Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Another Melowski & Associates OWI-Homicide Client Avoids Prison: Pleads to Reduced Charge and Sentenced to One Year in the County Jail with Full Work-Release Privileges

Six of Dennis Melowski's last eight OWI-Homicide* clients have avoided prison and been sentenced to county jail time with work-release. This is a record of success in these difficult cases that simply can't be matched by any other attorney in Wisconsin. And Dennis' work in this particular case demonstrates the lengths to which his firm will go to achieve the best possible result for their clients. After taking over the case from a local attorney, Dennis discovered some shocking legal improprieties by the police, judge and prosecutor, the exposure of which ultimately resulted in the latter two individuals being removed from the case. Given the gravity of the issues Dennis unearthed, the Wisconsin Attorney General's Office took over the prosecution and a judge from a county 2.5 hours away was assigned. After months and months of legal wrangling and negotiations, a remarkable plea agreement was reached in which the original charges of OWI-Homicide and PAC-Homicide were dismissed. In exchange, Dennis' client entered a no contest plea to a reduced charge of Negligent Homicide, with the Attorney General's Office agreeing to a sentence of just 12 months in the local jail with full work-release privileges, meaning Dennis' client would be released 12 hours per day for his job. The reduced charge also carried only a 1-year license revocation as opposed to the mandatory 5-year revocation that the original charges entailed. In her statements to the judge at the sentencing hearing, the assistant attorney general remarked that she could not recall her office ever agreeing to such a low sentence in a case like this, but that her hand was essentially forced by the legal issues Dennis brought to light. In fact, the proposed sentence was so atypical that it had to be approved by the attorney general himself before she could proceed with the agreement. In the end, the judge followed the plea agreement to the letter and Dennis' client walked out of the courtroom (he also got two weeks to report) a VERY happy man. The local newspaper account of the outcome in the case can be read here:

*An OWI-Homicide carries a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment and a $100,000.00 fine.