Attorney Jon Saia Interviewed By The Columbus Dispatch About Importance of Video Footage in OVI Defense

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Attorney Jon J. Saia, of The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc., was recently interviewed by The Columbus Dispatch for an article that explored the various factors that can lead to charge reductions for repeat OVI offenders in the state of Ohio.

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Columbus OVI Attorney Jon J. Saia recently shared his legal insight in an article by The Columbus Dispatch on the high prevalence of repeat OVI offenders obtaining plea deals in Ohio. The front-page article, titled “Repeated OVI arrests still can end in plea deal”, was posted on the website of The Columbus Dispatch on May 11, 2014. In the news story, Attorney Saia discussed how video footage can serve as a powerful tool when it comes to searching for grounds for an OVI charge reduction. Attorney Saia is a founding member of The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc.

In the article, Attorney Saia and another criminal defense lawyer were quoted saying that video and audio recordings captured by police cruisers can end up revealing officer mistakes or contradictions with the police report, which can ultimately weaken the prosecution’s case. This, in turn, makes it much more likely that the defendant will be able to secure a plea deal.

Attorney Saia said in the article that this type of video footage is favorable beyond belief for the defense. Attorney Saia, who is trained in the administration of field sobriety tests, said that he has looked over as many as 1,000 field sobriety test videos, and he has not once seen it performed the right way on the footage. He and the other lawyer noted that such mistakes can result in the evidence being suppressed, or barred from use in the case.

According to the article in The Columbus Dispatch, the publication’s review of OVI charges in Franklin County Municipal Court from the past 11 years showed that drivers with recent OVI arrests entered guilty pleas to amended charges just as often as with no previous OVI arrests. The information also showed there are many cases where plea deals are obtained even for drivers who have five, six or seven OVIs on their records from the previous 10 years. Such charge reductions allow these individuals to avoid or delay being charged with OVI at the felony level, which can result in a lifetime driver’s license suspension and possible prison time.

According to the news story, defense attorneys have stated that mistakes by officers (such as incorrect administration of breath alcohol tests and field sobriety tests) are a major reason that charge reductions occur. Another common factor cited in the article was chemical test refusals.

Attorney Saia, who has been practicing law for more than 23 years, regularly serves as a go-to source for legal insight on OVI, traffic offense and criminal defense issues. In addition to sharing his insight through interviews with the media, he also serves as a speaker at seminars and consults other attorneys. Mr. Saia is certified as an operator of the BAC DataMaster Alcohol Testing Instruments and also as an instructor in the administration of standardized field sobriety tests. Some of the impressive professional milestones Attorney Saia has reached include his selection for the Ohio Super Lawyers® list for several years in a row, his AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® and his 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating.

The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt’s legal team has more than a century of combined legal experience. The law firm provides high-quality legal representation in a number of legal practice areas, which include OVI defense, criminal defense, family law and estate planning. The firm also provides legal assistance with liquor permits and compliance issues. The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt makes free initial case evaluations available to prospective clients. More information about the law firm can be found at http://www.splaws.com.

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Jon Saia
@SaiaPiattLaw
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