My team and I spend most of our time handling driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal cases. In any week, we’ll screen loads people who call us about getting their driving privileges restored. If we could take the cases of all the people who contact us and are willing to pay, we’d be swimming in money. We can’t do that, however, and one of the most common reasons right now is because of recreational marijuana. Ever since it was legalized in Michigan, it has become a real problem in the driver’s license restoration world.

<img src="marijuana joint.jpg" alt="Marijuana will derail a license restoration. ">I explored this in a recent article entitled “Using Recreational Marijuana will kill a Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Case.” This topic is so important, however, that we need to look at it again. Recently, Ann, our senior assistant, expressed her frustration about recreational pot. She noted that a lot of people who manage to quit drinking suddenly take up smoking weed. It used to be that our biggest “problem” with potential clients was that some of them simply hadn’t completely quit drinking. Now, it’s that they use marijuana.

Within the more than 650 driver’s license restoration articles I have written and published, a lot focus on sobriety. In so many of them, I point out how some people misunderstand the meaning of sobriety. They think that they can win a license appeal by saying things like they had reduced how often or how much they drank. What is most often lacking is a firm and stated commitment to complete abstinence from alcohol. At least with booze, it’s simple: No means no, as in none.

If you need a lawyer for either a criminal or DUI charge, or you need legal representation to get your driver’s license back, then you should be looking for an answer to these questions: “Why should I hire you?” and “What can you do for me?” A person should always have clear answers to those questions. If not, it means he or she plowed ahead without having made an informed choice.

MSJ2-300x267Unfortunately, this happens more than the reader might imagine. In the criminal and DUI world, this is particularly true when people act out of fear. Too many will sign on with the first lawyer who calls them back after-hours, or over the weekend. In license appeal cases, this often happens when a person chooses a lawyer based primarily on price. Neither of those is the right way to secure quality representation. In fact, they reinforce the notions that a good hiring decision should be explainable by answering the questions posed above.

Of course, while the answers to those questions needs to be clear, they also have to make sense. They must be tempered by reality. Anyone facing a criminal or DUI charge would love to hear that some lawyer has the special and unique ability to make his or her problems go away. However, that’s not how things work in the real world. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop some law offices from tying to sell themselves that way. Accordingly, the first order of business for anyone who is a potential consumer of legal services is to first filter through the marketing hype.

As Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyers, my team and I pride ourselves on being honest. We play by the rules, yet guarantee to win every first time license appeal case we take. We do that “fair and square.” A recent license restoration caller to our office paid us a very high compliment about our honesty, and it is the inspiration for this piece. She said that after having spent quite a bit of time on this blog and our site, she was impressed by how clear we are about requiring our clients to be genuinely sober. Even so, she wondered if we really meant all of it.

<img src="trust-truth.jpg" alt="We’re honest license restoration lawyers. ">She found out, once she called our office. We asked her a series of questions to determine whether or not she really had quit drinking. At the end of the conversation, she offered her assessment of our firm, and even suggested we use it as a “jingle” of sorts: We’re not just truth speakers, we’re truth seekers. Specifically, she expressed a pleasant surprise that our questions over the phone mirrored what we had written about making sure that anyone we represent really has quit drinking, and doesn’t use any other substances, either.

A few days later, I mentioned this to my wife while we were having dinner. I then reminded her of an anecdote I bring up every once in a while in my articles. One time, some years ago, I had to refer a good friend of mine to a longtime colleague for a liquor license matter. When I called my lawyer pal, we chatted for a bit, caught up on each other’s lives. I then told him that he was my first choice because I knew him to be a genuinely good and honest man. He thanked me, and then laughed, observing that being honest had cost him a lot of money over the course of his career.

What does it mean to be a real Michigan DUI lawyer? Recently, our office spoke to a man who was looking to get his driver’s license back. He had been directed to do so by the lawyer that was handling his still-pending, 3rd offense DUI case. As a full-time Michigan DUI law firm, we not only field inquiries about “normal” DUI cases and license appeals, we also get some really bizarre requests, as well. As we explored this caller’s situation, we couldn’t help but cringe at the thought that he had actually paid some lawyer for the advice and representation that prompted him to contact us.

