Friday, December 21, 2012

December 4, 2012: Jury Finds Client Not Guilty in OWI-1st Case (with .20 Breath Test Result)

In Wisconsin, there are certain counties that are notorious for taking a very hard line approach to drunk driving cases. Some of these counties even have a strict "no plea bargain " policy, meaning they will not reduce a drunk driving charge under almost any circumstance. You either plead guilty as charged or take the case to trial. Ozaukee County would certainly fall into this category. Our client, JEG, had the misfortune of being arrested for her first offense in this tough county. From day one, Dennis Melowski knew JEG's case was destined for trial and he prepared it accordingly. And he definitely had his work cut out for him. JEG was called in by another driver who claimed she repeatedly crossed the centerline while he was behind her. This call prompted an Ozaukee County sheriff's deputy to follow JEG for 3 miles, making similar observations. When JEG was stopped, the deputy claimed he smelled intoxicants and asked her to get out of her car. On the side of a busy highway, she was subjected to 3 different field sobriety tests, all of which she supposedly failed. She was arrested and taken to the Ozaukee County sheriff's department for a breath test, the result of which was .20, two and a half times the legal limit. With all this evidence, the case against JEG initially looked very strong and Ozaukee County wasn't interested in giving her any breaks.

But as is typically the case, there are two sides to every story. As Dennis dug deeper and deeper into the case, he realized it wasn't nearly as strong as it first appeared. It started with JEG's insistence that she had only 4 drinks over a several hour period of time, an amount that couldn't possibly yield a .20 breath test result. For the breath test to be right, JEG would have needed to drink more than 3 times the amount she was so sure she had. The circumstances surrounding her drinking simply did not allow JEG to have had that much to drink. In fact, she had never had that much to drink at one time in her entire life. Something had to be wrong with the breath test result. And there was. Through his investigation, Dennis was able to prove that  "residual mouth alcohol" contaminated JEG's first blow into the machine. When residual mouth alcohol is present, the officer is required to wait 20 minutes before attempting another breath test, allowing time for the residual alcohol to dissipate. The officer's own training manual is explicitly clear on this point. But the officer never followed this important protocol. Alarmingly, he didn't wait the required 20 minutes because he "didn't think it was a big deal." The Ozaukee County prosecutor even called an expert witness at the trial to try to back up this absurd claim. But the problems with the case against JEG didn't end with the breath test. As it turns out, the other driver who reported JEG portrayed her driving much differently at trial than how it was originally portrayed in the police report. In fact, by the time Dennis finished cross-examining this witness, it was clear there were very few "problems" with JEG's driving at all, aside from things that you would see almost any driver do if you followed them long enough. The officer who arrested JEG didn't fare much better when confronted on the stand by Dennis. He admitted that none of his observations of JEG had been recorded on his fully functioning squad video camera because "he pushed the wrong button." By this point in the trial there was a distinct theme developing: Dennis kept pointing out mistake after mistake and the County kept offering flimsy excuse after flimsy excuse. In the end, though, the jury saw right through this sad attempt to salvage an obviously broken case. And they sent their message to the County loud and clear: JEG was Not Guilty on all charges. She was completely exonerated. JEG was overcome with emotion and relief when the jury announced their verdict. After nearly two years of trying to clear her good name, justice had finally been delivered. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 2, 2012: Complete Dismissal of OWI-1st/Refusal of Chemical Test Case (with .12 Blood Test Result)

At 63 years of age with a spotless driving record, a drunk driving arrest was the last thing MDH ever thought would happen to him. It was certainly the furthest thing on his mind when he came up to Wisconsin for a day of boating on Lake Michigan. After all, this was something MDH had done countless times before without incident. But as he made his way back to his Dad's place to spend the evening after his day on the lake, a police officer noticed that one of MDH's headlights was burnt out and he was pulled over. After the officer smelled alcohol on MDH's breath, this routine traffic stop soon turned into a full-blown drunk driving investigation. MDH was put through a battery of field sobriety tests and arrested on the spot. He was taken to the local police department for a breath test, which he allegedly refused. "Why should I consent?," he thought. "I shouldn't even be here." The police, however, wouldn't take "no" for an answer. They forced MDH into a squad car and drove him to the nearest hospital for a blood draw against his will. Shockingly, such a procedure is considered lawful in Wisconsin, even for a 63-year-old first-time offender. When they got to the hospital the police made it very clear to MDH: submit to the blood test or we will tie you down and take it from you anyway. Terrified at the presence of what was now several officers, MDH reluctantly stuck out his arm and allowed his blood to be taken. The result was hard for MDH to fathom: .120, one and a half times more than the legal limit of .08. Suddenly, MDH's world seemed to be crashing in on him. As a result of a minor equipment defect of which he wasn't even aware, he was now facing charges of OWI-1st, PAC-1st and Unlawful Refusal of Chemical test, based on his refusal of the breath test at the police department. Very serious charges, especially for someone who has been a law-abiding citizen his entire life. None of this sat very well with MDH. He was horrified at how he had been treated by the police and did not believe for one minute that he was drunk behind the wheel. He knew how much he had to drink that day and knew darn well it wouldn't add up to a .12 alcohol level. Something just wasn't right. MDH was determined to fight these charges, on principle alone.

MDH came to see Dennis Melowski after being referred by a local business owner. When Dennis heard him tell his side of the story, he knew MDH was right to be upset. There were many things the police did improperly and even more that just just didn't add up. Through his investigation, Dennis learned the police had followed MDH for a considerable time before stopping him for the headlight violation. During that whole time (captured on video) there wasn't one thing wrong with MDH's driving. He was going precisely the speed limit, stopped at every stop sign, signaled every turn, and never once deviated from his lane. And although the cops insisted that his speech was slurred, it sounded clear as a bell on the video. And the inconsistencies didn't end there. The cops also claimed that MDH "stumbled" when he exited his vehicle, a fact that was flatly contradicted by the video evidence. Even more troubling was the fact that the cops deliberately moved MDH out of camera range to perform his sobriety tests, thereby making it impossible for him to contradict the officers' version of how he did on them. To top it all off, despite repeatedly telling the cops that he had recently undergone a hip replacement, they made MDH perform the tests anyway, a nearly impossible task for someone still recovering from such a procedure. Sound fair? Dennis didn't think so either, so he filed a motion to dismiss the charges. A hearing was held in front of the judge assigned to the case and Dennis took the officers to task about all of the problems with the case. They had no explanation. At the close of the hearing, the judge had heard enough. It was as plain to him as it was to Dennis that MDH should never have been arrested in the first place. All charges were dismissed. MDH walked out of the courthouse completely exonerated. And he still has a spotless record. Sometimes there is no better reason to fight a case than principle.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

November 29, 2012: OWI-1st (with .12 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Minor Speeding Ticket

For the last 7 years, KJB has enjoyed a great job with a large heating and cooling company as a commercial installer. The job requires KJB to drive a company van and travel extensively throughout Wisconsin and the adjoining states. The job pays well and has great benefits, but it also requires KJB to possess fully valid driving privileges at all times. The mere hint of a drunk driving conviction would result in KJB's immediate termination, despite his value to the company. This is because the company's insurance carrier forbids access to company vehicles or equipment for anyone with a DUI charge on the record. In this economy, no one can afford to be jobless. It's just too hard to find good work. So when KJB was stopped for speeding, failed the field sobriety tests and produced a .12 on his blood test, he was highly motivated to do whatever he could to avoid a drunk driving conviction--and save his job. Fortunately, a friend of KJB's was a former client of Dennis Melowski and urged KJB to give Dennis a call. KJB's friend assured him that if anyone could help, it would be Dennis. KJB took his friend's advice and hired Dennis. Almost immediately, Dennis laid the groundwork for the successful defense of KJB's case. Through meticulous questioning of the arresting officer at KJB's administrative suspension hearing, Dennis exposed some significant deficiencies in the officer's investigation of KJB. From procedures that weren't followed properly to a laundry list of things the officer would have expected to see but did not, Dennis severely undercut the strength of the officer's case against KJB. These holes in the case were eventually brought to the attention of the prosecutor in the form of legal challenges Dennis filed and in persistent negotiations with the prosecutor. Ultimately, just days before the second round of motion hearings in the case, the prosecutor realized that the prospect of a drunk driving conviction was in grave doubt. An incredible deal was reached. The drunk driving charges were dropped. In exchange, KJB agreed to a no contest plea to the most minor speeding infraction (1-10mph over the limit). He paid a fine of $175.30, but otherwise suffered no consequences. He never lost his license for even a single day and avoided the awful stigma of being a convicted drunk driver. And he still has his job.

