Monday, December 19, 2016

Another Hat Trick for Attorney Murray

Case #1: OWI/PAC - First Offense Amended to Reckless Driving

After recently moving to the area, MB was drinking casually at home on his day off when he decided to go to the grocery store. On the way, distracted by his GPS device, MB lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree. When law enforcement arrived, they smelled alcohol, put MB through field sobriety tests, which MB allegedly failed, and then arrested him for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). They also cited him with Failing to Maintain Control of Vehicle. MB was then brought to the station where he submitted to an evidentiary breath test with the reported value being .08, which is .001 over the legal limit. MB was then issued another citation for Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC).

The difficulty with the .08 was the timing of the drinking history. MB told the officers that he stopped drinking an hour before the accident. With a preliminary breath test on scene above .10, and the evidentiary breath test not occurring until two and a half hours after drinking, the prosecutor asserted that MB would have been well above a .08 at the time of the accident and refused to budge.

Given the prosecutor's inflexible position, MB and Attorney Murray appeared the morning of the jury trial ready to try the case. Prior to beginning, Attorney Murray offered one more time to settle the case with a Reckless Driving citation and, after some pressing, the prosecutor agreed. Ultimately, MB pled to two citations for Reckless Driving and Failing to Maintain Control of Vehicle, which come off a driving record after five years. An OWI or PAC charge remains on your driving record for 55 years. While this was a case that we believe would likely have resulted in Not Guilty verdicts (at least as to the OWI and PAC charges), MB was very happy with the outcome and this makes us happy.

OWI/PAC - Third Offense Amended to engligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Disorderly Conduct to Avoid Any Consequences to Client's Commercial Driver's License

RD hired Matt Murray to represent him on an OWI/PAC - Third Offense wherein he was pulled over for erratic driving and an equipment violation. The officer detected the strong odor of intoxicants, slurred speech and glassy eyes. RB initially admitted to a couple beers, but later admitted to "four, five or six." RB failed the field sobriety tests, a preliminary breath test registered a result of .134 and a blood test returned a result of .18. To make matters worse, RD looked drunk on the video and had a CDL, which he needed for work.

Attorney Murray reviewed all the records and recordings he could find and ultimately filed two motions. The first challenge was to the field sobriety tests and whether there was probable cause to administer a preliminary breath test. RD informed the officer that he had knee problems, which was simply disregarded at the time by the officer. The other issue was that on the morning this occurred, the temperature was so frigid that you could see the backup officer walking abnormally on the video due to the cold. So, how is someone supposed to perform field sobriety tests if it is so cold that an officer cannot even walk normally? Attorney Murray also filed a motion challenging RD's second offense, which would have dropped RD's conviction down to a first offense given that his first offense was more than 10 years old.

Prior to the motion hearing, Attorney Murray worked out an agreement with the prosecutor to simply charge RD with two criminal charges of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Disorderly Conduct. RD was placed on probation for two years and ordered to serve 10 days jail, likely at home on electronic monitoring. A fine was also imposed. However, no license revocation or ignition interlock device was imposed which would have ended RD's career as a commercial vehicle mechanic. This was also a fantastic result because the minimum jail term for a third offense is 45 days jail and at a .18 blood test, he was facing much more than 45 days. RD is thrilled, not only because his career is saved, but because he will only have to miss a week of his daughter's sporting events. Another very happy client.

Operating While Intoxicated - First Offense Amended to Citation for Inattentive Driving

This was a situation in which MT was taking his prescriptions as prescribed but they had awful side effects, causing terrible driving and terrible field sobriety tests. The side effects were so bad that the officer arrested MT for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). While MT may have been impaired by his prescriptions, Attorney Murray was able to prove through experts that MT was taking his medications as prescribed and confirmed the levels of drugs in MT's system were consistent with taking the medications in accordance with his doctor's instructions.

Surprisingly, the prosecutor initially dug in his heels and scoffed at the suggestion that the case be amended or dismissed. Ultimately, the prosecutor did the right thing and agreed to amend the charge to a minor traffic ticket for inattentive driving. MT avoided a lengthy license revocation, having to comply with an alcohol assessment and counseling, and the fine was significantly reduced. Not to mention, the ticket will come off MT's driving record after five years, whereas the OWI would be there for 55 years. MT was extremely pleased with this fantastic result.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

6 More Clients Avoid Drunk Driving Convictions Across the State*

Case #1: Complete Dismissal of Charges in OWI-1st/PAC-1st Case (with .25 blood test result)

Dennis Melowski's client, LB, is employed as an electrical power lineman. A very dangerous field, but also one that is very well-paying. This line of work typically requires a valid commercial driver's license or CDL. As most CDL holders are well aware,  nothing is a greater threat to their livelihood than a drunk driving conviction, which results in a one-year CDL disqualification for a first offense and a lifetime disqualification for a second. So when LB got arrested for his first-ever drunk driving charge, he knew he would have to fight it because his very career was at stake. 

