On Sunday, October 21, 2018 shortly after midnight, CL, a 31 year old male from Beverly, was driving to his home from his girlfriend’s house in Middleton. Suddenly a deer ran in front of his car and he swerved to avoid it. CL swerved across the roadway going across the opposite lane and ran off the road and struck a stone wall and mailbox on private property. CL exited his car, looked at the car and the wall, and walked away, leaving the car there. The police were called to the scene and traced the plate number to CL. The police put out a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) for CL but were unable to locate him. A trip to his home in Beverly came up empty.
The next day, Monday, October 21, 2018, CL walked into the Middleton Police Station and reported that he was in the accident. The officer thanked him (!) and then handed him a citation for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Negligent Operation, and a Marked Lanes Violation. In addition the police reported to the Registry of Motor vehicles that CL was an immediate threat. The Registry several days later suspended CL’s license as an immediate threat.
CL and his father consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin told CL to immediately go to Salem District Court and file the citations to request a “show cause” hearing before a Clerk-Magistrate. Attorney Lewin contacted CL’s insurance company to expedite payment of the landowner’s claims for damages to the wall and the mailbox. Attorney Lewin reached out and spoke with the police prosecutor from Middleton.
On December 13, 2018 CL, his father, and Attorney Lewin appeared in Salem District Court for the hearing. Attorney Lewin presented documentary proof that the landowner had been fully compensated for the damages to the wall and the mailbox by CL’s insurance company. Attorney Lewin explained that CL had not driven negligently but had simply reacted to avoid hitting the deer. Lastly, Attorney Lewin explained that CL had self-reported the accident to the Middleton Police the day following the accident. The Clerk-Magistrate, after considering all the evidence and after consulting with Attorney Lewin and the Police Prosecutor, found NO probable cause on the two criminal charges (Leaving the Scene and Negligent Operation) and found CL NOT responsible on the civil marked lane violation. As a result, NO criminal complaint was issued by the Court against CL and he does not have to return to court. The Court case is closed. In addition CL has NO criminal record as a result of this incident.
CL and his father were thrilled with the result. CL’s next step is to go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to defeat the suspension of his license for an immediate threat. Having won the case at the Hearing before the Clerk-Magistrate, CL is in position to get his license back immediately.