Monday, December 17, 2012

November 28, 2012: OWI-1st (with .10 Breath Test Result) Reduced to Driving Around Railroad Crossing Gate and Impeding Traffic by Slow Speed

As an over-the-road truck driver, our client, XJM, was well aware of the devastating consequences a drunk driving conviction can have on commercial drivers. So when XJM was stopped for failing to stop at a stop sign after having a few beers with a friend, he was scared. Although he didn't feel impaired, he had heard plenty of horror stories of drivers who never worked again after similar nights out. XJM's fear of losing his career went from bad to worse after he failed the roadside sobriety tests (on video) and registered a .10 breath test result at the police station following his arrest. XJM knew he was going to have to hire the best attorney he could find if he wanted any hope of saving his career. He went to see an attorney in Milwaukee who was referred to XJM by a close friend. Although this attorney has a very good reputation of his own, he was not optimistic that he could help XJM, given the substantial amount of unfavorable evidence against him. XJM was discouraged, but he asked this attorney one last question before he left his office: "If you or a loved one got charged with drunk driving, who would you hire?" Without hesitating, the attorney replied, "That's easy, Dennis Melowski." The very next day, XJM called Dennis. Seven months later, after some very creative negotiating with the prosecutor, the drunk driving charges against XJM were dropped. In exchange, XJM agreed to plead no contest to two non-alcohol-related offenses: Driving Around Railroad Crossing Gate and Impeding Traffic by Slow Speed,. Aside from paying fines, XJM suffered no other consequences from this incident and never lost his license for even a single day. His commercial privileges were completely spared and there is no trace of a drunk driving arrest on XJM's driving record. His career as a commercial truck driver was saved. He couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

November 20, 2012: OWI-Homicide Charges Completely Dismissed

In the realm of drunk driving charges, there is no offense more serious than homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle. With potential penalties of 25 years imprisonment, 5-year license revocation and a fine of $100,000.00, the stakes don't get any higher. Even worse, since these cases can involve significant media attention, prosecutors and judges view them as opportunities to send messages about the risks of drinking and driving, often imposing very harsh sentences as a result. This is on top of the already enormous, life-long emotional consequences that come with the brutal realization that you have taken another person's life. It was this tragic circumstance that our client, CLF, found himself in when he crashed his motorcycle, causing the death of his passenger in the process. Sadly, this tragedy was compounded by the fact that the passenger was also CLF's fiancee'.

When the police came to the scene of the accident that fateful night, they asked CLF if he had been drinking. With each question, it soon became clear the police were investigating this case as a possible drunk driving homicide. As part of this investigation, blood was drawn from CLF and was sent to to the State lab in Madison for testing. The result was an alcohol level of .118, considerably higher than the legal limit of .08. Needless to say, CLF was terrified at the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence. He quickly hired a lawyer to represent him. In preparing its case, the District Attorney's office took the next 8 months to formally charge CLF while they "considered all the evidence". Unfortunately, the lawyer CLF initially hired failed to timely view and preserve certain evidence from the scene, which in turn severely hampered CLF's ability to prove how the accident may have happened. With each passing day, CLF grew shorter on time while his attorney made no headway in the case. With so much at stake, CLF finally took the advice of numerous friends and family and hired Dennis Melowski.

Dennis got to work immediately to make up for the lost time. His first step was to hire an expert accident re-constructionist,  a former sheriff's deputy, who found serious deficiencies in the police investigation of CLF's case. Even more significant was the fact that Dennis' expert discovered that the speed limit for the curvy stretch of road where the accident occurred was reduced shortly after CLF's crash. As it turns out, CLF wasn't the only one who had a serious accident going around this dangerous curve. As Dennis' investigation of the case continued, it became increasingly evident that CLF wasn't at fault. Dennis took what he learned and filed a motion challenging the State's evidence against CLF. A lengthy hearing was held where Dennis cross-examined the lead police investigators. With question after question, Dennis perforated the State's case so badly that by the hearing's end, the judge wondered aloud how the prosecutor would prove its case against CLF beyond a reasonable doubt. Two weeks later, the prosecutor realized he couldn't. He filed a motion to dismiss all charges against CLF, which the judge quickly granted. Case dismissed. After more than a year of having this tremendous weight on his shoulders, CLF walked out of the courthouse completely exonerated. And while the loss of his fiancee' will stay with CLF forever, the sense of relief he experienced cannot be imagined. [The Green Bay Press Gazette account of the dismissal of the homicide charges can be read here:]

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 6, 2012: Jury Finds Client Not Guilty in OWI-2nd Case with .16 Breath Test Result

When SGS left a local gentleman's club after an evening out with a co-worker, he knew he had probably had one too many. Not wanting to make the same mistake that he had made several years earlier when he got arrested for his first DUI, he decided it would be unsafe to try to drive to the nearby hotel where he was staying for work. So he got into his truck, started the engine, reclined his seat and slept. In short, he thought he was making a smart decision. About 30 minutes later, however, while SGS was sound asleep, a police officer on foot patrol started to bang loudly on SGS's window, yelling at him and demanding that he shut off the engine and roll down his window, which is exactly what SGS did. He had no problem talking to the officer because he didn't think he was doing anything wrong. Fifteen minutes later, however, SGS was sitting in the back of a squad car, under arrest for OWI. And the cops didn't care one bit that SGS wasn't driving. You see, under Wisconsin's tough drunk driving laws, the mere act of starting your vehicle, even if it remains in park, constitutes "vehicle operation." And once SGS blew a .16 on the breath test at the police station, under the law, he was "driving drunk." So SGS's case was treated the same as if he had been carelessly careening down the highway. And the prosecutor assigned to the case was not interested in giving SGS any breaks either. Even when he was told that SGS was facing lifetime disqualification of his commercial driving privileges if convicted of his second offense, the prosecutor coldly responded that the DA's office had a strict "no plea bargain" policy in drunk driving cases. No exceptions. If SGS wanted to beat the charge and save his lucrative career as an electrical power lineman, he would have to take his case to a jury. And Dennis Melowski did exactly that. After a very hard-fought trial, with a very hometown judge looking to shut Dennis down at every turn, the jury saw through this sham of a case and found SGS Not Guilty of all charges. He walked out of the courthouse completely exonerated, with his dignity, and career, fully intact. He couldn't be happier.      

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Complete Jury Trial Acquittal in OWI-1st Case with .11 Breath Test Result

The annual celebration of Thanksgiving is that one time of year when we all sit back and take stock of the important things in life. This yearly ritual rises to new levels of significance when you've just been given a second chance. Just ask our client, BEW, who was facing charges of  Operating While Intoxicated and Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration. Although this was BEW's first offense, he was panicked over the impact a drunk driving charge would have on his record and, more importantly, his future. As a young man, BEW was just starting out in life and the last thing he needed holding him back was the permanent stain of a drunk driving conviction. BEW and his family sat down with Attorney Sarvan Singh where they expressed their sorrow and frustration that this one mistake would define BEW's life. Sarvan allayed their fears, however, and assured them that he would do everything possible to keep the drunk driving charge off of their son's record. But Sarvan knew he had his work cut out for him. As it turns out, there were several stubborn aspects of BEW's case. The officer who arrested BEW stopped him for driving in the early morning hours without his headlights on and the subsequent breath test at the police station revealed an alleged alcohol level of .11. It was this latter piece of evidence that proved particularly difficult to find a crack in.
            Sarvan needed a game-changer, and he found it when he was discussing BEW's case with Dennis Melowski. One of the substantial advantages our firm has over others is the talent pool we can draw upon within our own office. While one lawyer is always primarily responsible for a client's case, brainstorming is a way of life for the attorneys here. We are constantly bouncing ideas and strategies off one another to maximize our clients' chances of a favorable outcome. Sarvan took advantage of this and sat down with Dennis to discuss BEW's case. And it paid off in a big way. Dennis noticed an issue that he himself used to obtain a not guilty verdict only a few months back. Sarvan employed the exact same tactic  for BEW and obtained the exact same result: the jury found BEW Not Guilty of both charges he was facing. He walked out of the courthouse completely exonerated. This Thanksgiving, many of us will celebrate the day in thoughtful reflection. This year, BEW will do the same. It's just that he has a little more to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 2, 2012: OWI-1st with Hit & Run Reduced to Inattentive Driving

"Let's be honest, how much can you really help?" These were the exact words from our client, BJL, when he first sat down and spoke with Attorney Sarvan Singh. It's a fair question when deciding whether or not to hire an attorney.  As they sat there, Sarvan poured over the police reports and calmly responded, "Quite a bit." That's the level of confidence lawyers in this firm have in themselves. Our expertise and experience in exclusively handling DUI cases allows us to spot shortcomings in a case that many lawyers might miss. Just by taking one look at the police report, Sarvan knew he could beat the OWI based upon several key facts that the police officer could not prove. Sarvan pointed these problems out to the prosecutor, someone who was very familiar with the firm's record of success in these cases.  The prosecutor agreed with him and amended the OWI to Inattentive Driving, which is a non-alcohol-related minor traffic offense that carries no loss of license. In fact, the prosecutor was so concerned about the strength of his case that he also agreed to reduce the Hit and Run.  BJL was initially impressed with Sarvan's optimism, but was beyond thrilled when he actually delivered. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 1, 2012: OWI-1st (with .15 breath test result) Reduced to Inattentive Driving

Many people struggle with the idea of hiring a lawyer, and with good reason. They're expensive, there are no guarantees, and there is only so much a lawyer can do with a bad set of facts.That was the issue vexing MC. MC was facing an OWI-1st Offense and a Reckless Driving charge in a case with some difficult circumstances. MC ran his car into a tree; failed all three field sobriety tests- twice; and rang up a breath result of .15. Given these facts, MC wondered whether it was worth the trouble and expense of hiring a lawyer. But a close friend of MC's is an attorney in Arizona and was familiar with Melowski & Associates' record of success in tough cases like this. MC's friend urged him to consider the profound, life-long consequences of being a convicted drunk driver before just pleading guilty. MC spoke with Attorney Sarvan Singh. Sarvan looked closely at all the facts, and while there were plenty of bad ones, he found the one good fact he needed. He filed a motion challenging MC's arrest. After filing the motion, he spoke with the prosecutor, someone against whom Sarvan had success in the past. After listening to Sarvan, the prosecutor knew there was a weakness in the case and that Sarvan was very much up to the task of exploiting it. Rather than risk going to battle with Sarvan, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the OWI charge down to Inattentive Driving, which is a non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense that carries no loss of license. MC was thrilled, especially now as he's in the process of obtaining his commercial driver's license. If you ask MC, he'll tell you hiring a lawyer was well worth it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 29, 2012: OWI-4th Reduced to Negligent Operation of Motor Vehicle

When GAM was arrested for his fourth DUI charge, he was facing some very stiff penalties. In the county where he was arrested, GAM was facing a 6-month jail sentence; a 3-year license revocation; a several thousand dollar fine; 3-year installation of an ignition interlock device; and extensive alcohol counseling. Even worse, GAM was a CDL holder and he was facing lifetime disqualification of his commercial privileges if convicted of the DUI charge. GAM knew he had to fight the case. The stakes were just too high.

