Thursday, January 29, 2015

Attorney Murray Gets a Hat Trick

January 22, 2015: Client Avoids OWI - 3rd Conviction for Second Time with Our Firm

After a year of college and four years as an apprentice, B.O. had become a journeyman lineman when he was charged with his third drunk driving offense.  The mandatory license revocation would result in him losing his job and possibly his career.  He hired Melowski & Associates when things initially looked bleak.  Someone called B.O. in after he was observed throwing up in a parking lot.  The officer observed B.O. driving erratically, the field sobriety tests were not favorable, and the blood test was high.  Things would have been difficult had the case made it to trial.  Attorney Murray knew the case would have to be won ahead of time and went to work right away.  At the administrative suspension hearing, the officer admitted that B.O. had asked multiple questions about the blood test; however, when a motion was filed attacking what was discussed, the officer testified there had been no questions, and had there been he would have noted them in his report.  When Attorney Murray brought out a copy of the transcript from the prior hearing, it was apparent the officer had either made a mistake or was lying.  Either way, things started looking better.  The judge took the case under advisement and prior to a decision on the motion being rendered, the prosecution agreed to amend the drunk driving charges to a Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, which carries zero license revocation and no ignition interlock device.  B.O. kept his license, job and career.  Many attorneys do not even bother requesting the administrative suspension hearing.  At Melowski & Associates, we know that outcomes like these begin with that hearing and that is why we request the hearing in just about every case.  What makes this an even greater outcome is that this is the second time our firm was able to help B.O. avoid a drunk driving conviction.

January 20, 2015: OWI - 1st with Admission to Drinking More Than 20 Beers Amended to Inattentive Driving

A.J., also a journeyman lineman, was in a similar position to the post above.  Charged with an OWI - First Offense, his career was on the line due to the mandatory license revocation.  This was another difficult case, mainly because A.J. had admitted to drinking over 20 beers and the officer testified that A.J. fishtailed so badly that he thought he was going to roll the vehicle.  Nevertheless, A.J. had no choice but to fight the case.  He hired Melowski & Associates and Attorney Murray fought the case vehemently through municipal court and then on an appeal to circuit court.  At the municipal court level, it was discovered that the breath test would be inadmissible as the breath test operator had left the department and moved out of state.  Sometimes you get luck.  However, the prosecutor refused to budge, thinking they had an easy win with the driving and horrible admission.  After the appeal to circuit court, Attorney Murray made it clear that despite the bad facts, we would be fighting the case and would be going through with a jury trial.  Then the reckless driving offer came.  Normally, this would be a no brainer.  The problem was that A.J. had a Michigan license and Michigan suspends licenses for reckless driving citations.  Attorney Murray refused the offer and in turn offered an inattentive driving ticket.  The prosecutor finally gave in and A.J. couldn't be happier.

December 2014: Criminal Hit and Run of Attended Vehicle Dropped to Minor Non-Moving Traffic Violation

S.O. smashed into the back of a semi while the driver of the semi was sleeping in the cab.  S.O. pulled his car into a nearby parking lot, panicked and left on foot.  Officers came to his apartment, and while they suspected drunk driving, they could not prove it given the time that had passed.  Instead, they charged S.O. with the crime of Hit and Run of an Attended Vehicle, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.  However, one thing that was overlooked by the prosecution was that they had to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that S.O. knew the vehicle was attended or occupied.  Since the driver of the semi was sleeping in the cab and never woke up until police arrived, this would have been a very difficult task.  When Attorney Murray pointed this out, the prosecution amended the charge to a non-moving traffic violation for failing to report an accident.  Aside from paying a forfeiture, S.O. did not spend a single day in jail, does not have a criminal conviction, and did not even receive an assessment of demerit points.  S.O. was ecstatic.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Two More Fantastic Outcomes: Complete Dismissal of OWI-2nd and an OWI-1st Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets

1) Complete Dismissal of OWI-2nd/PAC-2nd (with .10 Breath Test Result) for CDL Client Facing Lifetime Disqualification

