How much should you pay for a license restoration lawyer? Obviously, it should be no more than you have to, but it should be at least enough to win your case. The problem with this question is that cost is one of the least useful ways to find and hire a lawyer. This is especially true in license appeal cases. Unfortunately, it is also true that one of the most common questions my team and I get asked is, “How much do you charge?”
The most important element of this whole discussion is value. Value means what you get for your money. In a license appeal case, it means winning back the ability to drive again, legally. Let’s be very clear on this point – NOTHING else matters besides winning. There is no value in a free lawyer who loses, any more than there is any value in the most expensive lawyer who doesn’t win, either. In other kinds of cases, a person pays legal fees for the lawyer’s best efforts. The hope is that the attorney’s experience and skill will produce the desired result. That doesn’t apply to license appeal cases.
At least not with our firm. We guarantee to win every first time restoration license appeal and clearance appeal case we take. In all other kinds of cases, it is understood that there can be no guarantees. What this means, then, is that the primary consideration when hiring a lawyer for a license appeal should be a guaranteed win. In that context, the only calculation that really matters is NOT having paid too much to get one’s license back.
Yet for as much sense as this may make, some people will always look for a “deal.” The fact, however, is that there is no benefit from saving a few bucks on a lawyer, and then losing your license appeal. Of course, there is no shortage of lawyers who compete with each other on price. That, however, is nothing more than a race to the bottom. For everything there is to the whole subject of legal fess and the question of how much should you pay for a driver’s license restoration lawyer, there are 2 competing things you can take to the bank:
1. You will NEVER get what you don’t pay for. There is no such thing as premium legal services for a bargain price.
2. You can EASILY pay too much. It is a simple fact that many lawyers charge premium fees for nothing more than average legal services.
There is an easy way to navigate through this: Look for a guarantee. Whatever some lawyer charges for a license appeal, the lack of a guarantee is really a deal-breaker. My team and I know exactly what to do to win every case we take. That’s why we’re confident enough to guarantee our work. We understand that the proper way to handle a license restoration case specifically means NOT cutting corners. Taking shortcuts, though, is exactly what happens when people being to cut prices.
The best answer to the question of how much you should pay for a license restoration lawyer is enough to get a guarantee. No guarantee, no way….
Doing it right means investing a certain minimum amount of effort into a driver’s license appeal case. Although our firm has no interest in “competing” with any other lawyer or law firm, we have NO competition when it comes to being transparent about cost or the winning results we produce.
We publish our prices online. We always have.
In fact, it can be frustrating, at least to a point, when someone asks “How much do you charge?” It’s right there above, in the Fees section. Our pricing is fair. We never try and “size up” a potential client to see what he or she is willing and/or able to pay. Instead, we list our charges so that a person can find out what they’ll have to pay without having to ask.
This sounds great, but it might lead someone to ask, “so what’s the catch?”
The catch is that we ONLY take cases for people who are genuinely sober. Underlying our guarantee to win every license appeal we take is the requirement that a person have honestly quit drinking. This is a non-negotiable point, both with our firm and the Michigan Secretary of State.
In Michigan, anyone who has his or her license revoked for multiple DUI’s is categorized as a “habitual alcohol offender.” A consequence of that categorization is that any such person is presumed, by law, to have a drinking problem. That is the starting point for every license appeal.
In order to win his or her case, a person must prove, by what the law specifies as “clear and convincing evidence,” 2 key things:
First, that his or her alcohol (and/or substance abuse) problem is “under control.” Doing that requires demonstrating that the person has been completely abstinent from alcohol (and drugs) for a “legally sufficient” period of time. The precise amount necessary varies from case to case. Generally speaking, though our firm will generally never move forward with a license appeal until a person had been totally clean for at least 18 months.
Second, that his or her alcohol (and/or substance abuse) problem is “likely to remain under control.” Essentially, this requires the person to show that he or she is a safe bet to never drink again. Put another way, a person must demonstrate both the ability and commitment to remain alcohol (and drug) free for life.
To be clear, “drug free” includes not using recreational marijuana. Few things can derail a license appeal faster than the use of recreational pot.
All this means that a person must be sober, as in clean and sober. This is NOT about simply saying one doesn’t drink (or smoke weed). Instead, it’s about our firm only taking cases for people who simply had enough, and then honestly did quit drinking.
That decision is huge, and its impact to a person’s life is transformative.
Although I don’t check other lawyer’s prices, I’m sure the reader can find some that are lower than ours. However, it is impossible to find any office as transparent about how they do things. We not only list our prices, but we guarantee to win our license appeal cases. On top of that, our firm is clear that we require genuine sobriety before we’ll take a case. Nobody else writes about sobriety like we do, much less publishes their price, in addition to guaranteeing a win.
That brings us right back to the idea of “value.” There is no value in paying a lawyer for a license appeal and losing. The biggest discount in the world is no kind of deal if it doesn’t get your license back.
On the flip side, though, simply paying a lot is just as meaningless. Whatever the cost, handing over money to a lawyer without a guarantee is nothing more than gambling.
Here again, we return to the question: How much should you pay for a license restoration lawyer? The answer is the same – no more than you have to, but at least enough to win. As noted above, there are no shortcuts to doing a proper job in a license appeal. This especially true when a win is guaranteed.
My team and I pour our hearts and souls into our work. We meet with each client before he or she ever goes for the required substance abuse evaluation. Our goal is both to prepare him or her for it, and to provide the evaluator with information necessary to properly complete it. In order to accomplish that, we complete a form of our own creation called a “Substance Abuse Evaluation Checklist.” In addition, we also provide the evaluator with a marked-up copy of the client’s driving record, along with any other necessary documentation or information.
On top of that, each client is given a template to use as an example for the letters of support. When we meet, we’ll go over what the letters should (and should not) contain. Then, we instruct the client to get his or her letters written, and send them back to us, in draft form, for editing.
Over 99% of all the letters we get back need substantial work. After we’ve done our editing, they’re sent back to the client for revision. When returned, they are checked again. Ultimately, each document must be re-checked and then cross-checked with every other.
Remember, our firm has a guarantee on the line. If we ever DON’T win, we’re obligated to stick with a case, without further legal fees, until it does. The last thing my team and I ever want is to have to re-do a license appeal case all over again, for free, because we missed something. That’s double the work for half the pay.
For that reason alone, our guarantee makes us as invested as our clients in their success. That’s value.
We’ll conclude as we began, with the question, “how much should you pay for a license restoration lawyer?” And we’ll repeat the same answer, as well: No more than you have to, but at least enough to win your case. And, I’d add, make sure that win is guaranteed.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to win back your driver’s license or clear a Michigan hold on your driving record so that you can get a license in another state, be a savvy consumer and read around. Pay attention to how different lawyers analyze all aspects of the license appeal process (including price). Also, note how they explain their various approaches to it.
This blog is a great place to start. It is fully searchable, and updated with 2 new installments each week. The driver’s license restoration section alone has over 660 articles to-date. You can find more useful information here than any and everywhere else combined.
When you’ve done enough reading, start checking around. You can learn a lot by speaking with a live person. Our firm can handle your case no matter where you live.
All of our consultations are free, confidential, and done over the phone, right when you call. My team and I are very friendly people who will be glad to answer your questions and explain things. We will even be happy to compare notes with anything some other lawyer has told you.
We can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m until 5:00 p.m. (EST) at either 248-986-9700, or 586-465-1980.