Earlier this month, Attorney Jon Saia successfully secured the dismissal of an OVI charge for his client, Judge Dean Wilson. Last week, the prosecution admitted that they agreed to drop the OVI charges because they concurred with Attorney Saia-- there was a critical lack of evidence to support a drunk driving charge.
As 10TV reports, Assistant City Prosecutor Glenn Willer confirmed the thin OVI case the state had against Judge Dead Wilson. "For the record, there are evidentiary concerns," Prosecutor Willer told the press.
The charges against Judge Wilson stemmed from an August 2014 incident in which his vehicle made contact with a COTA bus in a construction zone after leaving a dinner with friends. The judge was eventually pulled over by police twelve miles away and charged with both OVI and hit-and-run (or "hit-skip") offenses. While the judge maintains that he had only one drink with dinner, he refused to comply with a field sobriety test and, later, a breathalyzer test.
Newly Released Evidence Sheds Light on Stop
A newly released patrol dashboard video of the traffic stop provides greater insight into the arrest and the lack of OVI evidence. As Attorney Saia points out, "There were some statements made on the video recording whereby the arresting officer indicated that he felt Mr. Wilson should take the test because he would have tested under [the legal limit]."
10TV confirms that the video reveals little concern of a legitimate OVI charge. Consulting with Judge Wilson -- who waits to reveal his judicial position until late in the nearly 3-hour arrest procedure--the arresting officer remarks: "Frankly, I think your OVI is going to get dismissed. You're not doing any of our tests. You're going to have a suspended license for a year, what have you, then we're going to charge you with the hit-skip, as well. That's probably going to stick."
The arresting officer's prediction proved accurate: on March 4, under Attorney Saia's counsel, Judge Wilson pleaded guilty to the remaining hit-and-run charge. He was sentenced to one year of probation for the hit-skip offense and received a one year license suspension for refusing the breathalyzer test.
Making Sure the Facts Come to Light
Judge Wilson's case is yet another example of how sensitive and crucial DUI stop procedure can be. Both drivers and officers are under scrutiny during these stops, and even the smallest details can have a drastic effect on an OVI case. In this case, Attorney Saia was both prudent and pragmatic to push for the dismissal of the OVI charge, as even the arresting officers were not confident that a violation had occurred. The result was a significantly reduced sentence for his client. We congratulate Attorney Saia again on this victory.
If you or a loved one is facing an OVI or DUI-related charge in Ohio, don't wait to speak with our experienced Columbus OVI defense attorneys. Contact The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc. today to schedule a free case evaluation!