Monday, May 7, 2018

Another Motion Hearing Victory for Dennis Melowski Leads to Complete Dismissal of OWI-3rd/PAC-3rd Case (with .21 Breath Test Result)

AW was called in by an anonymous caller who reported that she was "stumbling" as she got into her car and left a club she had been at. Officers in neighboring jurisdictions were told to be on the lookout for a vehicle matching the description the caller provided, including all but one digit of a license plate number. After observing what he believed was the suspected vehicle, an officer began following it. Since this was an "anonymous call," this officer knew that he would have to make independent observations of suspicious or unsafe driving to justify a traffic stop. After following AW's vehicle for several blocks, he noted that she was traveling approximately 20 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. Despite observing no other problems with her driving, the officer decided to stop AW for the traffic offense of Obstructing Traffic By Slow Speed. After further roadside investigation, AW was arrested for drunk driving, unfortunately for the third time. A breath test at the police department revealed an alcohol level of .21.

 Dennis Melowski knew that AW had a very good issue in her case the first time he spoke to her. Why? Because he knew that she had likely not committed the traffic violation for which she was stopped. You see, if an officer stops you for an improper or insufficient reason, it doesn't matter what he discovers about you after the fact. If the initial traffic stop is unlawful, all of the evidence the officer gathers after that gets thrown out, including the results of any field sobriety tests or the results of any breath or blood tests. In short, if Dennis could convince the judge that AW should not have been stopped in the first place, her case would end up being dismissed for lack of evidence.

So Dennis carefully crafted his strategy to execute this plan. It started with questioning the officer at AW's DOT suspension hearing, during which Dennis got the officer to admit that despite traveling at a speed 10 MPH below the posted limit, AW's slow speed did not actually obstruct traffic because there was no other traffic present! Simply driving below the speed limit, even significantly so, is not in and of itself a traffic violation. Other traffic actually has to be obstructed by this slow speed for the offense to be committed. Moreover, AW was traveling on a four-lane road, further decreasing the risk of obstructing other vehicles. In light of the officer's testimony at the suspension hearing, Dennis filed a motion to suppress with the judge and a hearing was held. It was at this hearing that Dennis really did his damage to the State's case because the officer took the stand and severely contradicted his previous testimony at the DOT hearing, something that does not sit well with Dennis. Dennis pointed out each and every inconsistency in the officer's concocted testimony, so much so that the officer left the stand with zero credibility. More importantly, the judge saw through the officer's dubious testimony and quickly ruled in his favor. Based on the judge's ruling, ALL of the State's evidence against AW was thrown out and ALL charges against her were dismissed. It was the best possible result for AW and she is one EXTREMELY happy client.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Back to Back Motion Hearing Victories for Dennis Melowski Result in Complete Dismissal of Two OWI-2nd Cases

Case #1: Complete Dismissal of OWI-2nd/PAC-2nd (with .142 Blood Test Result)

Dennis Melowski knew something wasn't right with this case the first time he read the police report. The officer who arrested SH had seen very few signs of impairment prior to having SH submit to a roadside preliminary breath test (PBT), the result of which was the only thing that led to SH being arrested for drunk driving, unfortunately for the second time. In Wisconsin, the law requires an officer to have "probable cause to believe" a person is impaired by alcohol in order to justify administering a PBT. Dennis believed that the officer simply didn't have grounds to give SH the PBT, given how well he had performed on the field sobriety tests. Dennis filed a motion with the judge asking for the PBT to be thrown out, along with all the other evidence the officer gathered after the PBT was illegally administered to his client, including the .142 blood test result. After a contested hearing in which Dennis had an opportunity to cross-examine the officer and expose all of the weaknesses of his investigation, the judge agreed with Dennis and threw out all of the evidence against SH. Given the judge's ruling, the district attorney's office had no choice but to dismiss all charges against SH. It was the best result he could have possibly hoped for.

