Articles Posted in Leaving the Scene

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.

On Sunday, October 21, 2018 shortly after midnight, CL, a 31 year old male from Beverly, was driving to his home from his girlfriend’s house in Middleton. Suddenly a deer ran in front of his car and he swerved to avoid it. CL swerved across the roadway going across the opposite lane and ran off the road and struck a stone wall and mailbox on private property. CL exited his car, looked at the car and the wall, and walked away, leaving the car there. The police were called to the scene and traced the plate number to CL. The police put out a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) for CL but were unable to locate him. A trip to his home in Beverly came up empty.

The next day, Monday, October 21, 2018, CL walked into the Middleton Police Station and reported that he was in the accident. The officer thanked him (!) and then handed him a citation for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Negligent Operation, and a Marked Lanes Violation. In addition the police reported to the Registry of Motor vehicles that CL was an immediate threat. The Registry several days later suspended CL’s license as an immediate threat.

CL and his father consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin told CL to immediately go to Salem District Court and file the citations to request a “show cause” hearing before a Clerk-Magistrate. Attorney Lewin contacted CL’s insurance company to expedite payment of the landowner’s claims for damages to the wall and the mailbox. Attorney Lewin reached out and spoke with the police prosecutor from Middleton.

On April 22, 2018 RB, a 24 year old sales associate from Wilmington was driving his car on North Street in Tewksbury. He was making the turn from North Street onto Livingston Street when he lost control of the car. He struck and demolished a stone wall and a mailbox. He then left the scene and drove about 400 feet from the scene of the accident where his car could go no further. The whole accident was captured on a security video. The police responded and found RB. At first he told the police that his car had been struck by a hit and run driver but then he admitted that he had struck the wall and the fence.

The police cited RB for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Negligent Operation, Speeding, and Marked Lane violation. RB and his father, several days later, returned to the scene of the accident and went and spoke to the owner of the property where the wall and mailbox had been situated. RB’s father hired a contractor to come in and rebuild the wall and rebuild and replace the mailbox. The work was done within a matter of days.

The owner of the property – luckily for RB – was a very understanding man. He wrote a letter stating that everything had been repaired and that RB had apologized to him and that he sought nothing further from RB.

On July 19, 2018, KL, a 28 year old male data analyst went out with his girlfriend to a restaurant/bar in Newburyport. They ate and had several drinks and then at about 10:30 PM they left the bar and got into KL’s car which was parked in the parking lot. As KL backed up, the rear end of his car came into contact with the rear bumper of another vehicle that was parked in the parking lot. According to the police report there was “minor damage” to the passenger side rear bumper of the parked vehicle. KL got out of his vehicle and walked over to the parked vehicle. There were several witnesses in the parking lot to the entire event. KL then got back into his vehicle and drove away. The police were called and responded. The witnesses told the police what had happened and furnished the registration plate number of KL’s vehicle to the police. From the plate number the police were able to ascertain the owner of the offending vehicle (KL). The police then went into the restaurant/bar and showed the bartender a photo of KL (which the police had obtained on their portable data terminal from the Registry of Motor Vehicles). The bartender immediately identified the picture of KL as a customer who had been in the bar with a woman. The bartender was able to get the credit card charge slip that KL had signed and it bore KL’s name.

The police attempted to speak with KL but were not successful. The police issued a citation for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage collision. KL consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin instructed KL to immediately request a hearing before a Clerk-Magistrate at the Newburyport District Court which KL did. Attorney Lewin was able to obtain a copy of the Police Narrative Report. Attorney Lewin reached out to the police prosecutor to see if a resolution of the case could be reached at the Clerk-Magistrate hearing. On September 7, 2018 KL and Attorney Lewin appeared at the Newburyport District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate hearing. The owner of the struck vehicle was not present. The purpose of a Clerk-Magistrate hearing is for the Clerk to decide whether there is probable cause to issue the complaint. If the Clerk-Magistrate finds no probable cause then no complaint will be issued. If the Clerk-Magistrate finds probable cause then the Clerk-Magistrate may issue the complaint; or the Clerk-Magistrate may, in his or her discretion, continue the hearing for a period of time and at the end of that period of time if there are no reports of any further trouble with the law then the Clerk-Magistrate will dismiss the application for the criminal complaint and not issue the complaint.

At the hearing on September 7, 2018 the notion of an Accord & Satisfaction was discussed. There is a statute in Massachusetts that provides as follows:

On June 5, 2018, AN, a 26 year old nurse from Cambridge, was driving from Methuen to Boston. She came to the Rotary at 110 & 93 in Methuen and was stopped at a red light on Rt. 110. Her foot came off the brake and her car rolled into the back end of the car in front of her. AN and the driver of the other car exited their vehicles. The other driver, a 69 year old man with a short fuse, was incensed that AN had struck his vehicle. AN looked but could not see any damage to the other vehicle. Because they were stopped in a lane of moving traffic the man got back in his car and told AN to pull off the road. The man drove his car to the right side of the road and ultimately into a parking lot.  AN followed but then left the scene without exchanging her information with the other driver. The other driver got her license plate number and reported the accident and the hit and run to the police. The police attempted to reach AN but were not successful. Subsequently AN received a citation for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident.

AN consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the police prosecutor from Methuen and obtained a copy of the police report. Attorney Lewin also immediately requested a hearing by a Clerk-Magistrate of the Court. Getting a hearing is important as it can avoid avoid a criminal complaint from being issued and it then avoids a criminal record and it avoids going in front of a judge.

Attorney Lewin sent the police prosecutor a lengthy letter detailing AN’s background, her education, her occupation as a nurse and he detailed the facts of the alleged “hit and run” and that the reason AN left the scene was she was concerned for her personal safety given the other driver’s behavior.

On May 18, 2017, BT, a 70 year old retired social worker, drove from her home in Winchester into Harvard Square. BT spotted a parking space on the side of the street. She proceeded to pull into the space scraping the entire side of a car already parked on the street. She got out of her car as if nothing had happened and headed across the street to do some shopping. Fortunately or unfortunately – depending on your point of view – a Cambridge Police Officer witnessed the entire episode. The officer approached and asked BT to return to the scene of the accident. BT accompanied the officer and told the officer she had no idea what he was talking about. The officer told BT to look at the damage to the car. Again she repeated that she had done nothing and she had no idea what he was talking about.The officer issued BT a citation for failure to use care and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. BT received a summons to appear in Cambridge District Court (in Medford) for an arraignment. On August 16, 2017 BT appeared in Cambridge District Court and was arraigned and the Judge suggested to BT that it would be in her best interest to hire a lawyer. Her case was continued to September 22, 2017.

BT met with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover. It became immediately apparent to Attorney Lewin that BT was suffering from some mental illness. According to BT the FBI had been following her for 24 years and this interaction with the police in Cambridge was all set up by the FBI. Attorney Lewin obtained all of BT’s car insurance information and then met with the Assistant District Attorney in Cambridge District Court. On September 22, 2017 BT and Attorney Lewin appeared in Cambridge District Court; by agreement the charges against BT were continued generally for 3 months. On December 22, 2017 the charges against BT were dismissed.

A general continuance does not involve any admission of guilt or wrongdoing. It is NOT a plea bargain. The case is simply continued without any admission of guilt and then dismissed. BT was very happy with the result. About a week later BT called Attorney Lewin and went on at length about how the FBI was still out to get her. All Attorney Lewin could do was listen!

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.