Success of the Criminal Defense Side in 2022

Success of the Criminal Defense Side in 2022

Reflecting back on 2022, the criminal defense side of Mays Law Office, LLC had some very interesting cases with some spectacular results.  A few highlights from Attorneys Stephen Mays and John Orth warrant mention:

Client N.J. avoided a felony conviction (fourth offense Operating While Intoxicated), which would have sent him to Federal Prison due to him being on Federal Probation at the time.  (New felony conviction = revocation of federal probation).  While driving at a time the State was unable to establish, Client N.J. went off the road and hit a barn on someone’s property.  After the accident, Client N.J. went home and consumed alcohol.  There were witnesses to this after-driving alcohol consumption.  The arresting agency arrived at the scene of the accident approximately five (5) hours after the accident took place.  They concluded that N.J. was the driver, went to his residence, and arrested him for a fourth offense operating while intoxicated (OWI).  Client N.J. originally admitted driving, but no time was established, and he told the police he drank quite a bit after arriving home.  Client N.J. originally retained Mays Law Office, LLC, thinking this was his third offense OWI.  Client N.J. had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .074 at the time he was arrested – which made Client N.J. under the legal limit for driving on a 3rd offense (.08).  The State later discovered the existence of a third prior OWI conviction – making this current allegation a 4th Offense, where his legal limit now would be .02.  Attorney Steve Mays was able to convince the State that they could not establish the time of driving, thereby making the BAC test of .074 not legally relevant or admissible in the case as not having been taken within three (3) hours of any time of driving.  Additionally, Attorney Mays also convinced the State that they could not establish that Client N.J. was intoxicated before the accident occurred, rather than having gotten to the .074 level after arriving home following the accident.  In conclusion, the State agreed it could not prove Client N.J. was either intoxicated or had a prohibited alcohol concentration in going off the road and hitting the barn.  Thus, and because Client N.J. had admitted to driving the vehicle which hit the barn, the State agreed to amend the felony fourth offense OWI to a misdemeanor charge of Negligent Operation of a Vehicle off the Highway.  A huge victory for Client N.J. as he avoided the possibility of going to prison and a lifetime driver’s license revocation on the original OWI 4th charge, as well as having his Federal Probation revoked and sent back to Federal Prison for close to three (3) years.

Client B.M. avoided a hefty prison sentence that a sixth offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) carries by the proactiveness and tenacity demonstrated by Attorney John Orth in this case.  Client B.M. was seen in his vehicle by an officer parked at a closed gas station in the early hours of the morning.  The officer ran the registration and determined that it was valid and that the registered owner possessed a valid driver license.  Client B.M. exited the parking lot and the officer continued patrolling the area.  Approximately 20 minutes later, the same officer saw Client B.M. again parked at a different closed gas station.  The officer stated in his narrative report that this was “suspicious in nature” due to recent calls of burglaries and catalytic converter thefts in the area and he therefore initiated a traffic stop of Client B.M.  Attorney Orth took the position that, while perhaps somewhat unusual, there was nothing inherently “suspicious” about Client B.M.’s behavior, nor could any logical connection be made between the observed conduct and burglary or auto parts theft.  However, perhaps realizing that the grounds upon which he had detained Client B.M. were shaky, the officer conveniently added to his report that Client B.M.’s license plate was obstructed by its frame and therefore the stop could be justified based on an equipment violation.  Client B.M., knowing his plate was not obstructed, took a picture of it immediately upon his release on bail and sent it to Mays Law Office.  But as anyone familiar with the justice system will attest, in these situations, nine times out of ten the officer will simply claim, “That’s not how it was the night of the stop”, and nine times out of ten judges will accept this explanation.  Unfortunately, the officer’s squad video was insufficiently clear to establish the condition of the plate.  However, a careful review of a backup officer’s body cam revealed a split-second window of time in which the plate could clearly be seen.  It was not obstructed and was in precisely the condition depicted in Client B.M.’s photograph.  Armed with a screen capture, Attorney Orth was able to definitively disprove the officer’s claim.  In a motion to suppress any evidence obtained as a result of the unlawful stop of Client B.M., Attorney Orth argued that the officer was simply and impermissibly acting on a hunch rather than legitimate reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in violation of Client B.M.’s 4th Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures and that the alleged equipment violation was an outright fabrication.  When the time came for the Court to hear the defense’s suppression motion, rather than allowing his officer to be humiliated on the stand, the prosecuting attorney released the officer from his subpoena and directed him to leave, conceded that the stop was unlawful and moved to dismiss the case in its entirety.  Client B.M. walked out of the courthouse vindicated and no longer facing a prison sentence of up to ten (10) years.

