Friday, April 4, 2014

Client found not guilty at trial in OWI 1st with .198 blood test

Prosecutors often leave you no choice. They give you one option- plead to the drunk driving.  That's it. And let's be honest, it's not much of a choice. That was exactly what HC was presented with when charged with OWI. Unfortunately, an OWI conviction would be devastating to HC. She possessed a commercial driver's license and owned a trucking company. A conviction meant catastrophe for her business and livelihood. After substantial research, she reached out to our firm and sat down with Attorney Sarvan Singh. She presented her paperwork, which included a blood test of .198. Attorney Singh appealed to the prosecutor. Given how much HC stood to lose if convicted, it seemed only right to amend the charge. Unfortunately, the prosecutor dug in and forced the matter to jury trial. At trial, Attorney Singh made quick work of the prosecution's witnesses and then obliterated their case in his closing. It was a convincing argument as the jury came back with a not guilty verdict on both counts. After the verdict was read, HC could not stop crying with joy. As she repeatedly said, hiring Sarvan was one of the best decisions she had ever made.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Attorney Singh Picks Up Right Where He Left Off In 2013

Readers of our blog know that Attorney Sarvan Singh ended 2013 on quite a tear, obtaining  amendments in several difficult cases. It appears the beginning of 2014 is no different.

Attorney Singh has OWI First with .125 blood test amended to a simple traffic citation

Often, motorcycle accidents leave lifelong injuries. Take MB for example, who was touring Northern Wisconsin with friends when his bike hit a patch of gravel and veered off the road. Without a helmet, MB suffered grievous injuries to his head and face. To make matters worse, when officers caught up with him forty five minutes later, they charged him drunken driving. While recuperating, he came across Melowski & Associates' website and read a summary of their successes. MB contacted Attorney Sarvan Singh to see how he could help. As MB recited the facts of the evening, one particular part stuck out. Sarvan knew this unique fact would make all the difference in the case, so he sat on it and let the matter proceed to trial. On the eve of trial, he sprung it on the prosecutor and explained how this would be a possible defense. The result was amending the OWI to a simple four point traffic violation. MB now focuses on his physical therapy and not on a potential life-altering OWI conviction.

Attorney Singh has OWI- Third Offense with .185 blood test amended to OWI First with no requirement for the ignition interlock device

Sometime cases are just flat-out bad. An attorney can look at it every way imaginable and be left with the undeniable conclusion that the case is simply indefensible. That was exactly the type of case VT had when he walked into our office. Bad driving, bad field sobriety tests and a blood result of .178.  Add to these facts that this was a third offense and VT was looking at substantial jail and license revocation. After considering every possible way of defending the case, Attorney Sarvan Singh opted for a different strategy. He began to scour her prior convictions and discovered one of her prior offenses may be susceptible to attack.  He filed a motion and challenged her second offense. After a lengthy process (nearly two years) the prosecutor conceded the motion. To help move matters along, the prosecutor also agreed to no ignition interlock device (IID). So, VT went from an indefensible third drunken driving charge to a first offense with no jail nor an IID. VT was absolutely thrilled with the result.  

Attorney Singh gets an OWI with Refusal reduced to a Reckless Driving

One would think that if a person spends nearly sixty-five (65) years working hard, paying taxes and obeying the law, the government, at some point, should give him a break. That was JS. He has been a fruitful and productive member of society his entire life. Then one day, after leaving a McDonald's drive-thru, he was detained for operating while intoxicated. JS explained he was older, had numerous health problems, and would not pass any field sobriety tests. The officer claimed JS was being uncooperative and refusing the test, so JS was additionally cited with a Refusal. One would think given JS's age and lack of criminal record, the government would simply amend the OWI. Sadly, that wasn't the case and the prosecution forced JS's hand. He hired Sarvan, who took the case in parts. He first contested the Refusal and won (which is a very difficult task in its own right) and then turned his attention towards the OWI. After pointing out the vast number of things the officer got wrong, the prosecutor finally agreed to amend it. Given all JS has done right, it only seemed fair that he finally get a break from the government, and he did, with some help from Melowski & Associates.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration - First Offense Reduced to Absolute Sobriety Violation Only

EO, a college student from Illinois, was stopped for going 69 mph in a 55 mph zone.  He admitted to the officer that he had been drinking and his breath alcohol test result was a .10.  With EO being under the age of 21, it was an uphill battle on the absolute sobriety violation. However, Attorney Matt Murray scoured the discovery and filed three motions attacking the information that was provided to EO by the officer.  While the prosecutor originally refused to budge on the drunk driving charge, after litigating the motions for over an hour, the prosecution finally agreed to dismiss the drunk driving offense.  This left EO with only an absolute sobriety violation. At such an early stage of his promising life, EO was thrilled that he was able to completely avoid the permanent black mark associated with being a convicted drunk driver. Another very happy client.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Streak Continues: 3 More Fantastic Outcomes for Our Clients in 2014

