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Ohio DUI Law: Failure to File a Motion To Suppress

Dayton DUI Attorney Charles Rowland > DUI Law  > Ohio DUI Law: Failure to File a Motion To Suppress

Ohio DUI Law: Failure to File a Motion To Suppress

Should You File A Motion to Suppress?

Field sobriety test

In State v. Thomas, 2011-Ohio-1987 (2nd Dist. Ct. App. 2011), the Defendant was convicted of felony OVI after a jury trial.  No motion to suppress was filed and it was determined during the jury trial that the officer wasn’t sure whether he turned off his overhead lights during the horizontal gaze nystagmus portion of the standardized field sobriety tests, but stated that it was normal to do so.  An argument exists that doing the test in this manner should result in suppression of the test as the phenomenon of optokinetic nystagmus would create a false positive reading on the test.

Defendant was ultimately convicted and sough an appeal on the grounds that it was ineffective assistance of counsel for his attorney not to have  filed a motion to suppress.  Ohio’s Second Appellate District disagreed, holding that “Initially, we note that defense counsel’s failure to file a motion to suppress the result of the HGN test may have been a matter of reasonable trial strategy, which does not constitute deficient performance. State v. King, Montgomery App. No. 18463, 2002-Ohio-2929, citing State v. Shaw (1999), 134 Ohio App.3d 316, 320.”

This decision is emblematic of the wide discretion given to trial attorneys in the area of tactics and strategy.  It should also serve as a warning to all clients who want to make decisions in their DUI case.  Make sure that you and your attorney discuss the importance of a motion to suppress, and/or come to the decision (together) that the element of surprise is so great that a motion would be unwise.

Dayton DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/daytondui.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Charles Rowland


Charles M. Rowland II has been representing the accused drunk driver for over 20 years. Contact him at (937) 318-1384 if you find yourself facing a DUI (now called OVI) charge.

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