Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Relentless is a word that is often used to describe our approach to defending our clients' drunk driving cases. We will not be bullied by prosecutors, nor will we be intimidated by judges. Our focus is singular: do anything we ethically can to achieve our clients' goals and obtain the best possible outcome for them. The case against our client, JEH, is a perfect example of this. JEH was arrested in September of 2011. For two years, Dennis Melowski explored every possible legal avenue on JEH's behalf, including raising challenges to the admissibility of the field sobriety test evidence against JEH. As it turns out, JEH suffered from a variety of physical ailments that seriously called into question the validity of the results from those tests. Dennis was even able to catch the arresting officer in a big lie: the officer claimed to have observed nystagmus in one of JEH's eyes, an eye in which JEH had no sight! Dennis argued his case to the judge at a lengthy motion hearing and, at the end of the hearing, even the judge expressed skepticism about many of the officer's claims. After extensive briefing of the matter over the next several months, the veteran prosecutor finally realized that Dennis had probably damaged the case against JEH beyond repair. Prior to the judge even making a decision on Dennis' motions, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the OWI and PAC charges against JEH. In exchange JEH plead no contest to a companion ticket for Failure to Keep Vehicle Under Control. Aside from paying a fine of $193.10, JEH suffered no consequences from this incident. He did not lose his license for even a single day; avoided the mandatory IID requirement; and, above all, avoided a life-changing drunk driving conviction.