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About me

     I am committed to results.  I am a trial lawyer who will take your case to trial if there are no other options. No matter how intense your situation, how badly you need a certain outcome or how dire the facts of your case. I spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars in learning forensic evidence, the law regarding drugs and alcohol and the phisiological affect of drugs in the human body. .     I am a leader. I wrote the book on OWI for West Publishing. I am an adjunct professor of DUI Law and Practice at Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law. I spoke over dozens of times to teach other lawyers. The reason: others look to me for leadership and learning. I developed an in depth knowledge of forensic science. I am the lawyer whose litigation led the Michigan State Police to change the way that it handles blood alcohol analyses. I was selected as a presenter for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) annual conferences. I practice exclusively in criminal defense with an emphasis on defending citizens charged with driving while intoxicated. My practice style is to utilize litigation to position a client to achieve results.

     I am in court very often and in stressful situations. Those situations are situations in which I thrive. To relax I run, read and write often. I spent 10 years as a journalist working in television and radio. I worked for a statewide radio news network, a CBS-owned radio station in Detroit and for a television station in Lansing.

     I believe in the right to have a trial. I believe that you as a citizen, have the right to have a lawyer stand by you through every phase of a criminal case. 

     Our constitution is a sacred document formed thanks to the blood and sacrifice of our founders and preserved by the modern day footsoldiers of trial lawyers. I am proud to be part of the loyal fraternity of constitutional warriors who protect the rights of those citizens accused of crimes, no matter how heinous those alleged crimes may be to the accusors or the public.



Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 99%
    17 years, 500 cases
  2. Criminal Defense: 1%
    17 years, 500 cases



Hourly ($250-350/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

45 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Seth Michael Bierlein

    Mr. Nichols has taught me more about criminal defense and DUI law than I can convey in an endorsement. His understanding of the law and science in DUI cases is second to none. He is the best attorney I know.


    Seth Bierlein DUI & DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Worked for lawyer

  • Joseph A. Lavigne

    Mike is an outstanding attorney. I have had the pleasure to refer cases to him with excellent results. He is very professional and dedicated to achieving the best result possible for his clients.


