As a Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer, one of the first things I do in any case is determine a Client’s eligibility date to file a License Appeal. Sometimes, this takes on a life of its own, as any number of people “think” that they’re eligible, but don’t have any verification of that. This article will focus on how I make that determination, and what I need to do that.
To be fair, any number of people who call me are well past any eligibility date to file a License Appeal, and there’s really no issue with that. Also, lots of people have already obtained a copy of their Driving Record, and have confirmed that fact.
The single best thing I can examine is that Driving Record, like a Doctor will examine a Patient’s x-ray before determining what course of action to take. Having examined perhaps thousands of these Records, I can make short work of interpreting the information contained therein. In a matter of a minute or two, I can tell a person if they are eligible, or not, to file a License Appeal, or if there is something they can do to make them eligible.
To bypass any difficulties, if a person can get a copy of their Driving Record, and get it to my Office (we accept them by fax, mail, in-person drop off, or e-mail/scan), I can instantly make a determination.
An example of where things aren’t so clear came up just the other day. I was contacted by a person who had moved out of Michigan, and went to get a License in his new State. Of course, he was told that he could not obtain a License until he “cleared” his Michigan hold. Next, he contacted me.
It turns out this person has had 3 DUI’s in the last 6 or 7 years; 1 in Michigan in 2010, and 2 out-of-state, before that. Now, under Michigan Law, he should be Revoked for at least 5 years for having 3 DUI’s within 10 years. Yet he indicated that when he called the Michigan Secretary of State, he was told he became eligible to file a License Appeal earlier this year.
Something is wrong with that. And the last thing I want to do is take someone’s hard-earned money, file an Appeal, and be informed, at the Hearing, that there was a mistake. Even if 1 of those out-of-state DUI”s doesn’t show up on his record right now, he is going to be asked, at the Hearing, how many DUI’s he’s had. Even if he lied (and he never suggested he would, nor would I let him…), and won that Appeal, if (and more likely, when) that 3rd DUI ever did hit his Record, it would cause all kinds of problems, and would likely get him back in front of another Hearing Officer. That Hearing Officer would know the guy lied at his last Hearing, and they’d take everything else he said with the knowledge that he has already lied under oath. He’d be doomed.
If he admitted to having 3 DUI’s, and only 2 showed up, then a Hearing Officer might likely inform him that, as a result, he needs to wait until 5 years have passed since his last, in 2010.
The point is that his eligibility is NOT clear. As a result, I told him to get a copy of his Driving Record and get it to me.
In my Office, I review those Records for free.
Sometimes, a person may not be eligible for a License Appeal but can go to Court clear the way to file for a Driver’s License Restoration Hearing.
These cases, which fall under the “old” Laws in place from prior to October 1, 1999, allow a person who had received numerous additional “like” Revocations from prior to that date to go to Circuit Court and have those pre-October 1, 1999 Revocations “lifted” in order to begin the Driver’s License Restoration Appeal process.
Back then, if a person was convicted of Driving While License Revoked after losing their License because of a DUI, they’d get another Revocation for the same period of time added to the one already in place. This meant if a person was Revoked for 5 years, and got a DWLR charge, they’d get another 5 years. If they got another, then they’d get another 5 years added on to that. These Revocations were cumulative, so that lots of people wound up being Revoked until something like the year 2034 (don’t laugh, I just saw that the other day…).
In these cases, a person can have those Revocations lifted so that they can go ahead and begin the License Appeal process.
Since 1999, the 1 and 5 year Revocation periods are added on from what is essentially the date of the DWLR conviction, meaning that person will just keep extending their Revocation by either 1 or 5 years from the date they get caught Driving while Revoked. In other words, these additional Revocations are concurrent, and not consecutive.
However, those cases that fall under that old Law are few are far between, and are on the verge of extinction.
Still, without having a qualified License Lawyer review their Record, these people may never know that they can “become” eligible before their Record indicates they will.
Of course, many people do know with certainty their eligibility date. Some have retained their Order of Action from the Secretary of State, or know that it has been more than 1 year (for 2 DUI’s within 7 years), or 5 years (for 3 or more DUI’s within 10 years), since their last conviction, and also know they have not been caught Driving (or, better yet, simply have not driven).
Even so, I need to see a person’s Driving Record in order to properly handle a License Appeal. Beyond mere eligibility, there are other things in that Record that are relevant to any License Appeal.
Given that it only costs about $7 to get a Driving Record from the State (and I caution anyone to NEVER get a Driving Record from any private company; they are COMPLETELY WORTHLESS), it makes no sense to not do this, and start off on the right foot.
As I noted near the beginning, I liken this to someone going to see a Doctor, for example with what appears to be simple broken finger. While the Doctor may know exactly what to do, and in about 99% of these cases will only confirm what he or she already knows by viewing an x-ray, it is simply good practice to do that. The consequences of being wrong can be catastrophic, and the benefit of knowing you’re on the right path is priceless, except in this case that “priceless” benefit only costs $7.