Thursday, November 5, 2015

OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .246 blood test result) Reduced to Minor Traffic Ticket for CDL Client in Waukesha County

Our client, JJ, has been a truck driver most of his adult life. It's the career he loves and the sole means of providing for his wife and children. So when JJ got arrested for his first-ever drunk driving charge, his immediate concern was for his family. As most truck drivers know, a drunk driving conviction can be a professional death sentence, leading to immediate termination in most cases. Even worse, it can scare off future employers for years. In short, a drunk driving conviction was not something JJ could afford to have. After calling numerous lawyers who offered him no hope, JJ came across the Melowski & Associates website and read about the countless CDL clients the firm has helped over the years. After speaking with Dennis Melowski himself, JJ knew he had found the only lawyer up to the task of saving his career.

When Dennis first looked at JJ's case, he knew there were two things definitely working against him: JJ had a very high blood test result of .246; and his case was in Waukesha County, which is notorious for taking a very hard-line approach in drunk driving cases. But Dennis also knew that JJ had a very legitimate issue regarding the officer's initial stop of his vehicle. You see, the officer stopped JJ solely because his high-mounted rear brake light was out. That's it. The officer did not see JJ commit any other traffic violations, nor did he see JJ drive erratically. While a defective high-mounted rear brake lamp can provide a valid basis for a traffic stop in certain situations, Dennis knows that it requires the officer to have certain information about the particular vehicle before stopping the driver. If Dennis could get the officer to admit that he didn't have enough information about JJ's vehicle prior to the stop, he could very well get JJ's case dismissed. With his plan in place, the officer was carefully (and successfully) questioned about this very issue at JJ's administrative suspension hearing. Based on the officer's testimony at the this hearing, Dennis filed a number of legal challenges regarding the stop of JJ's vehicle. After a few hearings were held, Dennis was gradually able to convince the prosecutor that the stop of JJ's vehicle was invalid. Rather than risk having the whole case dismissed, the prosecutor agreed to drop the drunk driving charges against JJ, in exchange for a no contest plea to the minor traffic ticket of Inattentive Driving, which carries only a fine. JJ's license would not be suspended and his CDL privileges would be completely spared. Most important, JJ would avoid the professional death sentence of a drunk driving conviction. Needless to say, JJ was thrilled with this fantastic result. So thrilled, in fact, that he posted a 5-star review of Dennis' work on the independent lawyer rating website Avvo. You can read JJ's review here (it's titled "CDL OWI first offense case):