<img src="DUI law book.jpg" alt="DUI lawyer law book. ">To be clear, we don’t know who lawyer is (other than having been identified as “he”), but whatever else, if what his client told us is even remotely true, it is the worst DUI legal strategy we’ve ever encountered. There are countless legal reasons that would prevent a person who has already lost his or her license for multiple DUI convictions from winning a license restoration appeal while he or she is facing a new, 3rd offense DUI charge.

Any Michigan DUI lawyer handling such a case should know that trying a license appeal would be a complete non-starter. And this brings us to the point – that you, as a potential customer of legal services, need to follow the age old advice of “buyer beware.” There is a significant difference between a dedicated Michigan DUI lawyer and some general practice attorney who will “take” a DUI case.

In our daily work as Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyers, my team and I have contact with loads of people interested in a license appeal. Everyone who loses his or her license for multiple DUI’s wants to win it back. Thus, it’s no surprise for us to hear from so many people who want their driving privileges restored. The task for us is to screen out those who don’t meet the Michigan Secretary of State’s legal requirements to qualify. In this article, we’ll look at who can (and can’t) win a driver’s license restoration or clearance case.

<img src="driver's license.jpg" alt="Smiling woman won her Michigan driver's license restoration. ">In order to win a license appeal, a person must not only be legally eligible, he or she must also be genuinely sober, as well. A hungry lawyer can accept anyone’s case, and take his or her money for it, as well, but precisely because our firm guarantees to win every restoration and clearance appeal case we accept, we can’t – and won’t – do that. Instead, we’ll only accept a case that we know we can make into a winner.

That means we have to pass on a lot of Michigan driver’s license restoration cases that can’t be won, despite the potential client being willing to pay our fee. Ultimately, a person gives his or her trust to a lawyer every bit as much as their money. How any attorney could accept payment without knowing (and guaranteeing) that he or she can win the client’s license back is a mystery to us. Of course, our firm is in business to earn living, but we count on doing that by winning our license appeal cases the first time around.

In our roles as Michigan DUI lawyers, my team and I handle a lot of High BAC (super drunk) cases. Chances are, anyone reading this article has either been arrested for, or is looking for information on behalf of someone who was cited for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) with a BAC of .17 or greater. Most people only learn about this enhanced DUI charge when they have to deal with it. In this article, we’re going to look at what High BAC offenses are all about, and also examine why they’re usually not as bad as they often seem at first.

DG4-292x300Even if the evidence in the evidence is strong in a High BAC (super drunk) case, my team and I can often negotiate a plea bargain down to a lesser offense for our client. This will allow a him or her to avoid a conviction and potential penalties for the more serious offense by taking a deal and pleading guilty to something less severe. Of course, the first order of business in every DUI case is to try and find a way out of the matter completely, but when that can’t happen (and to be fair, such outcomes are far more the exception, rather than the rule), a plea bargain that avoids a super drunk conviction is always a good thing.

Although the full history of Michigan’s DUI laws is long, and complicated, the short version is that ever since 2003, the bodily alcohol content (BAC) limit in Michigan for drunk driving has been .08 (it had previously been .10). The super drunk (High BAC) law was enacted later, in 2010, to provide additional and more significant penalties, as well as increased “protections” to the public by way of license restrictions in those cases in which a person get caught driving with a bodily alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit.

If our firm takes your driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal case, we guarantee to win it. That’s easy for us to say, because we won’t take a case that we can’t make into a winner. In order to have a chance at success, a person must have honestly quit drinking, and there is always a story leading up to and following that decision. Because that “story” really becomes the foundation every person’s restoration or clearance case, my team and I then need to present it in a way that will win. In this article, we’re going to look at role of your story in winning back your driver’s license.

Story-3-300x289There is more to winning a license appeal, though, than just having quit drinking. A person not only has to prove he or she has quit drinking, they must also prove themselves to be a safe bet to never drink again. Under the rules governing license appeals, these proofs must be “clear and convincing evidence.” A person just can’t file a case and merely claim to have quit drinking; he or she must convince the Secretary of State that it’s true, and that he or she is also genuinely committed to never drinking again. This is where the “story” part comes in, since nobody ever quits drinking because it’s working out so well.

Instead, people quit drinking because of all the trouble it has caused in their lives. In the real world, most sober people look back and agree that they waited longer than they should have to end their relationship with alcohol. The decision to stop for good is usually preceded by any number of unsuccessful attempts to control, limit or otherwise manage one’s drinking. It’s only after someone learns, through experience, that such tactics don’t work that they’ll finally throw in the towel.

