“Come Back with a Warrant” Should be Your Mantra When Law Enforcement is at Your Door

The 4th Amendment protects you from law enforcement entering your home without a warrant EVEN if they suspect you OR a significant other of a crime. In a recent case in Northern Michigan, the police threatened the wife of a client with criminal charges if she did not let them into the house to look for her husband. They believe that he walked away from an auto accident because he was driving drunk. She came out after nearly 20 minutes of coercion. Her husband also came out because he was afraid that she would be arrested. Instead, he was cuffed and stuffed, as they say. We filed a motion and the prosecutor agreed, dismissing the drunk driving charge and allowing the client to accept a plea to failing to report an accident. The cases at the federal level and the state level are Florida v Jardines and People v VanDoorn respectively. The courts have held that entering onto your property and knocking on your door late at night is a trespass. If the trespass is conjoined with an information-gathering function, then the 4th Amendment is violated. You should stand your ground and do not let police bully you into thinking you will be in trouble if you do not answer the door, come out of the house or invite law enforcement inside: “come back with a warrant” goes a long way especially if it is said respectfully. Not that it is relevant to the constitutional analysis: but the client blew UNDER the legal limit – just barely but under.

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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.