In The News

In The News

Monday, October 29, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: Domestic Violence

Attorney Joshua Covert recently appeared before the 30th circuit court for a sentencing hearing.  The purpose of a sentencing hearing is to provide the court with information so that the court may individualize punishment.  Mr. Covert’s client was originally charged with interfering with an electronic communication device (a 2 year felony) and domestic violence (misdemeanor). 

Mr. Covert was able to negotiate a plea agreement where the client would avoid both a felony record and a domestic violence charge.  The result was to plead to attempted interfering with an electronic communications (misdemeanor) and disorderly persons.  The plea deal was a good option for the client.  First, the client will not have a felony record.  Second, by avoiding the domestic violence charge the client will not face federal sanctions which would prevent him from ever owning a firearm.  (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)).  Mr. Covert’s client was an avid hunter and the prospect of losing his rights to own a firearm was too much to risk.  The domestic violence charge would have also prevented the client from many jobs which list domestic violence as an automatic disqualifier. 

Before the sentencing, Mr. Covert provided the court with a sentencing letter accompanied with character reference letters.   In his letter to the court Mr. Covert explained why his client was a good candidate to receive minimal punishment.  At sentencing, the probation department recommended 12 months of probation and conditions related to the probation which would prevent the client from hunting during the 12 months of probation.  After reading the sentencing letter the judge decided not to sentence the client to probation and instead sentenced the client to 90 days in jail which would be suspended if the client paid his fines and costs.  Mr. Covert prepared his client for the expense (fees and costs) and Mr. Covert’s client paid his fines and costs the same day.  This way the client was able to walk from the Court room without the possibility of jail or probation.  To top it off the presiding judge stated on the record “good job counselor” . 

Needless to say the client was very happy with the outcome.  The client will be out there hunting this fall thanks to the hard work by Mr. Covert.  If you have been charged with a crime you need an attorney who understands the collateral consequences that certain crimes carry.  It is also important to retain an attorney who will vigorously represent you all the way through your case and will present you to the judge in a way that will result in minimal punishment.  Call the Nichols Law Firm today at 517-432-9000.

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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.