Initially, LB's case looked very bleak. His vehicle was reported by another motorist as driving erratically. He also failed the field sobriety tests on camera and made a number of incriminating statements to the officer. On top of it all, his blood test came back at .25, more than 3 times the legal limit. Despite the uphill battle, Dennis Melowski crafted his plan of attack. Arguing that LB was not legally intoxicated was likely a lost cause, so Dennis focused his attention on a legal issue that had the potential of eliminating the entire case against LB. Keeping his strategy carefully hidden, Dennis proceeded with LB's municipal court trial in an effort to pin down certain witnesses to build his case. Dennis even led the prosecutor to believe that his defense was headed in an entirely different direction than it was, so as to maximize his chances of catching the prosecutor off guard when the case got to circuit court. Dennis' plan worked to perfection. At a hearing before the circuit court judge, Dennis argued that there was not a sufficient basis for the officer to detain LB in the first place, since the motorist who reported LB  told the dispatcher they wished to remain anonymous. An anonymous call to the police, with nothing more, is an insufficient reason for the police to detain you. After listening to Dennis' arguments, the judge agreed and threw out all of the evidence the police had gathered against LB, including his .25 blood test. As a result of the judge's ruling, all of the charges against LB were completely dismissed. And his career as a power lineman is thriving.

Case #2: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .18 breath test result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

This was also a case with difficult facts. PW was stopped for leaving the scene of a minor traffic accident. She allegedly failed the field sobriety tests and had a breath test result of .18, more than twice the legal limit. Nevertheless, she had to do whatever she could to avoid a drunk driving conviction. As a Registered Nurse Hospital Consultant, PW traveled the country helping hospitals implement the latest training to their nursing staffs. Well-regarded in her field, PW was highly sought-after and had a lucrative career. Unfortunately, her drunk driving arrest threatened all that. Not only would she suffer an irreparable hit to her reputation if convicted, her driving privileges would be revoked and she would be required to install an ignition interlock device in her vehicle, making her extensive travel needs nearly impossible to meet. Fortunately, after much research, PW was referred to Dennis Melowski by multiple sources due to his unmatched reputation in his field. And it was Dennis' reputation that resulted in the fantastic outcome in PW's case. Despite the many factual hurdles, the prosecutor handling the case was well-aware of the success Dennis has had against the officers from the particular police agency involved in this case. Rather than risk losing the whole case, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the drunk driving charge to Reckless Driving, a non-alcohol-related traffic offense that carries no license loss and no ignition interlock requirement, just a fine. Not only were PW's driving privileges completely spared, so was her hard-earned reputation. Needless to say, she couldn't be happier.

Case #3: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .14 blood test result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets

Few professional reputations can suffer more from a drunk driving conviction than physicians, particularly surgeons. Such a conviction can result in professional discipline, the loss of hospital privileges, and a black mark that will scare off potential employers for years. For these reasons, the client's initials will not even be used in this post, nor will any specific circumstances of the case be described. Suffice it say, though, this was a particularly difficult set of facts. However, at a contested motion hearing, Dennis Melowski was able to expose just enough potential problems with the prosecutor's case to lay the groundwork for an outstanding result. After extensive negotiations, Dennis was able to convince the prosecutor to drop the original OWI and PAC charges. Instead, the client would plead no contest to two minor traffic tickets: Inattentive Driving and Unsafe Lane Deviation. Aside from paying a fine and agreeing to some community service work, this client suffered no consequences. Their professional reputation remains fully intact, as do their full hospital affiliations.

Case #4: Complete Dismissal of ALL Charges in OWI-1st/PAC-1st Case (with .09 blood test result and prescription drugs)

Sometimes clients choose to fight their case because they simply cannot fathom the thought of being a convicted drunk driver. That was primarily the case for our client, LW. Although mostly retired after a successful career in a variety of business ventures, LW still served on a few boards and was involved in a number of community programs. She couldn't bear the thought of what a drunk driving conviction would do to her reputation, so she decided to fight it. And Dennis Melowski delivered for her in a big way. Based on the officer's own squad video, Dennis did not believe there was probable cause for LW to be arrested in the first place. After Dennis expertly cross-examined the officer in court, the judge agreed. All of the evidence in the case was then thrown out and all of the charges against LW were dismissed. It is difficult to put into words just how happy LW was with the result Dennis achieved, so we thought she could tell you in her own words. This was the note of thanks Dennis received shortly after he delivered the great news to his client:
Hi Super Hero, 

I hope you received my "thank you a million!!" voicemail yesterday.  I left you my joyous regards and wasn't sure at the end because it was a long message that it sent as the usual "do you want to send with regular delivery" robot didn't come on 

I am like a different person since you sent me the great news!  It's not like jumping up and down's like "peaceful feeling, relaxed face and shoulders from no more strife and worry" feeling.  I was stunned and still am I think.  I knew you were brilliant but this result made you like a  
Anyways, I am amazed at you being such a wonderful champion for me.  I've always been a career champion to others but had never needed anybody to do something for me, and did I mention in my message that I was there for the trial.  NOT in the courtroom but I drove down that night and stayed at my Clarion Suites, pacing so much that finally my friends took me out to calm down on their yacht. 

