Tuesday, November 27, 2012
When SGS left a local gentleman's club after an evening out with a co-worker, he knew he had probably had one too many. Not wanting to make the same mistake that he had made several years earlier when he got arrested for his first DUI, he decided it would be unsafe to try to drive to the nearby hotel where he was staying for work. So he got into his truck, started the engine, reclined his seat and slept. In short, he thought he was making a smart decision. About 30 minutes later, however, while SGS was sound asleep, a police officer on foot patrol started to bang loudly on SGS's window, yelling at him and demanding that he shut off the engine and roll down his window, which is exactly what SGS did. He had no problem talking to the officer because he didn't think he was doing anything wrong. Fifteen minutes later, however, SGS was sitting in the back of a squad car, under arrest for OWI. And the cops didn't care one bit that SGS wasn't driving. You see, under Wisconsin's tough drunk driving laws, the mere act of starting your vehicle, even if it remains in park, constitutes "vehicle operation." And once SGS blew a .16 on the breath test at the police station, under the law, he was "driving drunk." So SGS's case was treated the same as if he had been carelessly careening down the highway. And the prosecutor assigned to the case was not interested in giving SGS any breaks either. Even when he was told that SGS was facing lifetime disqualification of his commercial driving privileges if convicted of his second offense, the prosecutor coldly responded that the DA's office had a strict "no plea bargain" policy in drunk driving cases. No exceptions. If SGS wanted to beat the charge and save his lucrative career as an electrical power lineman, he would have to take his case to a jury. And Dennis Melowski did exactly that. After a very hard-fought trial, with a very hometown judge looking to shut Dennis down at every turn, the jury saw through this sham of a case and found SGS Not Guilty of all charges. He walked out of the courthouse completely exonerated, with his dignity, and career, fully intact. He couldn't be happier.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The annual celebration of Thanksgiving is that one time of year when we all sit back and take stock of the important things in life. This yearly ritual rises to new levels of significance when you've just been given a second chance. Just ask our client, BEW, who was facing charges of Operating While Intoxicated and Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration. Although this was BEW's first offense, he was panicked over the impact a drunk driving charge would have on his record and, more importantly, his future. As a young man, BEW was just starting out in life and the last thing he needed holding him back was the permanent stain of a drunk driving conviction. BEW and his family sat down with Attorney Sarvan Singh where they expressed their sorrow and frustration that this one mistake would define BEW's life. Sarvan allayed their fears, however, and assured them that he would do everything possible to keep the drunk driving charge off of their son's record. But Sarvan knew he had his work cut out for him. As it turns out, there were several stubborn aspects of BEW's case. The officer who arrested BEW stopped him for driving in the early morning hours without his headlights on and the subsequent breath test at the police station revealed an alleged alcohol level of .11. It was this latter piece of evidence that proved particularly difficult to find a crack in.
Sarvan needed a game-changer, and he found it when he was discussing BEW's case with Dennis Melowski. One of the substantial advantages our firm has over others is the talent pool we can draw upon within our own office. While one lawyer is always primarily responsible for a client's case, brainstorming is a way of life for the attorneys here. We are constantly bouncing ideas and strategies off one another to maximize our clients' chances of a favorable outcome. Sarvan took advantage of this and sat down with Dennis to discuss BEW's case. And it paid off in a big way. Dennis noticed an issue that he himself used to obtain a not guilty verdict only a few months back. Sarvan employed the exact same tactic for BEW and obtained the exact same result: the jury found BEW Not Guilty of both charges he was facing. He walked out of the courthouse completely exonerated. This Thanksgiving, many of us will celebrate the day in thoughtful reflection. This year, BEW will do the same. It's just that he has a little more to be thankful for.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
"Let's be honest, how much can you really help?" These were the exact words from our client, BJL, when he first sat down and spoke with Attorney Sarvan Singh. It's a fair question when deciding whether or not to hire an attorney. As they sat there, Sarvan poured over the police reports and calmly responded, "Quite a bit." That's the level of confidence lawyers in this firm have in themselves. Our expertise and experience in exclusively handling DUI cases allows us to spot shortcomings in a case that many lawyers might miss. Just by taking one look at the police report, Sarvan knew he could beat the OWI based upon several key facts that the police officer could not prove. Sarvan pointed these problems out to the prosecutor, someone who was very familiar with the firm's record of success in these cases. The prosecutor agreed with him and amended the OWI to Inattentive Driving, which is a non-alcohol-related minor traffic offense that carries no loss of license. In fact, the prosecutor was so concerned about the strength of his case that he also agreed to reduce the Hit and Run. BJL was initially impressed with Sarvan's optimism, but was beyond thrilled when he actually delivered.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Many people struggle with the idea of hiring a lawyer, and with good reason. They're expensive, there are no guarantees, and there is only so much a lawyer can do with a bad set of facts.That was the issue vexing MC. MC was facing an OWI-1st Offense and a Reckless Driving charge in a case with some difficult circumstances. MC ran his car into a tree; failed all three field sobriety tests- twice; and rang up a breath result of .15. Given these facts, MC wondered whether it was worth the trouble and expense of hiring a lawyer. But a close friend of MC's is an attorney in Arizona and was familiar with Melowski & Associates' record of success in tough cases like this. MC's friend urged him to consider the profound, life-long consequences of being a convicted drunk driver before just pleading guilty. MC spoke with Attorney Sarvan Singh. Sarvan looked closely at all the facts, and while there were plenty of bad ones, he found the one good fact he needed. He filed a motion challenging MC's arrest. After filing the motion, he spoke with the prosecutor, someone against whom Sarvan had success in the past. After listening to Sarvan, the prosecutor knew there was a weakness in the case and that Sarvan was very much up to the task of exploiting it. Rather than risk going to battle with Sarvan, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the OWI charge down to Inattentive Driving, which is a non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense that carries no loss of license. MC was thrilled, especially now as he's in the process of obtaining his commercial driver's license. If you ask MC, he'll tell you hiring a lawyer was well worth it.