- The Maze Legal Group
- Michigan Drunk Driving Laws
- Driver License Sanctions and License Reinstatement
- Court Procedure and Attorneys in DUI Cases
- Drunk Driving Defenses
- Field Sobriety Tests
- Breath and Blood Testing
- Michigan's Courts Enforcing Drunk Driving Laws
- Michigan Police Departments Directory
- Resources and DUI Attorney Directory
- DUI DWI Defense Videos
- News and Updates from the Maze Legal Group
Ten Reasons to Consider Hiring the Maze Legal Group in Your Drunk Driving Case
William Maze has handled hundreds of drunk driving cases. While there are certainly several attorneys who have handled as many drunk driving cases, Mr. Maze has challenged almost every case. Mr. Maze has practiced before nearly every district court in the lower peninsula, and, whether it's a large metropolitan city or a small town, the experience that Mr. Maze brings to the courtroom is matched by few attorneys in the state.
Mr. Maze has a decade of experience, and he has practiced in both civil and criminal law. For the first seven years of practice, he had taken on some of the larger firms in complex civil cases, and he won tough cases against the big firms.
For the last three years, Mr. Maze has limited his practice to defending drinking drivers. There are lots of "criminal defense attorneys" in the state, and some are absolutely great attorneys. But there are only few lawyers who practice exclusively in DUI defense. There are currently only two firms in Michigan that exclusively defend drunk driving cases, and the Maze Legal Group is one of them.
The rules of professional conduct say that an attorney should aggressively represent a client and avoid conflicts of interest. It sounds great on paper, but few attorneys are willing to go up against the establishment. Imagine being friends with a judge that you need to appear in front of weekly and prosecutors who normally cut a great deal, and you can imagine the pressure of balancing a client's interest in a case that means everything to the client against telling the judge that he or she has made a blundering mistake.
Mr. Maze doesn't challenge the system lightly, but he's never willing to back down either. In his own home court, he filed several appeals to enforce a simple court rule. He actively challenged the illegal seizure of vehicles in drunk driving cases when Wayne County adopted a system of seizing vehicles prior to trial without court orders. When pressed to trial without witnesses, Mr. Maze challenge another court's policies to ensure a client's due process rights. In yet another court that he frequently appears before, Mr. Maze challenged the local police and prosecutors for permitting illegal stops on a systematic basis.
There are certainly battles that are not worth fighting, but Mr. Maze has the integrity to openly challenge cases that many attorneys might shy away from because of the repercussions.
If you refuse the breath test, how long is the suspension? When can you refuse a blood test? How about a breath test? How many points do you receive for an OWI versus impaired? What is the DI-177? How is it different from the DI-93? When does an OWI 2nd result in a revocation versus a suspension? How can someone challenge a breath test? How can someone challenge a blood test?
Believe it or not, many attorneys that routinely handle drunk driving cases cannot answer these questions. Some might even call themselves specialists, which is not permitted under our state's professional rules relating to attorney advertisement.
Mr. Maze is competent in Michigan's drunk driving laws, and he frequently attends out-of-state seminars and lectures on DUI defense. Other criminal defense attorneys frequently consult with Mr. Maze for assistance in defending drunk driving cases (and Mr. Maze is happy to share his time and advice with his friends), and some of the most reputable firms refer their business clients to Mr. Maze.
Shame and pride have compelled Mr. Maze to become a better DUI attorney.
Mr. Maze heard about the National College for DUI Defense in 2004 and joined later that year. He attended his first seminar in New Orleans in February 2005, full of pride, and quickly realized he needed to learn a lot more. Shamed by the fact that otherwise ordinary looking attorneys appeared to have a much firmer grasp on the science underlying drunk driving cases, Mr. Maze endeavored to learn more.
Since that first seminar, Mr. Maze has read volumes of books and journals, he has personally attended two other NCDD seminars, he has become certified in the NHTSA/IACP Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (a police officer's training course) through another event, and devoured eight years of materials from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and NCDD from 1997 through 2004. Additionally, he has reviewed materials from another exclusive program presented by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association and the National College for DUI Defense, "Mastering Scientific Evidence in DUI/DWI Cases" from both 2005 and 2006.
Mr. Maze has recently received two sets of DVDs from the Datamaster training course offered by National Patent Analytic Systems (NPAS), the manufacturer of Michigan's breath test machine, and he is currently scheduled to attend a toxicology course and the DRE (drug recognition expert) police training program this fall.
Currently, Mr. Maze is one of only a few attorneys to actually own a Datamaster in the state, and he will be the only toxicology trained attorney, as well as the only DRE certified attorney, in Michigan this fall.
TRIAL PRACTICE SKILLS
Unsatisfied with merely trying to be a good defense attorney, Mr. Maze has striven to become a better defense attorney. Hearing Terry MacCarthy, a cutting-edge criminal litigator from Chicago, lecture on cross-examination, Mr. Maze experimented with new trial techniques. After reviewing materials on a similar vein from Larry Pozner and Roger Dodd, Mr. Maze decided it was time to develop trial advocacy skills.
In 2006, Mr. Maze received two trial advocacy certificates. The first, at the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) in Macon, Georgia, was presented by some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the nation, including Mr. MacCarthy. The two week program is one of the most intense trial advocacy programs offered in the nation. The second, in Lansing, Michigan, was offered by the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM). Although the CDAM program was shorter, it was equally intense, and Mr. Maze was able to network with some of the best Michigan criminal defense attorneys.
