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Jon Joseph Saia

Jon Saia’s Answers

83 total


  • Suppressing FST and BAC test

    There are numerous issues involving my ovi that I had the other night. FST issues: - conducted on a sloped parking lot, I asked if I could test elsewhere and he said no. - conducted off camera. - officer wrote "glassy eyes, slurred speech, s...

    Jon’s Answer

    SFST's are supposed to be given on a "reasonably dry, hard, level,non-slippery surface." Also, with regard to the HGN test, the flashing strobe lights should be turned off or, at the very least, the subject should be turned away from the lights so long as the lights are not reflecting off anything. The stobe lights not only give the appearance of nystagmus but also cause nystagmus.

    With regard to the advice on the BMV Form 2255, the only requirement is that the officer read it to you. Although your understanding of the advice is irrelevant as to the administrative license suspension, asking appropriate questions can be very relevant for trial purposes.

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  • Breath Temperature

    I took a Breathalyzer and my level was .100. The policeman asked me before taking it if I was on any medications and I said yeah I was taking some cough medicine. He didn't say anything about it and we proceeded to take the Breathalyzer. I was loo...

    Jon’s Answer

    Body temperature absolutely affects the results of a breath alcohol test. In fact, in some states, the instrument used to test breath alcohol content measures breath temperature and then adjusts the results accordingly. The instruments used in Ohio do not do this. It can certainly be raised as a defense when challenging the results of a breath alcohol test result.

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  • OVI and Cell Phone Interference

    I got charged with OVI. I have been studying how to defend myself (I do plan on hiring an attorney asap). I read that there is a possibility of interference from radios and cell phones. I checked my T-Mobile phone log because I knew I was sending/...

    Jon’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Cell phones can absolutely interfere with a breath alcohol test and produce a false result. In Ohio, the states experts have admitted so and some law enforcement policies now include a provision that there should be no cell phones in the area where the test is being administered. The breath alcohol testing instrument is supposed to have a working RFI (Radio Fequency interference) detector to detect such interference. The problem is that the detector does not always work and the settings for that detector can be adjusted manually. This is a huge problem with the Intoxilyzer 8000 breath alcohol testing instrument.

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  • Ohio State Patrol car cameras

    Are there typically cameras aside from the front view? I was given field tests on the side of the car and wonder of there are side cameras to capture them. Thank you.

    Jon’s Answer

    Typically there is only the "dash mount" camera which turns 360 degrees. Some newer cruisers have a a front/rear facing "dash mount" camera along with a camera located in the rear of the vehicle recording the activity in the rear seat of the cruiser.

    Many officers will administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests off camera in order that defense counsel cannot question the administration of the tests.

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  • OVI - Footage From Car

    I understand that there are video cameras inside of the State Highway Patrol cars that record a front view. If I was given field tests on the side of the car, would those be on video? I don't understand why he would have me take them on the side a...

    Jon’s Answer

    The cameras in most cruisers rotate 360 degrees so the Tests may still be on video. Doing the Tests off camera is a common practice among law enforcement. We see this quite often when the officer does not know how to administer the tests correctly. I have found that jurors hate when the officer had the ability to record something and failed to do so. Oftentimes, such action by the officer works in your favor.

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  • Uneven Pavement - FST

    Hi, I was given various field sobriety tests (walking a line and turning, standing on a leg) recently. I expressed concerns that the pavement was uneven, it sloped down a bit. The officer said it was not uneven. I failed the tests (not stumblin...

    Jon’s Answer

    The field sobriety tests should be suppressed for the reasons stated along with many other reasons I am sure. The problem is that many courts will not suppress Standadized Field Sobriety Tests for one reason or another. Sometimes it is better to just attack the Tests at trial unless there is a legitimate chance of the court finding tno probable cause for arrest.

    Red eyes are no longer considered an indicator of impairment by our government because there are too many causes of red eyes.

    If your speech is not slurred when listening to the video/audio recording of your stop and arrest, that will certainly be able to use in your defense.

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  • Can a reckless driving or physical control be sealed/expunged?

    It is my understanding that an OVI can not be sealed/expunged in Ohio. If the charge is reduced to something such as reckless driving or physical control, could that charge be sealed/expunged?

    Jon’s Answer

    Traffic offenses cannot be sealed. An OVI conviction precludes the sealing of a criminal conviction.

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  • Will an ovuac stay on your driving record forever?

    Will an ovuac as a minor stay on your record past 18 years old?

    Jon’s Answer

    It depends on the court in which you were convicted. If you were convicted in Juvenile Court it is possible to have such an offense removed from your driving record. If the conviction is in Municipal Court or a Mayor's Court, it will most likely stay on your record for a very long time.

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  • When can a court/judge/prosecutor/probation officer check your financial records?

    When can a court/judge/prosecutor/probation officer check your financial records?

    Jon’s Answer

    There is certainly not enough information contained in your question to answer with any specificity but in general: Prosecutor - almost never without a subpoena; Judge - rarely, unless records introduces into evidence; Probation Officer - more often than you would expect if related to restitution or ability to pay fines and costs.

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  • Form 2255

    I know the law says that the form must be read by the arresting officer and the purpose of that is so the person being tested has a complete understanding of everything prior to testing. If I had questions and asked to read over the form myself an...

    Jon’s Answer

    Unfortunately, it is probably not a valid issue for appeal. Issues for appeal are limited by statute. The law requires that the form be read to you. There is no requirement that what is read be understood. This type of evidence can be valuable to your defense, especially if you refused to submit to a chemical test. Even if you had taken a test, if you are coherent and asking relevant questions, this can be valuable evidence since results of breath tests can now be challenged in many courts in Ohio.

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