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This blog is THE biggest and best source of real-world information about Michigan criminal, DUI and driver’s license restoration cases. In its 13 years online, I have written and published over 1300 articles here. For most of that time, I have put up 2 new articles every week, on Mondays and Fridays. Starting now, and at least for a while, however, that will change. For the time being will only be putting up 1 installment per week. I might even have to skip a week here or there, at least temporarily Here’s why:

Criminal, DUI and driver's license restoration blog schedule changeOur firm is in the midst of readying our new website to go live. My team and I very excited for its upcoming debut. While everything on our current site is legally accurate, the way people consume information has changed over the years. When it first went online, we were in a minority of lawyers to even have a website. Nowadays, people want to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly. Launching our new and improved site will make it easier for people to do just that.

Over time, the people have moved from using desktops to laptops, and now, to mobile devices. When our current site launched, the iPhone was a novelty. In the intervening years, mobile devices have become the norm. Today, over 75% of our online visitors use a phone or tablet to get to us. We need this update to improve the user’s experience. Our site needs to be easier to navigate, and the content needs to be broken down into much smaller chunks.

I bet you just can’t wait for another Christmas wish, right? Well, let’s get that out of the way first: Merry Christmas. And Happy Hanukkah, as well. We celebrate both holidays at my house. When you celebrate, don’t over-indulge. Most of my DUI cases happen by accident. No one plans on getting pulled over for drunk driving, but somehow, it happens. Plan specifically to NOT let this happen to you. Uber is everywhere, and whatever inconvenience you might have to endure to stay somewhere or get a ride home, it will be thousands of time worse if you get popped for a drunk driving offense.

Beautiful-White-Christmas-Tree-Artificial-Christmas-Trees-Idea.jpgTo anyone who is planning an appeal to win back a Michigan driver’ license, or to remove a Michigan hold on their driving record, know that you must be genuinely sober to start the process with any chance of success. If you are, then you have a much deeper understanding of what it means to celebrate the season. You also almost certainly have more to celebrate. Sobriety is a gift that can be tested at this time of year. No matter what, remember that it has never worked out for anyone to go back and try to drink moderately. Never. It won’t work for you, either, but all the trouble you remember will be back in your lap in no time. If you even have to think about controlling or limiting your drinking, that alone proves you’re not a normal drinker. Just don’t pick up.

Criminal charges
sometimes seem to come out of the blue at this time of year. From drug possession, including possession of marijuana, and embezzlement charges, all the way to indecent exposure offenses, sometimes people just act out because the holidays can be every bit as stressful as they can be fun. So you get it; take care of yourself, and if you need help, my office is here to do just that. Now, in the true spirit of the season, let’s chuckle at a good Christmas joke…
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As a Michigan driver’s license restoration and DUI lawyer, I believe that I am without equal in the volume and quality of information I put up on this blog. In addition, I have a pretty good website, and a new one is in the works and should launch in the next couple of months. As the previous article about my first 3-hour meeting with a new driver’s license restoration client makes clear, there are simply no shortcuts to doing things right, and while my website is good, it is this blog where my various sections on criminal law, driver’s license restoration, DUI, indecent exposure, and probation really examine these subjects in exacting detail. In this article, I want to explain to the reader how much this blog reflects my ideas, methods, passion, and voice.

Stop Important.jpgAs usual, there is an inspiration for all of this. Lately, my email has been filling up with offers from all kinds of outside writers to contribute an article to my blog, along with all kinds of cross-link schemes and ways to advertise, host advertising, and otherwise, supposedly, make money. To be 100% clear, for now and forever, I am not interested. I have written every single word on this blog. Every idea here is mine. Everything that is right about this blog comes from me, and any and everything else is mine, as well. I write the kind of articles I want to read. When my web company first suggested a blog, I was completely turned off, because most of the legal blogs I had seen involved the “writer” taking some old news story and rephrasing it and commenting upon it. I saw nothing instructive or useful in that. I took up the idea to do this blog with the intention to write in my own style, explain how I do things and, to the extent possible, how the law works in the real world, particularly in criminal, driver’s license restoration and DUI cases.