The stakes in this case for our client, WC, couldn't have been much higher. As an over-the-road truck driver, WC was facing lifetime disqualification of his commercial driving privileges if he was convicted of his second offense drunk driving charge. With a young family to care for, this would be financially devastating. After substantial internet research, including the outcomes described right here on the Real Results Tracker, WC put his family's future in the hands of Dennis Melowski. As of January 13, 2015, WC has nothing more to worry about. Dennis was successful in having the entire case against WC thrown out by the judge, after Dennis convinced him that the officer did not have a sufficient basis to pull WC over in the first place. It was the best possible outcome WC could have hoped for because it is as if the charges were never even issued the first place. The sense of relief WC experienced when Dennis delivered the great news had to be witnessed to be believed. Suffice it to say, he couldn't be happier.

2) OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .10 Breath Test Result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets

This was yet another high stakes case with a tremendous outcome. Our client, CR, is an English citizen here in the United States on a work visa as an engineer. An OWI conviction would severely compromise his status and likely would cost him his job. CR was such a valuable asset to the company for whom he worked that it was actually his employer who sought Dennis Melowski out to defend CR's case. They had as much at stake as CR...they simply couldn't afford to lose him. Despite having some  very difficult facts to overcome, including the fact that CR was called in by an off-duty police officer because of his driving, Dennis was able to undermine the prosecutor's case just enough to negotiate an outstanding resolution. Under the terms of the deal Dennis worked out, the original charge of OWI-1st was reduced to the non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving. The remaining PAC-1st charge was reduced to the even more minor offense of Impeding Traffic by Slow Speed. Aside from paying some fines, CR suffered no consequences. He never lost his license for even a single day and was completely spared of the awful drunk driving conviction. His work visa status went completely unscathed. Both he and his employer are thrilled.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

3 More of Attorney Singh's Clients Avoid Drunk Driving Convictions

1) Case #1: OWI-1st (with .12 Breath Test Result) Reduced to Reckless Driving; Another Commercial Driver's License Saved

BU is a commercial driver who spends his days traversing much of the Midwest transporting manufacturing equipment for his employer. When he was charged with a drunk driving in late 2014, the company made its position very clear: You lose your CDL, you lose your job. Knowing he had everything riding on the outcome of this case, he hired the only firm that other truck drivers repeatedly recommended: Melowski & Associates. He made contact with Attorney Sarvan Singh and explained his situation. Attorney Singh first kept BU's CDL from being immediately suspended, which allowed him to keep his job while his case was pending. Next, Attorney Singh found substantial flaws in the administration of the breath test, flaws that most attorneys would have overlooked. When he brought these to the attention of the prosecutor , the case was reduced to Reckless Driving. This meant that at no point did BU ever lose his CDL privileges. Even more importantly, he now has no drunk driving conviction.

2) Case #2: OWI-1st (with .19 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

Many people simply cannot have a drunk driving conviction on their record. This is especially true for people who work in the medical field, where such a conviction often leads to a loss of accreditation or licensing. This was the case for LL. LL, who works in medicine, was facing an OWI -1st with a blood test of .19, a result that is more than twice the legal limit. With his whole career at stake, he contacted Melowski & Associates and spoke with Attorney Singh. Attorney Singh reviewed the case, and while most of it appeared to be unremarkable, there was one unique issue, that if argued the right way, could change the course of the case dramatically.  Attorney Singh made his case to the prosecutor. Realizing the drunk driving case was in jeopardy because of the novel issue Attorney Singh unearthed, the prosecutor ultimately agreed to reduce the charge to Reckless Driving. This meant LL could continue his work in the medical field without suffering the catastrophic consequences of a drunk driving conviction. 

