Driver’s License Restoration – Michigan Issues only, Please…

Almost all of the articles in the Driver’s License Restoration section of my blog examine some aspect or aspects of the License Appeal process. It seems that lately, however, and perhaps because of the sheer number of those articles, some people are less inclined to read through enough of them before calling my Office with any License-related problem. As a result, I thought that perhaps I should outline the kind of cases that fall within the scope of what I do, and those fall outside.

To begin with, ALL of the cases I handle in my License Restoration Practice involve a person having had their MICHIGAN Driver’s License Revoked for multiple DUI’s, or some combination of DUI’s and/or Substance Abuse-related convictions. Many of my Clients now live outside of Michigan, but the central difficulty they have is that their MICHIGAN License has been Revoked. In some cases, they may have, for a time, been able to get a valid License elsewhere, but at some point, they butt up against the Michigan Revocation while trying to renew or get a License in another state. They are told, quite correctly, that they’ll need to clear up Michigan’s “hold” on their License in order to get a valid License in that other state.

Michigan Red1.jpgI point this out because any number of people call my Office about a License problem NOT related to Michigan. As a duly licensed Michigan Lawyer, I can only advise, much less represent anyone, as it relates to matters of Michigan Law. This means the core issue in any License case I handle will be a Michigan Driver’s License Revocation, even if the person no longer lives here, and simply wants to obtain a Driver’s License in another state. I’ve had people call from other states who have never had a Michigan License and whose legal issues are entirely governed by the laws of another state. I cannot help in those cases. I can only help when there is a Michigan License issue involved.

Another question that comes up frequently is whether or not I can advise someone on how to go about the License Appeal process on their own. Under Michigan Law, a person can file for what’s called an Administrative Appeal, which is basically a request for a Michigan License or Clearance by mail. I DO NOT handle such cases, nor do I advise anyone regarding them. There are two reasons for this:

First, and perhaps most importantly, Administrative Appeals are sure losers. According to the Michigan Secretary of State, in the fiscal year 2010, it received 875 Administrative License Appeals. Of those, 650 (74%) were DENIED. That’s a 3 out of 4 chance of LOSING!

By contrast, in the year 2010, I handled over 70 live, in-person Hearings, and won each and every one, giving me a 100% win rate. Beyond that, I guarantee that I will win any Appeal I accept, or the next is free.

Second, beyond the mere statistics, I strongly believe that only a live, in-person Hearing should be conducted. Too many things can pop up, and if there is ANY question a Hearing Officer might have, there is no opportunity for it to be asked, much less answered, in an “Appeal by mail.” For this reason, and several others to boot, as well as the fact that they are so overwhelmingly likely to lose, I have refused offers to pay my whole fee in exchange for the significantly reduced time I would have to spend in an Administrative Appeal. I don’t do them because, more than anything else, I’m in this to win, and not just collect Fees.

I am often asked how much I charge for a License case. When this question arises, it means the person has not checked out very much of either this blog, or my website. Beyond indicating my Fee in numerous articles, I have a “button,” or link, at the top of this page and on the top of my website entitled “FEES.” For those yet to discover it, my Fee in a Driver’s License Appeal is a flat $3000. I begin with $1000 down at the first meeting with a Client, and that meeting alone lasts about 3 hours. While not the most expensive License Restoration Lawyer, I charge a fairly healthy Fee because I’m worth it. My guarantee alone should back that up.

Being able to pay is important, but is not, in and of itself, the most important prerequisite to hiring me. The reason I have a win rate of over 98.9% (I have won 182 out of the last 184 Appeals I have filed in the last approximately 27 months) is that I DO NOT take cases where the person looking to Appeal is not yet really and truly Sober. Countless times, I have spoken with someone who has not yet stopped drinking, or who tells me that they’ll say anything I want them to, but doesn’t believe they can’t have a drink every once in a while. Those people are not Sober. I’m not interested in representing anyone who cannot come forward and be truthful about having eliminated alcohol from their lives, whether they did that through Counseling, with family support, or through AA. Whatever the path, the person must have arrived at the point of being a non-drinker before I’ll take their case.

And this is the whole point of the Appeal, anyway. For all the complexity involved in a License Appeal, there are two main issues that everyone must face:

1. That the person’s alcohol and/or substance abuse problem is under control, and,

2. That the person’s alcohol and/or substance abuse problem is likely to remain under control.

In order to prove the first issue, a person must essentially show a period of a minimum of 1 year of voluntary Sobriety. For what it’s worth, better than 90% of the cases I see involve 2 or more DUI’s resulting in the person’s Revocation.

In order to prove the second, the person must show that it is pretty much a safe bet that they will NEVER drink alcohol again and understands the danger of cross-addiction if they ever use any mood or mind-altering substances, even under medical direction.

There is, of course, a lot more to than this. Anyone interested in getting a feel for what’s involved should read through some of my articles in the Driver’s License Restoration category of this blog. Many people find that, once they start, they wind up reading dozens and dozens of them. I love that kind of informed Client. I’m a “detail guy” so I love a Client who is also a “detail” kind of person.

Those “detail people” tend to pick up on lots of things we are often asked about by a caller who has not read very much of what I’ve put up about License Appeals. And as I said, while we’re glad for any and all calls we receive, I wish I could, in some conspicuous, impossible-to-miss place, post the following:

A License Appeal costs $3000. You must have at least 1 year of voluntary Sobriety to proceed, and you need to be truly Sober and alcohol-free in order for me to take your case. Your case must involve either winning back a Revoked Michigan Driver’s License, or otherwise obtaining a Clearance of a Michigan “hold” (Revocation) so that you can be Licensed in another state.

If you’ve never seen any of that before, then by reading it now, I suppose I’ve just succeeded. Still, I know we’ll get any number of phone calls asking: “how much do you charge for a Driver’s License case?” In the end, if that’s the worst thing I have to deal with, then I’ll count myself lucky.