Every one of my driver’s license restoration and clearance cases formally begins with a first meeting in my office. This meeting is a big deal; not only does it last at least 3 hours, but it serves several very significant purposes, and really is the foundation for how and why I guarantee to win every driver’s license appeal I take. This article will be the first in a loose (kind of every 2nd or 3rd article) series about the license restoration process, the required evidence and legal issues involved, and how I do things in my office. To keep things simple, I will, for the most part, write to and for the reader him or herself, and use the more informal “you,” rather than the endlessly confusing “he or she” and “him or her.” Our first meeting takes place by appointment, and that appointment is made after we’ve screened you to make sure you are both legally and practically eligible to file, and, more importantly, win, a license reinstatement case.
It’s probably easiest to explain the importance and various functions of our first meeting by examining it from beginning to end – from first handshake to last. Although the meeting itself will proceed identically, all of my clients fall into either 1 of 2 categories: Michigan residents who will have their driver’s license restored, or out of state residents who will get a clearance of the Michigan Secretary of State’s “hold” on their driving record so they can get a license in another state. Many of my clients come from out of state, and when they do, we schedule them to meet with me first, and then leave my office and go directly to the evaluator’s for their substance use evaluation (usually, but incorrectly, called a “substance abuse evaluation”) so that it can be a “one and done” trip back to Michigan. Whichever your situation, once you arrive at my office, your journey to driving again gets underway.
When your make your appointment, you’ll be asked to bring some documents. These include a current driving record (if you haven’t already sent it to me for review) and anything related to any prior license appeals you’ve tried. Of course, it’s better to just bring everything you think might be relevant, like awards, certificates, and diplomas (and, if you attended AA meetings, sign-in sheets, although AA is absolutely NOT required to win your license back). Before I go any further, I should point out that, although AA is not necessary to win a license appeal, genuine sobriety is an absolute requirement to win your license case, and a non-negotiable pre-condition for me to undertake representation. I am absolutely, 100-percent NOT interested in any case where a person hasn’t honestly quit drinking and thinks he or she can say what I want them to say, or need them to say. I want each of my clients to be telling the truth about getting sober, in no small part because the real meat and potatoes of a license restoration case is all about proving that sobriety.