Client F.C. needed Mays Law Office’s services when he was charged with a third offense Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).  Attorney Steve Mays had known Client F.C. personally prior to this incident.  When Client F.C. initially called Attorney Mays for help with his legal case, Attorney Mays spoke to him and, at Client F.C.’s request, he also spoke with Client F.C.’s brother, mother and other family members.  This was because Client F.C. was going to be entering an in-patient Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) treatment facility.  Client F.C. wanted Attorney Mays to be able to be in contact with his family while he was in the treatment facility.  This ended up being one of the best things, and a big part of the success Client F.C. would end up having in his journey toward sobriety.  Attorney Mays joined forces with the family to be an ever-present source of support for Client F.C.  Throughout the case, Attorney Mays spoke with, or had some contact with, both Client F.C. or his family, at least once a week to stay apprised as to his well-being and status in the treatment facility.  While Client F.C. ultimately chose to accept full responsibility for his actions and plead guilty to the OWI charge, Client F.C. was able to take back control of his life by becoming sober.  He attributes this to his voluntary entry into the Sober Living House and the support of Attorney Mays and Client F.C.’s family unit – both of which continued to support him and his goal of changing his life.  In a recent conversation with Client F.C., he proudly relayed to Mays Law Office that as of that day he was 319 days sober and counting.  He is now dedicated to helping others who struggle with an alcohol addiction by being a sponsor to them and being there for them in their time of need.  Although this is not the classic “win” in the eyes of the law (i.e., we did not suppress evidence or get the ever-so-satisfying two word “Not Guilty” verdict), it was a win for Client F.C., his loved ones and Mays Law Office knowing he has taken charge of the direction he wants his life to go.  We could not be more proud of him and his dedication to a new lifestyle and complete sobriety and his dedication to assist others still struggling with addiction.

These cases are just a sampling of the results Attorneys Steve Mays and John Orth were able to achieve this past year, 2022.  Through constant communication with our clients we have proven to get outstanding results for them.  Steve and John always act with an eye for winning at any level, in any type of case.  No case is too difficult or intimidating for them.  They are not afraid to take on any prosecutor or advocate for their clients to any judge Statewide.  They have, just this past year, appeared in over 40 counties throughout Wisconsin.  And while they are tenacious litigators, they still view each case individually, and personally, and realize that every client who hires them is more than just a client – they are people.  They are always treated with the utmost respect and concern for each of their individual situations.  That’s why Mays Law Office gets the majority of its criminal and OWI clients from personal referrals from past and current clients.  These results are just the tip of the iceberg of the criminal defense/OWI success Mays Law Office, LLC experienced in 2022.  If you are in need of an experienced criminal defense and/or OWI attorney, call Mays Law Office, LLC today at (608) 257-0440.

10 Mistakes to Avoid After a DUI Arrest in Wisconsin

10 Mistakes to Avoid After a DUI Arrest in Wisconsin

When you are facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, mistakes can be costly. Some mistakes can lead to unnecessary penalties, and others can result in a guilty verdict when you are entitled to walk free. As a result, you need to be very careful, and you need to know what not to do while your case is pending.

