Preparing for the Michigan License Restoration Hearing

After the Substance Abuse Evaluation has been checked, and re-checked, and after the Letters of Support have been edited, revised, and then passed my final proofreading, we’ll file them and wait to be notified of our Hearing date.  Once that notice it received, it contains 2 vital pieces of information:  First, the date and time of our Hearing, and second, the name of the Hearing Officer who will be conducting it.

Throughout the preceding sections, I have made it very clear how important it is to pay attention to all the little details as we assemble the evidence for a Michigan driver’s license reinstatement or clearance appeal. It is so pertinent to hire a Michigan drivers license attorney because license appeals and clearances are won (or lost) in the preparation.  Part of any winning strategy, in any endeavor, is to limit variables, meaning the things that can go wrong.  One way I do that in my License Appeal cases is to have all of my Hearings scheduled at the Michigan Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) Hearing Office in Livonia.  I do this no matter where a person lives.

Why You Should Hire a Local Michigan Drivers License Attorney

There are 5 Hearing Officers assigned to the Livonia location.  In the same way that no 2 Judges are the same, each Hearing Officer has a different approach to considering the evidence in a License Appeal.  Knowing the preferences of each Hearing Officer is very important to winning the case.  By having my cases set in Livonia (as opposed to all over the state), I can at least limit the “variables” to 5.  I know what each of these Hearing Officers wants in an Appeal, and what is considered vitally important to one is completely unimportant to another.  

Who will be deciding your case is critical to how we prepare for your Hearing.  Let me give an (anonymous) example based upon 3 real-life Hearing Officers:  

If a Dan the Driver goes to AA every week, and his case is assigned to Hearing Officer #1, he is going to be asked to recite some specific steps.  If his case is assigned to Hearing Officer # 4, he will not be asked a single question about the AA program, but will instead only be asked how often he does go.  If Hearing Officer #5 decides his case, he is going to be asked to talk about a step or steps that he has recently discussed at a meeting, or that he feels is important to his Recovery.

On the other hand, if Dan does NOT go to AA, his Hearing(s) will be different.  Hearing Officer #1 will ask why he doesn’t go, not in any accusing kind of way, but to find out if Dan has cultivated enough “tools” for Recovery so that he does not need a support group.  Hearing Officer #4 will inquire about what kind of “support system” Dan has to keep him Sober, and who he would reach out to if he needed help.  Hearing Officer # 5 will ask Dan to describe his “personal plan” for Recovery.

Of course, there are 2 other personalities that we haven’t even mentioned.  The point I’m driving at is that this is just one facet of the process that needs to be taken into account as part of the preparation for the Hearing.

Final Preparation Meeting

As a general rule, I schedule my “preps” with each client the night before their hearing.  And I do mean “night.”  Because this preparation is so critically important to winning the case, I make sure to schedule it after hours, when there are no other distractions.  I like to do my “preps” after dinner, when I know I’ll have at least an hour during which I will NOT be interrupted.  When you and I get on that phone, at least in my mind, we’ll be 2 of the only 3 people in the world who matter; the 3rd will be our hearing officer, who will take front and center stage as we discuss the next day’s hearing.

Most of the time, my “preps” last about an hour.  The hearing itself will usually last about a ½ hour, meaning we’ll spend twice as long prepping for the hearing as we will actually spend conducting it.  That’s okay.  Remember, License Appeals are won (or lost) in the preparation.

We will review all of the evidence that’s been filed in your case.  I will use my “Substance Abuse Evaluation Checklist” as guide, because we will have outlined your “Recovery Story” in it.  During our prep time, we will pull together everything from our first 3 hour meeting, to the finished Evaluation and the Letters of Support.  

This turns out to be a kind of magical moment, because suddenly, as we get into our “prep,” all the elements of your case come together, and a clear picture emerges.  It’s almost like each phase of the case has been its own separate bag of pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and now we lay everything out and assemble the big picture.  

After an hour or so, you’ll be ready to walk in the next day and win your Michigan license reinstatement appeal. You will know exactly what questions I will be asking of you, and you’ll know what the Hearing Officer will be asking.  You will be prepared, ready and confident.

Benefits of a Strong Hearing Preparation

And here’s the best part:  You’ll feel confident and good and ready because, beyond all the details, and all of the preparation, you’ll know that you’re going in to tell the truth.  If you’re my client, that means you’re really sober.  There will be nothing to fake, or exaggerate.  We’ll have the unrivaled security of knowing that everything we’ve done is to help and support an Appeal that is based upon the truth, and NOTHING can surpass that.  

When we finish our prep session, you’ll understand why I have a first-time win Guarantee.  When we leave the Hearing the next day, you’ll feel good about the case we’ve assembled.  When you get your winning decision in the mail, you’ll be glad you called me to be your Michigan drivers license reinstatement lawyer.