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.