My name is William Maze, and my firm is The Maze Legal Group. I am the leading drunk driving defense attorney in the Metro-Detroit area in Wayne County, Michigan. Frankly, I consider myself to be the best DUI defense lawyer in Michigan, but I know that there are several really good drunk driving defense lawyers in the state. Most of my competitors are also my friends in this field, but each of the leading drunk driving defense attorneys in Michigan has a different method of how to approach and handle a case. I believe that my style is the most effective.
I have been in practice since 1996, and I have received some of the most advanced training in drunk driving defense in the nation. I am a graduate of The Citadel, the military college in South Carolina, and Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. I am a former board member and past president of CDAM, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, a long-standing and prestigious criminal defense attorney organization. I am also co-founder of Darrow, a free and privately funded network of criminal defense attorneys that seeks to network, train, and educate defense lawyers. Darrow aims to provide low-cost training to attorneys across the state at minimal or no cost without taxpayer support.
Since law school, my training includes several advanced trial technique courses and many scientific training courses in areas relevant to drinking and driving. I received this training from other lawyers and police professionals across the nation who have generously contributed their tireless efforts to raising the bar of DUI defense. I have tried to continue this tradition by extending my knowledge to other lawyers here in Michigan. I speak at local conferences, and I frequently offer seminars to Michigan lawyers on drunk driving training.
I have been qualified as an expert witness in numerous drunk driving cases, and I offer these services to other Michigan lawyers at a discounted rate to help assist in clear-cut matters where the parties cannot agree to clearly established standards and procedures. I encourage people who can afford the nation's best experts to hire out-of-state experts such as Dr. Ron Henson of Illinois, Tony Corroto of Georgia, and others, but I can provide testimony for lawyers who have clients working on a tight budget.
To effectively challenge evidence in drunk driving cases, a lawyer must be able to competently cross-examine police officers and challenge scientific evidence. Many lawyers became seasoned experts at cross-examination, but this is not necessarily enough in drunk driving cases. In DUI cases, the trial lawyer must also understand field sobriety tests as well as the science of breath testing and blood testing in order to ask relevant questions in order to win more cases.
It is my opinion, however, that some lawyers become too technical and too scientific. Many years ago, Novi Judge Robert Bondy pointed this out to me after a guilty verdict. He told me that I didn’t have to listen to his advice, but he was going to offer it anyway. He said , “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar,” which my mother had repeatedly told me growing up. Getting too technical is an easy trap that lawyers can fall into in a scientifically-charged field such as drunk driving litigation. Think about the OJ Simpson trial and how the prosecutors lost the case despite DNA evidence. The prosecutors in that case were so concerned about the science that they forgot something so simple as “if [the glove] doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
But on the other hand, you probably imagine that lawyers regularly get training in field sobriety tests, that they know how a breath testing machine works, and how the Michigan State Police perform blood testing for drugs and alcohol, right? Well, unfortunately, you would be sadly mistaken. This training is expensive, it is usually offered at remote locations around the nation, and it takes a lot of time. Most lawyers do not understand field sobriety tests, breath testing, or blood testing. I have seen innocent people who pleaded guilty even though they were actually innocent because the defense lawyer did not know the science.
My style of practice involves working the case very hard, getting everything that helps the client to prove his or her innocence, and generally being a little bit nit-picky on preliminary matters. I am very technical on legal issues, believing that it is easier to win a DUI case on technical faults than on the actual merits. At motions and evidentiary hearings, I will frequently try to beat the prosecutors on the science by overwhelming them with my technical understandings. But at trial, I have repeatedly tried to trim back on the science and technical arguments in favor of what might appeal to a juror.
I believe that my style is the most effective method for winning DUI cases because jurors have returned not guilty verdicts for me on cases where clients were actually driving their vehicles on video and produced blood alcohol test results as high as .19. I have also won cases where clients blew higher than .30 where an accident occurred when police officers failed to provide consistent testimony.
I have also lost my fair share of cases, however, but I am generally angry about each guilty verdict because I care about each and every one of my clients. After every trial loss, I try to figure out how or why the jury disagreed with me, and sometimes I can improve on my prior performance. I cannot guarantee you a victory in your case, but I always try cases to win.
As a bottom-line evaluation of how I perform, I have many judicial references, more than a few prosecutors respect me, and I get many drunk driving referrals from police officers trying to help friends and family members. I am humbled by the police officers who refer people to me because I’m often times forced to treat these officers poorly on the stand, but they still refer their friends and family members to me. This tells me I am doing things right.
If you or a loved one is charged with a drunk driving offense or some other serious crime, I would really like to talk to you. If I am not the right lawyer for you, I will be the first to step up to the plate to suggest a different lawyer. And if I think a different lawyer might be better situated to help you, I am not afraid to turn down a case to refer it to another lawyer. Please give me a call, and I will personally talk to you about your case. Feel free to call my office at (734) 591-0100 or my cell after hours at (734) 740-1900.