Koffel Law Firm Attorney Tod Brininger, together with Attorney Russel Bensing, successfully represented a client and was able to get his judgment reversed on appeal (State v. Keserich, 2014-Ohio-5120). The case was handled in the Ashland County Court of Appeals – Fifth Appellate District.
Our client's charges originated from a traffic stop in September 2013 for reason of a faulty license plate light. At the stop, the officer at the scene decided to administer field sobriety tests after which point our client was charged with OVI, his third OVI offense in six years. He was also charged with having no license plate light and a cracked windshield.
The defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence on three assignments of error:
- He claimed that his traffic stop was illegal
- He claimed that his arresting officer had no reasonable suspicion to justify the field sobriety tests, and
- He claimed that his arresting officer had no probable cause to arrest him.
The trial court decided that, while the stop and arrest were legal and justified, the officer failed to issue the field sobriety tests properly and failed to properly explain the defendant's Miranda rights. As a result, the trial court suppressed the following pieces of evidence –
- Results from the defendant's field sobriety tests
- Anything the defendant said after his arrest
The defendant's OVI charge was dismissed and he pleaded guilty to the lesser charges relating to his window and license plate light. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 60 days suspended.
The defendant appealed, claiming that the trial court erred in overruling part of his motion to suppress. The appeals court sustained this assignment of error, reversing the lower court's judgment and vacating our client's conviction and sentence.
To learn more about this case, view the official court document.