What are the mistakes you need to avoid after getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Wisconsin? Here are 10 things you should not do in order to give yourself the best chance of asserting a successful defense:

Mistake #1: Assume You Will Be Found Guilty

No matter what happened, you should never assume that you will be found guilty of DUI. Even if you were driving drunk, you could still have several defenses available. Prosecutors might not have the evidence they need to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; or, even if they have the evidence they need, it might not be admissible in court. If prosecutors can’t use their evidence against you, it doesn’t matter if you were drunk behind the wheel—the law says that you are entitled to walk free.

Mistake #2: Assume You Will Be Able to Talk Your Way Out of a Conviction

While you should not assume that you will be found guilty, you also should not assume that you will be able to talk your way out of a conviction. Facing a DUI charge is a serious matter. It is the prosecutor’s job to convict you, and it is the judge’s job to impose a sentence in accordance with Wisconsin law. If your plan is to walk into court and then walk out a free person, your case is not going to go how you want it to go.  

Mistake #3: Ignore Relevant Facts

In a DUI case, all of the facts surrounding your arrest could be relevant to your defense. This includes not only what you were doing before the police stopped you, but what happened during (and even after) your DUI stop as well. With this in mind, when you are preparing to meet with a criminal defense lawyer, it is a good idea to take detailed notes. Write down everything you remember from the night in question—from where the police started following you to what the arresting officer said to you on the side of the road.

Mistake #4: Focus on Facts that Aren’t Relevant

While you need to avoid ignoring relevant facts, you also need to avoid focusing on facts that aren’t relevant to your defense. For example, if your Uber didn’t show up or your designated driver left without you, this does not justify driving under the influence. Likewise, even if you didn’t think you were too drunk to drive, if you were too drunk to drive, it doesn’t matter that you made an honest mistake.

Mistake #5: Get Another DUI

When you are awaiting trial on a DUI charge in Wisconsin, it is very important that you do not get arrested for DUI again. You want to be able to show the judge that you made a one-time mistake, and that you are remorseful about what happened. If you get another DUI, this could make it much more difficult to assert a successful defense—and it will also increase the penalties you are facing in your second DUI case.

Mistake #6: Get Stopped or Arrested for Anything Else

Just as you need to avoid getting another DUI, you also need to avoid getting stopped or arrested for anything else. When you have a DUI charge pending, any type of interaction with law enforcement can increase the risks involved. To protect yourself, avoid alcohol and drugs, carefully follow Wisconsin’s traffic laws, and avoid spending time with anyone who might get you into trouble.

Mistake #7: Overlook Potential Defenses

In addition to making sure you consider all of the facts that are relevant to your DUI case, you also need to make sure you consider all of the defenses you have available. There are a variety of potential defenses to DUI charges in Wisconsin—including defenses you can assert regardless of your BAC (or any other evidence of impairment). If you overlook defenses that you have available, you could end up getting convicted even though you are entitled to an acquittal.

Mistake #8: Ignore Options for Favorably Resolving Your DUI Case

Along with asserting defenses that can protect you against a conviction in court, you may also have other options for favorably resolving your DUI case in Wisconsin. This is true even if you were driving drunk. For example, an experienced defense lawyer may be able to help you secure a plea deal that minimizes the consequences of your DUI arrest, or you may qualify for a diversion program that allows you to avoid trial.

Mistake #9: Miss a Court Date

Regardless of the options you have available, you can lose these options if you disrespect the judicial process. This includes missing a court date. When you are facing a DUI charge, you need to make plans to be in court on time, and you should plan to be there with your defense lawyer.

Mistake #10: Try to Handle Your DUI Case on Your Own

This brings us to our last mistake: trying to handle your DUI case on your own. Due to the challenges and risks involved, you need to have an experienced defense lawyer on your side. An experienced defense lawyer can help with all aspects of your case, and hiring a defense lawyer to protect you can be the least expensive way to handle your DUI.  

Discuss Your Case with a DUI Defense Lawyer in Middleton for Free

Are you facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin? If so, we can help, but it is important that you contact us right away. To get started with a free and confidential consultation, call 608-257-0440 or tell us how we can reach you online now.