But how could he possibly win? GAM was well aware that the legal limit in a fourth offense case is just .02, the equivalent of one drink for most people and a very easy hurdle for the prosecutor to clear. GAM's breath test result was .09, a borderline result in most cases, but not in a fourth offense. In GAM's situation, his breath test result was more than four times the legal limit. GAM knew he had to find the best lawyer possible to defend his difficult case and Dennis Melowski was his man. Right off the bat, Dennis knew he had to find a way to get GAM's case knocked down to a third offense, so that the legal limit would become the usual .08. This would make GAM's case much easier to defend. And Dennis did exactly that. By combing through records from one of GAM's prior convictions years before, Dennis found a serious flaw. This flaw was brought to the attention of the judge who presided over the case ten years earlier. After a contentious hearing with the prosecutor, the judge agreed with Dennis. GAM's old conviction was thrown out by the judge. This was victory number one. Now GAM was only facing a third offense in his present case. But Dennis was not content to stop there. After extensive litigation involving GAM's initial stop by the police, the arresting officer's credibility became severely damaged, and the prosecutor knew it. This fact, combined with some essential police video evidence that had inexplicably gone missing, led to a fantastic settlement of GAM's case shortly before his scheduled jury trial. The prosecutor agreed to drop the drunk driving charges. Instead, GAM agreed to plead no contest to a reduced charge of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, which is a non-alcohol-related misdemeanor offense that will not even appear on GAM's driver record. More importantly, the reduced charge would have no impact on GAM's regular or CDL privileges. In fact, GAM did not lose his license for even a single day and his commercial driving career was completely spared. GAM simply agreed to a 30-day jail sentence, all but one day of which would be served on electronic monitoring. No probation; no license revocation; no ignition interlock device; and no drunk driving conviction. A real result if ever there was one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 23, 2012: Aggravated OWI-1st with .13 Breath Test Result Resolved with Reckless Driving Ticket

When our client, JMP, was initially stopped by police, the arresting officer immediately conducted a felony arrest because he claimed that JMP's driving was so reckless that it endangered several pedestrians who were standing on a nearby sidewalk. The officer claimed that JMP had been doing "donuts" in the middle of an intersection and then accelerated away at a very high rate of speed, nearly going up on the sidewalk in the process.

Things got even worse for JMP at the police department when the officer smelled alcohol on JMP's breath. Ultimately, he was put through field sobriety tests and arrested for drunk driving. A breath test JMP submitted to revealed an alcohol level of .13. In addition to the "felony" JMP had been arrested for, he was also charged with a first offense drunk driving. JMP, in short, was in a lot of trouble. He knew he was going to need a very good attorney on his side in court. After asking around, JMP was given Dennis Melowski's name by a friend of JMP's dad, who was a former client of Dennis'.

When JMP first spoke to Dennis, he was despondent. He thought he had a hopeless case. JMP knew the officer was greatly exaggerating his driving behavior, but who would believe his side of the story? Fortunately, Dennis Melowski is well-accustomed to hearing embellished (if not fabricated) stories by the police and knows how to deal with them. JMP's case is a textbook example of this. At a hearing early on in JMP's case, Dennis had a chance to cross-examine the arresting officer. By using the officer's own squad video, Dennis was able to catch the officer in various inconsistencies and half-truths. In fact, by the time Dennis was done with him, the officer was telling an almost entirely different story than the one in his report. It became clear that there was no felony committed, despite the officer's original claim.

That left the OWI and PAC charges. Once again, the officer's credibility took center stage. All along, JMP had insisted that he asked for a blood test after taking the breath test, which is a person's right under Wisconsin's Implied Consent Law. Conveniently, however, the audio portion of the police department video was "not functioning" when this conversation took place. Despite assurances by the officer to JMP that his repeated requests for a blood draw "were being recorded," this turned out not to be true. Although all of the other interactions at the station were audio recorded, JMP's request for an alternative test was not. Knowing what Dennis had already done to the officer's credibility on the driving allegations, it was clear to Dennis that the prosecutor knew what would happen to the officer's credibility regarding the "non functioning" audio. This gave Dennis the opening he needed to negotiate an outstanding deal. In exchange for the complete dismissal of the drunk driving charges in circuit court, JMP plead no contest to a municipal charge of reckless driving and another municipal ordinance violation for revving his engine within the city limits. JMP paid a fine, but otherwise suffered no consequences. He never lost his license for a single day; did not have to complete alcohol counseling; and was able to completely avoid the life-altering stigma of being a convicted drunk driver.        

Friday, October 26, 2012

September 28, 2012: Complete Dismissal of OWI-1st Case with .13 Breath Test Result

Persistence pays off. This is a principle the attorneys at Melowski & Associates steadfastly adhere to. It also aptly summarizes the outcome in County of M v. TAG. TAG was stopped for allegedly speeding, in one of the most notoriously aggressive counties in the state in enforcing drunk driving laws. After the administration of field sobriety tests, TAG was arrested and provided a breath sample revealing an alcohol level of .13. She was devastated. She immediately thought her career was finished. Fortunately, a friend told TAG she knew of a great DUI defense attorney by the name of Sarvan Singh, with Melowski & Associates. Because TAG needed to avoid a drunk driving conviction at all costs, she hired Sarvan to save her career. Sarvan began by examining the evidence against TAG. As he watched the officer's squad video, Sarvan could not understand how TAG was arrested in the first place. TAG passed every single field sobriety test. Sarvan knew something must have been amiss. He looked more closely and noticed an issue with the breath test itself. Armed with this ammunition,  Sarvan prepared the case for trial. In fact, he prepared for trial on several separate occasions. The problem was that each time Sarvan was ready to go, the prosecution wasn't. Although this was a first offense, the continued delays meant TAG was being denied Due Process, one of the fundamental principles of our justice system. Sarvan sat the prosecutor down and laid out all the problems with the case. Based on what Sarvan revealed, along with the County's continued delays, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case and not refile the charges. Needless to say, TAG was thrilled. Her life was on hold for nearly two years, but the end result was worth it. Persistence pays off indeed.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 10, 2012: OWI-1st (with .14 breath test result) Reduced to Non-Traffic City Ordinance Violation

Sometimes drunk driving arrests happen when you least expect them. RDR's case is a perfect example of this. It's also a perfect example of the lengths to which police officers will go to enforce Wisconsin's drunk driving laws in this day and age. When RDR showed up at the local police department to pick up his friend who had been arrested for drunk driving, he had no idea he was walking right into an arrest himself. But when a police officer smelled alcohol on RDR's breath when he arrived for his friend's release, the accusations quickly flew.  Before he knew it, RDR was locked up right next to his friend. This was devastating to RDR. As a logger, RDR was required to work long hours and operate all sorts of company vehicles to do his job. A drunk driving conviction was something that RDR just could not fathom. After all, he had gone his entire life without any type of traffic violation whatsoever and he could not bear the thought of having the life-altering stain of a drunk driving conviction blemish his record, and his future. He had to do something. Fortunately, RDR had heard about Dennis Melowski's recent jury trial win in the same community where RDR was arrested. He gave Dennis a call and hired him immediately. Dennis got to work right away, laying the groundwork for RDR's defense through careful questioning of one of the police officers at RDR's administrative suspension hearing. Dennis was so successful in undermining this officer's credibility that Dennis sent a copy of the hearing transcript right to the prosecutor in charge of the case. When the prosecutor read the officer's testimony, he knew the case was in big trouble. After some negotiations with Dennis, a fantastic deal was reached. The original drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, RDR plead no contest to a local city ordinance violation for Outside Consumption of Alcohol in Public. This non-traffic violation is an extremely minor offense and carries no suspension or revocation of driving privileges. In fact, it won't even appear on RDR's driver record. Aside from paying a fine of $389.50, RDR suffered  no consequences in this case. Most importantly, he avoided the terrible stigma of being a convicted drunk driver. Needless to say, he's very happy.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

August 27, 2012: OWI-1st Reduced to Inattentive Driving

In a departure from how we normally describe the successful outcome of a client's DUI case, we have chosen to let this particular client describe his outcome (and extreme satisfaction) in his own words. This is the review of Dennis Melowski's work that the client posted on an online attorney rating service ( We think you'll agree, we couldn't have said it any better ourselves:

  1. In April of this year,I was pulled over by the police for DUI/DWI. A lawyer who was handling my divorce at the time recommended a lawyer he knew well who handled DUI/DWI. I met with this lawyer but did not feel comfortable with him as my attorney representing me in this case. He said I should get a second opinion and meet with another lawyer. He suggested Dennis Melowski. I called Mr. Melowski to schedule a meeting so we could review my case.

    I did some inquiries into Mr. Melowski's reputation in handling DUI/DWI cases and in every instance my inquiries came back as Mr. Melowski was the best DUI/DWI lawyer in the state. From our initial meeting I knew I wanted Dennis Melowski to represent me. He immediately put me at ease and I could recognize his professionalism and knowledge of the law. I have a commercial drivers license for my job so I couldn't afford to lose my license if found guilty. With Mr. Melowski hard work and dedication,I was able to keep my commercial drivers license and my job leading up until my court date. As of this past Thursday,I was informed by Mr. Melowski that in working with the district attorney,the charge had been reduced to inattentive driving and I would not lose my license or my job and would not have to go through a court trial.

