Tuesday, November 22, 2011
November 21, 2011: OWI-3rd Reduced to Non-Traffic Misdemeanor Offense
When TMR first contacted Dennis Melowski, he told an all-too-familiar story. He had already spoken with several other attorneys who told him there was no hope in trying to fight his OWI-3rd case. There was just too much evidence to overcome--- a bad accident and a .224 blood test result. The advice TMR received from these other attorneys was sadly typical: plead guilty and they would argue for a lesser jail sentence on his behalf. This was devastating news to TMR. You see, as a delivery driver whose job required a valid CDL, a conviction for a third OWI would mean lifetime disqualification of TMR's commercial privileges. Not only would this mean the loss of TMR's current job, it also meant he would never again be able to drive commercially. Fortunately, TMR called Dennis before he followed the advice of these other attorneys. After listening to TMR's story, Dennis suspected the police officer did not have sufficient evidence to draw TMR's blood in the first place. This suspicion was confirmed through aggressive and thorough cross-examination of the officer at TMR's DOT suspension hearing. Dennis brought the issue he discovered to the attention of the prosecutor assigned to TMR's case. After tough and lengthy negotiations, the prosecutor agreed that Dennis was right---the prospect of getting a conviction on the drunk driving charge was slim if there was no justification for the blood draw. Dennis convinced the prosecutor to drop the drunk driving charges. In exchange, TMR plead no contest to a non-alcohol-related, non-traffic misdemeanor offense that will not even appear on TMR's driver record. TMR received no jail time, no license revocation and was not even ordered to pay a fine. More importantly, however, TMR's career as a commercial driver was saved. Thank God he didn't listen to those other attorneys.