Because I concentrate my practice in handling Michigan driver's license restoration cases, I am frequently asked a question like this: "What do you think my chances are?" If you're my client, the answer is "nothing less than 100 percent." When I take a Michigan license appeal or clearance case, I guarantee I'll win it. While there are a million little rules governing Michigan license restoration cases, the single most important thing, probably a million times more important than anything else, really, is that you have honestly quit drinking. As long as I have that to work with, I can make virtually any case a winner.
I charge a respectable $3600 fee for my services, but in exchange for that, you are guaranteed to get back on the road. And to be clear about it, I make my living winning these cases the first time, not going back later to do any kind of "warranty work." Some lawyers charge less than me, but none offers my guarantee, and none requires sobriety, like I do, before accepting a case. In other words, you can't hire me just by paying me. I make sure anyone I represent has moved past his or her alcohol problem and really quit drinking. I play by the rules and I win fair and square. My integrity is not for sale.
It certainly takes a lot to win a Michigan license appeal. Many people find that out by trying to do it themselves first. Some people lose the first time they try, and then try again. Lots of my clients are people that have tried before, often more than once. Some even had a lawyer, although obviously not any kind of "driver's license restoration lawyer." It seems to me that the whole reason you'd be spending money on a lawyer is to actually win your case, and not just "improve your chances" of winning. That would be like buying a new refrigerator and asking the salesman what the chances are that it would keep running. When you plunk down the money for a new refrigerator, you expect it to work, and, if something goes wrong, then you expect your warranty to cover getting it fixed. It shouldn't be any different for a driver's license restoration appeal.
I certainly have all the confidence in the world about my ability to win any case I take, but I say that without being overconfident, or "cocky." If my client has really transitioned from drinker to non-drinker, I can take care of everything else. First, however, the client absolutely must be sober. That's no less a requirement than a submarine cannot have any leaks.
The real task of winning a license restoration or clearance case is to understand the legal framework, or the "million little rules," as I call them, of the DAAD (the Michigan Secretary of State Driver Assessment and Appeal Division), and then fit the clinical evidence of the client's sobriety into that framework. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages I bring to the table is ongoing, formal post-graduate level University training in addiction issues. Being a lawyer is all well and fine, and certainly a minimum to represent anyone in a legal proceeding, but I also understand things from the clinical side. I speak the specialized language of substance abuse counselors. I can discuss various aspects of different theories of recovery and treatment protocol that most non-clinicians don't even know exist.
This is hugely important, because not everyone who wants to win his or her license back is involved in AA. In fact, way more than half of my clients are NOT active in AA. Many of these folks had gone to AA for a while - some longer than others, while others have never gone. Pretty much everyone knows about AA, but knowing how and where it fits in the panorama of other treatment protocols that actually help people get sober, like brief interventions and cognitive behavioral therapy, gives me an unrivaled advantage in explaining, (and proving) how my client, whether he or she is in AA or not, meets the state's criteria of showing, by "clear and convincing evidence," that his or her alcohol problem is "under control," and, more importantly, "likely to remain under control."
This translates directly into making sure the substance abuse evaluation is done correctly. And that begins, in my office, with a 3-hour meeting just to prepare the client to have it completed. This means that I meet with each and every client for 3 hours before he or she ever sits down with a substance abuse counselor to be evaluated. Of course, I make the referral to a competent evaluator, as well. That's just for starters...