Case #2: Complete Dismissal of OWI-2nd/PAC-2nd (with .154 Blood Test Result)

Dennis' victory at this particular motion hearing was extremely satisfying because it was the result of perhaps his most devastatingly effective cross-examination of an officer in his career. Dennis had filed a motion challenging the initial stop of DC's vehicle, along with a motion challenging the summoning of a K-9 unit to search DC's car for drugs. When Dennis questioned the arresting officer at the motion hearing, he was able to get him to admit to several untruths during his testimony. The officer became so concerned that Dennis would expose other areas of his very questionable testimony that he simply began to agree with everything Dennis needed to ensure his motions would be granted, which the judge did in very short order. It was one of the most surreal experiences of Dennis' career. After the judge granted Dennis' motions, the prosecutor immediately dismissed all charges against DC. He walked out of the courtroom completely exonerated! 

By the way, as soon as we receive the transcript of Dennis' cross-examination from this hearing, we will be posting it right here, so be sure to check back in a few weeks. You won't believe what you will read. But you will see why this firm's courtroom excellence is without peer.   

Thursday, March 1, 2018

12 More Clients Avoid Drunk Driving Convictions in Counties Around the State

When we say we handle cases all over Wisconsin, we mean it. In just the past few months, our statewide reputation for excellence has allowed our clients to avoid drunk driving convictions in all of the following counties : Winnebago, Waukesha, Eau Claire, Green Lake, Outagamie, Sheboygan, Racine and Vilas. Here are their outstanding results:

Case #1: Jury Finds Client NOT GUILTY in OWI-1st/PAC-1st Case

Our client was pulled over for for going 88 MPH in a 70 MPH zone; failed the FST's (at least according to the officer); and had a .09 blood test result. Through a withering cross-examination of the arresting officer, and an even more damaging cross-examination of the lab analyst (a supervisor, no less), Dennis damaged the credibility of the State's case so significantly that the jury had little difficulty returning NOT GUILTY verdicts for his client.

Case #2: OWI-3rd/PAC-3rd/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Reckless Driving

This case is the perfect example of the lengths to which our firm will go to accomplish our clients' goals. SK came to us charged with her third drunk driving offense. By closely examining the court records from her second offense years earlier, Dennis found a way to successfully attack that prior conviction. By doing that, SK's first offense became too old to count, which meant Dennis was able to have the OWI-3rd reduced to just an OWI-1st. While most attorneys would be thrilled with such an outcome, Dennis kept fighting the case because he knew his client did not want to be convicted of drunk driving. Through months of continued litigation and negotiation, Dennis was able to get the prosecutor to reduce the OWI to a simple Reckless Driving ticket and SK avoided a drunk driving conviction altogether. If you are speaking with other attorneys about representation for your drunk driving case, please ask them to tell you about the last time they were able to achieve a result like this. And make them be specific.

Case #3: ALL Charges Dismissed in OWI-1st/RCS-1st/Possession of THC Case

KJ was facing several serious drug-related driving charges, as well as criminal charges for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. After going through the squad video evidence with a fine-tooth comb, Dennis Melowski discovered that KJ was subjected to an unconstitutional detention while a K-9 unit was summoned to the scene to search his vehicle. In short, at the time the K-9 unit was called, the officer who stopped KJ did not have probable cause to detain him for anything. Dennis filed a motion with the judge arguing this very point. After a contested hearing in which all of the officers involved testified, Dennis was able to convince the judge that he was right. The judge granted Dennis' motion and all of the evidence against KJ was thrown out. As a result, all of the charges were dismissed as if they never happened in the first place.

Case #4: Complete Dismissal of OWI-3rd/PAC-3rd Charges for CDL Client

This is another fantastic result for one of Dennis' many CDL clients. CG was charged with his third OWI. As he does in every case like this, Dennis closely examined whether there was any way to challenge one of CG's prior OWI convictions, which would substantially reduce the penalties CG was exposed to. After much leg work, Dennis found a significant problem with CG's second conviction from out of state. Dennis filed the appropriate motion and a hearing was held where the judge agreed with Dennis that CG's second offense should not be counted. This resulted in CG's first offense being too old to count. Thanks to Dennis' hard work, CG now found himself facing only an OWI-1st instead of an OWI-3rd. But because CG was a CDL holder, he had to avoid a drunk driving conviction altogether, even if it was just a first offense. After months of continued litigation, the judge dismissed the OWI-1st charges as well. NO DRUNK DRIVING CONVICTION. CG's job was saved and he is one of the most grateful clients we have ever had.