    I cannot begin to describe the tremendous weight that has been lifted off my shoulders. Anyone who reads this review if you need the best DUI/DWI lawyer in the state of Wisconsin make sure that your first call is to Dennis Melowski. I heard he was the best lawyer and look at my results. He simply is the finest lawyer to handle your DUI/DWI case.

August 23, 2012: OWI-1st (with .166 blood test result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

As a regional account manager for a major auto parts supplier, MRL's job required him to have valid driving privileges at all times. To drive his company vehicle, to rent cars in other states, and as a general requirement of the company's code of conduct, MRL could not, under any circumstance, be convicted of drunk driving. So when MRL was arrested for his first-ever DUI offense, he thought his professional life might be over. And with good reason. The case against him initially looked quite strong. He was called in by another driver and allegedly failed the field sobriety tests on camera. Even worse, he had a roadside breath test result over the legal limit and a subsequent blood test revealed a .166 BAC level. Several attorneys MRL spoke to painted a very bleak picture. But one attorney told MRL not to give up hope and urged him to contact Dennis Melowski. This attorney had seen Dennis speak at legal seminars and was well aware of Dennis' unmatched record of success in defending cases just like MRL's. After meeting with Dennis, MRL knew Dennis was up to the task of saving his job. And that's just what Dennis did. From convincing the judge to stay MRL's administrative suspension, to unearthing several promising legal issues in MRL's case, Dennis fought for MRL at every turn. And on the afternoon of MRL's motion hearing, Dennis' efforts paid off in a big way. Dennis was able to convince the prosecutor to drop the drunk driving charges. Instead, MRL plead guilty to Reckless Driving, a non-alcohol-related driving offense which carries no loss of driver's license and no ignition interlock device installation, which would have been mandatory had MRL been convicted of the original charges due to his high blood test result. In fact, aside from paying a fine, MRL suffered no consequences from his arrest. More importantly, his job was saved. He couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

OWI-3rd Reduced to Negligent Operation of Motor Vehicle

At Melowski & Associates, often our most important job is helping our clients keep theirs.  That's exactly why MAF contacted our office. MAF was facing a third offense drunk driving, and along with it, a lifetime ban of his commercial driving privileges.  Losing his CDL meant losing his job, which also meant losing his house, his car, and the life he and his family had taken so long to build. To save MAF, Attorney Singh had to get creative. He scoured the case and came up with an unconventional legal argument.  And much to MAF's happiness, it worked. The day before his jury trial, the prosecutor agreed to amend the drunk driving offense to Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle. This reduced charge is a non-alcohol-related misdemeanor offense that would not even appear on MAF's driver record and would have no impact on his regular or commercial driving privileges. In fact, based on the deal reached by Attorney Singh, MAF would not lose his license for even a single day.  This meant that Attorney Singh was able to accomplish the most important thing to MAF-  save his commercial driving career. Because Attorney Singh was able to do that, MAF was able to keep the rest of his life intact and his family has been endlessly grateful.

OWI-3rd Reduced to OWI-1st

In the span of several weeks, SMG suffered a serious injury at work, his wife filed for divorce, and to really rub salt in the wound, he picked up his third drunk driving offense. To top it all off, SMG's blood test came back at .314, a result that is nearly four times the legal limit. SMG had pretty much hit rock bottom when he contacted our office. The first thing Attorney Sarvan Singh did was advise SMG that there was hope, something SMG hadn't heard in a long time. As with all of our clients, Sarvan took the case and dug deep, finding a flaw in SMG's prior conviction from years before. Sarvan also exposed some significant problems with the arrest. For months, Attorney Singh prepared the case for trial. But before getting to that point, the prosecutor agreed to amend the charge from an OWI-3rd offense all the way down to a first offense. This fantastic result meant that SMG completely avoided the several month jail sentence he was facing; his license revocation went from three years to six months; and his fine went from several thousand dollars down to eight hundred.  And if that weren't enough, Attorney Singh convinced the prosecutor to amend the blood alcohol level so SMG would avoid the ignition interlock device requirement. SMG's luck is finally turning around.

OWI-2nd Reduced to Negligent Operation of Motor Vehicle

A simple fact of life is that people need to drive.  In many circumstances, people do it for a living. Truck drivers,  sales people, or delivery persons simply don't have the luxury of being without a license for months or years on end. But that's exactly what our client, TMZ, was facing when she was arrested for her second DUI offense. With a new promotion at work that required frequent travel throughout the state, TMZ couldn't afford to lose her license. Not only was she looking at losing her new promotion, a drunk driving conviction could mean losing her job. She had to do something. She contacted Melowski & Associates and Attorney Sarvan Singh was tabbed for the assignment of saving TMZ's career. And he was up to the task. Attorney Singh poured over the police reports and video evidence and realized there was substantially conflicting information between the two. At the strategically right time, Attorney Singh pointed these conflicts out to the prosecutor, just days prior to TMZ's scheduled jury trial. The prosecutor was impressed by the lengths to which Attorney Singh had gone to expose the anomalies in the officer's version of events. The prosecutor knew that a conviction on the DUI charge was in jeopardy. An excellent outcome was reached.The original drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, TMZ pled no contest to a reduced charge of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, which is a non-alcohol-related, misdemeanor offense that will not even appear on TMZ's driver record. In addition to avoiding the costly and embarrassing ignition interlock device, TMZ would not have to spend even a single day in jail and her driving privileges were completely spared. She was simply placed on probation for one year. The promotion she worked so hard to attain remained and her career was saved. Mission accomplished. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

July 31, 2012: OWI-1st with Minor Child in Vehicle Reduced to Non-Traffic Misdemeanor

Our client, BAO, had just started a very promising career as an apprentice lineman for a utilities company. It was a well-paying job with excellent benefits. Unfortunately, this job required a valid commercial driver's license, or CDL.  A conviction on a drunk driving charge results in immediate disqualification of CDL privileges, even if the incident occurs in your personal vehicle. So when BAO rolled his truck several times after sliding off an icy road at bar time, he was terrified. He couldn't bear the thought of losing the great job he had just begun. When the police arrived at the accident scene, BAO's fears became a reality. He was arrested for drunk driving. What's worse, although this was BAO's first offense, it would be prosecuted as a criminal charge due to the fact that the teenage sister of BAO's friend was inside the truck when it crashed. The presence of a minor under the age of 17 in a vehicle makes a first offense criminal, substantially increasing the seriousness of the charge and exposing BAO to a mandatory jail sentence if convicted. The charge became even more serious when BAO's blood test revealed an alcohol level of .13.

It was clear that BAO was in for a fight given the nature of the charges. Initially, BAO was represented by another attorney who spent several months getting nowhere with the case. BAO knew he needed a change. He knew he needed an attorney who would not be afraid of the prosecutor and judge, as BAO's arrest occurred in a county that is notorious for being very aggressive in pursuing DUI convictions. After speaking with several attorneys already, BAO called Dennis Melowski. After meeting with Dennis and hearing how he would approach the case, BAO knew he had found his man. Although it wasn't easy, Dennis obtained an incredible result for BAO. The very afternoon before BAO's scheduled jury trial Dennis negotiated an agreement with the prosecutor that would avoid a drunk driving conviction and would completely spare BAO's regular and commercial driving privileges. Dennis was able to convince the prosecutor to drop the original charges in exchange for BAO's plea to an amended charge of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, a non-alcohol-related misdemeanor offense that will not even appear on BAO's driver record. BAO did not lose his license for even a single day and his job was saved. Often times, choosing the right attorney can make all the difference. Just ask BAO.   

Monday, August 6, 2012

July 19, 2011: OWI-1st Reduced to Minor Traffic Offense

As a heavy equipment operator, RVL knows just how important his commercial driving privileges are. He also knows full well how devastating a drunk driving conviction can be to a commercial driving career. He had heard plenty of stories over the years of commercial drivers never getting hired again with that awful stain on their record. RVL also never thought it would happen to him. At 51, he had gone years without even the slightest traffic violation. But a DUI charge can happen to just about anyone, even when you think you're being careful about how much you drink before driving. That was certainly the case with RVL. Out for a few beers after a hard week of work, RVL thought he was well in control when he left a tavern to drive home. A county sheriff's deputy thought differently. The deputy observed RVL speeding shortly after leaving the bar and pulled him over. He had RVL perform some field sobriety tests and a roadside breath test. RVL was arrested on the spot and taken to the local hospital for a blood test which produced a result over the legal limit. RVL couldn't believe it. How could this have happened to him?

Fortunately, a close family friend of RVL is a county prosecutor who has seen Dennis Melowski in action. This prosecutor urged RVL to give Dennis a call. He told RVL that if anyone could save his career, it was Dennis. RVL took his friend's advice and made the decision to hire Dennis. And things couldn't have turned out much better for RVL. Dennis was able to negotiate a fantastic resolution. The original drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, RVL pled no contest to a drastically reduced charge of Inattentive Driving, which is a non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense that involves no loss of license. RVL never lost his license for even a single day and was able to completely avoid the career-killing stigma of being a convicted drunk driver. He couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 9, 2012: OWI-1st (with .166 blood test result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

RRE has a very good job for a bovine genetics company that requires him to drive extensively throughout rural Wisconsin. Even though he is a very valuable employee with an impeccable work record, his company had made it clear that if he got convicted of the first offense drunk driving charge he was facing, he would lose his job. Company policy. No exceptions. Needless to say, RRE was very concerned. Like so many of our clients, RRE valued his job tremendously, but thought that his drunk driving case was going to be too difficult for any attorney to defend. After all, he was stopped for unreasonable and imprudent speed and lane deviation after the officer followed him for several miles. He also struggled with some of the field sobriety tests (on camera) and had a blood test result of .166. Frankly, he thought his job was doomed. Fortunately, RRE was referred to Dennis Melowski by a former client whom Dennis helped get out of a very similar set of circumstances.

