Articles Posted in Hit and Run Cases

DT is a 29 year old software developer from India in the US on a work visa. On December 10, 2016 he went out for a few drinks and on the way home crashed his car in Lowell. The Lowell police responded to the accident scene and DT gave the police a story that he was too drunk to drive and another fellow (whom DT did not know) was driving the car and that other fellow took off after the accident. The police did not arrest DT nor did they cite him. The next day he gave the same report to his insurance company. About a week later DT received a letter from the Lowell Police saying that they were investigating his accident and they had video evidence that he was in fact the driver. The letter indicated that the police were contemplating charging him with DUI and making a false statement to a police officer and hit and run. (A hit and run charge in Massachusetts can be based on a driver’s failure to identify himself as the driver at the scene of an accident.) DT’s insurance company contacted DT about his “story” and expressed concerns about the veracity of DT’s story. (Making a false insurance claim is a criminal offense.) DT contacted Attorney Robert Lewin of North Andover. Attorney Lewin explained to DT that Attorney Lewin knew the Lowell officer in charge of his investigation. Attorney Lewin explained to DT that the best thing to do in DT’s situation would be for DT’s lawyer to quickly communicate with both the Lowell Police Officer and the representative for the insurance company. DT told Attorney Lewin that DT had spoken to numerous lawyers and had gotten all kinds of advice but that Attorney Lewin was the first lawyer who set out a plan of action and was prepared to move on it immediately before things got worse. DT retained Attorney Lewin.

Within 2 hours of being retained Attorney Lewin had DT’s entire situation resolved. Attorney Lewin called the Lowell Police and spoke with the officer in charge of the investigation. The officer agreed that DT would not be charged with any criminal offenses arising out of the accident or his false statement to the officer at the scene of the accident. Attorney Lewin then spoke with a representative from the insurance company. The insurance company then not only agreed not to seek a criminal charge against DT for filing a false insurance claim but the company agreed to pay DT for the complete loss of his vehicle!

Attorney Lewin explained to DT the old adage: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” DT kept getting himself in deeper and deeper with his stories. By jumping on the case immediately and by contacting the police and the insurance company immediately, Attorney Lewin was able to avoid DT from being prosecuted and from being deported. DT is now a happy camper.

EN, the 36 year old owner of a manufacturing company and a North Andover Resident, received a citation in the mail for leaving the scene of a property damage accident in the O’Neill Tunnel in Boston. EN’s company owns about ten vehicles and employs about 40 people. EN knew nothing of any alleged accident. EN researched his company records and was able to identify the particular truck and driver. The driver had no recollection of any accident and denied being in any accident. EN failed to appear for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing and a criminal complaint issued against EN for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. EN was summonsed to court for an arraignment (Boston Municipal Court, Central Division). He went into the arraignment without an attorney thinking he just had to tell the Judge that he was not driving and the case would go away. The Judge told EN to get a lawyer and come back to court with his lawyer. The Judge continued the arraignment to Friday, December 2, 2016.

EN consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin contacted the State Police to see if they had any video recording of this supposed accident. From experience in other cases Attorney Lewin is familiar with the video recording system in the O’Neill tunnel complex in Boston. In addition Attorney Lewin had EN research the company payroll records to verify exactly who had the truck on the day in question and whether the tunnel was on the truck route for that date. Attorney Lewin prepared and filed a Motion to Dismiss the case (prior to arraignment) on the grounds that there was no evidence that EN was operating the vehicle on the date alleged in the police report. The police report simply stated that EN owned the truck. There was no evidence that EN was driving the truck. A Motion to Dismiss a criminal complaint for lack of probable cause is called a DeBenadetto Motion. In addition Attorney Lewin prepared and filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint for failure of the police to furnish the video.

On December 2, 2016 EN and Attorney Lewin appeared in the arraignment session of the Boston Municipal Court. Attorney Lewin explained to the DA that there was no evidence that EN was driving the truck. Attorney Lewin insisted that the DA dismiss the case. The DA agreed but then the DA hesitated. The case was called and Attorney Lewin explained the facts to the Judge and the Judge ordered the case dismissed prior to arraignment. The significance of the dismissal being ordered prior to arraignment is that now the case will NOT show up on EN’s CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information). EN and Attorney Lewin walked out of the Courthouse two happy people!

