Michael J. Nichols

Attorney Profile

Top Rated DUI-DWI Attorney in East Lansing, MI

The Nichols Law Firm, PLLC
 | 3452 E Lake Lansing Road, East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: 517-684-0908
Fax: 517-203-4448
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1999
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI (90%),
  • Criminal Defense (10%)
    Attorney Profile

    Michael J. Nichols is committed to results as a litigation and DUI/criminal defense attorney at The Nichols Law Firm, PLLC. He is n his 20th year of practice representing people throughout Michigan. His practice focuses on defending clients accused of alcohol and drug offenses, especially drunk driving and so-called "drugged driving." His track record as a litigator includes a variety of high-profile and complicated cases. Many of these cases produced outstanding results for clients.

    Just some of the high-profile cases Mr. Nichols has successfully defended include representing coaches and student-athletes at Michigan State University. He also represented police officers and students accused of assault, the mother of a missing 7-year-old boy and the girlfriend of the largest drug dealer ever convicted in Lansing. She was convicted of aiding and abetting him in federal court - but the conviction was later pardone and she was released 10 years later in 2017.

    Mr. Nichols represented a young man accused in the 1st ever "black box" case in the State of Michigan, that led to charges of Negligent Homicide against his client - a high school senior at the time. The verdict was not guilty. He also represented other high-profile clients in both criminal and civil cases including a lobbyist, police officers, a fireworks dealer, surgeons, news anchors and a Muslim father who wanted to move his children out of state.

    As a respected member of the legal community, Mr. Nichols is a sought-after lecturer around the country and the State of Michigan. He also authored the "Michigan OWI Handbook" for West Publishing.

    Mr. Nichols belongs to numerous professional organizations including the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan and several sections of the State Bar of Michigan. He is a former member of the crimnal law section governing councl.  He is a sustaining member of the National College for DUI Defense as well as a member of the faculty for the NCDD and a member of the NCDD's forensic science committee. Nichols is also a founding member of the national group the DUI Defene Lawyers of America an the statewide group the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys.  He is the immediate past chair of the Ingham County Bar Association Criminal Law Section, in addition to his membership on the Ingham County Bench-Bar committee. He serves the community by volunteering as a tutor for a local school district.

    Mr. Nichols is admitted to practice at the Eastern District of Michigan of the U.S. District Court, the Western District of Michigan of the U.S. District Court and the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

    Practice Areas
    • 90%Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI
    • 10%Criminal Defense
    Focus Areas

    DUI/DWI, Arrest & Arraignment, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, False Accusations, Felony, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Murder, Sex Offenses, Theft, Traffic Violations


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 11 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2011 - 2021

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    White Papers

  • Criminal Law Update:"It's a Bird, it's a Plane; it's Superdrunk!" (2009) - http://nicholslawyers.com/InTheNews/tabid/1278/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1906/ITS-A-BIRD-ITS-A-PLANE-ITS-SUPERDRUNK.aspx

  • About Michael Nichols

    Admitted: 1999, Michigan

    Professional Webpage: http://www.nicholslawyers.com/Attorney-Profiles/mike-nichols


    • Fellow, State Bar of Michigan Foundation, 2009

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certified by the in SFSTs and DUI investigation. IACP and NTHSA protocol for Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE), National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Member, Criminal Law Section, State Bar of Michigan
    • National Faculty, Ohio Association Criminal Defense Lawyers Excellence
    • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan
    • Member, Publications Committee, Ingham County Bar Association
    • Member, Bench-Bar Committee, Ingham County Bar Association, 2007
    • Founder, Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys
    • Member, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
    • Sustaining Member, the National College for Drunk Driving Defense; Faculty Member, the National College for Drunk Driving Defense; Member, Forensic Science Committee, the National College for Drunk Driving Defense
    • Member, Bench-Bar Committee, Ingham County Bar Association, 2005
    • Associate Member, Jurisprudence Section, American Academy of Forensic Sciences
    • Immediate Past Chair and Board Member, Criminal Law Section, Ingham County Bar Association
    • Immediate Past Chair, Criminal Law Section, Ingham County Bar Association
    • U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan
    • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • Member, Bench-Bar Committee, Ingham County Bar Association, 2003
    • Member, Bench-Bar Committee, Ingham County Bar Association, 2009

