On December 10, 2022, at 4:00 am after a night out with friends, ND, a 25 year old man from Methuen, was driving to his home in Methuen when he struck a parked car in Haverhill. He was able to pull his car into an adjacent parking lot in Haverhill. He then left his car there and walked away from the scene. He called a family member who picked him up in Haverhill and brought him home to Methuen. The police responded to the accident scene. They found ND’s car and ran the plate and it came back to ND. Meanwhile, ND’s family member called the police to report the accident and to report that ND had been driving the car at the time of the accident. The police issued a citation to ND for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage accident.
ND and his family contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin instructed ND to immediately take the citation and bring it to Haverhill District Court to request a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin explained to ND that a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing is an opportunity to “kill the case” before it goes to a criminal complaint. ND immediately brought the citation to Haverhill District Court and requested a hearing.
Attorney Lewin contacted ND’s insurance company to make sure that the owner of the parked car had been paid for the damage (total) to his car. This is important as the Clerk-Magistrate will want to know if the “victim” has been fully compensated for his loss. Attorney Lewin was able to get written confirmation of payment from the insurance company. Attorney Lewin also ran a copy of ND’s driver history and it was clean. This is important as the police will give the Clerk-Magistrate a copy of the driver history at the hearing and it is important to know ahead of time what it shows. In addition, Attorney Lewin ran ND’s criminal history and it only showed one minor criminal case that had been dismissed seven years previously. Attorney Lewin also reached out to the Haverhill Police Prosecutor to discuss a resolution of the case that would not involve the issuance of a criminal complaint against ND.
On March 3, 2023, Attorney Lewin and ND appeared (via zoom) at Haverhill District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate hearing. The police prosecutor read the police report pointing out that ND had crashed into a parked car at 4:00 in the morning and then fled the scene of the accident. Attorney Lewin pointed out that within an hour of the accident ND’s family member had called the police and reported the accident. Attorney Lewin informed the Clerk-Magistrate that the insurance company had paid the owner of the parked car for the loss of his car, that ND had no motor vehicle record, and that ND had only a very minor criminal record from a prior case that had been dismissed. Attorney Lewin advocated with the Clerk-Magistrate to not issue a criminal complaint against ND.
The Clerk-Magistrate agreed with Attorney Lewin’s suggestion and ordered that the hearing be continued for six months to September 1, 2023 and that if ND is in no further trouble with the law then on September 1, 2023 the application for the criminal complaint would be denied and the case fully dismissed. Attorney Lewin explained the following to ND:
- NO criminal complaint had been issued against ND.
- ND was NOT charged with any criminal offense.
- ND did NOT have to return to court and go before a judge.
- NO entry would be made on ND’s motor vehicle record as a result of this incident.
- ND would NOT lose his license (Hit and Run from a property damage accident carries a 60-day loss of license.)
- NO entry would be made on ND’s CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information)
- NO criminal record would be created as a result of this.
Needless to say, ND was thrilled with the result and thanked Attorney Lewin for the work Attorney Lewin had done. The right result was obtained because the case was fully prepared. It is this individualized attention that Attorney Lewin gives to each case and each client that gets successful results.