On St. Patrick’s Day of 2016 QN, a 20 year old laborer from Melrose, went into Cambridge with a friend to celebrate. The friend picked QN up at QN’s house and drove to the T station at Oak Grove in Melrose. The two men took the T into Boston and Cambridge and went to a club (that allows persons under 21 in). While waiting at a T stop to change from the orange line to the red line QN took a selfie of himself and the other fellow. In the selfie QN is wearing a bright Kelly green shirt and has a full beard. After the men were at the club for several hours they left and returned via the T to the Oak Grove Station in Melrose. They got in the other fellows car and they went to Kelly’s in Saugus and ate and then the other fellow drove to QN’s house. QN got out of the car and ran into his house to get the keys to his own car which had been parked on the street. Melrose has an ordinance banning overnight parking on the street. It was now about 1:15 AM. QN moved his car into his driveway and then left his keys and cell phone in his car and proceeded into his house and went to sleep.

Forty-five minutes later QN’s car was involved in a high speed police chase from Lynn into Swampscott. A police car following QN’s vehicle momentarily lost sight of QN’s vehicle after the vehicle crested a hill. Once the police car crested the hill, the police officer observed that QN’s vehicle had horribly crashed into a stone wall. The police officer parked a safe distance behind QN’s crashed vehicle and began to approach the vehicle. The officer then observed a white male with a round face with blondish hair wearing a blue or gray t-shirt exit the vehicle and begin to run. The officer gave chase. The man catapulted over a fence and the officer gave up the chase. The State Police K-9 unit was called in and for two hours the police and dogs searched the area but found no one. The Officer went back to his police car and ran the registration plate on QN’s car in his mobile data terminal (MBT). The response from the Registry gave QN’s name and address and also furnished a color photo of QN from his driver’s license. The photo showed a white male with a round face and blond hair. At the trial of the case the officer testified that when he saw the picture on his MBT he said to himself – “Damn, that’s him”.

QN was charged with Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident and Negligent Operation and Refusing to Stop for a Police Officer. QN and his family retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. QN insisted that after he left his car in the driveway at 1:15 AM he did not drive it and that he was in bed. QN insisted that his car was stolen.

On November 30, 2014 NP, a 30 year old mother of two young children was driving north on Route 495 in Chelmsford. She had her two children in the backseat in car seats. One of the children started coughing and NP turned to look back to make sure the child was okay. When she turned, her car veered to the right and she saw she was about to strike a car in the lane to her right. She pulled the steering wheel to the left and avoided a collision – so she thought. The driver in the car to her right flashed his lights at her and waived for her to pull over. She refused and continued on Route 495 to Route 93. She then proceeded onto Route 93 North and noticed the other vehicle was still following her with his hazard lights flashing. Suddenly two state police cruisers pulled NP over. According to the State Police report the other driver claimed that NP’s vehicle had struck his vehicle and failed to stop. Also according to the State Police report NP admitted to the officer that she knew that she had struck the other vehicle. The trooper issued NP a citation for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage accident. NP immediately hired Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover.

The case got strange. NP insisted that she spoke with a female state trooper and that she told the female state trooper that she had NOT hit the other vehicle. There was no damage to NP’s vehicle.NP denied speaking with the male state trooper. It was the male state trooper who wrote the police report and who claimed that NP had admitted striking the other vehicle. Attorney Lewin secured photos of NP’s vehicle showing no damage. Attorney Lewin obtained confirmation from NP’s insurance company that NO claim had been made against her insurance company for damage to the other car. Attorney Lewin was able to confirm that there was a female state trooper on scene and who that female state trooper was. The female state trooper denied any interaction with NP!

On January 22, 2015 NP and Attorney Lewin appeared at Lawrence District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing. The State Police Prosecutor read the police report which included NP’s alleged confession. NP was well prepared and testified. She vehemently denied any contact between her car and the other car. NP denied making any “confession” to any police officer. Attorney Lewin presented photos of NP’s car showing no damage. The State Police had no photos of the other vehicle. In addition Attorney Lewin presented a copy of NP’s Insurance Coverage Page showing that her vehicle was fully insured and lastly Attorney Lewin presented evidence that no claim for damage had been made for any alleged damage to the other vehicle. Attorney Lewin argued to the Clerk-Magistrate that the police report was not credible and that the state had failed to prove that there had been a collision or any damage to the other vehicle. The Clerk-Magistrate agreed and denied the application for a criminal complaint that had been filed by the state police. NP was not charged. The case was won in great part because it was well prepared.

