In The News

In The News

Monday, November 23, 2015

Arrest Numbers Expected from East Lansing Police After MSU-OSU Celebrations Saturday

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols

East Lansing Police are expected to announce arrests numbers and publicly-disclose the names of those arrested over the weekend on Monday, November 23rd. Reports in local media including the Detroit Free Press say that "some" arrests were made; a couch was set on fire in the Cedar Village area and a snowball fight got out of hand.

East Lansing attorney Mike Nichols says "I lived in the Cedar Village area almost 30 years ago. I saw it go both ways - I saw situations in which my fellow students got out of hand but I also saw situations in which the East Lansing Police were way overzealous. That has not changed since I started covering the events as a local news reporter and then as a lawyer representing people charged criminally as a result of these episodes that some people call 'riots.'" Nichols is a lawyer in practice for over 16 years in the East Lansing area and was a Michigan State University graduate with honors in 1993.

"The key issue here is whether the East Lansing City Attorney is going to charge you with the ordinance violation of 'rioting' or 'unlawful assembly,'" says Nichols. The ordinance is subjective and has been prone to attacks from lawyers on constitutional grounds - including a case that Nichols worked on following the 2013 version of the "Ohio State victory riot." The East Lansing unlawful assembly ordinance section is at 26-52(10) and it states that no person shall:

"Assemble or act in concert with four or more other persons for the purpose of engaging in conduct constituting the crime of riot, or be present at any assembly that either has or develops such a purpose and remain thereat with intent to advance such purpose. For purposes of this section, a person, other than an on-duty law enforcement officer, remains at a riot with the intent to advance its purpose if they participate in the riot in any manner including, but not limited to, committing or attempting to commit any of the following acts:(the acts are listed here)." The Ordinance then lists 14 acts that standing alone are not illegal but in circumstances determined by police to be conduct constituting the crime of riot they are illegal. Nichols says "the critical part is to avoid conviction if you were given notice by the city attorney that the city intends to ask for the court to banish you from setting foot on the MSU campus for 1 year."

If you got a phone call this weekend and woke up saying "my kid may be expelled from school or kicked off campus after getting arrested" - or if you were forced to make that call to your parents after celebrating the MSU football victory over OSU - call the lawyers who are committed to results and avoiding a campus ban - call 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.