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.