Monday, April 29, 2013

April 12, 2013: Complete Dismissal of OWI-2nd Offense with .09 Test Result

Our client, WK, was initially stopped for "deviating within her own lane" after a sheriff's deputy followed her for some time on the interstate. After smelling alcohol on her breath, the deputy had WK perform some roadside sobriety tests (on video), which she supposedly failed. After her arrest, she was taken to the sheriff's department for a breath test, with an alleged result of .09. Unfortunately for WK, this was her second such arrest in the last 12 months and she was charged criminally with an OWI-2nd. If convicted, she was facing mandatory jail time of about 60 days in this particular county, along with a 14-month license revocation, ignition interlock installation and a hefty fine. Even worse, because WK's prior arrest occurred within the last 12 months, she would be completely ineligible for an occupational license if convicted. After much research interviewing attorneys, WK chose Dennis Melowski for the important task of saving her from these horrible consequences.

At Melowski & Associates, our attorneys will utilize any crack they can find in a client's case to gain an advantage. It's an important part of what makes us so successful and is a key distinction between our firm and others. Sometimes these cracks can be found where you least expect them. WK's case is a perfect example of this.  Early on in the case, Dennis seized on an opportunity to protest to the judge that some important evidence in WK's case was not turned over to him, despite Dennis' specific request for it. After several months of litigating this issue, the prosecutor disclosed that the evidence Dennis had been seeking had not been preserved. This fact, combined with some other difficulties the prosecutor was having with a key witness in the case, led to a complete dismissal of all charges against WK. It was the best possible result she could have hoped for and she couldn't be happier.    

Thursday, April 18, 2013

5 Incredible Results in the Last 10 Weeks: 4 Sets of Drunk Driving Charges Dropped and an OWI-3rd Reduced to an OWI-1st

Our attorneys have enjoyed incredible success so far this year, as previous entries in the Real Results Tracker demonstrate. And recently we have been on an absolute tear. Take a look at these fantastic outcomes we have obtained for our clients just since February 1:

Case #1: OWI-1st (with .178 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets- Our client, ALM, was found stopped in the middle of a lane of traffic. After allegedly failing the field sobriety tests on camera, she was taken to the hospital for a blood draw, the result of which was .178, more than twice the legal limit. Initially the case for the prosecutor looked strong, but after thorough and careful questioning of the arresting deputy at ALM's DOT suspension hearing, Dennis Melowski was able to lay the groundwork for some legal challenges that he used as leverage in negotiations with the prosecutor, someone who was very familiar with Dennis' track record at trial. Rather than risk a complete loss, the prosecutor agreed to drop the original OWI and PAC charges in exchange for the client's plea of no contest to two minor traffic tickets: Inattentive Driving and Improper Standing of Vehicle. Aside from paying a fine, ALM suffered no consequences from her arrest and was able to avoid the career-ending stigma of a drunk driving conviction. Needless to say, she was thrilled.

Case # 2: OWI-3rd (with .192 Blood Test Result) Reduced to OWI-1st with Minimum Penalties and No IID Installation- When our attorneys are on a case, we pride ourselves in leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of exceptional results for our clients, even if it means closely scrutinizing a client's DUI conviction from years before. It was this commitment to finding any crack we can to exert as leverage which led to an incredible result for our client, BLT. BLT came to us with a third offense, a serious charge that typically involves a several-month jail sentence, two to three years of license revocation, exhorbitant fines, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for years. The allegations against BLT in his present case were going to be very difficult to overcome. He was called in by another driver after some very poor driving was observed and his blood test came back at .192. It became clear that we would have to look elsewhere if BLT was going to get the type of result to which our clients are so accustomed. So Dennis Melowski dug deep into BLT's past and found a serious defect in his second DUI conviction. This defect was brought to the attention of the prosecutor, who agreed that BLT's second offense should not be counted. The prosecutor agreed to reduce BLT's third offense to a first offense. But Dennis wasn't quite done. While most attorneys would have taken that offer and run, Dennis held out for more and ultimately got the prosecutor to agree to eliminate the IID requirement for the first offense conviction. Because BLT's blood test was so high, even if he was convicted of a simple first offense, he was still facing the IID requirement for one year. But Dennis convinced the prosecutor to reduce BLT's alleged blood alcohol level to below .15, thereby removing him from the range of IID requirement. He also got the prosecutor to agree to the absolute minimum penalties for a first offense. BLT was ecstatic. He never had to spend a day in jail; only had his license revoked for 6 months; never had to install an IID; and paid a fine that was thousands less than originally charged.

