Monday, May 7, 2018

Another Motion Hearing Victory for Dennis Melowski Leads to Complete Dismissal of OWI-3rd/PAC-3rd Case (with .21 Breath Test Result)

AW was called in by an anonymous caller who reported that she was "stumbling" as she got into her car and left a club she had been at. Officers in neighboring jurisdictions were told to be on the lookout for a vehicle matching the description the caller provided, including all but one digit of a license plate number. After observing what he believed was the suspected vehicle, an officer began following it. Since this was an "anonymous call," this officer knew that he would have to make independent observations of suspicious or unsafe driving to justify a traffic stop. After following AW's vehicle for several blocks, he noted that she was traveling approximately 20 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. Despite observing no other problems with her driving, the officer decided to stop AW for the traffic offense of Obstructing Traffic By Slow Speed. After further roadside investigation, AW was arrested for drunk driving, unfortunately for the third time. A breath test at the police department revealed an alcohol level of .21.

 Dennis Melowski knew that AW had a very good issue in her case the first time he spoke to her. Why? Because he knew that she had likely not committed the traffic violation for which she was stopped. You see, if an officer stops you for an improper or insufficient reason, it doesn't matter what he discovers about you after the fact. If the initial traffic stop is unlawful, all of the evidence the officer gathers after that gets thrown out, including the results of any field sobriety tests or the results of any breath or blood tests. In short, if Dennis could convince the judge that AW should not have been stopped in the first place, her case would end up being dismissed for lack of evidence.

So Dennis carefully crafted his strategy to execute this plan. It started with questioning the officer at AW's DOT suspension hearing, during which Dennis got the officer to admit that despite traveling at a speed 10 MPH below the posted limit, AW's slow speed did not actually obstruct traffic because there was no other traffic present! Simply driving below the speed limit, even significantly so, is not in and of itself a traffic violation. Other traffic actually has to be obstructed by this slow speed for the offense to be committed. Moreover, AW was traveling on a four-lane road, further decreasing the risk of obstructing other vehicles. In light of the officer's testimony at the suspension hearing, Dennis filed a motion to suppress with the judge and a hearing was held. It was at this hearing that Dennis really did his damage to the State's case because the officer took the stand and severely contradicted his previous testimony at the DOT hearing, something that does not sit well with Dennis. Dennis pointed out each and every inconsistency in the officer's concocted testimony, so much so that the officer left the stand with zero credibility. More importantly, the judge saw through the officer's dubious testimony and quickly ruled in his favor. Based on the judge's ruling, ALL of the State's evidence against AW was thrown out and ALL charges against her were dismissed. It was the best possible result for AW and she is one EXTREMELY happy client.