 I am good people, you are good people, and I hope always for those who may or not be good.  That they will become good at some point. Life is better when you are good to others.  Enjoy your weekend.

Case #5: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Minor Traffic Ticket and City Ordinance Violation

Another CDL client's career was saved in this case. JB was charged with drunk driving and refusing a breath test after being stopped for speeding more than 20mph over the limit. This was a major problem for JB given his employment as a waste disposal driver for a large corporation, a great job with even better benefits. And it was all in jeopardy due to JB's arrest. In fact, as soon as his company found out about it, they relegated JB to a non-driving position at half the pay. They also made it clear that he would be fully terminated if convicted of either the OWI or Refusal offenses. Thanks to Dennis Melowski's exceptionally shrewd lawyering, that never happened. Dennis was able to convince the prosecutor to reduce the OWI charge to Inattentive Driving, a completely non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense that carries no license loss. In addition, Dennis got the Refusal charge reduced to a local city ordinance violation that would not even appear on JB's driver record. As a result of this amazing resolution, JB is back to driving full-time. And is one VERY happy client.

Case #6: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Minor Traffic Offense

This was another outcome that saved the client's career. LJ is a very successful IT consultant. He travels the country helping a variety of businesses with their IT needs. Given his almost constant need to rent cars, a valid driver's license is a necessity. Without one, LJ would lose his job...and a LOT of money. So when LJ picked up an OWI and Refusal of chemical test charge, he had to find the best attorney in the state to fight it. Most of our clients are referred to us and LJ was no exception. He had been told by every source he consulted that there was only one firm for the job: Melowski & Associates. And the firm definitely didn't disappoint. After more than a year of legal wrangling, Dennis Melowski was finally able to negotiate a fantastic, and career-saving, outcome. The original OWI and Refusal charges were dropped in exchange for LJ's plea of no contest to a single minor traffic ticket for Inattentive Driving. Aside from paying a fine, LJ suffered no consequences. Not only did he completely avoid the stigma of a drunk driving conviction, his career is stronger than ever. He couldn't be happier.

*These results occurred in the following counties, in no particular order: Dane, Marathon, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and Racine.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Another Jury Trial Win for Dennis Melowski: Client Found Not Guilty of all charges in OWI-4th/PAC-4th (with .154 blood test result)

Prosecutors are rarely willing to plea bargain an OWI-4th. In fact, most dig their heels in even more at this level of offense. And that certainly was the case with Dennis Melowski's client, JP. By the letter of the law, JP was plainly guilty of operating while intoxicated, unfortunately for the fourth time. Despite that, Dennis believed he had a very good chance of convincing a jury of JP's peers that he was not guilty. How? By appealing to the jurors' sense of fairness. Although technical guilt was clear, moral guilt was very much not. The most successful trial lawyers, the ones at the very top of their profession, know how to present their arguments to juries in such a way that jurors may look past the letter of the law to do what's right. And after only 15 minutes of deliberation, the jury did just that. They found JP NOT GUILTY of all charges. He couldn't possibly be happier.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

Attorney Murray Obtains Two Outstanding Results for Clients Charged with Third Offenses

OWI/PAC - Third Offense Completely Dismissed

Around bar time, CP pulled off on a smaller side-street to manipulate his GPS device. An officer passing by pulled him over on the basis that there had been recent burglaries at the business where CP was stopped and also characterized the side-street as a driveway for the business, which it was not. That led to CP's arrest for OWI/PAC - Third Offense. After filing an open records request, it was discovered that there was one burglary at the business and it occurred over a year prior to the stop of CP. Attorney Murray filed multiple motions, with one being a challenge to the stop of CP's vehicle. The day of the motion hearing, the prosecutor agreed and dismissed all charges. CP could not be happier and neither could we.

OWI/PAC - Third Offense Amended to Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Saves Client's Career

JH had a lucrative trade career, which required that he travel throughout Wisconsin and the United States. Unfortunately, an OWI - Third Offense conviction results in mandatory penalties such as a lengthy jail sentence and a lengthy license revocation that would all result in the loss of JH's career. Given that this case involved a .217 blood-alcohol concentration and an accident, the prosecutor was unwilling to resolve the case in a way that allowed JH to keep his career. The case was destined for trial.

The morning of trial, after having picked the jury, the prosecutor was informed that the arresting officer was unavailable. Unfortunately for JH, the news reached the courtroom within minutes of the jury being sworn, which is when double jeopardy protections would have begun. Thus, the prosecution was free to dismiss the case and re-file it. Knowing this, Attorney Murray seized the opportunity and worked out a fantastic agreement. JH was convicted of Negligent Operation and agreed to pay a monetary penalty, complete alcohol treatment, and voluntarily install an ignition interlock device in his personal vehicle for two years. JH never lost his license and never served any jail time.