January 14, 2014: Complete Dismissal of Felony Charge in Milwaukee County

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office has a policy to charge any accused drunk driver with the felony of Second Degree Reckless Endangerment if their driving involves going the wrong way on the freeway system. This was the precise situation our client, CA, found himself in when he briefly drove the wrong way down an exit ramp from I-94. Even though this was CA's first-ever alcohol-related driving offense, he found himself staring down a potential lengthy prison sentence because of the serious  felony charge. But prison wasn't even the worst fear for CA. As a foreign national here on a work visa, CA was facing immediate and permanent deportation if convicted of a felony. This would mean the loss of a very lucrative IT job and a return to his home country with very few prospects. Fighting the felony and beating it was his only hope. After much research, CA was referred to Dennis Melowski by a prominent Wisconsin law firm. After sitting down with CA and reviewing his case, Dennis saw a glimmer of hope. But it would all come down to getting the arresting officer to make a crucial concession in Dennis' cross-examination of her at CA's preliminary hearing.  Dennis meticulously prepared his strategy for making this happen. On the morning of CA's preliminary hearing, after a very careful set-up, Dennis got the officer to concede the key point he needed to get the case dismissed. After presenting his argument, the presiding court commissioner agreed with Dennis that there was insufficient evidence to support a felony charge against CA. Case dismissed. CA was overcome with joy and relief in the knowledge that his future in the United States was secure.

February 6, 2014: OWI-2nd (with .14 Breath Test Result) Reduced to Non-Traffic Offense

Our client, CR, has an excellent professional job that requires him to travel extensively both nationally and internationally. Any disruption to the validity of his driving privileges, or any ignition interlock device (IID) requirement, would cost him his job and likely his entire career. So when CR picked up his second drunk driving charge, he knew he would have to do something about it. If convicted, he was facing an 18-month license revocation, mandatory IID installation in any vehicle he drives and a host of other serious consequences. Not knowing where to turn, CR began scouring the internet looking for the best DUI defense attorney he could find. After reading the successful outcomes of so many cases right here in the Real Results Tracker, CR knew that no other lawyer he had spoken to came close to demonstrating a record of success as extensive as Melowski & Associates. He knew he had found his firm. And Dennis Melowski did not disappoint CR. By seizing upon an issue in CR's case that many other lawyers would probably miss, Dennis was able to use this as leverage in his negotiations with the prosecutor. Just 3 days prior to CR's jury trial, Dennis was able to negotiate an outstanding resolution to CR's case. The original charge of OWI-2nd was reduced to the non-alcohol-related, non-traffic misdemeanor offense of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, which would not involve any license loss and would not even appear on CR's driver record! CR also avoided the IID requirement and would not have to complete the lengthy and costly counseling program. Most importantly, CR avoided the awful professional stigma of being a repeat drunk driver. Another career saved.

February 17, 2014: OWI-1st (with .12 Breath Test Result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets

DB's case is a perfect example of the never-quit attitude our attorneys bring to our clients' cases. For more than 18 months, the prosecutor Dennis Melowski dealt with would not budge. Through a contested municipal court trial, motions filed in circuit court and a string of seemingly dead-end negotiations, Dennis persisted in pursuing DB's goal of avoiding a drunk driving conviction. And Dennis' efforts finally paid a big way. Rather than risk a loss at trial, the prosecutor ultimately agreed to reduce the original OWI-1st charge to the minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving. The remaining charge of PAC-1st was reduced to the minor traffic ticket of Operating Without Headlights Lit. Aside from paying fines, DB suffered no consequences from this outstanding resolution and completely avoided a drunk driving conviction. He couldn't be happier.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Starting Off the New Year with a Bang: 2 Weeks, 2 Sets of Drunk Driving Charges Dropped

Case #1: Complete Dismissal of OWI-2nd/PAC-2nd (with .192 Blood Test Result)

