In The News

In The News

Friday, February 21, 2014

Client Gets His License and His Life Back When an OWI 2nd Charge is Dismissed

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols, OWI

Nichols Law Firm attorneys Mike Nichols and Stephanie Tzafaroglou obtained a dismissal of an OWI 2nd charge against an Eaton County man.  The client was charged with an OWI 2nd after a law enforcement officer allegedly observe the client 'nearly hit' another vehicle in a gas station parking lot. Despite the officer's allegations, there was not a witness to testify that the Nichols Law Firm client almost hit a vehicle, there was not any video depicting the client's driving, and the officer did not provide any details about how the client almost hit a vehicle.  When Mike Nichols and Stephanie Tzafaroglou filed a motion challenging the officer's stop and investigation of the client, the prosecutor offered to reduce the OWI 2nd charge, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in jail, to careless driving, a civil infraction. In short, the officer made a subjective claim in a police report that was not supported by facts.

It is important for those charged with OWI to thoroughly investigate the officer's reason for stopping the vehicle. An officer must have probable cause that driver has violated the MIchigan Motor Vehicle Code or reasonable, articulable suspicion that the driver is engaged in criminal activity. Without either probable cause or reasonable, articulable suspicion, the stop is invalid under the constitutions  of Michigan and the United States.  Moreover, the government carries the burden of legally justifying a stop. It is not enough for the government to simply regurgitate the officer's allegations.

If you need an attorney who will look beyond the allegations of law enforcement officers, please contact Mike Nichols at mnichols@nicholslaw.net or Stephanie Tzafaroglou at stzafaroglou@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.