    Joseph Lavigne Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

The Nichols Law Firm, PLLC

3452 E Lake Lansing Road
East Lansing, MI, 48823


MIActive And In Good Standing199911/03/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super Lawyer DUI/CriminalSuper Lawyers Magazine2016
Super LawyersThomsen Reuters2015
Super LawyersThomson West Publishing2014
Certificate of Completion/Summer SessionNational College for DUI Defense2013
Michigan Super Lawyer DUI/CriminalMichigan Super Lawyers2013
Certificate of Completion Forensic ChromatographyAxion Labs2012
Certificate of Completion Summer SessionNCDD2012
Certificate of AppreciationIngham County Bar Association2012
Certificate of Appreciation -service: criml law section chairIngham County Bar Association2012
Ceritificate of Completion - forensic chromatography courseAxion Labs2012
Certificate of Completion - Summer SessionNCDD2012
National College for DUI DefenseSustaining Member2012
Michigan Super Lawyer DUI/CriminalMichigan Super Lawyers2012
Certificate of Completion/Summer SessionNational College of DUI Defense2011
1st Place in 40-44 year old age group "Pumpkin Trot" 5k RunHeuga Center2010
Certification, DUI/SFST investigationAnthony Corroto/NHTSA2009
Recognition for SpeakingMichigan Public Defense Task Force2009
Fellow of the State Bar of Michigan FoundationState Bar of Michigan Foundation2009
2d Place 35-39 Age DivisionCity of East Lansing Pumpkin Trot2006
Distinguished Panelist Holland Trial SymposiumMichigan State University College of Law2006
Distinguished Panelist Holland Trial SymposiumThomas M Cooley Law School2006
2d Place 2005 Turkey Trot in Lansing MichiganTurkey Trot 5k Event2005
1st Place 35-39 Age DivisionMax's Race Inaugural 5k Event2005
ScholarshipIncorporated Society of Irish-American Lawyers1997
Dean's ListThomas M Cooley Law School1996
Dean' ListThomas M Cooley Law School1995
Golden KeyNational Honor Society1993
MembershpPhi Theta Kappa National Honor Society1991
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Adjunct Law Professor of DUIThomas M. Cooley Law Review2011 - Present
Trial College - Criminal Defense Attorneys of MichiganFaculty Member2010 - Present
Managing MemberThe Nichols Law Firm PLLC2009 - Present
Attorney and Managing MemberThe Nichols Law Firm PLLC2006 - Present
Panel AttorneyCriminal Justice Act Panel Federal Defender2004 - Present
Adjunct Professor of Forensic EvidenceThomas M. Cooley Law School2012 - 2012
SpeakerInstitute of Continuing Legal Education2011 - 2011
PresenterAmerican Academy of Forensic Science2011 - 2011
Of CounselThe Gallagher Law Firm PLLC2005 - 2006
Attorney and PartnerThe Reynolds Law Firm2000 - 2005
PartnerKnot, Nichols and Meade, LLP1999 - 2000
ClerkAl Knot and Associates1998 - 1999
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersTask Force on Body Cameras2015 - Present
State Bar of MichiganTask force on 21st Century Practice2015 - Present
DUI Defense Lawyers AssociationFounder and Board Member2014 - Present
Michigan Association of OWI AttorneysSecretary and Founder2012 - Present
American Chemical SocietyMember2012 - Present
Associate MemberAmerican Academy of Forensic Sciences2012 - Present
Michigan Association of OWI AttorneysSecretary and Founding Member2012 - Present
National College of DUI DefenseState Delegate - Michigan2012 - Present
Michigan Association of OWI AttorneysSecretary2012 - Present
Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolAdjunct Law Professor2011 - Present
Institute of Continuing Legal EducationFaculty Member - Drunk Driving Update2011 - Present
State Bar of Michigan FoundationFellow2009 - Present
National College of DUI DefenseMember2008 - Present
Women's Center of Greater LansingFounding Father2008 - Present
Ingham County Bar Association, Bench-Bar CommitteeSpeaker2008 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember2007 - Present
ScribesMember2006 - Present
Bench Bar CommitteeMember and Criminal Law Panel Team Leader2005 - Present
Ingham County Bar Association, Criminal Law SectionCo-Chair and Speaker2004 - Present
Ingham County Bar Association, Criminal Law SectionChair2004 - Present
Ingham County Bar Association Briefs CommitteeMember2001 - Present
State Bar of Michigan Criminal Law SectionMember2001 - Present
Criminal Defense Attorneys of MichiganLiason to the President for Indigent Defense in Ingham County2001 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
P v WoodNot Guilty
People vs Steve KinneNot guilty.
People v BulsonNot Guilty
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Michigan OWI Book UpdateMichigan OWI Handbook2013
Inside the Minds (Aspatore Books)"Measuring Nothing" - Using Forensic Evidence in Criminal Cases2013
Ingham County Legal NewsWhy are We Still Guessing - Breath Testing in the State of Michigan2013
Thompson Publishing Group/WestMichigan OWI Handbook2013
"Inside the Minds"DUI Mathematics2012
Michigan Legal NewsMens Rea2011
Ingham County Bar Association BRIEFSCriminal Law Update 20092009
BRIEFS"It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superdrunk." An overview on new legislation that affects criminal defense2009
Ingham County Bar AssociationDefining Operating in Michigan2009
Thomsen Reuters Michigan DUI ManualMichigan DUI Manual2009
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolN/AJD - Juris Doctor1999
Michigan State UniversityPolitical ScienceOther - Bachelors1993
National College DUI DefenseDUINoneN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Annual Conference: American Academy of Forensic SciencesScience in the Courtroom: A Matter of Perspective2013
Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan 2012 Fall ConferenceAnalyzing THC (Marijuana) in Human Blood and Forensic Limitations2012
Thomas M Cooley Law School Litigation Skills ClassForensic Science and Cross Examining Experts2011
Section MeetingOWI and the revised Superdrunk law2011
Drunk Driving Defense UpdateRetrograde Extrapolation in Drunk Driving Cases2011
Datamaster DMT TrainingCommunicating Scientific Evidence to Juries2011
Mock Trial Board MeetingPracticing DUI2009
Michigan Public Defense TaskforceReforming Indigent Defense2009
Luncheon Lecture Series for the Ingham County Bar AssociationDUI update2009
Luncheon Lecture"Preparing Your Client for Trial"2009
Chemical Testing for DummiesChemical Breath and Blood Analysis in DUI2009
Luncheon Lecture SeriesClient Control2008