One of the first areas of our clients' cases we always assess is whether the arresting officer had a valid basis to pull them over in the first place. If a police officer has insufficient grounds to conduct a traffic stop, it can be grounds for having the entire case thrown out. In this case, our client, CAM, was pulled over because he "appeared to be exceeding the speed limit," according to the officer. The officer based this claim on a visual estimate of the client's speed and the fact that it sounded like he was speeding based on the excessive noise coming from his engine. But the officer had no objective proof of the client's speed. There was no radar or laser reading and the officer did not "pace" the client's vehicle. In short, the stop was based on mere guesswork and speculation, not actual proof. Dennis Melowski recognized this deficiency immediately and filed a motion to have all of the evidence against CAM thrown out, including his .192 blood test result. A lengthy hearing was held, during the course of which the arresting officer repeatedly embarrassed herself with admissions of shoddy police work. After the hearing, the judge ordered further briefing to allow the prosecutor a final opportunity to try to save his case. But once the briefs were submitted, the writing was already on the wall. The judge ruled in Dennis' favor and threw out all of the evidence in CAM's case. The prosecutor had no choice but to dismiss all of the charges. It was a complete victory for CAM.*

*This was the second time that Dennis was able to obtain a victory for this particular client. Another drunk driving charge was reduced to a non-alcohol-related offense in 2010, an offense that didn't even appear on his driver record.

Case #2: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .11 Breath Test Result) Reduced to Minor Traffic Offense

Like many of our clients, JRB was referred to us by a former client whose drunk driving case we won. In this particular case, JRB was the sister of a former CDL client of Dennis Melowski.  And Dennis delivered again in a big way for JRB. As it turns out, JRB worked for a company in Chicago and her job required her to have fully valid driving privileges to do her job. She simply couldn't afford a DUI conviction under any circumstance. Her job was literally on the line. Despite having to contend with some very difficult facts, Dennis was able to ultimately convince the prosecutor* to reduce the drunk driving charge to the non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving. Better yet, to avoid point problems for JRB, Dennis was even able to get the prosecutor to reopen and reduce a speeding ticket JRB had gotten earlier in the year. As a result of Dennis' efforts,  JRB never lost her license for a single day and avoided the life-altering stigma of a drunk driving conviction that would have certainly derailed her career.

*This particular prosecutor is someone with whom Dennis has had many cases over the years. Early on in Dennis' career, this prosecutor took a hard line approach with several of Dennis' cases and they ended up going to trial. After Dennis' third victory in a row, the prosecutor softened up. A lot. People often ask how our firm is able to obtain the truly exceptional results we obtain for so many clients. This is how.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

December 26, 2013: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .14 blood test result) Reduced to Zero-Point Traffic Offenses; Another CDL Client's Career Saved

Our client, RS, is a commercial driver whose career absolutely depends on maintaining valid CDL privileges. In his profession, a drunk driving conviction is like a career death sentence. So when RS was pulled over for speeding and excessive engine revving after consuming some drinks at a concert, his career literally flashed before his eyes. Having a blood test result that came back at .14 only made his fears worsen. Fortunately, RS was referred to Dennis Melowski by a former client, another CDL holder whose case Dennis was able to get completely dismissed. After reviewing RS's case, Dennis saw light at the end of the tunnel. As it turns out, there were multiple shortcomings in the officer's investigation of RS's case, specifically relating to how the officer administered the field sobriety tests to RS and the "results" those tests claimed to produce. Dennis filed several legal challenges on RS's behalf. Just a few days prior to the hearing with the judge regarding those challenges, Dennis was able to negotiate a fantastic settlement. Under the deal Dennis reached, RS's original OWI charge was reduced to Improper Parking Off Roadway. The remaining PAC charge was reduced to Improper Signal. These two reduced  charges are considered so minor that they each carry zero points. Aside from paying fines, RS suffered no consequences from this incident. He never lost his license for even a single day and his commercial driving career remains fully intact. A truly outstanding way to close out a most successful 2013.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

November 27, 2013: Another Headline-Making Victory in the Court of Appeals: Higher Court Upholds Dismissal of Client's Refusal Charge

Dennis Melowski's successful defense of former state senator Randy Hopper already made headlines locally and nationally when a jury found him NOT GUILTY of all charges back in March of 2012. But the County of Fond du Lac didn't take that loss too kindly. For the past 18 months, they have been doing everything in their power to convince the Court of Appeals to reinstate the charge of  Refusing a Chemical Test against Mr. Hopper, a charge that was dismissed by the trial court judge in the aftermath of the jury's not guilty verdicts. After slugging the case out in the appeal system for the last year and a half, justice finally prevailed (again). The Court of Appeals ruled against the County and upheld the trial judge's decision to dismiss the Refusal charge. Mr. Hopper remains completely exonerated.

The outcome in Mr. Hopper's case is yet another example of the lengths to which our attorneys will go to protect the interests of our clients. It's the only way we know.**

Media accounts of our victory in Mr. Hopper's case can be read here:

**A special thanks to Attorney Chad Lanning, West Bend, WI, for his invaluable assistance and insight during Mr. Hopper's appeal. It is truly appreciated.