Friday, February 24, 2012

February 20, 2012: OWI-1st Reduced to Inattentive Driving; Yet Another CDL Client Avoids Drunk Driving Conviction

DGS finally found the job he had been looking for, as a truck driver for a local trucking company. The job paid well and had good benefits. At 27, DGS was embarking on a promising commercial driving career. Unfortunately, the job that DGS worked so hard to get was in serious jeopardy the night of August 20, 2011, when DGS was stopped for speeding (67 in a 50 mph zone). After smelling alcohol, the officer had DGS submit to field sobriety tests and a roadside breath test, all of which DGS allegedly failed. The officer then took DGS for a blood test, which came back over the legal limit. DGS's world seemed like it was crumbling. His license was scheduled to be automatically suspended in 30 days due to the blood test result and his commercial privileges would be disqualified. He would lose his job immediately. Fortunately, DGS hired Dennis Melowski with enough time to convince the assigned judge to stay the automatic suspension so DGS could fight his case. This was no easy feat. The prosecutor objected to the stay of suspension and a contested hearing had to be held. But Dennis and Attorney Singh were very persuasive and convinced the judge it was the right thing to do. And they were right. Despite what initially seemed like a strong case against DGS, many holes in the case were exposed as time went on. From the initial reason for the stop through the blood test procedure, numerous flaws were exposed, so much so that the prosecutor became convinced that a conviction on the original charges was unlikely. Dennis was able to negotiate an outstanding deal for DGS. In exchange for the 2 alcohol related charges being dropped, DGS would plead no contest to the non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving. This offense carries only 4 points and does not result in any supension or revocation of license. Most importantly, though, it would have no impact whatsoever on DGS's commercial privileges. DGS agreed to pay a fine and perform 20 hours of community service, but otherwise suffered no consequences from this offense. And he still has his job. This case marks the tenth time in the last 12 months that a Melowski & Associates CDL client has avoided a drunk driving conviction. No other firm in the state can demonstrate that type of success.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012: OWI-5th Completely Dismissed

A fifth offense OWI is serious business. As a felony, a conviction can result in a substantial prison sentence, in addition to a host of other consequences that can haunt a person for years. Lengthy license revocation, ignition interlock device and a fine amounting to thousands of dollars are just a few examples. In short, the stakes don't get much higher. So when JJG picked up his fifth offense, he knew he needed a lawyer who would fight for him every step of the way. When he first met with Dennis Melowski to discuss his case, JJG was distraught. He knew what he was facing and thought the situation was hopeless. Fortunately, Dennis saw things differently. Well-versed in the strict legal requirements necessary to sustain an OWI arrest, Dennis noticed some potentially fatal defects in the officer's arrest of JJG. Dennis did not believe the prosecution would be able to overcome these defects at JJG's preliminary hearing. After cross-examining the arresting officer and pinning him down on several key points, Dennis knew the prosecutor's case was in jeopardy. Dennis argued to the judge that charges against JJG should be thrown out. The judge agreed. Case dismissed. JJG was ecstatic. The lesson? Few legal situations are completely hopeless. Especially when you hire the right attorney.    

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 13, 2012: OWI-4th Reduced to Non-Traffic Offense

JAC first caught the attention of the police when he was seen
allegedly making a left hand turn in front of another vehicle, nearly
causing a serious accident. Things only got worse from there. It turns
out, JAC's license was revoked at the time, which the officer quickly
learned. After failing the field sobriety tests and refusing the blood
test, the police forced a blood draw from JAC against his will. The
result was not good: .194. Needless to say, when Attorney Sarvan Singh
got his hands on this case, he had his work cut out for him. Not only
was JAC facing the harsh consequences of a fourth DUI, he was also
charged with a criminal OAR and Unlawful Refusal of Chemical test, an
offense which carries a mandatory 3-year license revocation. Attorney
Singh had to be thorough, creative and aggressive if there was going
to be any hope for JAC. By closely scrutinizing two of JAC's prior
convictions from another state, doubt was raised about whether or not
those convictions could be used against JAC in the present case. In
addition, Attorney Singh sifted through page after page of lab records
to come up with a plan of attack on the .194 blood test result,
calling into question whether the alleged result could be trusted at
all due to the problems Attorney Singh exposed. After lengthy
negotiations, the prosecutor understood that there were many potential
problems with the case. As a result, a fantastic result was achieved.
The original charge of OWI-4th was reduced to the non-traffic,
non-alcohol-related offense of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle,
an offense which will not even appear on JAC's driver record. The
remaining OAR and Refusal charges were completely dismissed. JAC
received one year of probation and a fine of $505.00, but otherwise
suffered no consequences from this incident. He received no jail time,
avoided the ignition interlock requirement and never lost his license for
even a single day. JAC couldn't possibly be happier.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 7, 2012: OWI-2nd Reduced to Reckless Driving

Perhaps no class of drivers is hurt more by a drunk driving conviction than commercial drivers (CDL holders). A first offense results in disqualification of CDL privileges for one year. A second or subsequent conviction results in lifetime disqualification. This "CDL Death Penalty" is exactly what RVM was facing when he hired Dennis Melowski to fight his second offense OWI case. Initially, it looked like the case would be an uphill battle. RVM had put his car in the ditch and allegedly declined to perform field sobriety tests because "he had been drinking." He also had a breath test result of .21. However, as is typically the case, things are never quite like they appear. As Dennis began digging further into the case, he was able to find several deficiencies in the officer's investigation of the case. In addition, when questioning the officer at the DOT suspension hearing, Dennis was able to get the officer to concede a crucial point in the case: the officer did not know what time RVM's car went off the road and into the ditch. If the officer did not know this fact, it would be impossible for the prosecution to prove that RVM's breath test was taken within 3 hours of the time of driving, a requirement under Wisconsin law. Without the use of the breath test, a conviction on the drunk driving charge would be difficult. Ultimately, the prosecutor thought the same thing and agreed to have the drunk driving charges dropped to Reckless Driving, which is a non-criminal and non-alcohol-related charge. RVM paid a fine of $389.50, but otherwise suffered no consequences. He did not lose his license for even a single day and his commercial privileges were completely spared. RVM is thrilled.