Dennis got to work immediately. The first step was laying the groundwork for several legal challenges through careful questioning of the arresting officer at RRE's administrative suspension hearing. These challenges were ultimately brought to the attention of the judge when Dennis filed motions to throw out evidence in RRE's case. At the hearing before the judge, Dennis relentlessly cross-examined the officer and brought to light several significant discrepancies in his story. Although the judge ultimately ruled against Dennis on the motions, the officer's credibility had been severely undermined. The prosecutor knew the officer was now damaged goods. This fact, combined with several issues Dennis uncovered at the lab that tested RRE's blood sample, led to a fantastic result just a few days before RRE's scheduled jury trial. The drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, RRE pled no contest to the non-alcohol-related offense of reckless driving. This reduced charge carries no loss of license and will not remain on RRE's record for life like the original charge would have. RRE paid a fine that was half the amount of the original fine, but otherwise suffered no consequences. Most importantly, by avoiding the awful stigma of a drunk driving conviction, RRE kept his job and his career is thriving. He couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An Extraordinary Rate of Success: The Year in Review So Far

At the halfway point of 2012, a stunning total of nineteen Melowski & Associates clients have avoided the life-altering stigma of a drunk driving conviction. Fourteen of these clients have had their drunk driving charges reduced to non-alcohol-related offenses or offenses that won't even appear on their driver record; three clients have been completely exonerated at trial; and two clients have had their charges completely thrown out by judges. Several others have had their cases resolved in truly remarkable ways (see March 1, April 4 and June 4 blog entries). No other firm in the state can demonstrate results like this in defending DUI cases. When we say that Melowski & Associates has an unmatched record of success, it's not some empty slogan to lure prospective new clients. It's simply the truth.

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 18, 2012: An Absolutely Unheard of Result Obtained for Felony Client: OWI-6th Reduced to Reckless Driving

As our Real Results Tracker amply demonstrates, our record of success in defending DUI cases cannot be matched--by anyone. Frankly, it's why we have it: to prove it. But sometimes we outdo even ourselves. Perhaps there is no better example of this than the result Dennis Melowski just achieved for his client, TJR, in his sixth offense drunk driving case. A sixth offense is very serious business. As a felony, it carries a lengthy prison sentence; three-year loss of license; ignition interlock device for years; a several-thousand dollar fine; and significant alcohol counseling. In the vast majority of cases, regardless of county, a conviction for a sixth-offense will result in a prison sentence. In short, the stakes don't get much higher. On top of that, a sixth offense is usually easy for a prosecutor to prove, since the legal limit in such a case is only .02. For many people, one or two drinks will put them over this very low level.

So when TJR was stopped for having a headlight out and smelled of alcohol, he was terrified. His fear only grew after supposedly failing the field sobriety tests and blowing well over the legal limit on the officer's roadside breath test, a result which a subsequent blood test confirmed. The officer also found a half-full can of beer in TJR's cup holder.Things couldn't have looked more bleak for TJR. He couldn't bear the thought being sent to prison, not with elderly parents to support and care for. After searching extensively for the best possible lawyer, TJR decided to hire Dennis, due largely to results he had read about right here on our Real Results Tracker. It was the best decision TJR  ever made. Based almost entirely on Dennis' fiercely effective cross-examination of the arresting officer at TJR's preliminary hearing, the prosecutor had serious doubts about her officer's credibility. Several of the facts he testified to were highly questionable. Ten days before TJR's jury trial, an absolutely unheard of result was achieved. The felony drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, TJR pled no contest to a simple traffic ticket: Reckless Driving. This is a non-criminal, non-alcohol-related offense that doesn't even carry a loss of license, much less jail or prison time. The only penalty imposed against TJR was a fine of $389.50. That's it. TJR might just be the happiest client we've ever had.

June 15, 2012: OWI-1st Reduced to Reckless Driving

Certain counties in Wisconsin are notorious for being tough on drunk driving cases. A handful of counties even have a "no plea bargain" policy, meaning they will not, under any circumstance, agree to reduce a drunk driving charge to a lesser offense. Our client, ASW, had the misfortune of being arrested in one of these counties. Even worse, ASW was a crane operator who had to maintain a valid commercial driver's license (CDL) to keep his job. A conviction on a drunk driving charge would mean an automatic twelve-month disqualification of ASW's commercial privileges. This would not only lead to the immediate loss of his present job, it would likely scare off future employers for years to come. Something had to be done. ASW hired Dennis Melowski to not only fight his case, but to save his career.

Fortunately, Dennis understands the urgency of action in cases like ASW's. In most cases, an automatic license suspension will take effect within 30 days of arrest and, with clients like ASW, this suspension needs to be prevented at all costs. If it is not, harsh employment consequences may result before the client has even had a chance to fight the case in court. Many lawyers don't understand this or, even worse, don't care. Not here. Dennis has a remarkable track record of preventing the automatic suspension so that his clients have all the time they need to effectively contest their charges in court. This is exactly what Dennis did for ASW. Dennis was able to persuade the presiding judge to stop the DOT suspension. Due to this, ASW was able to keep his job while the case was pending in court. And thank God he did because it took Dennis just over two years to get the result ASW needed. Dennis relentlessly challenged evidence at every turn, filing multiple motions on ASW's behalf and fighting for ASW at every turn. Finally, the day before ASW's jury trial, the prosecutor decided he had had enough. The prosecutor knew how much damage Dennis had done to the arresting officer's credibility through cross-examination at prior hearings. Moreover, Dennnis had exposed a major breach in protocol with ASW's breath test. Dennis was able to prove that the arresting officer could not possibly have conducted a twenty minute observation period, a prerequisite under Wisconsin law. In short, the holes Dennis made in the prosecutor's case were too many to overcome. Despite being in a county that "never" plea bargains drunk driving cases, Dennis still obtained a fantastic resolution. ASW's drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, he pled no contest to the non-alcohol-related traffic offense of Reckless Driving, which carries no loss of license and would have no impact on ASW's commercial privileges. In addition, there is no alcohol assessment or counseling and no ignition interlock device. Most importantly, ASW is not a convicted drunk driver. And is still a crane operator.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 14, 2012: OWI-1st (with .183 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Two Minor Traffic Tickets

When SRS slid off of an icy country road and into a ditch full of snow shortly after bar time, he thought the worst of his problems was having to shovel himself out in frigid temperatures. That is, until a sheriff's deputy pulled up to ask him what happened. Things quickly went from bad to worse for SRS. After smelling alcohol and making some observations the deputy thought were signs of intoxication, SRS was arrested and taken to the hospital for a blood test. The result showed a .183 alcohol level, more than twice the legal limit of .08. SRS was devastated. He knew what a drunk driving conviction would due to his career, as his job required a valid driver's license. He had to do something, but with a .183 test result, how could anything possibly be done?

Fortunately, a friend of SRS's parents is a former client of Dennis Melowski's. This former client had an even tougher set of circumstances than SRS, with an even higher test result, and Dennis was still able to obtain a remarkable result, getting the client completely out of his drunk driving charge. The client assured SRS that with Dennis Melowski on the case, there was always hope. SRS took this former client's advice and called Dennis. After carefully listening to SRS's version of events, Dennis found an issue that would have been overlooked by most attorneys. No one knows the intricate legal requirements of DUI cases better than Dennis and there was one he didn't think could be met in SRS's case. After thorough questioning of the arresting deputy at SRS's administrative suspension hearing, Dennis pinned down the defect in the County's case against SRS. At the right time, Dennis disclosed this defect to the prosecutor, someone with whom Dennis had dealt with many times. This prosecutor knew full well what Dennis would be able to do with the ammunition he had. The prosecutor's entire case was in jeopardy. A fantastic deal was reached. The drunk driving charges were completely dropped. Instead, SRS pled no contest to two minor traffic tickets that were completely non-alcohol-related: Inattentive Driving and Failure to Stop at Stop Sign. SRS paid a fine, but would not lose his license for a single day and he completely avoided the shame and embarrassment of installing an ignition interlock device in his car. Most importantly, though, SRS's job was saved because he was not a convicted drunk driver. He couldn't be happier.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 11, 2012: OWI-1st (with .21 Blood Test Result) Reduced to Reckless Driving

We know how mistakes in our youth can significantly effect our lives as adults. Knowing this, fixing those youthful mistakes so they don't completely disrupt your future is of critical importance. That's why KLW contacted our office. KLW is a young woman with a very promising future who found herself facing the life-altering prospect of being a convicted drunk driver. On the cusp of graduating college and moving on with her life, a drunk driving conviction would be catastrophic to her future plans. Fortunately, the attorneys at Melowski & Associates are completely dedicated to the notion that one mistake or bad decision shouldn't ruin a person's life. With that in mind, Attorney Sarvan Singh picked apart the prosecutor's case from top to bottom, exposing some serious flaws. After pointing these out to the prosecutor just days before the jury trial, the prosecutor saw the writing on the wall and agreed to amend the OWI to  Reckless Driving, despite KLW's very high blood test result of .21. This fantastic result ensured that KLW would not have to start her young career with the irreversible stain left by a drunk driving conviction. On top of that, she never lost her license; avoided lengthy and costly alcohol counseling; and did not have to install an ignition interlock device in her car. KLW's family could not be happier that she can put all of this behind her and start life anew.