Case #5: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .142 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets for CDL Client

CL was referred to Dennis Melowski by a former sheriff's deputy Dennis had a jury trial with years ago. Cops have a very good sense for who the very best defense attorneys are because they have an opportunity to see their skill level first-hand in court. This particular retired deputy has referred several clients to Dennis over the years and Dennis has never disappointed. And CL's case was no different. Despite some very difficult facts, including a serious accident and a blood test well above the legal limit, Dennis was able to expose enough problems in the case to convince the District Attorney that a conviction on the original charges was in jeopardy. Dennis was able to negotiate a fantastic resolution: the OWI and PAC charges were dropped in exchange for CL pleading no contest to the minor traffic offenses of Inattentive Driving and Deviation from Designated Lane. CL never lost his license for even a single day and his CDL remained fully intact. He was VERY happy with this result.

Case #6: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Inattentive Driving for CDL Client

Yes, ANOTHER of our CDL clients avoided a drunk driving conviction in this case. BF had put his truck in the ditch on a snowy night. He walked to a nearby home for assistance and the police were promptly notified by the homeowner. BF failed the field sobriety tests and (allegedly) refused to submit to a breath test. Admittedly, not the greatest hand to be dealt in a drunk driving case. But after much negotiation with a prosecutor against whom Dennis has had much success over the years, an outstanding resolution was reached. The OWI and Refusal charges were dropped in exchange for a no contest plea to Inattentive Driving, a minor traffic offense. Another commercial driver's career saved.

Case #7: Complete Dismissal Of Refusal Charge in OWI-3rd Case

This is a follow-up to a previous entry on our Real Results Tracker from June of 2017. Last June, Dennis took CR's case to a jury trial in Waukesha County and won not guilty verdicts for charges of OWI-3rd/PAC-3rd and Operating with Restricted controlled Substance-3rd. It was a complete exoneration by the jury for CR. But there was still a charge of Refusal of Chemical Test that had to be decided by the judge. After extensive briefing, the judge ruled in CR's favor and dismissed the Refusal charge, the last charge remaining. Another complete exoneration for CR, who walked out of this case with literally no conviction for anything. It was a complete and utter victory across the board. As we have said repeatedly, if you are considering another firm for representation in your drunk driving case, ask them the last time they took a case like this to trial and won it. And also won the Refusal hearing. Make them be specific. Their dancing around the question will tell you all you need to know.

Case #8: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Reckless Driving

This was a case that Dennis was able to resolve so successfully because of the case he won this past summer in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. By crafting a creative legal argument based largely on that decision and extending it to the facts of BE's case, Dennis convinced the prosecutor that he would not be able to prevail at a refusal hearing, which would in turn significantly jeopardize his chances for conviction on the OWI charge as well. Rather than risk a complete loss, the prosecutor agreed to drop the OWI and Refusal charges in exchange for a no contest plea to Reckless Driving. BE paid a fine, but otherwise suffered no consequences. Most importantly, he avoided becoming a convicted drunk driver.

Case #9: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Operating Left of Center

Very few attorneys know the intricacies of Wisconsin's drunk driving laws as well as ours. Even fewer have the litigation skill necessary to leverage that knowledge into truly outstanding results for their clients. GH's case is a great example of the benefits of hiring a law firm that truly is at the very top of its field. GH came to Dennis with very difficult facts, especially as they related to his refusal of chemical test charge. However, by exploiting a mistake the officer made in the preparation and service of an important document, Dennis created a crack in the case that soon became a giant hole. Dennis was able to use this to negotiate a dismissal of the OWI and Refusal Charges in exchange for a no contest plea to Operating Left of Center, a very minor traffic offense. GH could not possibly be happier with this outcome.

