Articles Posted in Leaving the Scene

On January 11, 2024, JM, a 20 year old sheet metal worker, was on his way to work at 6:45 in the morning. He was driving on a street in Andover when a Town Forestry truck with a chipper attached pulled in front of him. He braked but could not stop and struck the rear of the chipper. He kept driving and left the scene without stopping and giving his info. Several hours later, after talking the situation over with his father, he drove to the Andover PD and self-reported the accident. The police told him he should have stopped at the scene and they gave him a citation for leaving the scene of an accident! (Only in Andover would the police cite someone who 3 hours after the accident self-reported the accident.)

As a 20 year old driver, JM was facing a substantial loss of license if charged and convicted. JM and his father contacted and hired Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover.  Attorney Lewin advised JM to immediately request a clerk-magistrate hearing which JM did. Attorney Lewin contacted the Andover Police Prosecutor and pointed out that within three hours of the accident JM self-reported the accident and identified himself as the driver of the car. Attorney Lewin did some investigation and it turns out that although there was clearly a collision between JM’s vehicle and the chipper, the chipper had not sustained any damage. One of the elements of the crime of Leaving the Scene (Hit and Run) is that there must be some damage to the other vehicle. JM’s vehicle was damaged, but it turns out that the chipper had sustained no damage. Attorney Lewin was able to get the Town Forestry Assistant Manager to confirm that there was no damager to the chipper. Attorney Lewin notified the Police Prosecutor that there was no damage to the chipper.

On April 25, 2024, JM and Attorney Lewin appeared at Lawrence District Court for the Clerk-Magistrate hearing.  The case was called and JM and Attorney Lewin walked into the hearing room. The Assistant Clerk-Magistrate and the Police Prosecutor were present in the room. It was obvious that the Clerk-Magistrate and the Police Prosecutor had discussed the case. The Clerk-Magistrate turned to Attorney Lewin and said what would you like me to do. Attorney Lewin said dismiss the case. The Clerk-Magistrate then said “I am entering a finding of NO probable cause and NO criminal complaint will be issued. This matter is dismissed” The hearing took about 30 seconds.

On February 21, 2024 AL, a 32 year old social-worker, was pulling out of a parking space at a local Walgreens Pharmacy. She sideswiped the car next to her. She paused and then drove off. This was not captured on video; however, someone in the parking lot saw the accident and wrote down the number plate of her car and called the police and reported the hit and run. The police ran the plate and sent AL (who was the registered owner of the car) a letter requesting (demanding) that she contact the police. AL contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover to represent her. Attorney Lewin told her not to contact the police, and that he would contact the police for her. AL did NOT want to be charged criminally with Leaving the Scene and she was willing to pay the damage to the other vehicle so that she would NOT be surcharged on her insurance.

Attorney Lewin immediately contacted the police and was able to obtain a copy of the police  crash report. Attorney Lewin spoke with the officer who handles the hit and run cases and was successful in negotiating a resolution of the case without AL being charged with any criminal offense. Attorney Lewin contacted the owner of the other car and arranged for AL to pay the owner directly the $800 cost to repair the car without involving the insurance company.

As a result of Attorney Lewin’s handling of the case, AL was NOT charged with hit and run (Leaving the Scene) and she was NOT surcharged on her insurance. (The $800 cost that she had to pay to the owner of the other car was less than the amount her insurance would have increased.) AL was very happy with the result.

On September 19, 2023, BL, a 60 year old nurse from Methuen, went to a store in Haverhill,. As she pulled down the street in the front of the store her passenger side outside mirror struck the driver side outside mirror of a car parked on the street.  All of this was captured on an on street video camera. BL continued down the street a short distance and then parked. BL is then seen walking over to the struck vehicle, looking at it the mirror was hanging down by a wire), and then continuing to the store. She is then seen leaving the store with three other people, walking over to the struck vehicle, and then walking to her vehicle and drive away. She did not offer her information. The incident was reported to the police. The police viewed the video. Her license plate number had been written down by someone at the scene. The police cited BL for leaving the scene of a property damage accident and her case was set down for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing on December 8, 2023.

BL contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin immediately obtained copies of the police report and contacted the Haverhill Police and was able to obtain from the police a copy of the on street video and a copy of the photos of the struck video. BL could not afford to lose her license as she is a private duty nurse who travels everyday from Methuen to Merrimack to care for a patient. A conviction of a hit and run property damage case carries as 60 day loss of license. Attorney Lewin advocated on BL’s behalf with the police to agree to a disposition where BL would not be charged.

The hearing was a zoom hearing. Prior to the hearing Attorney Lewin had obtained and electronically filed at Haverhill District Court a notice that the man whose car had been struck  had been fully compensated for the damage to his vehicle by his insurance company. On December 8, 2023, Attorney Lewin and BL appeared on the zoom along with the Clerk-Magistrate and the Police Prosecutor. Attorney Lewin advocated strenuously to the Clerk-Magistrate not to issue a criminal complaint against BL.

