Articles Posted in Hit and Run Cases

On January 11, 2022, DC, a 23 year old laborer from Methuen, was driving home in his large pick-up truck. He drifted across the road and collided head on into a small car headed in the opposite direction. DC did not stop but kept on driving towards his home. DC pulled into the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lived. Within minutes the police arrived. DC admitted that he had hit the other vehicle and fled the scene. The police cited DC for a marked lanes violation and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. DC met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover to represent him.

Attorney Lewin contacted DC’s insurance company to make certain that the insurance company promptly paid any claims made by the owner of the other vehicle (a young woman). Attorney Lewin met with the Assistant District Attorney to negotiate a settlement of the case. DC did not want to lose his license. If the case were to end up with a guilty finding DC would have lost his license for a minimum of 60 days. Attorney Lewin was successful in getting the District Attorney to agree to continue the case without a finding for six months; a continuance without a finding would NOT involve any loss of license.

On June 14, 2022 DC and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court. The Judge after hearing from the Assistant District Attorney and Attorney Lewin agreed to continue DC’s case without a finding for six months to December 14, 2022. As long as DC stays out of trouble for those six months, the case will be dismissed on December 14, 2022 and DC will NOT suffer any loss of his license. In addition, because Attorney Lewin had contacted the insurance company early on, Attorney Lewin was able to furnish the District Attorney and the judge with proof that DC’s insurance company had fully paid for the damage to the other vehicle; as a result, the Judge ordered that DC did NIOT have to pay any restitution.

On September 3, 2021, SA, a 34 year old certified nursing assistant from Methuen, was driving on Chelmsford Street in Methuen when she rear ended the car in front of her. She stopped for a moment and then fled the scene and drove home. The operator of the other vehicle was able to get the license plate number of SA’s car. The police responded to the accident scene and spoke to the driver of the vehicle that was struck and obtained from her the license plate number of SA’s car. The police ran the plate and learned SA’s address and then drove to SA’s home where they saw the car and spoke with SA. SA admitted her involvement and the police issued her a criminal citation for leaving the scene of a property damage accident. SA took the citation and brought it to Lawrence District Court to request a hearing. SA then looked for a lawyer and consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover.

Attorney Lewin contacted SA’s insurance company to make certain that the claim for the property damage to the other vehicle would be covered. Subsequently, Attorney Lewin obtained written confirmation from the insurance company that the claim would be paid. Attorney Lewin also spoke to the Methuen Police Prosecutor and advocated for the case to be settled at the Clerk-Magistrate hearing without a criminal complaint being issued against SA. On October 14, 2021 SA and Attorney Lewin appeared at Lawrence District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. The Clerk-Magistrate was concerned that there was no input from the driver of the other car or her attorney. The Clerk-Magistrate suggested that he was willing to not issue a criminal complaint but wanted input from the driver of the other car or her attorney. The hearing was continued for a month. Attorney Lewin contacted the lawyer for the driver of the other car and was able to get a written statement from him that both he (the lawyer) and  his client (the driver of the car that SA struck) had no objection to the Clerk-Magistrate NOT issuing a criminal complaint against SA.

On November 18, 2021 SA and Attorney Lewin appeared again at Lawrence District Court. Attorney Lewin presented the written confirmation from the Attorney for the other driver that they had no objection to the Clerk-Magistrate not issuing the complaint. The Clerk-Magistrate then DENIED the police application for the criminal complaint and the matter was dismissed.

On September 24, 2020 MB, a 21 year old woman from Haverhill, was driving in Haverhill when she collided into another vehicle being driven on the road. The other driver stopped but MB panicked and left the scene of the accident without stopping. Unfiortunatedly for MB her front license plate had fallen off her car at the accident scene. The police responded to the accident scene, found the plate, ran the plate, and learned that the plate belonged to a vehicle registered to MB. The police then went to MB’s home and found MB’s car still warm and with fresh front end damage. The police went to the door and MB came to the door. MB at first told the police that the other driver had fled the scene and MB had placed the accident at a different location. When the police confronted MB that her license plate was found at the scene provided by the other driver MB confessed. The police issued MB a citation for leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

MB consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin made certain that the citation would be set up for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. A Clerk-Magistrate Hearing is an opportunity to settle the case before a criminal complaint is issued. Attorney Lewin contacted MB’s insurance company to make certain that the property damage claim filed by the other driver was paid. Attorney Lewin also spoke with the Haverhill Police Prosecutor and advocated with the prosecutor for NO criminal complaint to be issued against MB. MB was working full time as a CNA (certified nursing assistant) and she was attending a Community College to become a registered nurse. She had no criminal record and it was important to her to avoid being charged with a criminal offense.

