Winning Back a Michigan Driver’s License – The Magic of Success

Part of my role as a Driver’s License Restoration Attorney is to help my Clients frame the story of their recovery. In a previous article, I called this the “Magic Element” in a License Restoration case. In this article, I want to take a detour from the informational type article I usually write, and instead discuss what I love about being a License Restoration Lawyer, and why I’m so enthusiastic about this subject. In that regard, the reader looking to learn about the License Restoration process should read my entire section about this subject, beginning from the bottom of the section, and reading their way to the top. This article is not the place to start that inquiry.

Its easy to understand how someone could feel a rewarding sense of job satisfaction if they were, say, a rock star, or an artist of some kind. What about the person who becomes a foot doctor (Podiatrist), or a CPA? Sure, they probably make good money, but how much intrinsic satisfaction can the person regularly derive from their day-to-day work?

Magic.jpgWithin the parameters of the Legal profession, there isn’t a lot of room for job satisfaction, either. Divorce Lawyers take their Clients at about the worst time in their lives. How much joy can someone get out of being part of a break-up? Estate Attorneys would be hard-pressed to get excited about the last Will they wrote up. Criminal Attorneys most often spend their time helping people clean up an extraordinarily unpleasant situation. I know about that, because its part of what I do.

In License Restorations, however, I am afforded the rare opportunity to help someone get back something they value. I am able to truly look at my work, and the efforts of my Client, and feel satisfaction about producing something good for someone who really deserves it. This is where my earlier reference to the Client’s “story” comes into the picture. It’s the development of that story, properly told, which results in the person finally being re-licensed. When a person’s story is about recovery, its just natural to feel good about helping them get the rewards of all their efforts. Doing something good for someone who has worked for it, and deserves it, really is intrinsically rewarding.

This really all begins at the earliest stage of my relationship with a License Restoration Client. As a matter of protocol, anyone coming to meet with me for the first time has already been determined to be eligible, or soon enough be eligible, for a License Restoration. My first appointment with a new Client lasts about 3 hours, during which I essentially prepare them for the required Substance Abuse Evaluation. In doing so, we examine the transformation the person has undergone from the day of their last drink (often the day of their last DUI Arrest) to the present. My job is to help coax out of the person those sometimes forgotten lessons and stops on the road to Sobriety. Let me explain:

Assume there’s a guy who was a remarkable basketball player. He’s retired now. On a good day, he can recall any number of moments on the Court which are especially memorable to him. If you met him at a barbeque and spoke with him, you’d enjoy his company and his stories.

What if someone comes along and says, “Basketball Bob, I want your story. I want your biography”? Bob responds by pointing out that he’s had a few great games, but not enough to fill a book. Imagine the other person saying “But I want your whole story, Bob. I want to know about how you first picked up a basketball as a kid, and couldn’t even hit the rim, and how you grew, and practiced, and became the star of your high school team, and then went to college on a scholarship, and then became a pro, and the career choices you made once in the NBA.” Think about it for a moment; that’s a story. It might not be the book you or I would read, but there’s a full-blown story in there.

The same thing holds true for a person’s recovery. In fact, there’s even more of a story to that, because chances are, while Basketball Bob’s story is essentially that of a life going pretty much in one direction, a person’s recovery story is about a life first going one way, then rather abruptly going in the exact opposite direction. As part of that initial 3 hour meeting, I help the Client recall those “a-ha” moments that are an inherent part of recovery. Sometimes, people become so used to just living a sober life, that not drinking becomes second nature. These individuals often need the most work in order to go back in time and start creating a chronological story of their transformation. On the other hand, those actively involved in AA need far less work in that regard, because various aspects of the story of their recovery are told over and over again at the tables. AA people need help organizing everything, and putting together a story that makes sense to someone who’s not in the “program.” That’s where I help.

As I sit with the Client, and learn about how they went from trying to manage an unmanageable alcohol problem to living an alcohol-free life, I cannot help but to admire the person. Sure, there are lots of people who have experienced recovery, but there are loads more who just can’t make it work. Those that succeed are the minority, and owe part of their success to sheer dedication and hard work. When they have put together a string of enough sober days to start adding up to years, they are deserve to be rid the negative consequences caused by their drinking. After all, most people who have given up drinking can point to better and healthier relationships with family and friends as a direct result. In other words, they regain the trust of those around them. They begin to trust themselves. Often, the Driver’s License is the only thing they haven’t earned back. It’s the last thing needed to bring them full circle and fully “back in the saddle” of life.

There is a very palpable sense of doing the right thing when I help such a person get back on the road. Beyond any intrinsic reward, the Client is always grateful. It feels nice to be remembered as having been a part of someone’s good fortune, rather than just being remembered as part of a bad situation. Often, I represent License Clients for whom I also handled 1 or more of their prior DUI’s. It goes without saying that it’s a much more rewarding experience to help someone win back their Driver’s License than it is to just handle their 2nd or 3rd Offense DUI.

Of all the things I have ever done as a Lawyer, I have never come close to enjoying anything nearly as much as I do License Appeals. If you’ve read at least some of my Driver’s License Restoration articles, then you’ve probably picked up that I’m really passionate about this stuff. I think that passion is fueled by the simple fact that I like handling these cases, and am remarkably successful at winning them. In fact, in the year 2010, I won every one of the over 70 cases that I handled. If I had it my way, I’d do nothing but License Appeals. As it stands, I have never met a Lawyer who handles even a small fraction of the number of License cases that I do.

There is definitely a “magic element” involved in a License Appeal. Finding it and harnessing it and producing a winning case with it is part of what makes my License Practice so enjoyable and rewarding.