DE, a 35 year old woman from Lowell, was cited by the State Police for a Hit and Run on Route 495 in Andover. On November 6, 2019, after leaving a bar/restaurant in Andover, she headed onto Rt. 495 South from Route 28 in Andover. At the same time a tractor trailer unit was headed south on Rt. 495. The driver of the truck observed her. The State Police report states: “[The truck driver] stated that she lost control and turned sideways. He then stated she appeared to regain control and continued onto the highway crashing into the side of his vehicle as he was traveling in the first travel lane. [The truck driver] advised that he could see that the passengers mirror was hanging from the drivers side as the vehicle fled the scene.” DE was subsequently identified as the operator of her vehicle at the time of the hit and run and on November 11, 2019 DE was issued a citation by the State Police for Leaving the Scene of a Property damage accident.
DE knew Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover as he had successfully defended her in 2013 against a charge of operating after suspension of her license. DE immediately contacted Attorney Lewin and retained him.
Attorney Lewin went over to Lawrence District Court and immediately filed a request for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin checked the papers in the Clerk-Magistrate’s Office to see if the State Police had filed their copy of the Citation along with an Application for Criminal Complaint for the Hit and Run against DE. Under a little known statute (although well known to Attorney Lewin) the police have six business days to file their copy of the citation along with their application for a criminal complaint in the Clerk-Magistrate’s Office of the Court. Failure to do so is a defense. Attorney Lewin discovered that the police had not filed their paperwork. Attorney Lewin kept checking with the Clerk-Magistrate and it was not until November 25, 2019 that the police finally filed their copy of the citation along with their Application for Criminal Complaint against DE. This was 9 business days (exclude Saturdays, Sundays, and Thanksgiving Day). DE’s case was set up for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing.
On January 2, 2020 DE and Attorney Lewin appeared at Lawrence District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. The purpose for the hearing was for the Clerk-Magistrate to decide whether to issue a criminal complaint against DE for the Hit and Run (and Speeding and Failure to Yield). The State Police presented their case. Attorney Lewin then pointed out to the Clerk-Magistrate the 9 business day delay by the police in filing their papers at the Court. Attorney Lewin gave to the Clerk-Magistrate a copy of the law and a copy of a court decision by a Judge from Lawrence District Court that Attorney Lewin had successfully obtained in an almost identical case involving the State Police. The Clerk-Magistrate asked Attorney Lewin and DE to wait about 15 minutes as he wanted to review the law. The Clerk-Magistrate declared a recess. About 15 minutes later DE and Attorney Lewin were called back into the hearing room. The Clerk-Magistrate stated that he had reviewed the law and that Attorney Lewin was correct. The Clerk-Magistrate then ruled that NO criminal complaint for Leaving the Scene would be issued against DE and he found her NOT responsible for the two civil violations (speeding and failure to yield).
This extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of the law and all those little known technicalities only comes with years of experience. Attorney Lewin has been practicing criminal law his entire 49 year career as a lawyer. When DE and Attorney Lewin left the Lawrence District Courthouse on Thursday, January 2, 2020 DE had a big smile on her face and gave Attorney Lewin a big hug. It just doesn’t get much better!!