How I Do License Appeals
Here's how a Michigan driver’s license reinstatement case is handled in my office, from your first call through winning back your license:
About half of my clients live rather far away, so convenience is important. Whether you live an hour away, or live across the country, you'll only have to make two trips back to the Detroit area: one trip to see me, and a second, a few months down the road, to attend your license hearing.
There are a few criteria that must be met before I can be your Michigan drivers license restoration attorney. When you call, I need to figure out your situation. Even before determining if you’re legally eligible to file a license appeal, I need to know if you are sober. You will also need to have been off of any probation or parole for a while, as well.
I won't take a case while a person is still drinking. Beyond having a minimum period of sobriety, a person must be committed to remaining sober. Sobriety is a non-negotiable first requirement for me to agree to be your Michigan drivers license reinstatement attorney, because it is the core issue of a license restoration or clearance case.
The first official step in a Michigan license restoration appeal is to file a request for hearing along with a completed substance abuse evaluation form (issued by the state, and technically called a "Substance Use Evaluation," but everyone in the world says "abuse," so we'll just stick with that), as well as the appropriate letters of support with the Michigan Secretary of State's Administrative Hearing Section (AHS). Before we ever even think of taking this "official" first step, I control and manage things by going over and triple-checking that everything has been done correctly. This is why I guarantee a first time win.
Thus, the first step in my office is to meet with you before you undergo the substance abuse evaluation, in order to prepare you for it. Because this evaluation is really the foundation of your Michigan license reinstatement case, we'll spend about 3 hours at our first meeting preparing for this critically important step. Legally speaking, the evaluation must be both clinically and factually accurate, as well as favorable. This means it has to be "watertight."
If you live outside of the Metro-Detroit area, we'll set it up so that you have your evaluation completed at the local clinic I use, which is located a few blocks from my office. We'll schedule things so that you'll will meet with me first, then go directly from my place to the evaluator's, just short walk away. If you live in the Metro-Detroit area, you have a lot more flexibility as to when to have your substance abuse evaluation completed, meaning you don't have to do it the day you meet with me. For those who don't live anywhere nearby, then we make it a "one and done" deal.
The main evaluator I use has the highest degree of integrity and skill, and, to top it all off, charges less than most other places. From time to time, I also use several other top-notch evaluators for various scheduling or location reasons , but the convenience and quality of the clinician near my office makes that my first choice. The final product is a remarkably good job that providing the AHS with an accurate and appropriately detailed evaluation. To make things even easier, they'll also take care of the required urinalysis when you're there.
Letters of support must also be provided to the AHS when your case is filed. I provide some sample outline of letters at our first meeting, and will go over how they should be done. However, given the overwhelming importance of the support letters in a Michigan drivers license restoration appeal, your main job is to get draft copies back to me so that I can edit and revise them for you. My job is to put together a winning case, and I back that up with a first time win guarantee. As a result, you can expect that I will be doing a lot of work on your letters to make sure they're just right.
It takes about two weeks of so for the evaluation to be completed. You'll tell the evaluator to mail a copy to both you and to me. Once I receive it, I will carefully review it, and then double-check it again, to make sure that it's accurate, favorable, and “watertight.” I'll give the same level of attention to the letters of support, as well.
When everything is ready, we’ll file your case.
It can take a few months before we receive notice of the date and time for your actual Michigan license restoration appeal hearing. I have all of my cases set for a live, in-person hearing at the Livonia branch of the AHS. I appear before each of the five hearing officers there regularly (I handle more than 150 license cases a year) so I know what is important to each of them. This is critical because it allows me to prepare you for exactly how your hearing will be conducted by the specific hearing officer to whom it is assigned, and there are big differences in how that plays out in the real world.
In every case I file, I believe it is extremely important that I “prep” you the night before your actual hearing. I usually do it after-hours so I can concentrate on your case without distraction. This “prep session” usually takes about a half hour. We'll cover everything necessary to win the next day, but we won't be talking about witnesses. I never call witnesses. Witnesses are only a liability, and calling them is a first-class amateur mistake. I'll explain that in more detail when you come in.
The next day, we'll go in for the hearing, which itself will last less than an hour. We'll walk into that hearing room ready to win. We will have prepared your case so that it’s a winner on paper. The evaluation will be strong, favorable, and “watertight.” The letters of support will be concise and helpful. We'll have the confidence of knowing that, above asd beyond all of our preparations, we are going in to tell the truth about your Sobriety, and that means everything. We'll leave that hearing room knowing we did well. Several weeks later, we'll receive your decision:
For you, that means finally slipping a valid driver's license back into your wallet!
As your Michigan drivers license attorney, that means I've helped someone get back what they've worked for, and deserve, along with another first-time win on my record.