On December 11, 2013 NP, a 52 year old over the road truck driver (2 million accident free miles) was operating a tractor pulling 2 trailers from Manchester, NH to Southboro, MA. As he traveled down Rt.3 he crossed from NH into MA. He was following a woman driving a car in the middle lane. He pulled to the right travel lane and as he began to pass her she speeded up and refused to let him pass. He moved in behind her again and she braked causing him to brake and he then moved again back into the right lane and again she refused to let him pass. He then moved in behind her again and this time she braked hard; he checked his mirrors and knew the left lane was clear and he moved into the left lane (illegal); again she refused to let him pass. Now he moved from the left lane, to the middle lane, to the right lane. Once in the right lane he began to pass her. The lady told the police he drove the truck at her car causing her to swerve left away from the truck. She drove off the road into the grass median where her car came to rest. The truck meanwhile went into the breakdown lane and the second trailer went onto its right side and slid for a distance of about 300 feet. NP told the police that once he was in the right lane the lady swerved to the right toward his truck and then she swerved left and lost control. NP told the police he turned to the right to avoid hitting her car. The police charged NP with the following offenses: Reckless Operation, Assault with a dangerous weapon (the truck)(a felony), Following Too Close, Speeding, Marked Lane Violation, and Left Lane Operation. NP retained Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover. A conviction would have cost NP his CDL and his livelihood. The State Police had a witness who claimed he was a truck driver who said he had seen the entire scene and in his opinion NP had tried to “kill the girl” in the car by swerving his truck at her. The girl’s boyfriend had been driving his pickup and he told the police that the truck had been tailgating his girlfriend.
On January 26, 2015 the case went to trial in Lowell District Court. A jury was chosen; the girl testified and the State Trooper testified. At the close of the Government’s case Attorney Lewin moved for a required finding of not guilty. The trial judge agreed that on the charge of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon the government had failed to put in any evidence that the girl was put in fear and the Judge ordered a finding of not guilty on the felony assault charge. NP – who had been painstakingly prepared to testify – then took the witness stand and testified. He was a great witness. He looked at the jury when he testified; he took his time; he knew the answer to every question he was asked. There were no questions for which he was not prepared. After he testified both sides rested. Attorney Lewin made an impassioned argument to the jury. The Judge then instructed the jury and at 1:00 PM the jury went out to deliberate. The judge excused everyone for lunch and instructed everyone to be back at the courtroom at 2:00 PM. When NP and Attorney Lewin returned from lunch at about 1:50 PM the court officer came over and told them there was a verdict. At 2:00 PM everyone assembled in the Courtroom. NP and Attorney Lewin stood up and the jury then announced their verdict on the reckless operation charge. They found NP not guilty. The Judge (who decides the civil motor vehicle infractions) then found NP not responsible of the speeding charge, the following too close charge, and the marked lane violation. The only charge NP was found responsible of was the Left Travel Lane Restriction Violation. NP and his family were thrilled with the result. The key to the win was in NP’s preparation to testify.