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After fighting for nearly two years, on April 28, 2014 Attorney Jon J. Saiafinally achieved the successful appeal of his client’s OVI charge in Wayne County, OH. In the appellate case, the Court of Appeals ruled that Attorney Saia’s client must be discharged of OVI, despite the fact that he had already pleaded “no contest” to the offense. 

According to Court of Appeals decision and journal entry for the case, the client was arrested and charged for alleged OVI in May 2012. It was determined that his breath alcohol content was 0.147, which is nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08. After the client lost the privilege to drive due to an Administrative License Suspension (ALS), he and Attorney Saia filed a request for limited driving privileges, which would have allowed the client to drive to and from work. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) denied this request on the grounds that it had a policy that did not allow this type of action in pending cases.

Attorney Saia appealed this denial, arguing that it was inappropriate for the BMV to use a blanket policy in this matter (or a default policy that is used in call cases without consideration to the specific circumstances of the particular case at hand). The trial court later dismissed the appeal, arguing that the denial of driving privileges in a case that was still pending was “not a final appealable order.” However, Attorney Saia’s motion for reconsideration led to the appeal being reinstated.

This was only one aspect of the appellate case. The other aspect had to do with the actual criminal proceedings for the OVI charge. Because of the ALS-related appeal, the trial court placed a stay on the criminal proceedings, despite Attorney Saia’s argument that this was not necessary and that the court had the ability to continue the criminal case.

When the ALS-related appeal was dismissed, the criminal proceedings started up again. Once this happened, Attorney Saia filed a motion to have the OVI charge dismissed due to the violation of his client’s Constitutional right to a speedy trial. The trial court rejected this motion, which led Attorney Saia and his client into the next course of action. The client entered a “no contest” plea, and Attorney Saia then filed an appeal.

The case ended earlier this week when the Court of Appeals ordered the trial court to discharge Attorney Saia’s client- which essentially cleared him of the OVI charge. The Court of Appeals made this decision based on the fact that the trial court had taken far too long (beyond the “speedy trial” limit of 90 days) to issue a ruling in the criminal matter.

The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc. provides aggressive defense in OVI cases and many other types of criminal cases. Contact a Columbus criminal defense lawyer from our firm for strategic defense in your case!