Thursday, January 29, 2015
Attorney Murray Gets a Hat Trick
January 22, 2015: Client Avoids OWI - 3rd Conviction for Second Time with Our Firm
After a year of college and four years as an apprentice, B.O. had become a journeyman lineman when he was charged with his third drunk driving offense. The mandatory license revocation would result in him losing his job and possibly his career. He hired Melowski & Associates when things initially looked bleak. Someone called B.O. in after he was observed throwing up in a parking lot. The officer observed B.O. driving erratically, the field sobriety tests were not favorable, and the blood test was high. Things would have been difficult had the case made it to trial. Attorney Murray knew the case would have to be won ahead of time and went to work right away. At the administrative suspension hearing, the officer admitted that B.O. had asked multiple questions about the blood test; however, when a motion was filed attacking what was discussed, the officer testified there had been no questions, and had there been he would have noted them in his report. When Attorney Murray brought out a copy of the transcript from the prior hearing, it was apparent the officer had either made a mistake or was lying. Either way, things started looking better. The judge took the case under advisement and prior to a decision on the motion being rendered, the prosecution agreed to amend the drunk driving charges to a Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, which carries zero license revocation and no ignition interlock device. B.O. kept his license, job and career. Many attorneys do not even bother requesting the administrative suspension hearing. At Melowski & Associates, we know that outcomes like these begin with that hearing and that is why we request the hearing in just about every case. What makes this an even greater outcome is that this is the second time our firm was able to help B.O. avoid a drunk driving conviction.
January 20, 2015: OWI - 1st with Admission to Drinking More Than 20 Beers Amended to Inattentive Driving
A.J., also a journeyman lineman, was in a similar position to the post above. Charged with an OWI - First Offense, his career was on the line due to the mandatory license revocation. This was another difficult case, mainly because A.J. had admitted to drinking over 20 beers and the officer testified that A.J. fishtailed so badly that he thought he was going to roll the vehicle. Nevertheless, A.J. had no choice but to fight the case. He hired Melowski & Associates and Attorney Murray fought the case aggressively through municipal court and then on an appeal to circuit court. At the municipal court level, it was discovered that the breath test would be inadmissible as the breath test operator had left the department and moved out of state. Sometimes you get lucky. However, the prosecutor refused to budge, thinking they had an easy win with the driving and horrible admission of drinking 20 beers. After the appeal to circuit court, Attorney Murray made it clear that despite the bad facts, we would be fighting the case and would be going through with a jury trial. Then the reckless driving offer came. Normally, this offer would be a no-brainer in a case as difficult as this. The problem was that A.J. had a Michigan license and Michigan suspends licenses for reckless driving citations, meaning he would still lose his job. Attorney Murray refused the offer and in turn offered an inattentive driving ticket, a minor traffic offense that would not result in license loss in Wisconsin or Michigan. The prosecutor finally gave in and A.J. couldn't be happier.
December 2014: Criminal Hit and Run of Attended Vehicle Dropped to Minor Non-Moving Traffic Violation
S.O. smashed into the back of a semi while the driver of the semi was sleeping in the cab. S.O. pulled his car into a nearby parking lot, panicked and left on foot. Officers came to his apartment, and while they suspected drunk driving, they could not prove it given the time that had passed. Instead, they charged S.O. with the crime of Hit and Run of an Attended Vehicle, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. However, one thing that was overlooked by the prosecution was that they had to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that S.O. knew the vehicle was attended or occupied. Since the driver of the semi was sleeping in the cab and never woke up until police arrived, this would have been a very difficult task. When Attorney Murray pointed this out, the prosecution amended the charge to a non-moving traffic violation for failing to report an accident. Aside from paying a forfeiture, S.O. did not spend a single day in jail, does not have a criminal conviction, and did not even receive an assessment of demerit points. S.O. was ecstatic.