Hit & Run Charge Set For Dismissal; Misleading A Police Officer Charge Dismissed

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.

The father was charged by the police with misleading a police officer. But the father had done no such thing. Everything the father told the police was true. The police were aggravated that the father had removed his son from the scene. The police wanted to see and talk to the son at that time to see if the son had been drinking or was impaired by drugs. Because the father had removed QN from the scene the police were denied that opportunity.

On August 1, 2019 the father and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for a Clerk-Magistrate Hearing on the application for a criminal complaint that the Andover Police had filed against the father for misleading a police officer. The officer read the report and Attorney Lewin told tge Assistant Clerk-Magistrate that the report was true and that everything that the father told the police was true. Attorney Lewin argued that there was absolutely NO evidence that the father had mislead the police. The Clerk-Magistrate agreed and denied the police application for a criminal complaint against the father. NO complaint issued against the father. NO criminal record was created against the father.

On August 26, 2019 QN and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court for QN’s arraignment. Attorney Lewin had met with an Assistant District Attorney before the arraignment date and explained that in Attorney Lewin’s opinion QN had not broken the law. After some negotiations the District Attorney agreed to generally continue QN’s case for 6 months to be dismissed at the end of the six months. A general continuance is NOT a plea bargain. There is NO guilty plea and NO “admission to sufficient facts”. QN’s plea of NOT guilty remains in full force and effect during the six month continuance. On February 26, 2020 the charge of Leaving the Scene against QN will be dismissed. As a result of this disposition QN will NOT be convicted of any crime and he will NOT lose his license.

Both QN and his father were very happy with the way Attorney Lewin aggressively attacked the cases and with the way Attorney Lewin had advocated for them.