In fact, and precisely because I write everything that goes up here, the reader can rather accurately pick up on my “voice” within my numerous writings. Without ever having to even think about it, there is undoubtedly a consistency throughout my articles, because I wrote them all. Why in the world would I ever have someone else write a “guest” article, unless it was a Judge or a hearing officer writing about his or her experience deciding the kinds of cases I handle? And of course, that couldn’t happen for rather obvious reasons. My goal has always been to answer the most common questions people ask, and to explain how and why things work the way they do. As far as I have seen, no one has come close to doing that anywhere near as well as I have. Yet for as “proud” as that may sound, there is a larger, self-serving interest at play here, as well…
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Every Memorial Day, I skip writing about all the legal stuff and try to take a moment to thank all of the brave men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. We certainly pay a lot of lip service to this idea, but as I was thinking about what to write, it struck me that the very name of the holiday, Memorial Day, means to memorialize, or remember, those who died in service, and to thank those who survived for their service. Memory and memorial are parts of the same thing: remembering. However you do it, take a few minutes to think about our veterans, and those who are protecting us right now. We owe these people a lot.

It is a sacrifice – and a profound risk – to be in the military. From the most experienced combat veteran to the person whose supportive role is off, or even away from the battlefield, being in the military is the ultimate generous gift to your country. What these people get in return is a million times less than the sacrifice and risk they undertake. We can never thank them enough, and our efforts to do so will inevitably fall pitifully short of the mark. At least there seems to be bi-partisan political agreement on that score, although it is shameful that, whatever needs to be done hasn’t been done yet, because we are now learning more about problems with the VA and the failures of the care provided to our veterans.

TY 1.2.jpgI love our country. I love the fact that I can argue politics, and disagree with what our elected officials do and say. Yet none of that would be possible without the security provided by our armed forces. When all the talk turns to action, those of use who do nothing more than talk are humbled by the brave actions of those who actually wear the uniforms. And all the talk and thanks in the world can’t make up for a lost limb, or, worse yet, a lost life. Have you ever stopped to think about the numbers of military lives lost in our various conflicts? While each one is precious, and represents someone’s son or daughter, or husband or wife, and maybe even mother or father, the sheer number of people who die in the cause of our country each year should reinforce the courage it takes to be in the service.

This short article is presented to explain why my blog has gone “silent” these last few weeks. Having maintained a publication schedule of 2 articles per week for the last several years, I have been noticeably absent of late, and haven’t put anything up on this blog. Normally, on Memorial Day, I write a short piece of gratitude for those who have served our country, but this time, my thoughts have turned more inward. Still, I think it is important that we not forget the sacrifice made by our wonderful service people here and abroad, past and present:

Thank you all and God bless you for your service.

Rose 1.3.jpgSince around the end of February, my attention has been required to care for my ailing father. As an only child, and with my dad having turned 90 in August of 2012, the demands on my time have virtually exploded since about February of this year (2013).

My dad died on May 23, 2013. He was a veteran, having served in the army. He was proud of the service he gave to our country, and I am proud of him. Because of the Memorial holiday, he was laid to rest on May 29, 2013.

While I am sad beyond words, I was at least able to be with him when he passed. I had prayed for that opportunity, and was lucky enough to have had the honor and satisfaction of having held each of my parents when they passed away. No one wants to see their parents die, but when that inevitability approaches, to know that they had the best comfort and companionship you can provide is reassuring.

My day-to-day world involves working on Detroit area DUI cases, winning Michigan license restoration appeals, and successfully handling the rather specialized criminal cases in which I concentrate, including embezzlement, indecent exposure, marijuana and suspended license charges. My practice is rather similar to my family life, in a strange kind of way. While some lawyers will handle a much wider spectrum of cases than me, I have chosen to keep the number of things I do to just a few. In my own family, I have no siblings, and my wife and I have just one child. In my practice, I focus on just a few things so that I can do them with an unparalleled expertise. My family, like my practice is small and intimate.