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Member, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM)
    • Faculty Member, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan Trial College, August 2010
    • Member, Michigan Public Defense Task Force

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • This is the OWI Manual and it is now part of the Gillespie Series., Author, Michigan OWI Manual, Thomson West, Legal, 2009
    • Adjunct professor, DUI Law and Practice, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
    • Guest Lecturer, Michigan State University
    • Lecturer, Michigan Trial Lawyer's Association
    • Tutor, Lansing School District
    • Author, OWI Handbook for Lawyers, DUI Law and Practice, published by Thomson Reuters West, 2012
    • Author, "Men's Rea" Column, Legal Newspapers of Michigan
    • Frequent Lectures, OWI and criminal defense issues, Ingham County Bar Association
    • Lecture on Revisions to Michigan's Drunk Driving Statutes, Ingham County Bar Association
    • Co-author, To the Chapter "DUI Mathematics" for the "Inside the Minds" series for Thomson West, 2012
    • National faculty, DUI Defense Conference the American Academy of Forensic Science, Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Excellence
    • Lecturer, New "Superdrunk" legislation and additional changes to Michigan law regarding drinking and drugged drivers, Ingham County Bar Association's, October 2010


    • Not Guilty in 3 out of 4 DUI trials including chemical tests that were admitted of .17/.17; .11/.10 and .18., 2012
    • Not Guilty in People v Wood; the first known "black box" case in which a 17-year old high school student was charged with negligent homicide., 2003
    • Not guilty in People v Pirzad, a DUI with a .27 breath alcohol content., 2007
    • Not guilty in People v Miller, a DUI case with a .11 breath alcohol content., 2001
    • This was a case that is explained with only 2 words: hard work., 2018
    • Not guilty in People v Bulson: a CSC involving a Chelsea police officer., 2005
    • Dismissal in the DUI case in which a former Ingham County judge was charged in Meridian Township., 2009
    • Successfully defended a client from a claim for costs of prosecution in his case. The client was ordered to pay fines and costs but no probation after he was convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI). The prosecuting official requested costs of over $1,500.00 for the trial, March, 2010
    • Not guilty in People v Kinne: a CSC charge against a Battle Creek Police Officer., 2004
    • Not guilty of assembling to riot in one of the many so-called "cedarfest" riot cases at Michigan State University, 2008


    • I spoke to the Michigan Judicial Institute on Drugged Driving on January 25, 2018. I also spoke to the National College for DUI Defense on Drugged Driving in Atlanta, Georgia on January 18, 2018., 2018

    Representative Clients:

    • "People v Holland", in which Mike co-counseled the defense of the mother of a 7 - year old boy, whose remains were found in Southern Ingham County in January, 2006

    Other Outstanding Achievements:

    • Lansing Marathon in under 4:30 while raising over $2,500.00 for the Ingham County Veterans Treatment Court, 2012
    • Completed Capital City Half Marathon in under 1:45, 2008
    • Completed Chicago Marathon, 2007

    Educational Background:

    • Michigan State University, B.A. in Political Science, With Honor, Member, National Honor Society, 1993
    • Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan, J.D., Dean's List, Society of Irish-American Lawyers Scholarship, 1999

    Industry Groups

    • Ingham County Bar Association Criminal Law Section (chair)
    • National College Of DUI Defense; National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Scribes; Criminal
    • State Bar Of Michigan; Criminal Defense Association Of Michigan


    • “One of the top lawyers in the State of Michigan.”

    These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

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    Office Location for Michael J. Nichols

    3452 E Lake Lansing Road
    East Lansing, MI 48823

    Phone: 517-684-0908

    Fax: 517-203-4448

    Michael J. Nichols:

    Last Updated: 2/22/2021

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