Case #10: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .17 Breath Test Result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Offenses for Commercial Truck Driver

Persistence pays off. That is definitely the moral of CK's case. After litigating this case for more than 18 months, Dennis finally convinced the prosecutor to give his client, an over-the-road truck driver for a major trucking outfit, the deal of a lifetime. Although CK had a breath test result that was more than two times the legal limit, Dennis had significantly undermined the credibility of the arresting officer at a contested municipal court trial. After Dennis had the case transferred to circuit court, the prosecutor realized that the damage Dennis had done to the officer in municipal court was a serious threat to his case. As a result, he agreed to drop the drunk driving charges in exchange for pleas of no contest to two minor traffic offenses: Inattentive driving and Deviation from Lane. Aside from paying fines, CK suffered no consequences and his CDL remains fully intact. Another EXTREMELY satisfied client.

Case #11: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .11 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

This fantastic result was achieved on the eve of MP's jury trial, in a county that is notoriously aggressive in pursuing drunk driving convictions. The prosecutor had already witnessed Dennis do significant damage to his case at a previous motion hearing and he feared the same thing would happen in front of the jury. Rather than risk losing, and embarrassing his officers, he gave Dennis what he wanted: no drunk driving charge. Needless to say, MP was thrilled.

Case #12: OWI-2nd/PAC-2nd (with .15 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle

If we told you the facts of this case you would not believe that this result was able to be achieved. Suffice it to say, they were very bad, particularly the video evidence. Nevertheless, Dennis was able to leverage an issue regarding the blood analysis into a truly remarkable result. Dennis' client avoided a drunk driving conviction and the case was resolved with a conviction for an offense that won't even appear on his driver record. A real result indeed. 



Friday, October 27, 2017

Fantastic Results for Three of Attorney Murray's Clients

Case #1: Operating With Detectable Amount of Restricted Controlled Substance-Second Offense Completely Dismissed

JR was pulled over for speeding around 9:30 PM on a Saturday while driving three friends home from a night out. She informed the officer that she was the designated driver and that she had not been drinking. The officer then had JR step out of the vehicle to blow a preliminary breath test (PBT). The first PBT did not register. The officer then questioned JR again if she was not drinking and now JR admitted that she had consumed alcohol. The PBT resulted in a "quick reading" that confirmed JR had been drinking. The officer then put JR through field sobriety tests, which she allegedly failed and another PBT was administered, which gave a result of .085 g/210L. JR was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)-Second Offense and a blood test returned a result of .07 g/100mL.

While prosecutors can choose to move forward on an OWI charge with a .07 result, it is much easier to work out an amendment to a lesser ticket in these situations. In spite of this, what many people do not realize is that if law enforcement does not like the result of the blood test, they can test your blood again for drugs, which is what happened in JR's case. The bigger problem is that any detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance is enough to prosecute someone as if it were an OWI. Unfortunately for JR, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC was found in her blood and the prosecution would not agree to amend the charge. On the other hand, JR hired Attorney Matthew Murray who successfully argued that the officer did not have the requisite reasonable suspicion or probable cause to extend the stop for the first PBT.

The real key to this was getting the officer to admit at the motion hearing that he never observed any of the typical signs of intoxication from JR--i.e., bloodshot eyes, odor of intoxicants, slurred speech, etc. Knowing how to cross-examine an officer is essential for these types of cases. In fact, at the motion hearing, the officer stated that the only reason he gave JR a PBT was to confirm whether she was telling the truth about drinking. It would be an enormous encroachment on our Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures if an officer could simply administer a PBT to anyone to see if they were telling the truth about drinking. Case dismissed. Happy client.

Case #2: OWI/PAC-First Offense with .14 and Horrible Facts Amended to Reckless Driving.

