Driver’s License Restoration for DUI’s
The very term “driver’s license restoration” can cause confusion. but it really means restoring the driving privileges for someone that has lost the ability to drive for multiple alcohol-related (meaning drunk driving, or DUI) convictions. This, in turn, means that a person has had their driver’s license “revoked,” and not merely “suspended.”
As a Michigan drivers license reinstatement attorney, I specialize in driving issues involving alcohol (and drugs), most of which involves drunk driving. Beyond my legal education, I am have completed a formal post-graduate program of addiction studies. This makes me unique amongst lawyers, and gives me such a huge advantage in handling Michigan license restoration cases, where recovery from alcohol (or drug) problems is THE central focus, that I guarantee to win every case I take. That also makes me stand apart from just about every other lawyer.
That’s the upside.
The downside (for me) is that, very often, anyone who has any problem with his or her driver’s license will see the phrase “Michigan driver's license restoration attorney” and figure I’m the guy to fix it.
Michigan driver’s license restoration cases always involve something directly related to appealing the revocation of a Michigan driver’s license because of multiple DUI convictions. The same appeal process applies if a person is appealing to clear a Michigan "hold" that prevents them from obtaining a driver's license outside of the state of Michigan.
Driver's license restoration appeals are filed with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearing Section, (AHS - and formerly known as the “DAAD”), and are ultimately decided by one of the AHS hearing officers. As the title “hearing officer” suggests, most license appeals are decided after an actual hearing. In a Michigan driver’s license reinstatement (or clearance) appeal, a person has to prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that his or her alcohol problem is under control, and likely to remain under control.
None of this can be done in court, and must first be handled through the Secretary of State.
In contrast to the restoration of a driver’s license for multiple DUI’s, there are two situations where a lawyer can get a suspended license back by going to court:
- In a DUI charge where a person has refused the chemical breath (breathalyzer) test and has his or her license suspended, or
- When a person has had his or her license suspended by a Judge after a conviction for a drug possession offense.
That’s pretty much the limit for fixing suspended licenses.
It’s important to know that a DUI or drug possession suspension is very different from a revocation for multiple DUI convictions. The key difference turns upon the status of the driver’s license, and that depends precisely upon whether the license has been “suspended” or “revoked.” The specific term is important here:
A license is suspended for a certain, fixed period of time. This means it’s taken away from a certain date, and can or will be returned on a certain, later date, or upon the payment of a specified sum of money to a court or the state.
A revoked license is one that has been taken away for good. There is no “return date” because there is no license to give back. In order to ever get back on the road, or, in out-of-state cases, obtain a clearance that will remove the Michigan “hold” upon a driver’s record, a person has go through a full license appeal before the Secretary of State’s AHS.
It’s easy to think of a suspended license in the same way that a student is suspended from school for a certain, specific period of time (like 5 days), whereas a revoked license is similar to a student having been completely expelled from school, and is not allowed back in at all, ever.
No lawyer can get your license back if it has been suspended because you owe money. The only thing that can be done is for you to pay up. I completely understand the frustration someone feels if their license is being held up because they owe money (you probably have no idea how many times I’ve heard something like “how do they expect me to get to work…”), but there is no legal maneuver around just paying it off.
Thus, being a Michigan driver’s license reinstatement attorney means, for the most part, that I win license appeals for people who have had their Michigan driver’s license revoked for multiple DUI’s. If you’ve had at least 2 DUI convictions within 7 years, or 3 within 10 years, and you’ve quit drinking, then I’m your guy. As far as that goes, it doesn’t matter how bad you might think your record looks. A few of years ago, I had a Client with 13 DUI’s on his driving record and I won his case the first time around, and I fully expect to do that in every case I take. The key thing is that he had really quit drinking, was committed to remaining alcohol-free, and I was able to prove that to the hearing officer.
As long as you've quit drinking, then I can get you back on the road, guaranteed.