Articles Posted in Hit and Run Cases

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.