- OVI (1st Degree Misdemeanor),
- Refusal, 2nd Offense,
- reckless operation (4th degree misdemeanor)
Jurisdiction: Dayton Municipal Court Court
Result: Reduction to reckless operation, a fourth degree misdemeanor
DESCRIPTION OF CASE:
Our client was cited for an OVI with a refusal and because the client also refused a chemical test, the client was also charged with a second OVI charge (1st in 10 years AND a refusal with prior conviction within 20 years). A conviction to this OVI charge would mandate the Judge to impose 6 days in jail up to 6 months in jail. This case involved an accident and our client was cited for the accident as well. As soon as we were retained, we filed a motion to preserve any and all video evidence and the Judge granted our motion. Therefore, we were able to secure all the body camera footage as well as all of the cruiser camera footage. Because of this footage, we were able to piece together the events of our client’s interaction with law enforcement as well as all the law enforcement interaction with other witnesses. This was invaluable to our defense as it showed that law enforcement did not start its investigation for OVI until almost 30 minutes after our client had contact with law enforcement. We argued that law enforcement did not have reasonable suspicion to begin an OVI investigation. We based our argument on false witness statements captured by video as well law enforcement statements suggesting our client was not impaired.
OVI penalties can lead to a mandatory jail sentence and the loss of one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle for years. As such, our actions to immediately secure an order from the Judge making the State of Ohio to preserve all video evidence greatly benefitted our client. Video is typically kept for short periods of time so we knew to immediately secure that video. Our office immediately reviewed the video and realized that there were legitimate legal defenses. We brought our case review to the Prosecutor who agreed to dismiss all of the OVI charges. Our client was responsible for the accident and as such did accept responsibility for that and was ordered to pay a fine and court costs.