Friday, January 8, 2016
Picking Up Right Where We Left Off: 2 More Clients Avoid Drunk Driving Convictions to Start the Year
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.
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