Another Hit & Run Charge Avoided

On January 11, 2024, JM, a 20 year old sheet metal worker, was on his way to work at 6:45 in the morning. He was driving on a street in Andover when a Town Forestry truck with a chipper attached pulled in front of him. He braked but could not stop and struck the rear of the chipper. He kept driving and left the scene without stopping and giving his info. Several hours later, after talking the situation over with his father, he drove to the Andover PD and self-reported the accident. The police told him he should have stopped at the scene and they gave him a citation for leaving the scene of an accident! (Only in Andover would the police cite someone who 3 hours after the accident self-reported the accident.)

As a 20 year old driver, JM was facing a substantial loss of license if charged and convicted. JM and his father contacted and hired Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover.  Attorney Lewin advised JM to immediately request a clerk-magistrate hearing which JM did. Attorney Lewin contacted the Andover Police Prosecutor and pointed out that within three hours of the accident JM self-reported the accident and identified himself as the driver of the car. Attorney Lewin did some investigation and it turns out that although there was clearly a collision between JM’s vehicle and the chipper, the chipper had not sustained any damage. One of the elements of the crime of Leaving the Scene (Hit and Run) is that there must be some damage to the other vehicle. JM’s vehicle was damaged, but it turns out that the chipper had sustained no damage. Attorney Lewin was able to get the Town Forestry Assistant Manager to confirm that there was no damager to the chipper. Attorney Lewin notified the Police Prosecutor that there was no damage to the chipper.

On April 25, 2024, JM and Attorney Lewin appeared at Lawrence District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate hearing.  The case was called and JM and Attorney Lewin walked into the hearing room. The Assistant Clerk-Magistrate and the Police Prosecutor were present in the room. It was obvious that the Clerk-Magistrate and the Police Prosecutor had discussed the case. The Clerk-Magistrate turned to Attorney Lewin and said what would you like me to do. Attorney Lewin said dismiss the case. The Clerk-Magistrate then said “I am entering a finding of NO probable cause and NO criminal complaint will be issued. This matter is dismissed” The hearing took about 30 seconds.

Attorney Lewin and JM then left. Needless to say JM was thrilled with the result.

Attorney Lewin explained to JM the following:

  • No criminal complaint was issued against JM.
  • JM was NOT being charged with any criminal offense.
  • JM did NOT have to return to court and go before a Judge.
  • JM would have NO criminal record as a result of this disposition.
  • NO entry would be made on JM’s CORI (Criminal Record).
  • JM would suffer NO loss of license.
  • JM would suffer NO insurance surcharge.

Attorney Robert Lewin was a former prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office and for the last 50 years has been defending persons charged with criminal offenses throughout eastern Massachusetts. Attorney Lewin has an enviable record of success in these leaving the scene (hit and run) cases.

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