KB was in a difficult position. A deputy found her asleep in the driver seat of her vehicle on the side of a county highway. The deputy had to knock several times and yell before KB awoke. The deputy alleged that there was a strong odor of intoxicants coming from KB and that her eyes were bloodshot and glassy. She told the deputy that as she was driving home she felt too drunk so she pulled over. The officer took KB's driver's license back to his car and when he returned, KB was vomiting inside her car and on herself. KB then allegedly failed the field sobriety tests and submitted to an Intoximeter test resulting in .14. Not good. 

However, after reviewing hours of recordings and ferreting through police reports, Attorney Murray observed in the video of the Intoximeter room that the deputy used hand sanitizer immediately before handling the mouthpiece where KB was to blow. In fact, the deputy used so much that he had to use a napkin to wipe up the excess sanitozer that landed on the desk. While Attorney Murray filed several motions, a challenge to the admissibility of the Intoximeter test result was the breaking point and an amendment to Reckless driving was given.

Believe it or not, many attorneys do not bother getting the Intoximeter room recordings. KB sure is glad she hired an attorney who did.

Case #3: OWI-First Offense Amended to Inattentive Driving

AN was arrested and blew a .09 on a PBT at the scene. However, her blood test returned a result of .078. As noted above in JR's case, many prosecutors will still decide to move forward with these prosecutions and that could very well have happened here as AN had admitted to drinking, failed the standard field sobriety tests and also failed an alphabet test. This, however, would have been something we would have fought all the way. Knowing this, the prosecutor offered to amend the matter to a citation for Reckless Driving. This was rejected by the defense and the case ultimately settled with the lesser citation for Inattentive Driving. Another great result.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Third Offense with mandatory 45 days jail dropped to First Offense with no jail

TH's first two offenses were in 1993 and 1995. Unfortunately, after 22 years of being a model citizen, she was recently arrested for a third offense and was now facing between 45 days and 1-year jail and all the other enhanced penalties that come along with a third offense.

After pouring over the discovery, Attorney Murray was able to find an attack on TH's 1995 offense. TH offered to plead to a first offense if the prosecution would concede the argument but the District Attorney's Office refused.

*A second offense committed more than 10 years after the first offense is considered another first offense. Any offense committed thereafter, even 50 years down the road, is considered a third offense.

Attorney Murray then filed the challenge to the 1995 conviction along with three other motions challenging the arrest, the administration of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test and the Informing the Accused form used to ask individuals to submit to a blood draw. The morning of the motion hearing the prosecutor finally agreed to Attorney Murray's initial proposition. TH was so happy she hugged Attorney Murray and told him she was so happy she could kiss him. We are pretty happy too. This was another great result.

Monday, September 11, 2017

8 More Clients Avoid Drunk Driving Convictions in Cases Ranging from OWI-1st to OWI-3rd

Case #1: OWI-3rd/PAC-3rd (with .186 blood test result) Reduced to Non-Traffic                  Misdemeanor


This was a case Dennis Melowski litigated for 3 years because his client, GL, had a very good job as a sales rep that absolutely required a valid driver's license. Had GL been convicted of the original OWI-3rd charge, he would have lost his job immediately. Not only that, he would have been facing a several-month jail sentence; a 3-year license revocation; thousands of dollars in fines; and potentially years of IID-installation. All of this was avoided when, about a week before the scheduled jury trial, Dennis finally convinced the prosecutor to drop the drunk driving charges in exchange for a no contest plea to a reduced charge of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, which is a non-alcohol-related, non-traffic misdemeanor that would not even appear on GL's driver record. Aside from being placed on probation for one year and paying a fine, GL suffered no consequences. He never lost his license for even a single day and spent no time in jail. Most importantly, his career was saved. GL was enormously happy with this fantastic outcome, so much so that he posted the following 5-star review of Dennis' work on the independent lawyer-rating website AVVO: 


Professional and Amazing: 5.0 stars




If you are reading this and your are looking for the best, look no further. I was facing a 3rd OWI and I contacted Dennis Melowski and I can tell you that you wont find a more professional or understanding lawyer. I also can tell you first hand that Dennis will not give up even when it gets tough. There wasn't a time that my questions or phone call weren't answered. After almost 3 years Dennis was able to get me a AWSOME result, nothing on my driving record, minor fine. 
Thank you Dennis Melowski for my life back!!!!