Sometimes you get lucky, but such an outcome could not have happened without the perseverance and knowledge necessary to fight the case. We would like to think Attorney Murray would have won the trial anyways, but the opportunity to save  his career was too much for JH to risk.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

5 Fantastic Results for Attorney Singh's Clients: 3 Complete Dismissals and 2 Complete Acquittals at Trial

Case #1: Complete Dismissal of OWI-1st/PAC-1st Charges (with .11 test result)

Anyone who reads this blog knows that many of our clients hold a commercial driver's license (CDL). For many families, a commercial license serves as their sole source of income. That was the situation for BNL, a commercial truck driver who travels throughout the state for work. When he was stopped and arrested for Operating While Intoxicated, First Offense, his entire livelihood was at stake. With an alcohol content of .11, he reached out to Attorney Sarvan Singh. Attorney Singh noticed a peculiarity in how the officer performed the sobriety tests. He filed a motion challenging the arrest. After a contentious hearing, the judge agreed with Attorney Singh and dismissed all of the charges against BNL. Once the charges were officially dismissed, BNL was able to get back to work immediately, and most importantly, get back to supporting his family. He could not be happier.

Case #2: Complete Dismissal of OWI-3rd/PAC-3rd Charges (with .20 blood test result)

BOB was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated, Third Offense. It was a complicated case that involved dreadful driving, an accident, and a blood alcohol level over .20. Along with these aggravated factors was the reality that this took place in a very unforgiving county. BOB reached out to Attorney Sarvan Singh. Attorney Singh poured over the police reports looking for anything that may break BOB's way. Unfortunately, there was very little to work with. Attorney Singh sat down with BOB to discuss the limited options in his case, at which point, BOB mentioned something that piqued Attorney Singh's curiosity. Attorney Singh investigated the issue further and, much to BOB's delight, Attorney Singh was able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the its entirety! Instead of facing a year behind bars; a 3 year license revocation; thousands of dollars in in fines; and years of an ignition interlock device, BOB walked out of the courthouse completely cleared of all charges. A truly fantastic result.

Case #3: Jury Finds Client NOT GUILTY in OWI-2nd Case 

DES was facing an OWI-2nd in a county notorious for not amending OWI charges. DES could not afford such a conviction. He needed his license to work and without it, his business would completely collapse. DES had hired another lawyer previously, but after spending well over a year with the other attorney not getting anywhere with the case, he decided to hire Attorney Sarvan Singh to fight the case. Attorney Singh explained to DES that his only option was to go to trial and fight to win. That's when Attorney Singh went to work. After spending countless hours reviewing reports, open records, audio and video recordings, Attorney Singh was ready for the challenge of saving DES's future. Thanks to a brutally effective cross-examination of the arresting officer, the jury came back with a verdict of not guilty. After nearly three years, DES finally got the resolution he had been looking for. Another very satisfied client.

Case #4: Jury Finds CDL Client NOT GUILTY of All Charges in OWI-1st/PAC-1st Case (with .18 test result)

MOS is a young commercial driver with a very bright future. A hard and reliable worker, MOS had become a favorite employee. Then, the unimaginable happened- MOS was arrested for drunk driving. With a blood test of .18, things were dire for MOS. After speaking with numerous attorneys who told them there was nothing they could do for her, MOS hired Attorney Sarvan Singh. With a prosecutor unwilling to reduce the charge, Attorney Singh readied for trial. After a scathing cross-examination of the arresting officer, Attorney Singh went to work on the blood analyst, effectively exposing a variety of errors at the laboratory. In the end, the jury returned verdicts of NOT GUILTY. With the weight of losing a promising career lifted, MOS broke down in tears in open court. To this day, MOS will randomly contact Attorney Singh just to say, "thank you." And she has already referred others to our firm.

Case #5: OWI-2nd Reduced to Reckless Driving Ticket

Many people believe that if a person wasn't observed driving, they can't be charged with Operating While Intoxicated. Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, many people who contact our office were doing nothing more than sitting in their vehicles. However, because of how vigorously and technically the drunk driving laws are enforced, many people are charge with drunk driving even though no one saw them drive. That was the situation for PAO. He was in a parking lot, leaned back in the driver's seat, asleep. He was awakened by officers and subsequently arrested for Operating While Intoxicated, Second Offense. Attorney Singh examined all of the evidence and the dubious way that PAO was questioned, tested, and eventually taken into custody. After exposing several problems with how PAO was detained and arrested, the prosecutor agreed to amend the charge to Reckless Driving, a resolution PAO was more than happy to accept. He avoided a mandatory jail sentence, lengthy license loss, mandatory IID installation and, most importantly, he avoided a drunk driving conviction. Aside from paying a fine, PAO suffered no consequences and he is one very happy client.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Another Trial Victory for Dennis Melowski: Jury Finds Client Not Guilty in OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .15 blood test)

