Can you get a plea deal even if you have previous OVI offenses on your record? According to a recent front-page article in The Columbus Dispatch, it happens on a regular basis! The news publication researched OVI charges from Franklin County Municipal Court from the previous 11 years and found that guilty pleas for amended charges (or plea deals) were just as common for drivers with recent OVI arrests than those who had no such prior arrests. Attorney Jon J. Saia was one of the lawyers the Dispatch turned to for legal insight into the factors that can cause OVI plea deals, including those for repeat offenders.
One of common factors was that was identified is mistakes made by law enforcement officers. According to Attorney Saia, video and audio recordings taken from the police cruisers often serve as valuable evidence for proving these officer errors, which can lead to a stronger case for the defense.
Attorney Saia, who is a certified instructor in the administration of field sobriety tests, said he has viewed up to 1,000 videos of these tests being administered. Of those viewings, he said that he has "never, not one single time" seen the test given properly. When these types of errors are discovered, they can lead to the related evidence being suppressed. Attorney Saia noted that the benefit that cruiser video can serve to the defense is "unbelievable."
As explained in the Dispatch article, when a person with an OVI history gets the chance to plead guilty to a lesser charge, he or she can avoid being charged with felony OVI, which many repeat offenders are hit with. Felony OVI convictions can carry penalties such as imprisonment and lifetime driver's license suspensions.
Attorney Saia, who is one of the founding members at The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc., was admitted to the Ohio State Bar in 1987. In his more than two decades of legal practice, Mr. Saia has greatly advanced his knowledge and skill in the area of OVI defense. In addition to becoming a certified instructor in the administration of standardized field sobriety tests, he has also become a certified operator of BAC DataMaster breath testing devices and has served as an expert witness in OVI defense cases. He has been chosen multiple years in a row for the Ohio Super Lawyers® list.
At The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc., we have a number of talented OVI defense and criminal defense attorneys who can help you strategically challenge your charges for operating a vehicle while under the influence. Contact our firm so you can get the strong legal representation you need for your defense!