In The News

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Charges of Operating with the Presence of Marijuana Dismissed

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Drunk-Driving, OWI, Josh Covert, Medical Marijuana

Attorney Joshua M. Covert of the Nichols Law Firm recently represented a client charged with operating while under the influence of drugs (OWPD).  The client had a previous OWPD conviction and faced the possibility of having his license revoked for a minimum of 0ne year.  When Mr. Covert spoke with the client he learned that the suspected drug was marijuana and that the client had a valid medical marihuana card issued by the state of Michigan.  This was important because the Michigan Supreme Court had recently ruled that a medical marihuana patient can drive with THC in his or her system as long as they are not under the influence of THC.  Mr. Covert also found out that the Michigan State Police crime Lab had only detected 1 nanogram of THC in the client’s blood.  A nanogram of blood is a very small amount of THC and based on his experience Mr. Covert he knew that the Michigan State Police Crime Lab would have a hard time differentiating between the presence of THC and background noise in the instrument.  

Mr. Covert filed a motion to exclude the blood results because the methods used to detect marihuana were not scientifically accurate and reliable.  Mr. Covert also filed motions to dismiss under the equal protection clause and section 8 of the Michigan medical marijuana act.  After the motions were filed the previous offer of OWVI (operating while visibly intoxicated) went away and a new offer of reckless driving materialized.  Given the clients situation a reckless charge would have carried with it considerable collateral consequences and Mr. Covert informed the prosecutor and the court that a reckless would only be accepted if the court would agree to take the plea and delay sentencing to give the client an opportunity to show that he deserved to have the reckless removed from his record.  Mr. Covert also had the court agree to allow the client to continue medicating with marijuana.  The judge and prosecutor agreed. 

“This was a great outcome for the client, he is allowed to medicate and if he completes 12 months of non-reporting probation with no complications the reckless driving charge would be removed from his record” says Attorney Joshua M. Covert.  If you are charged with a drug or alcohol driving offense call the Nichols law firm and speak with attorneys who can spot the issues that may make the difference in your case.  Call 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.