On December 10, 2022, at 4:00 am after a night out with friends, ND, a 25 year old man from Methuen, was driving to his home in Methuen when he struck a parked car in Haverhill. He was able to pull his car into an adjacent parking lot in Haverhill. He then left his car there and walked away from the scene. He called a family member who picked him up in Haverhill and brought him home to Methuen. The police responded to the accident scene. They found ND’s car and ran the plate and it came back to ND. Meanwhile, ND’s family member called the police to report the accident and to report that ND had been driving the car at the time of the accident. The police issued a citation to ND for Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage accident.

ND and his family contacted and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover. Attorney Lewin instructed ND to immediately take the citation and bring it to Haverhill District Court to request a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing. Attorney Lewin explained to ND that a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing is an opportunity to “kill the case” before it goes to a criminal complaint. ND immediately brought the citation to Haverhill District Court and requested a hearing.

Attorney Lewin contacted ND’s insurance company to make sure that the owner of the parked car had been paid for the damage (total) to his car. This is important as the Clerk-Magistrate will want to know if the “victim” has been fully compensated for his loss. Attorney Lewin was able to get written confirmation of payment from the insurance company. Attorney Lewin also ran a copy of ND’s driver history and it was clean. This is important as the police will give the Clerk-Magistrate a copy of the driver history at the hearing and it is important to know ahead of time what it shows. In addition, Attorney Lewin ran ND’s criminal history and it only showed one minor criminal case that had been dismissed seven years previously. Attorney Lewin also reached out to the Haverhill Police Prosecutor to discuss a resolution of the case that would not involve the issuance of a criminal complaint against ND.

On September 30, 2022 TK was driving his large pick-up truck in Haverhill. He was behind a woman who was talking on her cell phone and driving very slowly. TK got upset with her and began to tailgate her. Finally the woman – who was still on her phone – pulled to the right to let him pass. As he passed her, his truck struck the side of her car. He did not stop. The woman was able to get his license plate and immediately called the police. TK drove to his home in another town. The Haverhill Police had the police in the other town go to TK’s house. There the police spoke to TK. He denied striking the woman’s car. The police examined TK’s truck and did not notice any damage consistent with a collision. The police did notice that the tires on TK’s truck were large and that the truck body was elevated and that it was quite likely that the tires struck the lady’s car. The Haverhill Police then charged TK with leaving the scene of a property damage accident. TK was summonsed to appear in Court for an arraignment.

TK consulted with and retained Attorney Robert Lewin from Andover to represent him. TK absolutely denied that he KNEW that there had been a collision. One of the things that the state must prove in a leaving the scene case (hit and run) is that the offender KNEW that there had been in a collision. In this case it appeared that the tire of TK’s truck had struck the other vehicle. That would lend credibility to TK’s assertion that he did not know that there was a collision.

Attorney Lewin spoke with the Assistant District Attorney (the prosecutor) and explained that TK did not know that there had been a collision. After some negotiating between the Assistant DA and Attorney Lewin, the Assistant DA agreed to continue the case generally for 1 year and then dismiss it. A general continuance of a case is not a plea bargain. With a general continuance there is no guilty plea and no admission of any guilt or wrongdoing. The case is simply left open for a period of time and then dismissed. Attorney Lewin refers to a general continuance as a dismissal that takes a little time to get there.

On September 17, 2021 LP, a 70 year old woman, was driving in Medfield. She came to an intersection and stopped. There was a pedestrian cross walk in front of her. She looked to her right and saw two girls standing on the sidewalk. According to the Medfield Police Department report the girls stated they were waiting at the crosswalk to go across the street. The girls stated LP’s car was stopped at the crosswalk and the driver waived the girls to go ahead to cross the street. The girls stated that as they walked in front of the car they heard the engine start up and the car pulled ahead, striking one of the girls so that she fell onto the hood of the car. The girls then said the driver shrugged her shoulders and drove away. The girls got the plate number of the car.

The police located the car just down the street; it was parked. LP was in the driver’s seat. LP told the police that she did not strike either of the girls. LP said she saw the girls to her right and they were just standing there. LP looked to her left to see if she could pull into the traffic. LP wanted to make a right turn at the intersection. A truck driver approaching from her left waived LP out. LP then proceeded ahead. LP then saw one of the girls in front of her car and immediately hit the brake. LP denied striking the girl.

The police gave LP a citation for leaving the scene after causing personal injury. LP had a relationship with a large Boston Law firm that was doing some civil law work for her. The firm referred LP to Attorney Robert Lewin of Andover. LP consulted with and hired Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin immediately advised LP to take the citation and request a clerk-magistrate hearing at Dedham District Court. LP did that. Attorney Lewin then contacted LP’s insurance company to see if any personal injury claim had been filed against LP by the girl who claimed to have been hit by LP. Attorney Lewin learned from her insurance company that no claim had been filed. Attorney Lewin also immediately obtained the police reports. Attorney Lewin investigated to see if there were any video cameras that may have captured this incident; there were not.

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.

Contact Information