The Nichols Law Firm is Michigan’s leading Drunk Driving Defense law firm. Nichols Lawyer Mike Nichols is regarded as an expert in Michigan on OWI/DUI/OUIL issues and published the book on Michigan Criminal Law and Procedure. Nichols Law is where Michigan turns to for criminal defense.

The Nichols Law Firm Lawyers

Committed to Results - Find Out How

Founded in 2006 by the husband and wife legal team of Mike and Wendy Nichols, the Nichols Law Firm has grown to become one of Michigan's most effective and successful law offices. Our team of Nichols Law Firm lawyers are nationally recognized leaders in the areas of DUI, Marijuana, Family, Divorce, and Personal Injury Law. Attorney Mike Nichols has been repeatedly recognized as a SuperLawyer by Thomsen Reuters West for Criminal Law, in addition to authoring the Michigan OUI Handbook for WestLaw. No matter how big or how small the situation you find yourself in may be, you can trust that there is an honest and fearless advocate at the Nichols Law Firm waiting to help you get the results you need.

Having a run-in on the wrong side of the law can be the most nerve wracking experience one can face. The Nichols Lawyers know that the first question you likely think of after your arrest is “what’s next?” Being convicted of a crime can change your life forever. Whether you’re charged with OWI, Marijuana Possession, Misconduct in Office, or homicide, having a dedicated criminal defense team can mean all the difference in the outcome you experience. For people who are dependent on their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to live, they have no option but to fight the charges against them and avoid a license suspension.

With OWI or Drug Use charges, science matters. The Nichols Lawyers are nationally recognized leaders in challenging the police science and legal tactics being used against you. After years of fighting for scientific fairness, Mike Nichols secured a court decision which changed the face of forensic measurement in Michigan and states around the country by requiring that courts verify the validity of science being used against an accused person.

We are proud to have earned our reputation of being hardworking in every field we practice. Attorney Wendy Schiller-Nichols has tirelessly worked for more than defending the rights drivers who have been hurt in an accident by an at-fault driver. Attorney Karen Phillips has been recognized as a rising star on the coveted SuperLawyers list for her work on complex criminal and family law issues, including Driver’s License Restorations. Attorney James Heos has spent 40 years fighting for the rights of his injured clients and securing million dollar verdicts. Attorney Stephanie Tzafaroglou has been the driving force at the center of monumental court decisions from all over the state of Michigan. Her research and briefs have helped change Michigan law for her clients, including many high profile cases.

Hiring the Nichols Law Firm does not just provide you with an attorney on your case; you’re hiring our full team. From the ground up, your case will be given the attention it deserves starting at the moment you walk into our office. We encourage you to browse our website to find more information about the law, police science, and how you can help your Nichols Lawyer build a strategy to secure the result that you need to move past your current legal issue. Through our commitment to results, we are excited to earn your trust.


Watch What You Say in the Back of a Police Car

Welcome back, students! We are finding that video can be solid evidence to help acquit people who may not be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, prosecutors seem to be pursuing video-taped statements from the back of the police car. It is prime time for you to say something offensive or incriminating. So, if you make a phone call while in custody - always assume you are being recorded.

Remember MSU Students: the Office of Institutional Equity is actively pursuing ANY complaint about alleged violations of university’s Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence policy. So, even if you are acquitted, or perhaps NEVER charged with an alleged sexual assault or harassment claim, you still face discipline or even expulsion from school.

East Lansing Attorney Mike Nichols has over 18 years of experience defending students and people in the Greater Lansing Area, and lends some insight from his decades living, working as a journalist, and practicing law. Trust the team on the leading edge of the law – call the Nichols Law Firm today at (517) 432-9000.


Is Your Notice from the Secretary of State Really a Violation?

Mike Nichols successfully argued that a violation of restricted driving privileges, based on a "violation report" from an interlock vendor should be set aside. A client of the Nichols Law Firm from an underlying criminal charge successfully completed sobriety court. That was not the end of his obligation to follow certain rules to keep his restricted driving privileges. Did you know that if you successfully complete a sobriety court, you are still required to drive only on the breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) under the terms of your restrictions? You are still also subject to the terms of the license, including submitting a rolling retest when requested and keeping your car in a condition such that it provides power to your car. See generally the sobriety court act at MCL 600.1024, the Secretary of State Act at MCL 257.319 and also the law on hearing procedures before the Secretary of State (SOS) at MCL 257.304.

There are no set of industry standards nationwide for ignition interlocks. Some studies also call for improvements to this technology, including remote access to them. Download a free copy of tips produced by real Hearing Officers from the Secretary of State for people, especially those who are no longer monitored by court staff. This handout is based on the most frequently-observed violations. Watch also a discussion by Mike Nichols on what put this former client in the crosshairs of the SOS even though he successfully completed the 55th District Court sobriety court program. Hear for yourself how we are committed to results!

The client got home and sent the following message: "you da man .... AAA-GAIN!" Call us today at 517.432.9000.


