In The News

In The News

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2d Drunk Driving Arrest with a High BAC Charge - Fines and Costs and a Charge Reduction

By Michael Nichols

Illinois Resident Comes to Michigan and Catches 2d Drunk Driving Arrest with a High BAC Charge but Leaves for Home with Just Fines and Costs and a Charge Reduction: But How will the Out of State Conviction Impact His Driving Privileges

An Illinois man has his life back after Michigan drunk driving attorney Mike Nichols guided him through a sentencing in East Lansing that entailed fines and costs following a hard-fought plea negotiation. “Many people are under the misunderstanding that drunk driving charges are easily plead down,” says Nichols. He adds: “it is not always so simple to obtain a plea agreement to a reduced charge when the person faces a high BAC allegation with a prior conviction on his record.” The man refused the chemical test and the officer sought to take his license away through the “implied consent process.” A circuit court judge ultimately granted restricted driving privileges after a hearing before the secretary of state. The man also filed a motion challenging the legality of the stop. The man filed another motion seeking to exclude the blood results because they were not scientifically reliable. After litigation over whether the case would be appealed before a trial or after and the trial court yet to decide whether to grant a “stay” of its rulings, prosecutors dismissed the high BAC claim. Nichols says “it goes to show you that the prosecutors do not tax or punish people for standing up for themselves.” The result was negotiated on the morning of jury selection and placed on the record. The judge imposed immediate sentencing because the client had a substance abuse assessment completed and the judge believed the sincerity of his statement that the client was following the recommendations.

The man was given fines and costs by an East Lansing judge after he entered a plea to operating while intoxicated with an agreement for no up front jail as part of the sentence.

However, the status of his Illinois driver license is still to be determined. Nichols says “another misunderstanding with drunk driving cases is that Michigan will suspend or revoke an out of state license. Michigan cannot do that.” Nichols adds: “under a concept called the ‘full faith and credit’ clause of the United States Constitutions, states have to honor the relationships of the citizens of other states.” In other words, a person with an Illinois license is still allowed to drive even if Michigan suspends the person’s Michigan driving privileges. Nichols says “but Michigan can do nothing about the Illinois license. The only thing that matters is how Illinois will treat the person’s Illinois driving privileges.” Attorney Mike Nichols worked a small miracle for this man, who avoided jail and probation and who may also avoid a license suspension entirely based on other efforts he made individually to rehabilitate himself. For the lawyer who knows the drunk driving law and who will fight against the odds call Mike Nichols at 517.432.9000 and find out why he is committed to results.

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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.