Monday, April 21, 2014

March 18, 2014: Jury Finds Client Not Guilty of All Charges in OWI-2nd Case (with .11 Blood Test Result)

Our client, JB, had a lot riding on this case, a fact Dennis Melowski was well aware of before he even agreed to take it on. JB's job was literally on the line. As an electrician for a large electrical contracting firm, JB was required to drive company-owned vehicles on a moment's notice. A conviction for a second drunk driving offense would have made that impossible, given the mandatory ignition interlock requirement and long waiting period for an occupational license JB was facing. Unfortunately, the DA's office with whom Dennis Melowski was dealing wouldn't budge during pretrial negotiations. Given the allegations against JB, they thought they had a slam-dunk case. JB had been stopped for having a burnt-out headlight and supposedly failed the field sobriety tests on camera, in addition to having all of the classic "impairment indicators" (slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, slow/deliberate movements, etc.). On top of all that, JB's blood test result came back at .11. In short, the DA's office felt a jury would easily convict JB when presented with all of the evidence.

But as countless prosecutors who have had jury trials against Dennis Melowski have learned, no case is ever as strong as they think it is. In fact, it is the seemingly blind faith that prosecutors have in their police witnesses and blood test evidence that Dennis likes to take advantage of. And there may not be a more compelling example of this than the outcome in JB's case. All of the "slam-dunk" evidence the prosecutor was so certain would be JB's doom turned out to hold the keys to JB's complete exoneration. The squad video evidence? Dennis used that to catch the arresting officer in numerous lies and half-truths that seriously called into question the officer's credibility. Dennis' cross-examination of this officer was so effective that it became the talk of the courthouse for a few days after the trial. The blood test result? Dennis was able to get the unprepared analyst to admit to several shortcomings at the lab that went directly to the validity of the result in JB's case. Dennis was even able to get the analyst to admit she made a mistake in one of the calculations she did during her testimony in front of the jury! By the time Dennis was through with the State's witnesses, the case against JB went from a slam-dunk conviction to a complete acquittal. The jury found JB NOT GUILTY of all charges. It was the best possible outcome for JB. And he deserved it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Client found not guilty at trial in OWI 1st with .198 blood test

Prosecutors often leave you no choice. They give you one option- plead to the drunk driving.  That's it. And let's be honest, it's not much of a choice. That was exactly what HC was presented with when charged with OWI. Unfortunately, an OWI conviction would be devastating to HC. She possessed a commercial driver's license and owned a trucking company. A conviction meant catastrophe for her business and livelihood. After substantial research, she reached out to our firm and sat down with Attorney Sarvan Singh. She presented her paperwork, which included a blood test of .198. Attorney Singh appealed to the prosecutor. Given how much HC stood to lose if convicted, it seemed only right to amend the charge. Unfortunately, the prosecutor dug in and forced the matter to jury trial. At trial, Attorney Singh made quick work of the prosecution's witnesses and then obliterated their case in his closing. It was a convincing argument as the jury came back with a not guilty verdict on both counts. After the verdict was read, HC could not stop crying with joy. As she repeatedly said, hiring Sarvan was one of the best decisions she had ever made.