer

    If the court determines that your son is indigent the court is required to appoint a lawyer to represent him. Massachusetts law requires the judge to assess a "legal counsel fee" of a minimum of $150.00 or a requirement that your son perform community service in place of the $150.00. If the Judge determines that your son is "marginally indigent" - which means he has some ability to pay for a lawyer - the judge can assess a "legal counsel fee" greater that $150.00. Every court has a list of "bar advocates" from which the judge assigns lawyers to handle cases of persons who are indigent. You don't get to pick. I am going to assume that the Judge found that your son is not indigent and you are asking if there are lawyers who will take his case for no fee. The answer to that question is not likely. I do not know any lawyers (or plumbers or carpenters or accountants etc.) who are willing to work for nothing - particularly where there is a system in place for persons who are truly indigent to get good legal counsel at a very inexpensive cost. There are many good criminal lawyers in Haverhill and the surrounding towns who will take into consideration your son's (and his family's) financial ability when setting a fee. If he was just in the apartment and had nothing to do with the gun or the ammo then he should definitely get a lawyer and fight this case.

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  • My computer was taken away in a search and seizure in February? What do I have to do to get it back or when?

    Non drug related

    Robert’s Answer

    If the police had a warrant then you or a lawyer on your behalf has the right to go to the court that issued the warrant and get a copy of the following important papers: (1) The application for the warrant, (2) the Affidavit in Support of the Application for the Warrant; (3) the Warrant itself, and (4) the Return (Inventory) of the officer executing the warrant. This will tell you what evidence the police had that lead them to your computer. If this is a child pornography investigation it will be months before the police finish their forensic examination of your computer. You certainly want to get a lawyer. There are plenty of good criminal lawyers in Essex County in the Rowley area. Call one.

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  • Do i need a POA to get my brother'certificate of criminal case disposition?

    in addition to necessary info, do i need a power of attorney to get his records.

    Robert’s Answer

    In Massachusetts, dispositions of criminal cases are maintained in two very different ways. The "official" disposition is written on the Court Docket Sheet. These sheets are public records and are kept in the criminal clerk-magistrate's office of the court where the case was heard. Anyone can go into the Criminal Clerk-Magistrate's Office of the Court where the case was heard and purchase an attested copy of the Court Docket Sheet. It costs $2.50 per page. The only exception to this would be if the record of the case had been ordered sealed. If the case is sealed you will not be given access to the Court Docket. If you want a copy of your brother's criminal record (called a CORI) this is something only your brother or someone to whom he gives a power of attorney can get access to. Good Luck.

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