Losing my dad did not come as a surprise, or a shock, but it still hurts. I’ve always been very close to my parents, and as they got older, my role shifted to being more the parent than the child. When my mom died in 2008, my dad was already 86 years old. In the last few years, I’ve been in even closer contact with him, often seeing him daily and calling him on the phone to speak with him multiple times everyday, and handling doctors and medication and what seemed at the time like a million other things.
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It’s Memorial Day. Each year, I take a break from my usual publication schedule of two articles per week and put up a short expression gratitude for the sacrifice and service that our men and women in uniform make on our collective behalf.

This year, we find many of our military personnel in Afghanistan. It is dangerous and deadly there. Memorial Day is a special day reserved for special people. And these special people risk life and limb to keep us safe. Throughout the history of our country, many of our service people have died in combat. Loads more have been wounded, and all of them put themselves at risk, and in harm’s way for us.

Flag 2.2.jpgI’m sure every reader would agree that we owe a deep, collective “thank you” to everyone who has served or is serving in our armed forces. From the oldest Veteran, to the youngest enlistee, to all our Reservists, and everyone who has given their life while in service, thank you for your courage and your sacrifice.

Within the numerous articles of this blog, I have tried to write about real issues and provide real insight into the kinds of cases and concerns that real people encounter in the real world. In a manner of speaking, I try to “keep it real.” Humorous word use aside, it has always been my goal to write about those things that are relevant in readers’ lives. On top of that, having just finished a 7-part, very detailed series about the Steps in a Detroit-Area DUI case, I was looking for a subject that would allow me to write a shorter article.

Inspiration hit when I was speaking with Ann, my Senior Assistant. As we were going over the morning’s emails and phone calls, she rather causally observed that we had received our usual load of emails that express the writer’s interest in hiring my Representation, yet conclude with the sender asking me to call them, as well as the usual number of inquiries from people who have unresolved issues left behind from a case for which I was NOT their Lawyer. Most of the time, the person indicates that their former Lawyer didn’t do or explain something well enough, and other times, the person admits having tried to “play Lawyer” by representing themselves.

SadFace.2.jpgThis article will address why I NEVER get involved with another Lawyer’s work, especially after the fact, and why I almost NEVER take on any post-Sentencing or Appellate-type work. I will also explain why I think almost anyone who takes the time to email me, then asks for me to call them, is a “time waster.”

First, the “time wasters.” While there are numerous situations in which a person might drop me an email inquiring about something or other, particularly in the context of Driver’s License Restoration cases, anyone serious about moving forward in a case will note my business hours and call my Office. It is simply far more convenient for a person to call my Office during regular business hours than it is for my Office to try and manage a call to someone during the hours they provide. Thus, instead of a person providing a phone number and indicating that are available between certain hours, it just makes more sense for them to call my Office during those times.

Add to this that, over the years, we have found that those same emails very often result in our leaving a message anyway. Look, if you’re serious about wanting to talk to us, then call. Why ask us to call you? I don’t email my Dentist’s Office after hours and ask them to call me to set up and appointment. I just call and make one.

Lately, when people leave such emails, we’ll simply respond by telling them that we’re open M-F, from 8:30 to 5, and can be reached at 586-228-6523.
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To the unwitting consumer, the word “free” suggests, as it’s supposed to, “something for nothing.” Yet it is a basic high-school concept, often overlooked by those thinking they’re about to get some kind of “deal,” or even “freebie,” that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

In the Legal world, this most often arises when Lawyers offer a “free consultation.” While the consultation is, of course, “free,” anyone getting it needs to remember that there is no such thing as a “free lunch.”

Slickster2.jpgThis article will draw back the curtain on the ever-present use of that marketing tool by so many Lawyers. And if the reader is thinking I’m going to describe myself as a shining exception to that….you’re right!

