In The News

In The News

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Case Dismissed on The Eve of Trial!

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols

A Wisconsin man found out some great news after driving all night to East Lansing for jury selection: the criminal aggravated assault charges had been dismissed by the prosecutor! Mike Nichols and Josh Covert represented the man, who was charged with a 10-year felony called "Assault with Intent to Commit Great Bodily Harm Less than Murder." The case was dismissed completely at approximately 2 pm on Monday September 14th.

Nichols says "we ran a preliminary examination when it was charged as a felony and the presiding judge found that there was not probable cause that the intent of our client could be shown. The eyewitness testified that our client specifically told the victim - a much larger man - 'I don't want to fight you.' That statement coupled with the fact that the accused literally tried to walk away from the alleged victim was compelling and led the judge to decline to bindover the case for trial." Assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder requires the government to prove in Michigan that the accused intended the complainant suffer a serious injury less than murder or that he intended to put him in fear that such an injury was immediately about to occur.

There was a slight concern among the Nichols Law Firm team that the prosecutor would try to proceed after the judge rejected the bindover and bring the transcript of the eyewitness's testimony to court. "There is a concept that live testimony is always better than testimony on paper," Nichols adds. He says "that is why I renewed verbally the demand for our client's right to confrontation and made it clear that I would have cross examined in a much different fashion if we were in front of a jury for trial as opposed to a preliminary examination, which is a probable cause hearing." The prosecutor also presented the sister of the complaining witness to testify about her brother's condition. He died within a year of the incident that gave rise to the charges of complications that his family claimed were a result of a fight.

The court did not dismiss the case completely but set it for a jury selection on Tuesday September 15th. On the eve of jury selection every month, the 54B District Court has attorneys and prosecutors meet for one last attempt to settle the case. Nichols says "they knew that we were going to trial; ready to go to trial and would settle for nothing less than a full dismissal."

The man drove home to Wisconsin and sent a text to his team with 4 simple words: "Thanks again for Everything!." For the team that is committed to results, contact the Nichols Law Firm 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.