Sometimes our clients can say it even better than we can. Here is the 5-star review* that Dennis Melowski's client, MB, posted on the independent lawyer rating website Avvo after Dennis won** his case at a jury trial just two weeks ago:
Not Guilty at Trial
5.0 stars
Posted by Matthew
June 5, 2016
I hired Dennis Melowski after much research. Let me spare you the pointless research, hire him. If you want the best, your search is over. I was pulled over for an equipment violation, and arrested for OWI. A condition of my employment was to keep a valid license. I never went a day without it. He filed a motion with the judge to stay my license revocation until the matter was resolved. He has the reputation of winning at trial, so much so, that many District Attorney offices will plea it out to a non-alcohol charge. This is what the ADA wanted to do in my case, but the new DA wanted to make a name for themselves and wouldn't budge (their mistake). He filed motions, requested documents from the lab that tested my blood (.15), and did so much more. I was very impressed with him at trial, his cross examination of the DA's witnesses was unbelievable. The time and planning he put into it was remarkable, and it showed. He was able to point out many factors that showed the case against me wasn't black and white, and that it was very hard to trust the evidence they presented against me. During trial he explained everything to me, and asked for my input. The respect he gives you is of the highest level possible. My case took over 2 years to trial and he always kept an open two way conversation with me. He got me a NOT GUILTY verdict on all alcohol related charges! You simply can't make a mistake in acquiring him to represent you. Look no further, Dennis Melowski should be your only consideration!
* Dennis Melowski has 78 client reviews on the Avvo website and each and every one is 5 stars. Dennis has more 5-star reviews than any drunk driving defense attorney in Wisconsin.
** Dennis' victory in this case was his 12th of his last 16 drunk driving cases that have proceeded to jury trial. This is a rate of success that simply cannot be matched. If you are considering other lawyers to defend a case as potentially life-altering as a drunk driving offense, be sure to ask them the outcomes of their last 10 drunk driving trials. Make them be specific. You will likely be shocked by what you hear. If they even give you an answer.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Add 5 More to the List: 5 of the Firm's Clients Avoid Drunk Driving Convictions in Cases Across the State

Case #1: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Reckless Driving for                        Attorney Matt Murray's Client**

JF came to our firm with a difficult case. Police were dispatched to two vehicles in a ditch by a caller claiming that both drivers were intoxicated.  When police arrived, JF and the other driver ran off into a forest.  When the other driver was caught, JF walked back to several officers who were not in a good mood.  Without being given an opportunity to explain, JF was grabbed by the arm and hauled back to the road while asking officers not to touch her.  When she pulled away, she was arrested for obstructing an officer, handcuffed and placed in the rear of a squad car.  She was then issued a citation for Operating While Intoxicated and allegedly refused the breath test.  She was then charged with Refusal of a Chemical Test and given another ticket for failing to update the Department of Transportation with her new address. In short, the cops threw the book at her.

The reports of the officers painted a very unflattering picture of JF.  They made it seem like a clear case of a drunk and belligerent driver who got stuck in the ditch.  However, a review of the video revealed a much different story. It was the arresting officer who was disrespectful and instigated the belligerent behavior.  In fact, the video caught the officer making inappropriate and unprofessional statements to JF and about not being a fan of the public in general.  Attorney Murray also requested a copy of the instant messaging logs of the conversations  between the officers, wherein two other officers were commenting about how the arresting officer would never make it through his career without being sued. 

 As a result of Attorney Murray's painstakingly thorough review of all the discovery materials, he was able to unearth several viable legal challenges that would prove crucial to his later negotiations with the prosecutor. In fact, immediately prior to the motion hearing, the prosecutor reluctantly agreed to reduce the OWI charge to a simple Reckless Driving ticket and dismiss the Refusal charge. Not only was this a great result for our client but this case helped expose an officer's very troublesome behavior. And JF couldn't be happier about that.

**This was the 24th client for whom Attorney Murray has obtained a reduction of drunk driving charges to a non-alcohol-related offense since he joined our firm in September of 2013. Be sure to ask ask other lawyers you might be considering if they can demonstrate a similar success rate during the same time span. Don't be surprised when they dodge the question.

Case #2: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .15 breath test result) Reduced to Two Minor                      Traffic Citations for Paramedic Client

This was another case that began with some difficult facts. MK's car had gone off the road and into the snowy median of a busy highway. A deputy county sheriff arrived on scene as MK was attempting to get the vehicle unstuck. After admitting to having several drinks at a local casino, the deputy had MK perform some field sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. A subsequent breath test revealed an alcohol level of .15, nearly twice the legal limit. Despite the difficult facts, MK knew he had to fight the case because his job as a paramedic required that he maintain fully valid driving privileges at all times. A drunk driving conviction would not only result in the immediate loss of his current job, it would make it nearly impossible to be hired again in the foreseeable future because the stain of a drunk driving conviction is very tough to overcome in the paramedic profession. Based primarily on Dennis Melowski's outstanding online reviews, MK decided that he was the only attorney he would trust for the task of saving his career. And Dennis definitely delivered. After effectively cross-examining the arresting deputy at MK's administrative suspension hearing, Dennis was able to lay the groundwork for a promising legal challenge regarding the admissibility of the breath test result. This legal challenge provided a substantial amount of leverage in his negotiations with the prosecutor, so much so that Dennis was able to convince the prosecutor to drop the original OWI and PAC charges in exchange for no contest pleas to the minor traffic tickets of Driving Too Fast for Conditions and Inattentive Driving. Not only did this outstanding resolution preserve MK's driving privileges, but it avoided a drunk driving conviction altogether. Needless to say, MK was thrilled with this outcome and his career as a paramedic remains fully intact.