June 4, 2012: Successful Jurisdictional Attack of Client's Prior OWI Conviction; OWI-3rd Reduced to OWI-1st

We all make mistakes when we're young. It happens to the best of us. When that mistake is a drunk driving conviction, that mistake stays with you forever. That's the backdrop for State of WI v. SAP. Back in 1993, SAP picked up two OWI's within a month of each other. SAP was very young at the time and plead guilty to both charges, not realizing the grave future consequences of this action. He thought his past was behind him. In fact, eighteen years went by without SAP having as much as a speeding ticket on his record. Then, one bad decision earlier this year led to SAP being arrested again for OWI. Despite the age of his prior cases, they would still count under Wisconsin's tough drunk driving laws. SAP was being charged with his third offense, where he was facing substantial jail and license revocation time along with a hefty fine. SAP was distraught to learn that those earlier drunken driving convictions were still on his record and being used against him 18 years later. However, Attorney Singh delved deep into those early convictions. He discovered that one of the convictions was entered erroneously and should not be counted. Attorney Singh filed a motion to dismiss one of the convictions, which the judge granted. This meant that SAP's third OWI was converted to a first offense, substantially reducing the fine, taking the license revocation time down from 3 years to 9 months, and completely eliminating the mandatory jail sentence, which would have been several months. SAP was overjoyed with gratitude at the fantastic result Attorney Singh was able to achieve. 

This case is a perfect example of the strict attention to detail the clients at Melowski & Associates continually receive in the defense of their cases. No stone goes unturned in the relentless pursuit of exceptional results. It's what separates the good lawyers from the great ones.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

May 30, 2012: Complete Dismissal of OWI-1st in Middle of Jury Trial

As almost any lawyer will attest to, the outcome of a jury trial does not always depend upon the facts of the case. Often, it hinges on the skills of the lawyers in the courtroom. Simply put, a great lawyer can quickly turn a bad case into a good one. As our record shows, the attorneys at Melowski & Associates are exceptionally skilled trial lawyers with a complete mastery of the intricate rules governing drunk driving offenses. This mastery frequently leads to substantial benefits to our clients.  A perfect example of this was County of P. v. IPM. Our client, IPM, was involved in a near fatal accident in which he was ejected from the vehicle and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. IPM was lucky to be alive. However, to add insult to injury,the County charged him with drunk driving when his blood alcohol level came back .12. Attorney Sarvan Singh took the case all the way to a jury trial. During trial, Attorney Singh noticed the County failed to call a certain witness. While the County did not believe this witness was particularly important, Attorney Singh knew better. He knew the witness was vital to the County’s case.  Biding his time, Attorney Singh waited until the right moment to make his legal objection regarding the County’s failure to call the witness. The County argued this witness was immaterial and did not need to provide testimony. However, by pointing out the specific statutory authority that required the County to call this witness, the Judge agreed with Attorney Singh and dismissed the drunk driving charges. IPM and his father were overjoyed with the news. IPM is a young man and is still worried how his injuries will affect his future. But one thing he can rest easy about is not having a life-changing drunk driving conviction on his record.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 23, 2012: OWI-4th Reduced to Non-Traffic Misdemeanor

When BDQ was stopped for driving without his headlights on at bar time, it quickly turned into an arrest for a fourth offense drunk driving charge. This is a very serious offense, typically involving a sentence of several months in jail; 3-year license revocation; a fine of several thousand dollars; and mandatory ignition interlock device for a long time. On top of that, these cases are usually very easy for a prosecutor to prove, since the legal limit drops all the way down to .02 for fourth and subsequent offenders. For many people, just one drink is sufficient to put them at or over this very low level. So when BDQ's blood test came back at .21 (more than ten times his legal limit) Dennis Melowski had his work cut out for him.

This case is a testament to the importance of patience, strategic timing and relentless advocacy. BDQ's arrest occurred in December of 2009 and was resolved the day before his jury trial scheduled in May of 2012. In the two and a half years the case was pending, Dennis dealt with numerous different prosecutors who would not budge on the drunk driving charge. But Dennis perservered and zealously advocated for BDQ at every turn. Finally, the day before the jury trial, the prosecutor was convinced that the problems Dennis had uncovered in BDQ's case, from errors at the lab to failures by the police to document key evidence, were enough to create reasonable doubt in BDQ's case. An incredible deal was reached. The original OWI-4th charge was reduced to the non-alcohol-related, non-traffic misdemeanor offense of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle. The charge of PAC-4th was dismissed completely. BDQ pled no contest to the reduced charge, which will not even appear on his driver record and carries no loss of license. Even better, he would not have to spend a single day in jail or be subjected to the costly and embarrassing ignition interlock device. Instead, BDQ was placed on probation for one year and was ordered to pay a fine, but otherwise suffered no consequences from this incident. Another very satisfied client.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 4, 2012: OWI-1st Reduced to Non-Traffic County Ordinance Violation

Our client, JFK, was stopped in a Walmart parking lot after an off-duty sheriff's deputy called 911 to report that he was driving erratically. After failing the field sobriety tests on camera, JFK was arrested and taken to the local hospital for a blood draw, analysis of which showed a .153 blood alcohol level. JFK was devastated. He knew what this meant for his career as a commercial truck driver in the food service industry, the only job he had known for the last 15 years. Being a stand-up guy, JFK informed his company of his arrest. The reward for his honesty? The company let him go on the spot. JFK thought he would never drive commercially again. He knew he had to find the best attorney possible if he ever wanted to salvage his commercial driving career. After an extensive search, JFK hired Dennis Melowski. Dennis got to work immediately to lay the groundwork for JFK's defense. His efforts paid off. At JFK's administrative suspension hearing, the off-duty deputy who called JFK in made a seemingly harmless admission in response to questioning. But Dennis knew it was more than that. The admission actually corroborated a key claim by JFK that provided the entire basis of his defense.  Dennis sat on this key development until just the right time---the day before JFK's scheduled jury trial. Dennis' disclosure caused the prosecutor to believe that a conviction on the original charges was in serious doubt. A fantastic deal was reached. The original OWI and PAC charges were dropped. Instead, JFK plead no contest to a local county ordinance violation that was non-alcohol-related and would not appear on JFK's driver record. Both his regular and commercial driving privileges were completely spared. JFK paid a fine but otherwise suffered no consequences from this incident. And the best news? When JFK told his former company that he was not convicted of drunk driving, they hired him back. On the spot. Another commercial driving career saved.

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 2, 2012: OWI-1st and Refusal of Chemical Test Reduced to County Ordinance Violations

Like many people, when KES refused to submit to a blood test following his drunk driving arrest, he thought he was doing the right thing to help his case. After all, if the police don't know your blood alcohol level, how can they prove you were legally drunk? Unfortunately, this way of thinking does not account for the provisions of Wisconsin's Implied Consent Law, which makes it illegal for you to refuse a breath or blood test if you are lawfully arrested for drunk driving. If you do refuse, it only makes things worse because it exposes you to an additional charge (Refusal of Chemical Test) which carries lengthy revocation of your driving privileges and mandatory ignition interlock installation if you are convicted. This is especially true in a first offense case, where the length of revocation can be twice as long for refusing the test than for the drunk driving charge itself. On top of that, refusal charges are very tough to defend, since there are only a very limited number of defenses that can be raised.

Fortunately, KES was referred to Melowski & Associates by another attorney familiar with Dennis Melowski's unmatched record of success in dealing with these types of cases. Although the case against KES initially looked strong, Dennis' persistent negotiations eventually paid off. And in a big way. Just two days before KES's refusal hearing, Dennis negotiated a remarkable deal. Both of KES's original charges (OWI and Refusal of Chemical Test) would be dropped. In exchange, KES agreed to plead no contest to two non-traffic, non-alcohol-related county ordinance violations. These ordinance violations carry no loss of license and will not even appear on KES's driver record. KES paid a fine, but otherwise suffered no consequences as a result of his arrest. Most importantly, as a well-regarded businessman in his community, he was able to completely avoid the life-altering stigma of being a convicted drunk driver. Needless to say, KES is ecstatic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 18, 2012: Make That 13 in 14 Months: Still Another CDL Client Beats Drunk Driving Charge

The case of County of C. v. NLB  marked the 13th time in the last 14 months that a Melowski & Associates CDL client beat a drunk driving charge. It is also the 11th time this year alone that one of our clients has successfully avoided the life-altering consequences of being a convicted drunk driver. There is not a firm in the entire state that can demonstrate this type of success in the field of drunk driving defense.

This case was not an easy one. NLB had been stopped for alleged repeated swerving (caught on camera); allegedly failed the field sobriety tests (also on camera); and ultimately took a blood test that was over the legal limit. Beyond that, the arrest occurred in a county that has been historically tough on drunk drivers and was being prosecuted by an assistant district attorney with significant experience. It's no wonder this case went all the way to a jury trial---almost. On the morning of the jury trial, right before the start of jury selection, Dennis Melowski shared his hand with the prosecutor. Dennis disclosed all of the ammunition he had gathered from his open records request to the lab who did the blood testing. Dennis had sifted through dozens and dozens of lab documents and found significant problems with the gas chromatograph (machine) used to test NLB's blood sample. These problems occurred the very day NLB's sample had been tested. Even the prosecutor acknowledged that he had never seen such problems before. A conviction on the drunk driving charge was in grave doubt. The case was settled on the spot. The drunk driving charges were dropped. Instead, NLB plead no contest to the non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving. He paid a fine of less than $200.00, but otherwise suffered no consequences. He never lost his license for even a single day and his commercial driving career was saved.   

