Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Back to Back Motion Hearing Victories for Dennis Melowski Result in Complete Dismissal of Two OWI-2nd Cases
Dennis Melowski knew something wasn't right with this case the first time he read the police report. The officer who arrested SH had seen very few signs of impairment prior to having SH submit to a roadside preliminary breath test (PBT), the result of which was the only thing that led to SH being arrested for drunk driving, unfortunately for the second time. In Wisconsin, the law requires an officer to have "probable cause to believe" a person is impaired by alcohol in order to justify administering a PBT. Dennis believed that the officer simply didn't have grounds to give SH the PBT, given how well he had performed on the field sobriety tests. Dennis filed a motion with the judge asking for the PBT to be thrown out, along with all the other evidence the officer gathered after the PBT was illegally administered to his client, including the .142 blood test result. After a contested hearing in which Dennis had an opportunity to cross-examine the officer and expose all of the weaknesses of his investigation, the judge agreed with Dennis and threw out all of the evidence against SH. Given the judge's ruling, the district attorney's office had no choice but to dismiss all charges against SH. It was the best result he could have possibly hoped for.
Dennis' victory at this particular motion hearing was extremely satisfying because it was the result of perhaps his most devastatingly effective cross-examination of an officer in his career. Dennis had filed a motion challenging the initial stop of DC's vehicle, along with a motion challenging the summoning of a K-9 unit to search DC's car for drugs. When Dennis questioned the arresting officer at the motion hearing, he was able to get him to admit to several untruths during his testimony. The officer became so concerned that Dennis would expose other areas of his very questionable testimony that he simply began to agree with everything Dennis needed to ensure his motions would be granted, which the judge did in very short order. It was one of the most surreal experiences of Dennis' career. After the judge granted Dennis' motions, the prosecutor immediately dismissed all charges against DC. He walked out of the courtroom completely exonerated!
By the way, as soon as we receive the transcript of Dennis' cross-examination from this hearing, we will be posting it right here, so be sure to check back in a few weeks. You won't believe what you will read. But you will see why this firm's courtroom excellence is without peer.