Advocacy skills are sorely underrated by many attorneys, and the trial skills offered by law schools are seriously lacking. Many attorneys have never been taught how to effectively argue to jurors! As they say, practice makes perfect. More importantly, no attorney should ever try to re-invent the wheel, and many great attorneys have a lot to share. Mr. Maze intends to continue to support both organizations in the future and participate in their programs, and these skills have helped Mr. Maze win cases.
If winning DUI cases were easy, everyone would do it.
The biggest problems in defending drunk driving cases is simply how to get the evidence you need to defend the charge and what you need to do with that evidence once you get it. Police, prosecutors and judges in certain jurisdictions routinely oppose disclosure of evidence, claiming that a person is not entitled to find out what the underlying evidence might show. (A new Michigan Court of Appeals decision held that you aren't entitled to receive copies of video tapes evidence. This decision was handed down only a few years after the same court held that videos could be shown to jurors in order to convict someone, claiming that "videotaping serves to fulfill the role an attorney would perform of providing an independent corroboration of how the sobriety tests were conducted.")
Despite the sometimes ridiculous positions on providing evidence to the accused, Mr. Maze has developed a method of collecting evidence in both breath and blood cases that ensures the accused gets everything needed and everything is done. He has taken this to extremes, bringing motions to dismiss, requesting contempt proceedings, and filing lawsuits against police departments for failing to turn over evidence.
Once Mr. Maze is in possession of the necessary evidence, an educated, competent review of the case can be performed.
In breath cases, you must understand that breath testing is very accurate but also very sensitive to tiny deviations from person to person. Everything must be reviewed about the accused's health, physiology, dental work, diet, and workplace chemical exposure. The drinking, eating and physical activities of the day can impact the breath device. The smallest error caused by a physical abnormality or a flaw in the BAC Datamaster can be the difference between guilt and innocence, where the person accused is often times feeling regretful and wants to simply admit guilt because, after all, they drank and then drove.
Drinking and driving is legal. Despite this, if the breath test is the only evidence that an accused relies upon, they are placing too much faith in a machine. Would you bet your future on a toaster? Unfortunately, field sobriety tests are not much better. Mr. Maze has failed several police officers on the field sobriety tests before jurors, showing step-by-step how the officer failed his or her own field sobriety test.
In breath cases, everything from the accused's health through the machine must be closely examined.
In blood cases, science and medical certainty takes the forefront. Closely reviewing how the blood was handled, how it was transported, who tested it, and how the testing was performed are critical. Equally important, independent testing of the blood sample will often times reveal problems with the blood sample. Believe it or not, DNA testing will sometimes reveal that the wrong person's blood was tested.
Mr. Maze subjects each blood test to several challenges and two layers of independent testing in every single case. One test determines the amount of alcohol in the blood, along with the levels of sodium fluoride, while the second test determines whether bacteria or fungi may have contaminated the sample. In rare cases, samples are referred out for DNA testing.
The Maze Legal Group is one of the most expensive law firms in drunk driving cases. You can shop around and find cheaper attorneys elsewhere or read through the information on this site to represent yourself if you cannot afford our firm. Our advice is to be very careful selecting your attorney because some charge more without delivering, while others charge less without delivering. Few will charge more (or less) and deliver; these attorneys do exist, but our prices are flat rate fees.
Our flat rates are based upon prior experience on cases that have proceeded through various stages, discounting amounts to favor our clients for a fair and certain rate. There is no question about what this will cost or what that will cost, and it's very simple. The only question is how much the police might charge for turning over their evidence, which is usually only a few dollars up to a couple hundred dollars, and whatever nominal expenses might be incurred by Mr. Maze through subpoena fees, volume copy fees or hotel expense in distant counties.
Mr. Maze currently charges $7,500.00 for each OWI 1st or OWI 2nd case through jury trial (with an additional fee of $1,500.00 for counties outside the Wayne / Washtenaw / Oakland area in the lower peninsula). In most cases, cases are $5,000.00 down, and $2,500 for trial. In cases where defenses are not readily apparent and a person might simply want to plead guilty, the cost is divided up into three equal parts: initial paperwork, motions, and trial. Each step in those cases is $2,500.00. In any event, complete representation through trial costs $7,500.00. We have flat rate fees for felony cases as well.
The firm accepts payments plans, which some firms do not accept.
Mr. Maze also accepts cases on a pro bono basis (free of charge), case-by-case depending on the facts, up to and including a case in Holland, Michigan, where Ottawa County sheriffs charged a gentleman with OWI with a 0.03 blood alcohol reading. (We won... for free.)
You will be comfortable with Mr. Maze. Whether you are extremely upset about this case, worrying that it might ruin your life, concerned that this might cost you too much in the long run, or if you are simply hoping to see if you were actually too impaired to drive (or know you were not!), Mr. Maze will try his best to set your mind at ease, and he'll walk through the process. Mr. Maze is a normal down-to-earth person that you will feel comfortable talking to after being accused of a crime. You'll be confident in his abilities, but you'll be assured that he's not talking at you or above you. If you need help, he'll tell you. If you've got a defense, he'll tell you. And, if you don't have a case, he'll be equally honest in telling you the rough news.