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 10, 2012: The Firm's Amazing Streak Continues: Another CDL Client Avoids Drunk Driving Conviction

When DAH's drunk driving charge was reduced to the minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving, he became the twelfth Melowski & Associates CDL client in the last fourteen months to successfully avoid the career-ending consequences of a drunk driving conviction. This truly remarkable streak is one that no other firm in the state can come close to matching. So how did DAH's fantastic result come about? We knew from the beginning that this was a case that would have to be fought every step of the way, given the fact that DAH was employed as a commercial truck driver for a recycling company. His company had made it clear that any type of suspension or disqualification of his driving privileges would result in his immediate termination. This meant quick action had to be taken to prevent the administrative suspension the DOT would impose just thirty days after DAH's arrest. Fortunately, Dennis Melowski knows exactly what needs to be done in this type of situation and was able to convince the judge to stay the suspension pending the outcome of the case in court. The stay of suspension turned out to be critical since Dennis ended up slugging the case out in court with the prosecutor for a full year. From a contested municipal court trial to an appeal to circuit court, Dennis kept fighting for DAH until finally, just a few days before DAH's scheduled jury trial, the prosecutor decided he had had enough. Dennis had exposed enough weaknesses in the prosecutor's case that the prosecutor believed a conviction in front of a jury was in real jeopardy, especially given what he knew of Dennis' record of success in jury trials. An outstanding deal was reached. DAH's original charge of OWI-First Offense was reduced to the non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving. The remaining charge of PAC-First Offense (due to DAH's .11 breath test) was dismissed entirely. Aside from paying a fine, DAH suffered no other penalties. He never lost his license for a single day and his commercial privileges were completely spared. He kept his job as if this unfortunate incident never happened. Yet another incredibly satisfied client.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 4, 2012: Client Sentenced to One Year in the County Jail with Work-Release in OWI-Homicide Case

In the field of drunk driving defense, there is no more serious charge than OWI-Homicide. With potential imprisonment of 25 years and a fine of up to $100,000.00, the stakes literally can't get any higher. In the vast majority of cases where people are convicted of such a charge, they receive a prison sentence, typically a long one. On the rare occasion when someone is lucky enough to get a non-prison sentence, it is usually a case where the victim was a close friend or family member of the accused and the victim's family is supportive of the defendant. In cases, however, where the victim was a stranger and the surviving family is out for vengeance, a lengthy prison term is a near certainty. It was the latter situation that our client, RAP, tragically found himself in.

Accused of driving off the road a considerable distance, damaging several road signs in the process, RAP ultimately lost control of his vehicle, fully crossed the centerline and struck another vehicle. The driver of that vehicle was killed instantly. On top of all that, RAP's blood test showed an alcohol level of .19. When the case landed on the prosecutor's desk, he took a very hard-line position. He wanted RAP to go to prison for 10 years, despite the fact that RAP had no prior record of any kind and was extremely remorseful. What's more, the victim's family members wanted an even longer sentence, the maximum the law allowed. At the age of 60, RAP thought his life, as he knew it, was over. Judges have a long history of handing down very harsh sentences in cases just like this.

Fortunately, Dennis Melowski has a well-established track record of obtaining remarkable results in the toughest of cases. Dennis understands that some cases are won at trial and others are won at sentencing. Although RAP had a very difficult set of facts to present to a jury, he had a very compelling set of facts to present to the judge at sentencing. With this in mind, Dennis carefully crafted his plan. After getting RAP enrolled in a well-regarded treatment program, Dennis also solicited the support of countless friends, co-workers and family members to provide character references on RAP's behalf. In addition, several expert sentencing consultants (including a former employee of the State prison system) were retained to provide insight to the judge about the innovative sentence Dennis was suggesting and why it would accomplish so much more than just locking RAP up and throwing away the key.

At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing (which lasted several hours) the judge was so convinced by Dennis' arguments that he did what is almost unheard of in a case like this. Not only would RAP not receive a long prison sentence, the judge decided that he would not receive a prison sentence at all. Instead, RAP was ordered to spend 12 months in the local county jail, with full work-release privileges. This meant that RAP would only be spending his nights in jail. The judge also said RAP could be released on electronic monitoring (the "bracelet") for the last 3 months of his sentence, meaning for the last 3 months RAP will be in his own home. With this stunning sentence, RAP kept his job as an electrician and gets to see his wife every day. RAP's life, as he knew it, was saved. He couldn't possibly be any happier.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March 23, 2012: Jury Completely Exonerates Former State senator Randy Hopper of Drunk Driving Charge; Local Paper States Dennis Melowski "Dominated the Trial"

Successfully defending a drunk driving charge against an ordinary, publicly anonymous citizen is hard enough. Defending the same charge against a former public official who is largely reviled in his own community is exponentially more difficult. Not only do the allegations themselves have to be challenged, the public perception and desire for vengeance must be overcome as well. In short, the successful defense of recalled state senator Randy Hopper was no easy task. Surely, the public at large expected the jury to convict. The media had already obtained a conviction in the court of public opinion with their biased reporting in the several months preceding the trial.

But Dennis Melowski was undaunted. He truly believed in his client and was highly motivated to restore his unfairly tarnished reputation. Although there were three citizen witnesses against Mr. Hopper, on top of police testimony and video evidence, Dennis knew something wasn't right with the prosecution's case. Too many things just didn't add up. Through extensive investigation of the witnesses against Mr. Hopper, many issues were exposed that called their credibility into question, including the arresting officer's.These issues were raised throughout the trial in Dennis' relentless cross-examinations of the prosecution witnesses. The local newspaper even took note of Dennis' effectiveness, indicating he "dominated the trial" on day one ( By the conclusion of the trial on the second day, Dennis had thoroughly dismantled the prosecution's case from top to bottom. The buzz in the courthouse was that Mr. Hopper would be acquitted based on the fantastic job Dennis had done. After a relatively short deliberation, the jury returned their verdict of not guilty on the drunk driving charge. The jury even returned a verdict of not guilty on the charge of Operating Left of Center, showing their utter rejection of every charge brought against Mr. Hopper. He was completely exonerated (

Mr. Hopper's vindication received substantial media coverage, including being the lead story on the TMJ4 (Milwaukee) evening news, which included an interview at Dennis' home the evening of the verdict ( The acquittal was also reported nationally on and numerous newspapers and websites across the country.

Personal Comment by Dennis Melowski: I don't make a habit of providing personal commentary on our clients' victories in court, but I feel the need to do so here, given the many unique circumstances of Randy's case and the attention it has received. Over the last 6 months I have gotten to know Randy well, to the point that I would now consider him a friend as well as a client. Although we differ politically, I never doubted his innocence---not for a minute. What Randy has had to go through over the course of the last year ---the vile attacks on his reputation, the threats on his life, the threats against his children---are things that no one should ever have to experience. He is a good and decent person. He deserved this vindication and I am thankful for the role I played in providing it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

March 19, 2012: OWI-2nd Reduced to Minor Traffic Offense and Non-Traffic Violation

BAK had finally found the job he was looking for, as a Senior Customer Zone Technician for a telecommunications company. The job paid well, but more importantly, provided excellent health care benefits for BAK and his young family. BAK's friends knew how much his new job meant to BAK, so they invited him out to celebrate. After a fun day of boating with his buddies, being arrested for drunk driving was the furthest thing on BAK's mind. But in the process of loading his boat on his trailer, BAK allegedly struck another vehicle in the parking lot. The police were called to the scene and BAK was ultimately arrested for drunk driving, unfortunately his second offense. After failing the field sobriety tests (on camera) and taking a blood test which showed an alcohol level of .166, BAK's world seemed like it was crashing in on him. He knew his new job required that he drive a company truck and possess fully valid driving privileges at all times. A conviction for a second OWI would mean his immediate termination. He was also looking at a fairly stiff jail sentence and mandatory ignition interlock device. He had to do something. Fortunately, a local attorney BAK knew was familiar with Dennis Melowski's unmatched success in defending drunk driving cases and told BAK to give Dennis a call. When Dennis listened to BAK's version of events, he knew there was hope. Through careful questioning of the arresting officer at BAK's DOT suspension hearing, this hope was confirmed. Dennis was able to lay the groundwork for several legal issues he could use as leverage with the prosecutor. These issues, combined with some important evidence the police failed to preserve, ultimately led to a fantastic resolution. One of BAK's original charges (OWI-2nd) was reduced to the minor traffic offense of Unsafe Backing of Vehicle, a 2-point ticket that carries only a small fine. The remaining charge (PAC-2nd) was reduced to Boating While Intoxicated, a non-traffic offense that carries no loss of license and will not even appear on BAK's driver record. He paid a fine of $393.50, but otherwise suffered no consequences. He served no jail; never lost his license for even a single day; avoided the mandatory ignition interlock device; and paid a fine that was about a thousand dollars less than the fine of his original charge. Most importantly, BAK's new job was saved. He couldn't be happier.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

March 7, 2012: Complete Acquittal in OWI-1st Case---Another Exonerated CDL Client to Add to the List

