In my role as a Driver's License Restoration Lawyer, I read the decisions of the Michigan Secretary of State's Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) almost daily. Fortunately, when reading those Orders for the License Appeals that I handle, I'm always reading a winning decision. Having won 181 of the last 183 cases I've handled, I can honestly say that I have almost no experience reading a Denial in any of my cases. However, many of my Clients are people who have already tried on their own to win back a License, or used some Lawyer who claims to "do" License Appeals, and lost. When they come in, part of the paperwork they bring is any previous Denial Order.
In this article, we'll look at why a previous Order of Denial is so important in the larger job of preparing for a subsequent License Appeal that will win.
From the outside, someone might just think that you file a License Appeal, and either win or lose. Like everything else about the whole License Restoration process, it's far more complicated than that.
To fully understand what's involved, we need to take a few steps back from the final result of the process, and look at what goes into it. In my various other articles about Driver's License Restoration, I have covered pretty much every aspect of the License Appeal process in detail. The focus of our examination here both governs and precedes even the very first step in that process. Let me explain:
In order to win a License Appeal, a person must prove certain things. Those "things" are outlined in the DAAD's Rule 13, which begins as follows:
The Hearing Officer shall not order that a License be issued to the Petitioner unless the Petitioner proves, by Clear and Convincing Evidence, all of the following...
The point of this whole detour is to point out how the Rule is written in the negative, and that the DAAD is required to NOT issue a License unless the person proves the relevant things by "Clear and Convincing Evidence."
"Clear and Convincing Evidence" is a kind of hybrid standard of proof that falls short of what's necessary to convict someone of a crime under the "Proof beyond a Reasonable Doubt" benchmark, but well beyond what it takes to win a Small Claims matter, where the standard of proof is a "Preponderance of the Evidence." One way to think of it is that "Preponderance of the Evidence" requires that the scales of justice be tipped just over the 50% mark, like 50.01%. "Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt might be likened to tipping the scales past the 90% mark, while "Clear and Convincing Evidence" would amount to tipping the scales past the 80% mark.