In the interest of fairness, I should point out that I have and will always offer a “free consultation” of sorts. By “of sorts,” I specifically mean that I will do a consultation by phone, but do not make Office appointments and drag someone in on the pretense that I want to use a precious time slot just to answer their questions. Think about it for a moment; how does it advance any Lawyer’s interest to line up people for “free” Office visits with no expectation of actually being hired? Where is the money going to come from to keep that Office open and pay the staff? It is, instead, the opportunity to turn that “free consultation” into a paid retainer that’s really going on, not some kind hearted, altruistic opportunity to provide a cozy environment just to answer someone’s questions with no hope or chance of eventually being hired, and paid.

The fact is, a “free consultation,” whether it’s my free phone consultation or anyone else’s free Office consultation, is an opportunity to meet a potential new Client (meaning paying customer). Certainly, no Lawyer intends a free consultation to be time spent with someone who has no intention of hiring them. I’ll be honest about that here; the last thing I have time to do is use up an appointment slot to answer questions and explain stuff to someone looking just for free Legal advice. Yet any number of people will admit and say, right up front, that they have another Lawyer and just want t know if he or she is on the right track, or they have no money and can’t afford a Lawyer, or give some other indication that they have no ability or intention to become a Client. How many of those do you think I can carry and still pay my bills? I wonder, would these same people call up a plastic surgeon, make an appointment for a “free consultation,” and go in, only to explain that they’re not interested in any of the services the surgeon provides, but rather want to know what he or she thinks is the best product they an buy over-the-counter to eliminate the lines around theie eyes, or reduce the appearance of wrinkles?

Thus, the “free consultation,” at least to the Lawyer, means an opportunity to interact with someone who needs and is interested in hiring an Attorney. So what, you ask, is my beef with this tactic?
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In my last blog post, I took a detour and wrote about my recent medical experience. Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, my Office remains up and running, and I am essentially “back in the saddle” again.

Normally, I take the last 2 weeks of the year off, anyway. This really amounts to little more than me thinking I’m on some kind of vacation while I work from home. I take and return calls as needed, reschedule Court dates until after vacation…

Get to Work2.jpgSome things never change…

This article will be a major deviation from anything else on my blog. On Thursday, December 8, 2011 (yes, I do publish ahead), my heart was stopped during major, emergency open- heart surgery, occasioned by a torn aorta (technically called a “dissected aorta”), most likely the result of very heavy duty weightlifting, my favorite sport and hobby, or at least formerly so. My body was taken down to about 35 to 40 degrees; all my blood was removed and stored separately while a cold saline solution was circulated through my system to keep it at that near-freezing temperature. During those several hours, all brain activity had ceased as the surgeons worked on my heart. I was, quite literally, dead, for a time. Rushed to the Hospital and facing imminent death, I had no alternative but to undergo to this procedure. The scariest part of the whole deal was that there was about a 10% chance that I would be unable to be revived. In other words, I would simply remain dead. While the odds for my survival were, statistically speaking, favorable, I was wheeled into pre-op knowing that I might never again see anyone whom I loved. I might never see my 14-year old daughter again. I might never see my wife again, either. 10% seems like a pretty high number when it applies to your life.

I was terrified.

2nd Chance.jpgI cried, and I begged God to let me come back. This article will not be a religious piece in any way, beyond my observing that I am convinced that my faith in God is, was, and will be important in my recovery. Others in my situation may have a very different belief system, or even no belief system to speak of, and our post surgical experiences would nevertheless be the same. This is not about how or why I came back, but rather about what to do with what can only be described as a true “second chance.”

In all likelihood, this is not the article the reader came here for. Please read this one, anyway. The License Restoration and DUI stuff can be found in the “Topics” Section on the right. It’s not going anywhere.

Imagine, for a moment, those people whose death would affect the most profound loss in your life.

Next, imagine that you were called and told by a distant hospital to expect the death of one of them imminently. Too soon, in fact, for you get anywhere close enough to see them and say goodbye. You are, instead, informed that you will be called shortly, once they have passed. You are told to stand by the phone.

In due course your phone rings, and you pick up to hear the dreaded news…
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