Case #3: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .13 breath test result) Reduced to Reckless                           Driving

SM could not fathom being a convicted drunk driver. As a law abiding citizen her whole life, being cuffed and stuffed in the back of a squad car on the night of her arrest was literally the worst experience she had ever gone through. Add to that her realization that the stigma of a drunk driving conviction would follow her forever and it was simply too much for her to bear. She was determined to do something about it, especially because she knew she had been unfairly treated by the police. She wanted to hire the very best attorney in the state to fight her case and Dennis Melowski was her man. This was another case where extremely thorough review of all the discovery materials paid off in a big way. Dennis was able to obtain a copy of the 911 call that had gotten the police involved in SM's case in the first place. After listening to the recording a number of times, Dennis discovered a game changing legal issue that could threaten the prosecutor's entire case. Dennis raised this legal issue in the form of a motion that he filed with the judge. Shortly before the hearing on this motion, Dennis was able to negotiate a fantastic outcome for SM: the drunk driving charges would be dropped in exchange for a no contest plea to a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. Aside from paying a fine, SM suffered no penalties. More importantly, she is NOT a convicted drunk driver. Mission accomplished.

Case #4: CDL Client avoids Drunk Driving Conviction in OWI-1st/Refusal of                       Chemical Test Case

We frequently take over cases from other attorneys after they inform their clients that there is nothing they can do for them and to take whatever crappy offer the prosecutor is willing to make. Interestingly, these other attorneys often hold themselves out as being "tough" or "experienced" in drunk driving defense. More often than not, however, those claims turn out to be little more than sales pitches. MW's case is a perfect example of this. Another attorney had represented MW for a few months when he finally told him there was nothing he could do for him. This attorney advised MW to just plead guilty to the OWI charge, an outcome that would have effectively ended MW's career because it would have resulted in his CDL being disqualified for one full year. MW knew he had to do better than that, so he fired his other attorney and hired Dennis Melowski. It was the best decision MW ever made. After reviewing the case, Dennis found an issue that the other attorney had completely missed. After bringing this issue to the attention of the prosecutor (whom our firm has had much success against over the years), Dennis worked out a fantastic deal for MW that not only avoided a drunk driving conviction, but would not even appear on MW's driver record. This resolution saved MW's CDL and, quite possibly, his entire career. One of the many advantages our firm offers over others is the peace of mind that comes from hiring the firm that has the very best record of success in our field. No sales pitch, just a fact. Ask MW.

Case #5: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .13 breath test result) Reduced to Reckless                           Driving; Another CDL Client's Job Saved

CM is employed as an electrical power lineman for a large power and light company in another state. This is a very lucrative profession, but it also requires fully valid CDL privileges. A drunk driving conviction, even a first offense, results in a mandatory one year disqualification of a CDL. Moreover, even after the year-long disqualification is over, companies are often reluctant to hire someone with a drunk driving conviction on their record, a conviction that will remain there for life. So when CM was picked up for drunk driving when he was back visiting his hometown, he knew it was something he would have to fight in order to save his career. After a LOT of research, CM decided to hire Dennis Melowski. Much like MW in our last post, this was the best decision CM could have made. Despite some very difficult facts, Dennis was able to find just enough in the case to convince the prosecutor to drop the original OWI and PAC charges in exchange for a no contest plea to a Reckless Driving ticket. Due to the deal Dennis worked out, CM never lost his license for a single day and his CDL was completely spared. And he is still a power lineman. Another very real result. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Another Win at Trial: Jury Finds Client Not Guilty in OWI-1st/PAC-1st Case with .17 Blood Test Result

Our client, SS,  is in the early stages of a lucrative career as an electrical power lineman. Unfortunately, when SS was arrested for his first drunk driving offense, that career was in serious jeopardy due to the mandatory  one-year CDL  disqualification SS was facing if he was convicted. A valid CDL is a prerequisite in this line of work. Knowing the stakes, SS scoured the Internet to find the best possible attorney to save his professional future. After much research, and after reading the countless stellar reviews by former clients in similar situations, SS decided Dennis Melowski  was the only lawyer for the job.