Case #3: OWI-1st/PAC-1st Reduced to Reckless Driving- Our client, LJ, has an excellent job with a well-known Wisconsin corporation that requires him to drive a company vehicle. Unfortunately, LJ's stop and arrest for DUI occurred while he was driving his company vehicle. This was a major problem and the company's rules were very clear. If LJ was convicted of any alcohol-related charge, or if he was convicted of an offense where he lost his license for even a single day, he would be fired, despite his long history with the company. LJ was very motivated to do whatever he possibly could to avoid a DUI conviction and save the job he valued so much. Fortunately, LJ was able to talk to some friends who had used Dennis Melowski with great success in their own DUI cases in the past. The outcome in LJ's case is a testament to just how important it is to hire a lawyer with a well-known reputation for winning. As it turns out, the prosecutor for the municipality where LJ's arrest occurred went toe to toe with Dennis in a jury trial about 2 years earlier. In a case the prosecutor thought for sure he would win, Dennis' client was found not guilty. Not wanting to experience another trial with Dennis where the prospect of a conviction would be far from certain, the prosecutor agreed to drop the drunk driving charges. Instead, LJ plead no contest to a reduced charge of Reckless Driving, which is a non-alcohol-related charge that involves no loss of license. Aside from paying a fine, LJ suffered no consequences from his arrest. He never lost his license and still has his job.

Case #4: OWI-1st (with .160 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Inattentive Driving and Impeding Traffic By Slow Speed- Over the years, Dennis Melowski has represented nearly a dozen clients for whom he has been able to beat a DUI charge more than once. In 2010, Dennis successfully represented JH when he picked up his first DUI charge by having it reduced to the minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving, saving JH's job in the process. When JH had the misfortune of being arrested again in 2012, there was little doubt that he would be calling on Dennis to try to save him a second time. And Dennis delivered. After seriously undermining the arresting officer's credibility at JH's administrative suspension hearing, Dennis was able to lay the groundwork for several legal challenges in court. After reviewing the challenges Dennis filed, even the prosecutor believed that a drunk driving conviction was in jeopardy. This belief was cemented after Dennis exposed several discrepancies between what the arresting officer claimed in his report and what appeared on his squad video. Dennis was able to negotiate another fantastic result for JH. The OWI charge was reduced to Inattentive Driving and the PAC charge was reduced to Impeding Traffic by Slow Speed. Aside from a fine, JH suffered no consequences from his arrest and was able to avoid the life-altering stigma of a drunk driving conviction (again).

Case #5: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test/Underage Drinking Reduced to Absolute Sobriety Violation- Our client, TF, is a 20-year-old college student with a bright and promising future. The last thing anyone needs at this critical stage of their young adult life is a drunk driving conviction that will haunt them for years to come. From getting admitted to graduate schools to applying for sought-after jobs, a convicted drunk driver is frequently placed on the bottom of the pile. So when TF got arrested, his parents knew they would have to hire the best attorney they could find to save their son's future. After exhaustive research, they knew that Dennis Melowski was the one for the job. And Dennis initially had his work cut out for him. In addition to the OWI charge, TF was also charged with Unlawful Refusal of a Chemical Test (carrying greater consequences than the OWI charge itself) and Underage Drinking (TF's second such offense, thereby exposing him to license suspension). But after doing a lot of digging, Dennis was able to find several issues that helped give him significant leverage in negotiations with the prosecutor, someone very familiar with Dennis' success rate in these cases. After much discussion, Dennis finally got the prosecutor to agree to reduce the drunk driving charge to an Absolute Sobriety Violation and to dismiss the remaining Refusal and Underage Drinking charges. Although the Absolute Sobriety Violation carries a 90-day license suspension, it is not a drunk driving charge. It simply means that TF was drinking alcohol and drove, which is illegal given the fact that he was not yet 21. Not only was TF able to avoid the stigma of a drunk driving conviction, he also avoided the lengthy and costly court-ordered alcohol counseling associated with the original charges and was also able to avoid the ignition interlock device (IID) installation. His bright and promising future remains fully intact.