On March 12, 2021 MB and Attorney Lewin appeared at Haverhill District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin advocated for the Clerk-Magistrate to NOT issue a criminal complaint against MB. The Clerk-Magistrate then announced that he was going to continue the hearing for six months to September 10, 2021 and that if MB had no further law violations then the Clerk-Magistrate would deny the application for criminal complaint and NO criminal complaint would be issued against MB.

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.

On July 1, 2020 a homeowner in Byfield, MA heard a loud crash outside her home. She went outside and observed an SVU pulling away from a utility pole. The pole was badly damaged. The SUV left the scene. She called the police and they found a number of parts from the SUV at the scene. Over the next few weeks the police did an investigation and they identified the parts as coming from a particular year and make of vehicle. A search of the RMV data base showed such a vehicle registered to JW who lived not far from the accident scene. It took several weeks and when they got to JW’s house they found the SUV – with no damage at all on it. A search of auto repair shops showed that the SUV had been brought in to a particular shop and had had repairs made to it – repairs that were consistent with the accident. A check with JW’s insurance company showed that they had paid for the damages to the SUV. The police went to speak with JW but he said nothing o them – absolutely nothing. He exercised his right to remain silent and would not answer one question. (Smart guy.) The police cited JW with Leaving the Scene and Failing to File a Police Report of an Accident and issued him a citation. JW called Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin advised JW to immediately file the citation at Newburyport District Court and request a Clerk-Magistrate hearing.

JW retained Attorney Robert Lewin. (As it turns out JW had had Attorney Lewin represent him previously in another hit & run case which Attorney Lewin won.) Attorney Lewin immediately identified two problems with the police case against JW.

First: The leaving the scene charge requires the police to prove that JW was driving the car at the time of the accident.  From the evidence the police had, the police could establish probable cause that it was JW’s vehicle that was involved in the accident. But that is not enough. They had to prove that JW was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. There was no evidence of this.

DE, a 35 year old woman from Lowell, was cited by the State Police for a Hit and Run on Route 495 in Andover. On November 6, 2019, after leaving a bar/restaurant in Andover, she headed onto Rt. 495 South from Route 28 in Andover. At the same time a tractor trailer unit was headed south on Rt. 495. The driver of the truck observed her. The State Police report states: “[The truck driver] stated that she lost control and turned sideways. He then stated she appeared to regain control and continued onto the highway crashing into the side of his vehicle as he was traveling in the first travel lane. [The truck driver] advised that he could see that the passengers mirror was hanging from the drivers side as the vehicle fled the scene.” DE was subsequently identified as the operator of her vehicle at the time of the hit and run and on November 11, 2019 DE was issued a citation by the State Police for Leaving the Scene of a Property damage accident.

DE knew Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover as he had successfully defended her in 2013 against a charge of operating after suspension of her license. DE immediately contacted Attorney Lewin and retained him.

Attorney Lewin went over to Lawrence District Court and immediately filed a request for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin checked the papers in the Clerk-Magistrate’s Office to see if the State Police had filed their copy of the Citation along with an Application for Criminal Complaint for the Hit and Run against DE. Under a little known statute (although well known to Attorney Lewin) the police have six business days to file their copy of the citation along with their application for a criminal complaint in the Clerk-Magistrate’s Office of the Court. Failure to do so is a defense. Attorney Lewin discovered that the police had not filed their paperwork. Attorney Lewin kept checking with the Clerk-Magistrate and it was not until November 25, 2019 that the police finally filed their copy of the citation along with their Application for Criminal Complaint against DE. This was 9 business days (exclude Saturdays, Sundays, and Thanksgiving Day). DE’s case was set up for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing.

On Saturday morning March 2, 2019 at about 2:30 am,  DE, a 48 year old plasterer from Malden, was arrested for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident and for Failing to Identify Himself. The police responded to a one car accident on Rt. 99 in Malden. A work van full of plastering equipment was found by the police up against a utility pole. The entire front end of the van was crashed in and both front airbags had deployed. No one was in the van. The keys were still in the ignition. The police ran the license plate and the registered owner was DE who lived near the accident scene. It was 2:30 in the morning. The police got an anonymous tip that a man wearing a gray sweater was seen leaving the van and heading up the street on foot toward the street where DE lived. The police drove up the street and located DE walking. He was drunk; he was covered in plaster; and he was walking toward his home. The police asked DE to identify himself and he refused. He demanded to know why the police were stopping him. The police told him his van was wrapped around a pole and he said F___ you to the officer. The police arrested DE. He refused to say anything to the police. He refused to admit the van was his; he refused to admit that he was driving; he said NOTHING. DE was brought to the police station and again he refused to say anything. He was put in a cell and at about two in the afternoon he finally got bailed out. On Monday, March 4, 2019 DE went to Malden Court and was arraigned.

DE called Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. DE was quite familiar with Attorney Lewin as Attorney Lewin had successfully defended DE against a charge of Drunk Driving 2nd Offense that had been brought against DE by the Gloucester Police in June of 2018. That case went to a jury trial on November 28, 2018 and on November 29, 2018 DE was found NOT guilty. (To read about that case see the entry on this website dated December 4, 2018).