3) Case #3: OWI-3rd (with .16 Blood Test) Reduced to Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Middle of Trial

Any criminal defense attorney will agree that often you are left with little choice but to take a case to trial. The problem is that many lawyers will not try drunk driving cases. Regularly, these attorneys simply believe there is no way to contest the blood result. This defeatist attitude is of no help to their clients, who invariably end up being convicted as charged. However, as lawyers who exclusively deal with drunk driving cases, our firm knows that it doesn't always come down to the test result. For example, MT was facing a third offense with a .16 blood test, where he was looking at substantial jail along with substantial loss of his operating privileges. The prosecutor was unwilling to do anything with the case, even though MT could not afford to lose his license for any period of time. At an impasse in negotiations, Attorney Singh proceeded to trial, as we do every time a prosecutor is being unreasonable. During the trial,  Attorney Singh paid close attention to how one of the State's witnesses performed and handled the blood draw. After the witness was finished, Attorney Singh made a legal argument to the judge regarding this witness and a key shortcoming in the State's case. After lengthy arguments, the judge agreed with Attorney Singh and ruled that no additional blood test evidence could be presented by the prosecutor. Unable to proceed, the prosecutor finally agreed to  reduce the OWI to a charge which meant no loss of driver's license, no ignition interlock device installed on all of his vehicles....and no drunk drivin conviction. This case is a perfect example of how experience with these issues pays off. MT was so thrilled that he repeatedly calls Attorney Singh just to thank him for everything he did. A perfect example of how hiring the best pays off.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 11, 2014: Another Fantastic Outcome in an OWI-Homicide Case; Repeat Offense Client Avoids Both a Homicide Conviction AND a Prison Sentence**

As noted in other entries on the Real Results Tracker, in the realm of drunk driving defense, there is no more serious charge than an OWI-Homicide. With potential penalties of 25 years imprisonment, 5-year license revocation and a $100,000.00 fine, the stakes literally can't get any higher...unless you have a prior OWI offense on your record. This simple fact increases the potential prison sentence from 25 years up to 40 years. This grave situation is what our client, BB, found himself in. On top of that, BB was accused of fleeing the scene of the accident and was charged with Hit and Run-Homicide, a serious felony that carries a separate 25-year sentence and $100,000.00 fine. All told, BB was facing a VERY long prison sentence if convicted as charged. At only 26, and with a very promising future as a journeyman electrician, this was an outcome BB simply couldn't fathom. BB turned to his parents for help. After an exhaustive search of Wisconsin's top attorneys, BB and his family turned to Dennis Melowski to save BB's life.

When Dennis first got involved in the case, the primary goal was to keep BB out of prison. Given the initial allegations, this was going to be a very difficult task. Even for first-time offenders, a conviction for OWI-Homicide results in a prison sentence in the vast majority of cases. And in cases where a Hit and Run is also alleged, long prison sentences are a virtual certainty. Dennis was going to have to find a way to convince the prosecutor to lessen the Homicide charges if BB was to have any hope of avoiding prison. But how? The facts of the case as alleged by the police and prosecutor painted a very bleak picture. Dennis needed to find something that supported BB's version of events. After an exhaustive investigation, some favorable facts and witnesses came to light that gave Dennis the bargaining chips he was so desperately seeking. As motions were filed and hearings were held, Dennis began negotiations with the district attorney. Gradually, he began chipping away at the district attorney's perception of the case. BB was no longer being viewed as the cold, heartless villain the police originally believed they were dealing with, but as a victim of circumstances in which many people had a role in the death that occurred. After more than a year of litigation and negotiation, Dennis worked out a fantastic deal. The original charge of OWI-Homicide was reduced to First Degree Reckless Endangerment and the Hit and Run Homicide was reduced to Hit and Run (non-death related). BB completely avoided any type of homicide conviction. More importantly, he was completely spared of a prison sentence. After hearing Dennis' "meticulous" (the local newspaper's word) recitation of the results of his investigation, the judge sentenced BB to just 12 months in the county jail, all with work-release privileges that allowed BB to keep his job and his very bright future. A truly remarkable outcome in a very high-stakes case. Media accounts of the case and its outcome can be read here:

**This is the fifth client in a row facing an OWI-Homicide for whom Dennis Melowski achieved a non-prison sentence. This is an unparalleled streak in these cases. If you are facing a charge as serious as OWI-Homicide, please ask other attorneys with whom you are speaking their results in such cases. Make them be specific. You will quickly see that when we say we are Wisconsin's most successful drunk driving defense firm, it isn't a sales pitch. It's a fact.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 8, 2014: OWI-4th/PAC-4th Reduced to Non-Traffic Misdemeanor Offense