Given the difficult facts, Dennis figured there was very good chance SS's case was headed for trial. SS had been stopped after an officer allegedly witnessed him go right through a stop sign, an act that was supposedly captured on the officer's squad video. Moreover, SS allegedly "stumbled" after exiting his truck and performed poorly on the field sobriety tests. On top of all that, the post-arrest blood draw revealed an alcohol concentration of .17, a result that is more than twice the legal limit. In light of all that, the prosecutor was not willing to budge during negotiations and was hell-bent on securing a drunk driving conviction. But as countless prosecutors have learned over the years when dealing with our firm, not all cases are as strong as they appear. And SS's case is a perfect example. Despite the fact that the prosecutor believed he had a slam-dunk conviction on his hands, Dennis was able to successfully undermine nearly every aspect of the case against SS and he was able to use the officer's own squad video to do it. The alleged stop sign violation? Dennis was able to show the jury that there was virtually no chance the officer could tell whether SS had stopped due to an adjacent building obscuring the officer's view from the angle at which his squad was parked, a fact SS had maintained from the beginning. In addition, Dennis got the officer to admit that he was chit-chatting with another officer parked right next to him at the time he was supposedly paying attention to the intersection he couldn't see. And that stumble by SS when he got out of his truck? The video showed it never happened. SS also performed far better on the field sobriety tests than the officer claimed in his report. By the time Dennis was done cross-examining the officer there was not much left of his credibility.

But what about the .17 blood test result? Fortunately for SS, the analyst from the lab that tested his sample did not fare much better than the officer when cross-examined by Dennis. Dennis was able to expose numerous problems with the lab's performance history and the particular machine that was used to test SS's sample. From failed proficiency tests, shoddy lab work and poorly performing equipment, no reasonable person would have heard what this witness had to say and trusted this lab's work. And the jury certainly didn't. In the end, it took the jury less than one hour to find SS NOT GUILTY of all charges, even the phony stop sign violation. Needless to say, SS was overjoyed with his complete exoneration. As for saving SS's career? Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Two Trials and Two Not Guilty Verdicts for Attorney Matt Murray's Clients

Case #1: Washington County Jury Finds Client Not Guilty in OWI-2nd Case with .20 Blood Test Result

Our client, CK, allegedly stumbled out of a bar, drove over some traffic cones and traveled home. Witnesses called 911 and, within 10 minutes, police were knocking on CK's front door. Although CK answered the door, she was immediately arrested for Obstructing an Officer when she attempted to close the door and return inside. She was then subjected to a battery of field sobriety tests and cited for OWI, her second offense. A subsequent blood draw revealed an alleged alcohol concentration of .20. This fact scenario left open the defense that CK had consumed alcohol when she arrived home but prior to being arrested for OWI. However, proving such a defense would be no easy feat given the claims of the witnesses and the very high blood alcohol level.  

Given the fact that the prosecutor was seeking some very stiff penalties, CK and Attorney Murray decided to take the case to a jury trial. Despite the very difficult facts, Attorney Murray was able to capitalize on various mistakes made by the prosecutor during the trial, including the failure to offer any video evidence and the failure to call a key witness. Throughout the trial, Attorney Murray methodically gathered the evidence to use in his closing argument to the jury. In the end, the jury found CK NOT GUILTY of all charges. It was the best possible outcome CK could have hoped for. And she just may be the happiest client we've ever had.

Case #2: Judge Finds Client Not Guilty in OWI-1st Case with .12 Blood Test Result

Attorney Matt Murray's client, KD, was struck by another vehicle while riding his motorcycle. He sustained very serious injuries and was taken to the hospital. An officer came to the hospital to investigate the crash and smelled alcohol coming from KD. When asked, KD admitted to having 6 drinks over a several hour period, which prompted the officer to seek a blood draw. The result ended up being .12. While it was ultimately established that the accident was not KD's fault, Attorney Murray was still stuck with having to explain the .12 blood test result. This is where hiring a firm like Melowski & Associates really pays off. Ask any attorney if there is a viable blood-alcohol curve defense with a .12 test result and the blood draw occurring nearly 3 hours after the time of driving and they will tell you that such a defense would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. And for the vast majority of attorneys, that's true. However, Attorney Murray knew just the right expert witness to call to raise such a defense.  Attorney Murray also shrewdly convinced the prosecutor not to call their own expert at trial. And perhaps most importantly, Attorney Murray waived a jury and tried the case to the assigned judge (a rare move for our firm), knowing that this particular judge held our firm in high regard based on our experience with him in various other cases. In the end, the judge simply could not find that there was sufficient evidence of KD's guilt and he was found NOT GUILTY. KD was so happy that he couldn't help but give Attorney Murray a huge hug in the hallway after the judge announced his verdict. A fantastic outcome that was the byproduct of superior lawyering every step of the way.