In any event Attorney Lewin prepared the case for trial and noted that the Commonwealth would have trouble proving that DE was driving the van at the time of the accident. The District Attorney had numerous documents from the Registry of Motor Vehicles; but Attorney Lewin noticed that the documents were not properly certified. Attorney Lewin kept that little tidbit of information to himself.

On May 31, 2019 QN, a 19 year old male, was driving home to his Mother’s house in Andover when he lost control of his car and crashed into two parked vehicles. It was about 2:30 AM. QN got out of his car and looked around. All the homes in the neighborhood were dark. QN called his father who lives in Peabody. The father told him to wait at the scene and that the father would drive up from Peabody. QN waited and about 30 minutes later his father arrived. The father called for a tow truck and the father brought QN to QN’s mother’s house which was just around the corner.  The father then returned to the scene. The tow truck arrived but told the father that the car could not be towed because the car came to rest on private property (the front lawn of a house). The tow truck driver called the police and the police responded. The police arrived and asked the father what  happened. The father told the police that his son had been driving and lost control and that the father had brought the son to his mother’s house. The police went to the mother’s house and rang the doorbell but no one responded. The police charged QN with Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. The police charged the father with Misleading a Police Officer.

Father and son met with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin pointed out that he did not believe that any law had been broken!

The hit and run law requires that when a driver is involved in a collision he must stop at the scene and “make known his name, residence, and the register number of his motor vehicle”. The law requires that the information be given “to the person whose property was damaged, if reasonably possible, and if not, to someone acting in their interest or to some public officer or to some other person at or near the place at the time of the damage.” QN had remained at the scene for 30 minutes. All of his information was known to his father and as soon as the police arrived the father told the police his son’s name and residence address. The registration plate was on the car and plainly visible to the police. Attorney Lewin pointed out to QN that he only left the scene AFTER he had made known what happened to his father and that he therefore had substantially complied with the requirements of the law.

On March 29, 2019 MM, a 54 year old technician from Wilmington, appeared in Lowell District Court with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, for a Clerk-Magistrate’s Hearing on a charge of Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. After a full hearing the Clerk-Magistrate dismissed the application for criminal complaint and no criminal complaint was issued against MM.

On April 3, 2019 DL, a 38 year old waitress from Gloucester, appeared in Gloucester District Court with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing on a charge of Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. After a full hearing the Clerk-Magistrate continued the hearing for six months and ordered that the application for criminal complaint would be dismissed at the end of the six months provided DL stayed out of trouble. The Clerk also ordered that DL would not have to return to court on the six month date.

As a result of these dispositions it should be noted:

On December 19, 2018 Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover appeared in Newburyport District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing on an application for a criminal complaint that had been filed by the Rowley Police against KX, a 23 year old male laborer, who had left the scene of two accidents in the early morning hours of October 14, 2018. For the fifth time in the last three months Attorney Lewin was successful in getting a leaving the scene of property damage case dismissed. (Salem District Court on December 16, 2018, Lowell District Court on November 16, 2018, Newburyport District Court on September 7, 2018, and Lawrence District Court on September 20, 2018. All these other cases are reported elsewhere in this blog site.)

On October 14, 2018 KX was driving his pickup truck from a friend’s house in Amesbury to his apartment in Beverly.  It was around 1:00 AM. As KX was travelling southerly on Rt. 1A in Rowley he entered a turn in the road but took the turn too widely. His truck traveled over the curb and smashed two large wooden planters and a mailbox set atop a concrete post. KX then went across the road dropping wooden debris from the back of his pick up all over the road. A car coming the other way ran over the debris and was damaged. KX decided not to stop and continued to his apartment. When he pulled into the parking area at his apartment he struck his landlord’s truck but did not report that either and went directly into his apartment. Unfortunately for KX he dropped his front bumper and license plate at the scene of the original accident. The Rowley Police were called to the scene of the original accident, found the license plate, ran the plate, and then had the Beverly Police go to KX’s apartment where they found KX’s truck and his landlord’s truck. KX spoke with the Beverly Police and admitted to them that he had been in the two accidents and had failed to stay at the scene. The next day the Rowley Police issued a citation to KX for two counts of Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. Each count carries a jail sentence of between 2 weeks and 2 years.

KX’s parents contacted, met with, and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover, MA. Attorney Lewin told them that it was imperative that KX take the citation and hand deliver it to the Newburyport District Court to request a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing immediately. KX did that. Attorney Lewin then reached out to the Rowley Police and spoke with them in an attempt to get them to agree to resolve the case at the Clerk-Magistrate hearing without a criminal complaint being issued against KX.  Attorney Lewin also reached out to KX’s insurance company to get assurance from the insurance company that the insurance company would pay for the damages caused.

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