In The News

In The News

Friday, December 2, 2016

OWI Charge Dismissed - Accident? Search Warrant for Blood? No Problem!

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Stephanie Tzafaroglou

Not everyone who has consumed alcohol then gets into an accident is guilty of operating while intoxicated or operating while impaired and Nichols Law Firm Attorney Stephanie Tzafaroglou just proved it. Ms. Tazafaroglou recently obtained a dismissal of an OWI charge for a man charged as the result of a two-vehicle accident that left his vehicle totaled. After he was taken to the hospital and then arrested, the officers spent an unbelievable three hours trying to get a judge to sign a search warrant to draw the clients blood for a blood alcohol analysis because a fax machine was malfunctioning. Eventually, the officers obtained a search warrant and drew the client's analysis. The result was a .08. The prosecutor agreed to dismiss the OWI charge entirely in exchange for a civil infraction of careless driving because that was not the only issue with the blood alcohol analysis.

Nichols Law Firm attorneys analyze blood alcohol estimates for two issues: the legality of the blood draw and the reliability of the blood alcohol analysis. A blood draw is a search of your body. It is inherently invasive. A law enforcement officer needs either a search warrant to draw blood or a valid exception to the search warrant requirement. This principle has been repeatedly upheld by the United States Supreme Court in recent cases. If a blood draw was legally obtained, the blood alcohol analysis must be the product of reliable principles and methodologies that are also applied reasonably to the facts of the case under an evidence rule known as Michigan Rule of Evidence 702. Nichols law firm attorneys work with a team of experts to analyze the reliability of blood alcohol analyses.

If you need an attorney who will look beyond the blood alcohol estimate in a police report, contact the Nichols Law Firm at (517) 432-9000 or

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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.