In The News

Thursday, April 26, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: Drunk-Driving

The Michigan Supreme Court, in People V Moreno, ruled that MCL 750.81(d) (assaulting, resisting, or obstructing a police officer) did not repeal the common law right to resist unlawful police conduct.  It is now the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove that the defendant assaulted, restricted or obstructed a police officer while the officer was lawfully performing their duties.   In Moreno, two Holland Michigan Police Officers attempted to gain entry into Mr. Moreno’s home without a search warrant.  Mr. Moreno resisted entry and a scuffle ensued at which point one of the officers was injured while subduing Mr. Moreno. 

The trial court ruled that although the Officers did not have a lawful right to enter Mr. Moreno’s home, Mr. Moreno violated MCL 750.81(d) because the statute applied to both lawful and unlawful police conduct.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.  Mr. Moreno appealed and his case was heard by the Michigan Supreme Court.
“The Michigan Supreme Court took a big step in Moreno to reaffirm the common law right to resist unlawful searches and seizures” says attorney Joshua Covert of the Nichols Law Firm.  Mr. Covert goes on to say “the right to be free from an unreasonable search of a residence is one of the most important rights we have as United States citizens and now, because of Moreno, the courts have reestablished a citizen’s right to resist unlawful police intrusion and specifically the right to resist a search of a home that isn’t accompanied by a search warrant or one of the search warrant exceptions.”
If you have been charged with assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer it is important that your attorney understands the common law defense to resisting unlawful police conductand how the recent Michigan Supreme Court opinion (Moreno)  may help your defense.  Call The Nichols Law Firm and speak to an attorney who believes in protecting your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. jcovert@nicholslaw.net

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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.