Friday, February 26, 2016

3 More Clients Avoid DUI Convictions to Close Out February

Case #1: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .13 Breath Test Result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets in Milwaukee County

As a professional in the insurance industry himself, DH knew better than anyone how catastrophic a drunk driving conviction can be. From years of absurdly high insurance rates to irreparable harm to a professional reputation, DH knew he wanted to avoid a conviction at all costs. After very thorough research, DH decided Dennis Melowski was the only attorney for the job. And Dennis definitely delivered. The outstanding result in DH's case was the product of a lot of hard work and perseverance. Through contested municipal court proceedings, to an appeal to circuit court, Dennis Melowski relentlessly attacked the charges against DH at every turn. Based on testimony from the arresting officer that Dennis was able to nail down at the municipal court level, a motion challenging the probable cause to arrest DH was filed in circuit court. At the hearing on this motion, Dennis was able to completely destroy the credibility of the officer. Time after time the officer's testimony contradicted what he had testified to in municipal court, and each time Dennis called him out on it. When he got off the witness stand, the officer knew how badly Dennis had damaged him, so much so that the officer went up to the prosecutor immediately after the hearing to tell him he did not want to go through that again in front of a jury. Knowing how poorly the officer had testified, the prosecutor agreed to a very favorable resolution of DH's case. Despite a .13 breath test result, the original OWI and PAC charges were dropped in exchange for no contest pleas to the minor traffic offenses of Inattentive Driving and Failure to Yield. DH completely avoided an alcohol-related conviction and suffered no loss of license. And couldn't be happier.

Case #2: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .11 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

Our client, QW, had to avoid a drunk driving conviction in this case. His career depended on it. As a senior sales consultant, QW was required to cover an extensive geographic area and he would never be able to meet his job requirements with a revoked driver's license. Moreover, his company had a very strict personal conduct policy regarding employees who received DUI convictions. In short, QW's future with his company was in grave doubt. Fortunately, QW was referred to Dennis Melowski by an area businessman whose friends and acquaintances Dennis has been able to help out on several occasions. And QW's name can now be added to that list. After several rounds of negotiations with the prosecutor, Dennis was able to work out a very favorable resolution. The original OWI and PAC charges were dropped. In exchange, QW plead no contest to a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. Aside from paying a fine, he suffered no consequences. He never lost his license for a single day and, most importantly, he avoided the reputation-killing stigma of being a convicted drunk driver. 

Case #3: OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to Reckless Driving for Medical Professional Client

In BA's particular field in the medical profession, OWI convictions absolutely must be avoided. Not only would such a conviction immediately jeopardize his present position, it would haunt him professionally for years. Despite having some very difficult facts to overcome, Dennis Melowski was able to negotiate a result that completely avoided an alcohol-related conviction. Dennis was able to successfully argue that because English was a second language for BA, he was not able to fully understand the ramifications of his decision to refuse a breath test following his arrest and the officers did not take reasonable steps to make sure that he did. This argument provided Dennis just enough leverage in negotiations to convince the prosecutor to resolve the case with a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. No drunk driving conviction and a fully-preserved reputation. And one very satisfied client.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Picking Up Right Where We Left Off: 2 More Clients Avoid Drunk Driving Convictions to Start the Year

Case #1: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .126 blood test result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets

KG's case involved a serious motorcycle accident and a .126 blood alcohol level. Although the case looked bleak initially, Dennis Melowski was able to leverage some legal issues he uncovered in the case into a fantastic result. The timing of the blood draw relative to the accident, combined with a significant procedural flaw by the police in securing "consent" to the blood test, provided Dennis with enough ammunition to convince the prosecutor to drop the original drunk driving charges. In exchange, KG entered no contest pleas to the minor traffic offenses of Inattentive Driving and Failure to Control Vehicle. Aside from paying fines, KG suffered no consequences from her arrest. She never lost her license for a single day and was able to completely avoid an alcohol-related conviction. She is one VERY happy client.

Case #2: OWI-1st/PAC-1st (with .082 blood test result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets

The outstanding outcome in WL's** case was no easy feat. WL had been arrested in a county notorious for not plea bargaining drunk driving charges. And for nearly two years, the prosecutor in WL's case refused to budge. A good portion of this time was spent litigating whether WL would be entitled to a jury trial. You see, in a first offense case, a jury trial has to be demanded (and paid for) within a short time of the first court appearance. Here, WL did not hire Dennis Melowski until that time had already passed. Dennis knew that WL had a very good set of facts for a jury, but his prospects of winning before a judge would be slim, as the vast majority of judges end up siding with the police in these cases. But Dennis refused to give up fighting for WL's right to a trial by jury... and left no stone unturned in the process. Dennis obtained a transcript of WL's first court appearance and discovered that the judge did not properly advise WL of the deadline for requesting a jury trial. Dennis filed a motion to allow a jury trial because of this defect. The prosecutor objected and filed his own motion in opposition. After multiple hearings, the judge agreed with Dennis. WL was permitted to have a jury trial. But the prosecutor still would not budge. During the next 6 months the case was prepared by both sides for trial. Finally, just two days before the trial was supposed to begin, Dennis was able to convince the prosecutor that a conviction at trial on the drunk driving charges was in serious doubt. Rather than risk losing at trial to Dennis, the prosecutor agreed to a very favorable deal. The drunk driving charges were dropped. In exchange, WL agreed to plead no contest to the minor traffic offenses of Inattentive Driving and Driving Too Fast for Conditions. Besides fines, WL suffered no other penalties. Because he avoided a drunk driving conviction, WL's job was saved. Needless to say, WL could not be happier.

**WL was actually referred to Dennis by a prosecutor in another DA's office