KU, a 35 year old moving company owner, drove his pick-up truck to the Market Basket supermarket on the Lawrence/North Andover line. As he was pulling out of the parking lot he struck a parked car. He paused but then drove away. He drove home, left the pick-up truck at home, and drove his car to work. Two hours later he got a call from the North Andover Police. A witness had seen the accident and had seen KU leave and got the plate. At first KU denied it but then admitted to the officer that he had panicked and fled the scene. The North Andover Police issued a citation to KU for leaving the scene of a property damage accident. KU called Lewin & Lewin and spoke with Attorney Robert Lewin who told KU to immediately go to the Lawrence District Court and request a Clerk’s Hearing for the citation. KU did that and then retained Attorney Robert Lewin to defend the case.

Attorney Lewin went over to the Court and spoke immediately with the North Andover Police Prosecutor. Attorney Lewin obtained KU’s auto insurance policy to show that the damage to the other car would be completely covered. In addition Attorney Lewin obtained proof from the insurance company that the owner of the other vehicle had been completely reimbursed for his damages by KU’s insurance company. In many of these hit and run cases – particularly if there is no alcohol involved – the main concern of the police is making sure that the owner of the damaged vehicle or property is fully reimbursed. Attorney Lewin furnished all the insurance documents to the Police Prosecutor. Prior to the Clerk’s Hearing Attorney Lewin and the police prosecutor reached an agreement that they would recommend to the Court Clerk-Magistrate that no criminal complaint be issued against KU.

On Thursday, September 12, 2013, KU and Attorney Robert Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing. Attorney Lewin and the Police Prosecutor explained to the Clerk-Magistrate that the victim had been fully reimbursed. The police prosecutor indicated to the Clerk-Magistrate that the police were satisfied. The Clerk then dismissed the application for criminal complaint. KU – although he was guilty of the offense – walked away without being charged. KU left the Court a very happy man.

On August 31, 2012, AS, a 67 year old retiree, went out for a few drinks at a local pub in Haverhill. Late at night he left the pub highly intoxicated, got into his SUV, and tried driving to his home in Methuen. In the center of Haverhill is a War Memorial which is situated on a grass plot. AS drove his SUV off the roadway, over the curb and sidewalk, into the War Memorial area. In the area was a homeless man sleeping a a bench. The front of AS’s SUV struck the bench going up over the bench over the homeless man sleeping on the bench. AS backed his car up and left the area as if nothing had happened. AS continued on his way eventually striking a roadsign and knocking it down. Once again he continued on his way. He travelled from Haverhill into Newton, NH where he drove off the road into a ditch. Witnesses had seen his car drive over the bench with the homeless man and called in his registration plate to the police. Other witnesses saw him strike the sign and called that into the police. A BOLO (Be On The Lookout) was put out by the Haverhill Police and picked up by the Newton, NH Police who had discovered AS in his car in the ditch. AS was removed from his car; he had urinated himself; he was arrested for DUI in NH. The Haverhill and Mass. State Police responded to NH to continue their investigation. It was not known if the homeless man on the bench would survive his injuries.

AS was charged with Aggravated DUI in NH (the Aggravatiung circumstance being a high Breath Test reading). In Massachusetts AS was charged with OUI/Negligent Operation Causing Serious Bodily Injury, Two counts of Leaving the Scene Property Damage, Leaving the Scene Personal Injury, two Counts of Aggravated Reckless Assault & Battery by Dangerous Weapon, and a number of civil motor vehicle infractions.

AS retained Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin brought in Associate Counsel to handle the NH piece of the case.

A 35 year old Chelsea man (EM) (a legal permanent resident alien) was involved in a two vehicle collison in Chelsea and fled the scene. The driver of the other vehicle got the plate number and a good look at the vehicle. A neighbor saw the collision and thought he recognized the driver. The police ran the plate and it came back to EM’s wife. The wife told the police that her husband had been operating the car. Based on the wife’s statement the police cited EM for leaving the scene of a property damage accident.Prior to trial Attorney Lewin prepared a marital affidavit for EM’s wife to sign wherein she exercised her marital privilege not to testify against her husband.She signed the affidavit and exercised her marital privilege and refused to testify against her husband. Under the Massachusetts rules of evidence her statement to the police that her husband had been driving was inadmissible at trial. On May 4, 2010 the DA’s Office agreed to dismiss the case prior to trial.