Case #2: OWI-1st/PAC-1st Reduced to Minor Traffic Ticket; CDL Client's Career is Saved


MP has been an over-the-road truck driver for years. It's a lucrative business, but one that obviously requires a valid CDL. Had MP been convicted of the OWI or PAC charges he was facing, he literally would have lost everything. Fortunately for MP, he was referred to Dennis Melowski by a former client (also a CDL holder) whose career Dennis had saved. And Dennis did the same for MP. After extensive litigation at the municipal court level, Dennis was able to expose several significant holes in the prosecutor's case against MP, holes that ultimately allowed for an incredible result. MP was able to enter no contest pleas to a minor traffic ticket and a minor municipal ordinance violation which would not even appear on MP's driver record. Aside from paying fines, MP suffered no consequences. He never lost his license and his CDL remains fully intact. MP is a very satisfied client.

Case #3: Another Fantastic Result for a CDL Client: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .11 breath test result) Reduced to Reckless Driving 


JS was another over-the-road truck driver who resided in another state on the east coast. His routes took him all over the country. Like MP, JS was facing the end of his successful trucking business if he was convicted of the drunk driving charges he was facing. But Dennis Melowski made sure that didn't happen. Despite some difficult facts, Dennis was able to negotiate an outstanding resolution for JS that resulted in the OWI and PAC charges being dropped in exchange for a plea to a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. This resulted in no license loss for JS and absolutely no impact on his CDL. Thanks to Dennis, his business is still thriving.

Case #4: Complete Dismissal of OWI-1st/Restricted Controlled Substances; Posession of THC and Posession of Paraphernalia Charges 


KJ was stopped for speeding. After making some initial observations, the officer summoned a K-9 unit to the scene for a drug search of KJ's vehicle. Marijuana and drug paraphernalia were ultimately found and, after allegedly failing some field sobriety tests, KJ was arrested for not only the drug charges, but for Operating While Impaired by a restricted controlled substance (marijuana). After careful review of the video evidence, and after thorough questioning of the officers at a DOT hearing, Dennis Melowski discovered significant problems with the officers' handling of the roadside encounter. Dennis filed a number of legal challenges and, following several contested hearings, the judge ultimately ruled in Dennis' favor. Just as Dennis had argued, the judge determined that the officers did not have a sufficient basis to justify the K-9 search of KJ's vehicle, which meant the search was illegal and any fruits of that search (the drugs, the paraphernalia, the field sobriety tests and even the blood test that showed THC in KJ's system) were all thrown out. Because the prosecutor was literally left with no evidence in the case, ALL charges against KJ were dismissed. It was the best possible outcome for KJ. And he could not possibly be any happier.

Case #5: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Resolved with Non-Traffic Misdemeanor for CDL/Power Lineman Client


Dennis Melowski has saved the careers of countless power linemen over the years. A dangerous but very well-paying career, most power line work requires a valid CDL. A drunk driving conviction (with its mandatory CDL disqualification) is typically a professional death senetnce in this line of work. That was the bleak prospect our client, AS, was facing when he was arrested and chrged with his first OWI, along with the equally problematic charge of refusing the subsequent blood test. A conviction on either of these charges would have meant the end of AS's budding career as a power lineman. But that never happened thanks to the hard work and shrewd lawyering of Dennis Melowski. After raising a number of legal challenges on AS's behalf, even the prosecutor assigned to the case was forced to concede that there were significant problems with how the arresting officer handled the investigation in AS's case. In the end, both the OWI and Refusal charges were dropped in exchange for a plea of no contest to a non-alcohol-related, non-traffic misdemeanor offense that would not even appear on AS's record. It was a fantastic result and one that accomplished AS's goal of saving his career.

