Tuesday, September 9, 2014
September 4, 2014: Client Found NOT GUILTY of All Charges in OWI-1st Case (with .11 Blood Test Result)
This was a major victory for our client, CH. As a former police officer looking to get back into law enforcement, a complete exoneration in court was her only option. The prosecutor was dead set against giving CH any breaks, not only because he did not want to be perceived as giving a former cop preferential treatment, but also because he did not want to "kowtow" (his word) to Dennis Melowski. It also didn't help matters that CH was the ex-wife of the police chief, who was hellbent on making sure CH was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The trial was very contentious from the start and it was clear that the prosecution was willing to do whatever was necessary to secure a guilty verdict. But by the close of the prosecution's case to the jury, Dennis Melowski had done so much damage to the police witnesses that there was practically no case against his client left. By the time Dennis was done cross-examining the arresting officer, his credibility had been so badly damaged that, at Dennis' request, the judge took the highly unusual step of striking ALL of the officer's testimony. The judge instructed the jury to disregard everything the officer testified to and to treat the case as if the officer never took the witness stand. Without the officer's testimony, Dennis knew the prosecutor could not prove his case. Dennis asked the judge to direct verdicts of NOT GUILTY in favor of his client, a request the judge immediately granted. All charges against CH were dismissed on the spot and she was completely cleared of both the OWI and PAC charges. It was the best outcome she could have hoped for and she broke down with tears of joy. As we have said more than once, there is no substitute for superior lawyering. It's a lesson we love to teach to overzealous prosecutors. And dishonest cops.