Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 15, 2014: Jury Finds Client NOT GUILTY in OWI-2nd Case (with .10 breath test result)

The prosecutor in this case made our decision to go to trial a very easy one. He would not agree to reduce AH's drunk driving charge to a lesser offense and would not make any meaningful concessions in the sentence he was seeking. So he lost the case instead. After poking hole after hole in the arresting officer's explanation of events, Dennis Melowski quickly made the State's case against AH fall apart. Dennis even caught the arresting officer red-handed on police department video skipping a very important part of the breath test procedure, a misstep that seriously called into question the accuracy of the result. In the end, it took the jury only 20 minutes to find AH NOT GUILTY of all charges. Sometimes the State has to learn the hard way and Dennis is more than happy to teach them. And AH is even happier.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

6 More Clients Avoid Drunk Driving Convictions

Our attorneys have been on an absolute tear lately. All of the following fantastic results have occurred just in the last 2 months:**

1) OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .11 blood test result) Reduced to Inattentive Driving and Speeding

This case was a major victory for DG, one of our many out-of-state clients. Had he been convicted of the original drunk driving charges, he would have been facing drastic consequences in his home state, consequences that would have likely led to him losing his job and profoundly impacting his ability to gain similar employment in the future. The stakes were very high in this case. After several months of intense negotiations with the prosecutor, Dennis Melowski was able to convince the prosecutor to drop the original charges to minor traffic offenses based on numerous holes Dennis was able to uncover in the case. Based on the deal Dennis worked out,  DG suffered no penalties other than fines and never lost his license for a single day. 

2) OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Non-Alcohol-Related Town Ordinance Violation

Our client, SD, came to us with a very difficult set of facts. He had been called in by another driver who followed him all the way to his house. Ultimately the police responded and SD was allegedly found passed out in his driveway. The police believed they had a "slam-dunk" drunk driving case on their hands and quickly arrested SD. In their haste, however, the police made some mistakes in their investigation and we were able to develop an issue as to whether the cops had authority to go on to SD's property in the first place. Also, SD never actually refused to submit to the blood test, contrary to the officers' claims, a point we were able to very successfully leverage in negotiations with the prosecutor. In the end, it became apparent to the prosecutor that there were legitimate issues in SD's case that made it far more trouble to prosecute than it was worth. Ultimately, we were able to convince the prosecutor to agree to an outstanding resolution of SD's case. The original drunk driving and Refusal charges were dropped. In exchange, SD agreed to plead no contest to a newly issued municipal ordinance violation for Disorderly Conduct, an offense which will not even appear on SD's driver record. Aside from paying a fine, SD suffered no consequences from his arrest. He could not have been happier with this terrific outcome. (To read SD's review of our work in his case on an independent lawyer rating website, click here:  http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/53081-wi-dennis-melowski-1523763/reviews.html).

3) First Offense (with .249 blood test result) Reduced to Inattentive Driving for Police Officer Client

Much of our unmatched success in defending accused drunk drivers is due to our proven ability to completely dismantle and discredit police testimony in court. Often, we must be confrontational with the police to effectively represent our clients, which can sometimes lead to strained relations with the officers. Ironically, however, we have had countless clients referred to us over the years by police officers. Whether family members or friends, these officers want the best possible representation for the people closest to them. In short, perhaps more than anybody, the cops on the front line know who the most effective attorneys are. They either see it with their own eyes in court or they hear about it from other officers. Several times, we have even represented officers themselves who have had the misfortune of being arrested for drunk driving, which was the case with our client, HM. HM had been involved in a serious accident in which she sustained injuries. Although the accident was not her fault, a blood test during medical examination following the crash revealed that she had an alcohol level of .249 in her blood, a result that was more than 3 times the legal limit. The blood test evidence was very damning and it became the central focus of the case against HM. After much research and countless hours going through the blood evidence, we were able to find several significant reasons to question the validity of the result. Months of intense negotiations with the prosecutor produced a fantastic result for HM. The drunk driving charged was dropped. Instead, HM plead no contest to Inattentive Driving, a minor traffic offense which carries no loss of license. HM was spared the career-ending stigma of a drunk driving conviction and is still employed as a police officer. 

4) OWI-1st/Refusal Of Chemical Test Reduced to Reckless Driving and Operating Left of Center

This case is another example of our complete devotion to accomplishing our clients' goals, regardless of how long it might take. KD's case was more than two and a half years old when we finally worked out the deal that saved his job. Despite heavy resistance, we were able to finally convince the prosecutor to drop the original drunk driving and Refusal charges in exchange for no contest pleas to reduced charges of Reckless Driving and Operating Left of Center. How? By closely examining the video of KD's alleged refusal of the breath test at the police station, we were able to identify several misleading and erroneous comments made by the officers that played a factor in KD's alleged refusal of the test. In short, the cops screwed up and we could prove it with their own video evidence. Without the Refusal charge, the prosecutor knew he would have a very difficult time in prevailing on the OWI charge, which prompted this great resolution. As a side benefit to KD, due to the age of his case when it was resolved, the points associated with the 2 reduced charges no longer would count against his driver record. Another VERY happy client.

5) Commercial Driving Client Avoids Lifetime CDL Disqualification; Second Drunk Driving Charge (with .174 blood test result) Amended to Non-Alcohol-Related Misdemeanor Offense

Although only 27, JS was staring down his second drunk driving charge. Because of this, JS was facing lifetime disqualification of his commercial driving privileges. This would not only mean the immediate loss of a well-paying commercial driving job, it would also mean that JS would never drive commercially again. Ever. JS could not bear the thought of such a harsh consequences. Fortunately, a close friend of JS' was a former client of Dennis Melowski's whose commercial driving career Dennis had saved. This former client urged JS to not give up hope and to call Dennis right away. JS took his friend's advice and it was the best decision he ever made. Dennis was able to convince the prosecutor to drop the original drunk driving charges in exchange for JS' plea of no contest to a newly issued misdemeanor charge of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, which would not even appear on JS' driver record. JS was placed on probation for one year and had to pay a fine, but he never lost his license for a single day; didn't have to spend a single day in jail; and his commercial driving privileges remain fully intact. And he still has his job. 

6) OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .12 breath test result) Reduced to Inattentive Driving

Few professions are hit harder by a drunk driving conviction than commercial airline pilots. A drunk driving conviction is viewed as such a black mark for a commercial pilot that it can be a death sentence for a pilot's career. That's the situation our client, RC, found himself in. At 52, RC couldn't afford to start looking for a new career. Being a pilot was all he had ever known. RC knew he would have to do whatever he could to keep this unfortunate incident from ruining the rest of his life. After extensive research, and after interviewing many very good attorneys, RC decided that Melowski & Associates was his only hope. It was a decision RC will never regret. After slugging the case out for more than a year, the prosecutor finally gave up seeking a conviction on the original drunk driving charges.Instead, RC agreed to plead no contest to Inattentive Driving, a non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense that would have no impact on RC's driving privileges. Even more important, it would have no impact on RC's pilot license and would result in no repercussions from the FAA. RC's flying career was saved. It was the exact outcome he was hoping for.

**This truly is a remarkable string of successful results in some very difficult drunk driving cases. If you are calling around and talking to other attorneys, please ask them to identify the outcomes of drunk driving cases they have resolved in the last few months. Make them be specific. Our guess is that you will not hear anything close to this. If they tell you at all.