On November 24, 2020, LQ, an 81 year old gentleman from Methuen was pulling out of a bank drive-thru in Haverhill. As he turned onto the street he sideswiped a car that was parked on the street. According to LQ, he pulled over, got out of his car, did not see any damage, got back in his car and drove away. A husband and wife were behind LQ and saw the entire episode and took a picture of his car showing the license plate. The husband and wife called the police. The police responded to the scene and took a statement from the husband and wife in which they said that LQ had not stopped. The police obtained a copy of the photo showing the license plate of LQ’s car, ran the plate, and were able to locate LQ through the Registry of Motor Vehicles computer. The police called LQ on the phone and took a statement from LQ. According to the police report LQ seemed confused about the accident. The police issued LQ a citation for leaving the scene of a property damage accident. In addition the police issued an “immediate threat” notice to the Registry. An immediate threat notice is a notice by the police to the Registry that a driver may pose an immediate threat to the safety of the public if allowed to continue to drive. When the Registry receives the notice from the police the Registry sends out a Notice of Suspension to the driver. That happened to LQ.
LQ took the citation and requested a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Several days before the hearing LQ’s daughter contacted Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin explained in detail what the Clerk-Magistrate hearing would entail and he also explained the ramifications of the Immediate Threat notice. Attorney Lewin explained that before the Registry would consider restoring the license to LQ the criminal charge would have to be resolved in Court. LQ retained Attorney Lewin.
Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the Haverhill District Court and obtained a copy of the police report. In addition Attorney Lewin contacted LQ’s Auto Insurance and got written confirmation that LQ had plenty of property damage insurance coverage ($100,000.00) and Attorney Lewin also confirmed that the lady who’s car was struck had not filed a claim for property damage. Attorney Lewin filed those documents with the Court Clerk. On Friday, March 26, 2021 Attorney Lewin and LQ appeared virtually via zoom at Haverhill District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. After all the evidence was presented Attorney Lewin requested that the Clerk-Magistrate not issue a criminal complaint against LQ. The Clerk-Magistrate adopted Attorney Lewin’s request and denied the police application for a criminal complaint.
As a result of the action taken by the Clerk-Magistrate, Attorney Lewin explained to LQ the following:
- NO criminal complaint was issued against LQ.
- LQ was NOT charged with any criminal offense.
- LQ did NOT have to return to court and go before a judge.
- LQ had NO criminal record as a result of this incident.
- NO entry would be made in the CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) System under LQ’s name.
Now LQ faces the task of getting the Suspension of his License for Immediate Threat reversed. This will require that he have a medical examination to determine his competency to drive and then he will have to take a driving test.
But the criminal case is over and LQ has not been charged. For that he was quite happy.