More Than What Meets the Eye

MSU Sexual Assault Investigations

The Office of Institutional Equity at Michigan State University is responsible for overseeing all accusations of sexual assault and relationship violence involving MSU students. Unfortunately in most situations, from the time a complaint is first filed, the burden of proving innocence lies with the person being accused of the crime. Even when there is simply not enough evidence for law enforcement to charge a person with a crime, the OIE can still sanction a student – including expulsion from campus. Defense Attorney Mike Nichols and the Nichols Law Firm are skilled and experience in the field of Campus Administrative investigations and advocating for students who are accused of crimes without the evidence to support the allegations.

Michigan Criminal Attorney Mike Nichols Has Some Advice for People and Reflections on a Successful Defense of a Client in a So-Called Title 9 Investigation at Michigan State University

Regardless of the outcome or status of a criminal investigation and prosecution, universities who receive federal funding have an obligation to investigate a violation of the policy that is created under title 9 of the United States Code. This law essentially establishes that universities are prohibited from creating or allowing discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation or several other factors. The first step is an investigation by the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).

The OIE process starts with interviewing both the claimant and the respondent, who may be your son someday. Do not allow your son and do not walk into if you are the student who is suspected walk into an OIE interview. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Typically, it does not help to make a statement and create a fact controversy where it is your word against her word. Act like you have something to prove and quickly marshal or locate witnesses who can give your side of the story on your behalf. It is always a good idea to attempt to find witnesses for your lawyer as soon as possible. For a lawyer, using your client as a resource is never a bad idea because no one knows the case better than him.


Michigan's Supreme Court Opinion on Driveway Drunk Driving Does not Surprise One of Michigan's Leading DUI Lawyers

Drunk Driving in Michigan is Called ‘Operating While Intoxicated.

In Michigan, the specific statute for a so-called “drunk driving” charge is called “Operating While Intoxicated.” Some believe that the legislature specifically used this phrase at the request of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) so as to avoid confusion between prosecutions of alcohol-based DUI cases and drug-based DUI cases. Drugs could be anything from specifically illegal drugs like cocaine or marijuana – if you are not a patient – to prescription medications if you purposefully took more than you are prescribed yet still operated a motor vehicle. The first word is “operating.” What does that mean? The Michigan Supreme Court has defined operating to mean “actual physical control” based on MCL 257.35 and accordingly, you must do something to put the vehicle in a place in which it poses a danger to the safety of persons or property. If you have done nothing to put the vehicle in that position, then the prosecutor has to prove that you had the ignition on and put the vehicle in gear, such as in the cases of City of Plymouth v Longeway or in People v Wood.

In July, 2017, Mike Nichols won a not guilty verdict when a jury agreed with him that the Nichols Law Firm’s client did nothing to put his vehicle in gear with the ignition on and the client walked away from the courthouse with a refund of his bond and his commercial driver license intact.

Learn more about the case

Also in July, 2017, The Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling in People v Rea regarding whether a residential driveway can be a prohibited area for operating while intoxicated. The Supreme Court reversed a Court of Appeals opinion. The Court of Appeals ruled previously that the dismissal by a district court in Oakland County of OWI charges against Gino Rea was proper. The district court ruled that the upper portion of Mr. Rea’s driveway near his garage was not open to the public or generally accessible to motor vehicles. The MSC reversed and reinstated charges against Mr. Rea, ruling that the key issue was the phrase “generally accessible to motor vehicles.” In a concurring opinion, Justice Joan Larsen ruled that a better case to analyze the operation of the statute was one in which a person was operating in a driveway or parking lot with a gate or some sort of indicator that neither the public nor motor vehicles had access. For the attorneys on the cutting edge of DUI/Criminal law and who are committed to results, call the Nichols Lawyers at 517 432 9000.

Survivor’s Loss Claims

Did you know that the Michigan No-Fault Act gives you benefits to you if you are the loved one of a person who was killed in an automobile accident? Automobile accidents causing death are devastating for those left behind. The Michigan No Fault Act requires insurance companies to offer survivor’s loss benefits to the surviving dependents of the fatally injured person. A timely application for benefits must be filed with the decedent’s no fault insurance carrier along with reasonable proof of the expected financial support the dependents expected to receive had the decedent not died. An application is considered timely if it is submitted within one year of the accident causing death.

Replacement services and economic loss benefits are available under section 3108 of the No Fault Act. Dependents are eligible for $20 per day for 3 years from the date of the accident for replacement services. Economic loss is calculated by determining the total contributions of tangible things of economic value the decedent would have provided to surviving dependents.

We are committed to results and protecting your rights in a time of crisis at the Nichols Law Firm, PLLC. We have over 40 years of experience in handling catastrophic automobile accident cases. Trust us to get the maximum value for your survivor’s loss claim. Call the Nichols Law Firm Today!

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Criminal Defense

We are skilled, experienced and committed to resuts in both the serious and misdemenor criminal case

Personal Injury

We have successfully represented clients with serious and traumatic injuries

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.