JRW's case is yet another victory for a CDL client--the 11th time in just 13 months that a Melowski & Associates CDL client has avoided a drunk driving conviction. Due to a particularly stubborn prosecutor, this case went all the way to a jury trial. After all, the prosecutor thought he had a slam-dunk case. JRW had been stopped for going 78mph in a 55mph zone. He supposedly "failed" the field sobriety tests (on camera), had a roadside breath test result of .21 and another .13 breath test result at the police station. Plus, JRW suppossedly admitted to the officer that "this was all my fault." In short, the prosecutor felt very confident going into trial. But after Dennis Melowski caught the police witnesses red-handed in several serious breaches of protocol and contradictions in their stories, the wheels quickly fell off the prosecutor's bus. By using the arresting officer's own squad video, Dennis completely turned the tables against him, severely damaging his credibility. Things were even worse for the breath test cop. By the end of Dennis' relentless cross-examination, the officer's credibility was so undermined that he simply began answering "I can't remember" to every question Dennis asked. The jury was literally smirking by this point. And the speed of the jury's Not Guilty verdicts (just 34 minutes) showed their complete rejection of the prosecutor's claims. JRW walked out of the courthouse completely exonerated.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1, 2012: OWI-6th Client Receives County Jail with Work Release in Notoriously Tough County

Dennis Melowski gets results for his clients that other lawyers simply don't. DDL's case is a perfect example. DDL was charged with his sixth offense OWI (a very serious felony). Even worse, DDL was charged in Washington County, widely regarded as one of the toughest counties in the state when it comes to sentencing felony (5th offense or higher) drunk drivers. In 99% of cases, people in Washington County who have a sixth offense or higher receive a prison sentence, usually a substantial one. In fact, just 7 weeks earlier, the same judge assigned to DDL's case had sentenced a man to prison for 2 years---and that was only a fifth offense. Fortunately, DDL had Dennis on his side. Despite having to contend with a .157 blood test result, Dennis was able to get the District Attorney to agree to a 12 month county jail sentence with work release on the OWI-6th charge. This meant the client would be released 12 hours per day, 6 days a week, for his job. DDL would also receive good time credit under the agreement, meaning his actual time served would be only 9 months. How was such an outstanding agreement reached in such a notorious county? By relentlessly pursuing several legal issues and challenges to evidence on DDL's behalf, Dennis ultimately convinced the District Attorney to believe that DDL's case did not warrant a prison sentence. But would the judge agree? Obviously, knowing what this same judge had done in a lesser case just 7 weeks earlier, Dennis and DDL were concerned. But after putting on a sentencing presentation that the judge called "so eloquent" he adopted the sentence that Dennis had negotiated. DDL would not go to prison. Instead, he kept his job, gets to see his son, and will be home in 9 months. DDL literally wept with joy.

February 28, 2012: OWI-1st Reduced to Inattentive Driving

As an employee at a nuclear power facility, our client, JJK, requires a high level of security clearance. A conviction for any type of alcohol-related driving offense would severely jeopardize that. So when JJK picked up his first OWI offense he knew he had to do something about it if he wanted to continue his promising career. Faced with a .159 blood test result, JJK knew he had to find somebody with a long history of success dealing with such challenging evidence. Dennis Melowski was his man. By closely examining the officer's squad video, Dennis believed that the officer did not have a valid basis to stop JJK in the first place. Although the officer claimed he stopped JJK for speeding, it was not based on a radar or laser reading. Rather, the officer "visually estimated" JJK's speed. However, when Dennis watched the officer's squad video, he noticed that the officer did not have a sufficient opportunity to see JJK's vehicle to make a reliable "visual estimate" of his speed. Dennis retained an expert, a retired sheriff's deputy, to testify about the requirements necessary for a reliable visual estimate of speed. They were simply not present in JJK's case. Dennis filed a motion to this effect and the case was set for a hearing. Before the hearing took place, however, the prosecutor agreed to drop the drunk driving charges in exchange for an Inattentive Driving ticket, which is a non-alcohol-related offense that carries no loss of license and only 4 points. JJK paid a fine but otherwise suffered no consequences from this incident. He never lost his license for even a single day. Another promising career saved.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 20, 2012: OWI-1st Reduced to Inattentive Driving; Yet Another CDL Client Avoids Drunk Driving Conviction

DGS finally found the job he had been looking for, as a truck driver for a local trucking company. The job paid well and had good benefits. At 27, DGS was embarking on a promising commercial driving career. Unfortunately, the job that DGS worked so hard to get was in serious jeopardy the night of August 20, 2011, when DGS was stopped for speeding (67 in a 50 mph zone). After smelling alcohol, the officer had DGS submit to field sobriety tests and a roadside breath test, all of which DGS allegedly failed. The officer then took DGS for a blood test, which came back over the legal limit. DGS's world seemed like it was crumbling. His license was scheduled to be automatically suspended in 30 days due to the blood test result and his commercial privileges would be disqualified. He would lose his job immediately. Fortunately, DGS hired Dennis Melowski with enough time to convince the assigned judge to stay the automatic suspension so DGS could fight his case. This was no easy feat. The prosecutor objected to the stay of suspension and a contested hearing had to be held. But Dennis and Attorney Singh were very persuasive and convinced the judge it was the right thing to do. And they were right. Despite what initially seemed like a strong case against DGS, many holes in the case were exposed as time went on. From the initial reason for the stop through the blood test procedure, numerous flaws were exposed, so much so that the prosecutor became convinced that a conviction on the original charges was unlikely. Dennis was able to negotiate an outstanding deal for DGS. In exchange for the 2 alcohol related charges being dropped, DGS would plead no contest to the non-alcohol-related, minor traffic offense of Inattentive Driving. This offense carries only 4 points and does not result in any supension or revocation of license. Most importantly, though, it would have no impact whatsoever on DGS's commercial privileges. DGS agreed to pay a fine and perform 20 hours of community service, but otherwise suffered no consequences from this offense. And he still has his job. This case marks the tenth time in the last 12 months that a Melowski & Associates CDL client has avoided a drunk driving conviction. No other firm in the state can demonstrate that type of success.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012: OWI-5th Completely Dismissed

A fifth offense OWI is serious business. As a felony, a conviction can result in a substantial prison sentence, in addition to a host of other consequences that can haunt a person for years. Lengthy license revocation, ignition interlock device and a fine amounting to thousands of dollars are just a few examples. In short, the stakes don't get much higher. So when JJG picked up his fifth offense, he knew he needed a lawyer who would fight for him every step of the way. When he first met with Dennis Melowski to discuss his case, JJG was distraught. He knew what he was facing and thought the situation was hopeless. Fortunately, Dennis saw things differently. Well-versed in the strict legal requirements necessary to sustain an OWI arrest, Dennis noticed some potentially fatal defects in the officer's arrest of JJG. Dennis did not believe the prosecution would be able to overcome these defects at JJG's preliminary hearing. After cross-examining the arresting officer and pinning him down on several key points, Dennis knew the prosecutor's case was in jeopardy. Dennis argued to the judge that charges against JJG should be thrown out. The judge agreed. Case dismissed. JJG was ecstatic. The lesson? Few legal situations are completely hopeless. Especially when you hire the right attorney.    

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 13, 2012: OWI-4th Reduced to Non-Traffic Offense

JAC first caught the attention of the police when he was seen
allegedly making a left hand turn in front of another vehicle, nearly
causing a serious accident. Things only got worse from there. It turns
out, JAC's license was revoked at the time, which the officer quickly
learned. After failing the field sobriety tests and refusing the blood
test, the police forced a blood draw from JAC against his will. The
result was not good: .194. Needless to say, when Attorney Sarvan Singh
got his hands on this case, he had his work cut out for him. Not only
was JAC facing the harsh consequences of a fourth DUI, he was also
charged with a criminal OAR and Unlawful Refusal of Chemical test, an
offense which carries a mandatory 3-year license revocation. Attorney
Singh had to be thorough, creative and aggressive if there was going
to be any hope for JAC. By closely scrutinizing two of JAC's prior
convictions from another state, doubt was raised about whether or not
those convictions could be used against JAC in the present case. In
addition, Attorney Singh sifted through page after page of lab records
to come up with a plan of attack on the .194 blood test result,
calling into question whether the alleged result could be trusted at
all due to the problems Attorney Singh exposed. After lengthy
negotiations, the prosecutor understood that there were many potential
problems with the case. As a result, a fantastic result was achieved.
The original charge of OWI-4th was reduced to the non-traffic,
non-alcohol-related offense of Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle,
an offense which will not even appear on JAC's driver record. The
remaining OAR and Refusal charges were completely dismissed. JAC
received one year of probation and a fine of $505.00, but otherwise
suffered no consequences from this incident. He received no jail time,
avoided the ignition interlock requirement and never lost his license for
even a single day. JAC couldn't possibly be happier.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 7, 2012: OWI-2nd Reduced to Reckless Driving

Perhaps no class of drivers is hurt more by a drunk driving conviction than commercial drivers (CDL holders). A first offense results in disqualification of CDL privileges for one year. A second or subsequent conviction results in lifetime disqualification. This "CDL Death Penalty" is exactly what RVM was facing when he hired Dennis Melowski to fight his second offense OWI case. Initially, it looked like the case would be an uphill battle. RVM had put his car in the ditch and allegedly declined to perform field sobriety tests because "he had been drinking." He also had a breath test result of .21. However, as is typically the case, things are never quite like they appear. As Dennis began digging further into the case, he was able to find several deficiencies in the officer's investigation of the case. In addition, when questioning the officer at the DOT suspension hearing, Dennis was able to get the officer to concede a crucial point in the case: the officer did not know what time RVM's car went off the road and into the ditch. If the officer did not know this fact, it would be impossible for the prosecution to prove that RVM's breath test was taken within 3 hours of the time of driving, a requirement under Wisconsin law. Without the use of the breath test, a conviction on the drunk driving charge would be difficult. Ultimately, the prosecutor thought the same thing and agreed to have the drunk driving charges dropped to Reckless Driving, which is a non-criminal and non-alcohol-related charge. RVM paid a fine of $389.50, but otherwise suffered no consequences. He did not lose his license for even a single day and his commercial privileges were completely spared. RVM is thrilled.