A fourth offense OWI is serious business. A typical sentence for such an offense would include a jail term of 6-12 months, 3-year license revocation, ignition interlock device (IID) installation, lengthy probation, alcohol counseling and exorbitant fines. So when our client, SK, was arrested for what would be his fourth offense, he was terrified. It had been 16 years since his last OWI and he couldn't fathom facing such a harsh outcome at this stage of his life. He now had a firmly established career, owned his own home and was about to get married. All of that was in grave danger if he were convicted as charged. Knowing he had no choice but to do something about it, SK set out to find the best lawyer possible to save the life as he knew it. Fortunately, a close friend in whom SK had confided about his situation was a former client of Dennis Melowski. His friend told SK not to bother calling anyone else and to set up a meeting with Dennis. That's exactly what SK did and it was the best decision he could have made. After slugging the case out for more than a year, Dennis had sufficiently undermined the State's case against SK to the point that he was able to negotiate a fantastic deal for SK. The original fourth offense drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, SK plead no contest to the non-traffic, non-alcohol-related misdemeanor offense of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle. This offense carries no license loss whatsoever and will not even appear on SK's driver record, meaning no insurance ramifications. SK was also able to completely avoid probation and was spared of the awful ignition interlock requirement. SK was sentenced to just 50 days in jail, all with work release and electronic monitoring. Another extremely happy client.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 3, 2014: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .208 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Reckless Driving for CDL Client

This was truly a remarkable result given the allegations against our client, KH. Allegedly seen stumbling towards his car by a police officer after leaving a tavern, KH was warned by the officer not to get into his vehicle and drive. After initially heeding the officer's advice, KH thought enough time had elapsed that he would be okay to drive the short distance to his house. Unfortunately, the officer KH had encountered earlier was just waiting for him to drive away. A traffic stop occurred almost immediately. KH was arrested after allegedly performing very poorly on the field sobriety tests. Things only got worse from there, as the post-arrest blood test revealed an alcohol level of .208, more than two and a half times the legal limit. Knowing the deck was stacked heavily against him, KH had no choice but to fight the case. As a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder, a drunk driving conviction would professionally devastate him for years. Not knowing where to turn, KH sought advice from a local attorney who had done some work for KH in the past. Given what KH had at stake, the attorney told him that his only hope was Dennis Melowski.

When Dennis first delved into KH's case, the evidence against him seemed overwhelming. But there was a glimmer of hope. Based on what KH insisted the officer told him prior to the blood draw, Dennis believed there may be grounds to have the blood test result thrown out. Dennis knew the officer's video potentially held the key to this issue, so he requested a copy immediately. Suspiciously, however, the squad video was "inadvertently deleted" shortly after Dennis' request. Rather than chalk this up to bad luck, Dennis leveraged the failure to properly preserve the evidence into a fantastic result for KH. Under the terms of the deal, the original drunk driving charges were dropped in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving, a non-alcohol-related offense that carries no loss of license and would have no impact on KH's CDL privileges. Aside from paying a fine that was less than half of the fine for drunk driving, KH suffered no consequences. An outstanding result in a very difficult case.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

November 17, 2014: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .186 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

This outstanding result almost didn't happen. Although Dennis Melowski had reached a deal with the prosecutor that would completely avoid a drunk driving conviction for his client, KL, the judge responsible for the case bristled at the idea of approving such a drastic reduction in charges in a case with such a high blood test result and an independent citizen witness who initially reported KL to the police. But persistence paid off and Dennis was ultimately able to convince the judge to see the many holes he was able to poke in the prosecutor's case against his client. After a contentious hearing, the judge finally gave her blessing. KL completely avoided a drunk driving conviction in a case with some very difficult facts. Her career at a very prominent American corporation, which required her to maintain valid driving privileges, was preserved. Needless to say, she couldn't be happier.