In The News

In The News

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nichols Law Firm Client Receives Only Fines and Costs at Sentencing Despite a .14/.13 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Guesstimate

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols, Drunk-Driving

A Nichols Law Firm client received only fines and costs at his sentencing.  Nichols Law Firm attorneys Mike Nichols and Stephanie Tzafaroglou filed a motion to exclude the breath test as unreliable because the client belched immediately before the arresting officer administered the evidential breath test to him.  The Michigan Administrative Rules require officers to observe arrestees for at least 15 minutes before administering an evidential breath test to ensure that the arrestee has not “smoked, regurgitated, or placed anything in his or her mouth.” Mich Admin Rule 325.2655. The district court judge ultimately held that the breath test was admissible because belching did not constitute regurgitation.

Despite the judge’s questionable ruling, the Nichols Law Client ultimately decided to accept an offer from  the prosecutor to plead guilty to the reduced charge of Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI).  At the sentencing, the district court judge declined to impose jail, probation, or community service.  Instead, the Judge only ordered the client to pay the fines and costs mandated by statute.  "While we disagreed with the judge's ruling, we believe that the judge was willing to defer on giving any probation in part because the client did a great job with completing rehabilitative steps but also because the best way to avoid getting overturned on an appeal is to avoid getting appealed. We ultimately don't know if that's what the judge was thinking but it certainly is consistent with the view of many judges on these issues," says Mike Nichols.

If you need a lawyer who will remain committed to results even after adverse rulings from a judge, please contact Mike Nichols at mnichols@nicholslaw.net or Stephanie Tzafaroglou at stzafaroglou@nicholslaw.net or (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.