Case #6: Yet Another CDL Victory: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .17 breath test result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets


RZ owns and operates a successful excavating business that requires a valid CDL. A conviction on the charges he was facing would have ended that. Not only would his CDL have been disqualified, he would not be able to afford the exhorbitant insurance rates for all of the vehicles and equipment he owned that were essential to his business. In short, the stakes couldn't have been higher, which is the reason he hired Dennis Melowski to represent him after being referred by several others whom Dennis had helped over the years. And Dennis delivered in a big way for RZ. After a devastating cross-examination of the arresting officer at a pretrial motion hearing, the prosecutor knew her case would be in grave jeopardy if it went to trial. Rather than risking a complete loss, the prosecutor agreed to a resolution involving just two minor traffic tickets. RZ's CDL was spared and his business continues to thrive.

Case #7: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets


Talk about a lot at stake. Dennis Melowski's client, RW, has a great job with a large multi-national company that requires him to travel to Canada on a regular basis. It is very dificult to travel to Canada with a drunk driving conviction on one's record, since such an offense is considered a felony there. Any disruption in RW's ability to go to Canada would have resulted in his termination from a high-paid position. He had no choice but to fight his charges and he selected Dennis Melowski for the task. It was the best decision RW could have made. After discovering an issue that most lawyers would likely have missed, Dennis was able to leverage a fantastic result for RW. The drunk driving and Refusal charges were dropped. In exchange, RW entered no contest pleas to the minor traffic offenses of Inattentive Driving and Improper Parking Off Roadway. Aside from paying fines, RW suffered no consequences. He still has his job...and a trmendous amount of gratitude. Hiring the best almost always pays off.

Case #8: OWI-2nd/PAC-2nd (with .175 blood test) Reduced to Non-Traffic Misdemeanor


Dennis Melowski isn't even sure how he got the prosecutor to agree to the resolution in this case. It involved some very difficult facts. Dennis' client, NS, was found passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle in the middle of a county highway...across the centerline. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and had a blood test result more than double the legal limit. But after pushing the case to the brink of trial, Dennis was able to achieve a remarkable result. NS pled no contest to a reduced charge of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, an offense that does not involve any license revocation and will not even appear on NS's driver record. Sometimes the best lawyers get results simply because of their reputation for winning. Case in point.  

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Landmark Win in the Wisconsin Supreme Court for Dennis Melowski: State's High Court Tosses a Blood Test Result in a Felony OWI-Injury Case Due to Coerced Consent**

In a landmark decision that will have a statewide impact on drunk driving prosecutions, Dennis Melowski was able to successfully convince the Wiscosnin Supreme Court that his client's .10 blood test result should be thrown out in a prosecution for a serious felony OWI-Injury case. Dennis argued that the form read to his client seeking his consent to a blood test was misleading and unlawfully coercive. The "Informing the Accused" form is one that is used by all law enforcement agencies across the state of Wisconsin. It is read any time an officer wants a suspected impaired driver to consent to a breath or blood test following an arrest, which is virtually every case. This form, however, significantly misstates the consequences a person is facing for refusing such a test when they have been involved in an accident where there has been a serious injury or death. Essentially, the form threatens the accused driver with penalties that could not lawfully be enforced. Because the penalties that were threatened to Dennis' client could not be enforced in his situation, the High Court agreed with Dennis that his client's consent to the blood draw was coerced and not voluntary. If consent to a search (in this case a blood test) is not the product of voluntary consent, the fruits of the search (the alcohol level) have to be thrown out. Dennis' victory is being hailed as the most significant ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the field of DUI defense in 20 years.

The Supreme Court's full decision can be read here: https://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=192464

Media accounts of the decision can be read here: http://www.fdlreporter.com/story/news/2017/07/07/high-court-finds-former-fond-du-lac-mans-blood-draw-unconstitutional/460226001/

**This was Dennis Melowski's fourth time arguing a case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court and his third victory.