If you are facing a Michigan DUI charge, the most important thing to you is getting out of it as painlessly as possible. When you go online, you get inundated by the endless legal marketing of lawyers fighting for your attention. To be sure, some of what you encounter may be enlightening, and even helpful, but when all is said and done, getting the best result in your DUI case is the only thing that matters. As Michigan DUI lawyers, my team and I live by the motto that success in a DUI case is best measured by what does NOT happen to you. Let’s explore what that really means…

<img src="win.jpg" alt="Get the best results in your DUI case. ">Everyone begins their lawyer search looking to find the “best” representation possible. Some people, understandably, have only a limited financial ability, but as I often point out, while a person will never get top quality legal help at bargain prices, it is also true that many lawyers charge way too much for nothing more than just average services. In reality, there’s a far greater risk of overpaying for mediocre legal help, rather than anything else. As with many other things in life, cost (meaning price), does NOT equal value. In DUI cases, only results equal value.

Imagine you were driving across the country and your vehicle broke down on some lonely highway in the middle of the desert. You would, of course, grab your phone and try to find help. Imagine, while you were doing that, a van pulled up with the name “Pete the Plumber” on the side. Next a guy hopped out, introduced himself as “Pete,” looked under you hood, and said he could fix 100% your problem right then and there, He then proceeded to do just that. You wouldn’t care that it was “Pete the Plumber” and not “Mike the Mechanic” who got you back on the road because you got the best result!

As full-time driver’s license restoration lawyers, my team and I can clear a Michigan hold off of your driving record. We handle A LOT of cases for people who can’t get a license in another state because of a Michigan hold. In a typical year, our firm handles over 200 license matters, with more than 1/3 of those being for people who live don’t live here. When someone who lives out of state has a Michigan hold on his or her driving record, the only way to get it released is by obtaining what’s called a “clearance” from the Michigan Secretary of State. In this article, we’ll examine the clearance process and see how that gets done.

<img src="license.jpg" alt="We can clear your Michigan driver's license hold. ">A driver’s license clearance appeal is, in almost every way, the same thing as a regular driver’s license restoration appeal. The primary difference is in the final result: When you win a driver’s license restoration case, you back a Michigan driver’s license. When you win a clearance appeal, which requires proving your residency in another state, the Secretary of State will simply clear the Michigan hold off of your driving record. This will allow the state where you now resides to issue a license. A state can only issue a driver’s license to someone who legally resides within it.

There is one other potential difference between a restoration and a clearance case: Every Michigan resident seeking the reinstatement of his or her driving privileges must attend a formal appeal hearing (this is done virtually now), whereas people who live out of state and just want to clear a Michigan hold can elect NOT to do that. Instead, they can waive the hearing, and have their case decided based entirely on the documents they submit. This is called an “administrative review,” and, in practice, it is a fast track to losing. Statistically, only about 1 in every 4 of such appeals ever wins, meaning that 3 out of 4 are denied.

If you’re facing a 2nd or 3rd offense DUI charge in Michigan, then you may have at least heard or seen the term “sobriety court.” In this article, we’re going to do a very brief overview of Michigan sobriety court programs and what they’re all about. At the most basic level, they are intensive treatment programs, run in certain courts, by specially designated Judges. The very term “sobriety court” reflects the underlying goal of these programs, which is to help someone charged with a repeat offense DUI quit drinking and get sober.

dude-300x272Michigan launched its sobriety court program as part of a 2011 initiative. At the time, the program was authorized for 3 years, in a handful of courts, but it worked so well that it has since been been made permanent and expanded all over the state. Although they are all authorized under one law, each program is unique to the court that runs it, meaning there are differences from one place to another. Some are of longer duration than others, and even though they are all “intense,” each has its own set of requirements, with some being more demanding than others.

In fact, sobriety courts have proven themselves to be a great tool for people who want the help they offer. Here, I must admit that when the sobriety court idea was first announced, I was skeptical. As a Michigan DUI and driver’s license restoration lawyer, I spend pretty much all day, every day, dealing with alcohol-related driving issues. Although I thought the intention behind the idea was good, I wondered if these programs could produce any meaningful results. It’s not like I was “against” sobriety courts, but rather I just feared that that they’d come up short.

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