HIT & RUN CHARGE AVOIDED

On November 30, 2014 NP, a 30 year old mother of two young children was driving north on Route 495 in Chelmsford. She had her two children in the backseat in car seats. One of the children started coughing and NP turned to look back to make sure the child was okay. When she turned, her car veered to the right and she saw she was about to strike a car in the lane to her right. She pulled the steering wheel to the left and avoided a collision – so she thought. The driver in the car to her right flashed his lights at her and waived for her to pull over. She refused and continued on Route 495 to Route 93. She then proceeded onto Route 93 North and noticed the other vehicle was still following her with his hazard lights flashing. Suddenly two state police cruisers pulled NP over. According to the State Police report the other driver claimed that NP’s vehicle had struck his vehicle and failed to stop. Also according to the State Police report NP admitted to the officer that she knew that she had struck the other vehicle. The trooper issued NP a citation for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage accident. NP immediately hired Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover.

The case got strange. NP insisted that she spoke with a female state trooper and that she told the female state trooper that she had NOT hit the other vehicle. There was no damage to NP’s vehicle.NP denied speaking with the male state trooper. It was the male state trooper who wrote the police report and who claimed that NP had admitted striking the other vehicle. Attorney Lewin secured photos of NP’s vehicle showing no damage. Attorney Lewin obtained confirmation from NP’s insurance company that NO claim had been made against her insurance company for damage to the other car. Attorney Lewin was able to confirm that there was a female state trooper on scene and who that female state trooper was. The female state trooper denied any interaction with NP!

On January 22, 2015 NP and Attorney Lewin appeared at Lawrence District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing. The State Police Prosecutor read the police report which included NP’s alleged confession. NP was well prepared and testified. She vehemently denied any contact between her car and the other car. NP denied making any “confession” to any police officer. Attorney Lewin presented photos of NP’s car showing no damage. The State Police had no photos of the other vehicle. In addition Attorney Lewin presented a copy of NP’s Insurance Coverage Page showing that her vehicle was fully insured and lastly Attorney Lewin presented evidence that no claim for damage had been made for any alleged damage to the other vehicle. Attorney Lewin argued to the Clerk-Magistrate that the police report was not credible and that the state had failed to prove that there had been a collision or any damage to the other vehicle. The Clerk-Magistrate agreed and denied the application for a criminal complaint that had been filed by the state police. NP was not charged. The case was won in great part because it was well prepared.