Friday, July 26, 2013


It is difficult to describe an OWI-Homicide case as having a successful outcome. After all, an innocent person has died and that fact will never change, regardless of what happens in the end. In addition to the loss of a victim's life, these tragic cases often involve the destruction of the alleged perpetrator's. Since 99% of these cases end with a prison sentence (usually a long one) families can be torn apart for years and careers can be devastated. The tragedy of the typical outcome in these cases is exacerbated when the person facing such a serious charge is widely regarded as a good, caring and responsible person...with no prior record. That certainly described our client, CPS. Although only 23, CPS was held in high esteem by everyone who knew him. Hard-working, responsible and very involved in his local church, few would have predicted that CPS would ever find himself staring down a homicide charge that could send him to prison for the next 15 years. After the initial shock of this unthinkable reality wore off, CPS and his family knew they would have to find a lawyer up to the challenge of saving his life. Not knowing who to call, they turned to their business attorney for a recommendation. His advice was simple: "You need to call Dennis Melowski."

Dennis has significant experience with these charges over the years and they are always difficult. One of the many difficulties is the fact that public perception of such a charge often clouds legitimate defenses that may exist. And in this case, CPS had a legitimate defense: was the accident unavoidable? Knowing how critical quick action is in these cases, Dennis immediately dispatched his accident reconstruction expert to the scene of the accident, laying the groundwork for what would ultimately be one of the keys to CPS's defense. As it turns out, the cyclist whom CPS struck was riding down a rural county highway on a foggy, rainy night. Visibility was poor. And although two eyewitnesses claim they saw a flashing light on the bike, no light was ever recovered from the bike or the vicinity. A serious question began to arise as to whether any motorist traveling that same stretch of highway in those conditions would have seen the cyclist with enough time to take evasive action. This fact, combined with some other investigative deficiencies in the case, led to a phenomenal resolution of CPS's case just one week before his week-long jury trial was scheduled to begin. The original charge of OWI-Homicide was amended to Second-Degree Reckless Homicide (which carries no license revocation) and the prosecutor agreed to just a 90-day county jail sentence with work-release privileges, along with 3 years of probation. Recognizing the legitimate factual issues that existed in the case, along with CPS's impeccable character and sincere remorse, the experienced judge approved the sentence. Not only was CPS spared a prison sentence, he was able to keep his job at the family business. And while CPS and his family will mourne the loss of the victim's life forever, the sense of relief they feel with the outcome of this case cannot be imagined.

Media accounts of the result in this case can be read here:

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Imagine the following: a driver behind the wheel passed out; an admission to drinking; failed field sobriety tests; and a blood alcohol level of .23. These facts would flummox most lawyers. But helping our clients out of such a situation is how our firm has earned its reputation. These were the circumstances that NPR presented to Attorney Sarvan Singh when they met one afternoon in November. NPR thought his situation was hopeless. And it was taking its toll on NPR, who was losing sleep. He placed his hope in Sarvan and was not disappointed.  Sarvan filed motion upon motion challenging the stop and arrest. When that didn't work, Sarvan focused his attention on the upcoming trial. As the trial date approached, Sarvan developed a novel defense for NPR and a roadblock for the prosecutor. Faced with the possibility of losing at trial, the prosecutor quickly agreed to amend the OWI to a Reckless Driving. After nearly a year, NPR can now finally relax.


Often a client doesn't realize how great of a case he or she may have. Like our client, AGG, who thought his case didn't stand a chance. AGG and his buddy put their truck into a ditch and sat there for an indeterminate amount of time drinking some beer they had in the back seat. When officers arrived, AGG panicked and decided to hide. He was immediately found, arrested and ultimately provided a test result of .11. Attorney Sarvan Singh looked at the police report and knew he was working with a great case. He saw numerous potential problems with prosecuting AGG with drunken driving. The State agreed and amended the OWI to a simple traffic infraction, allowing AGG to keep his license, his job, and most importantly, his reputation.


Many of our clients get dealt a bad hand. For example, DRO, a commercial driver who was pulled over, argumentative with the cops, and provided a test result of .138. However, DRO's case contained an obscure legal issue that an inexperienced lawyer may not have identified. Not only did Attorney Sarvan Singh recognize the issue, he knew exactly how to leverage it to the client's benefit. On the day of DRO's trial, Sarvan unleashed the legal issue challenging the procedures followed by the officers when they arrested DRO. Upon examination, the judge agreed with Sarvan- the officers failed to follow the proper procedure, which in turn changed the entire complexion of the prosecutor's case. The prosecutor could not go forward and agreed to amend the OWI to a Reckless Driving, which saved DRO's commercial driver's license and livelihood.