Because we guarantee to win every first time Michigan driver’s license restoration and clearance case we take, my office screens potential clients very thoroughly. We’re “tough” because we need to be. Anyone who thinks we’re being too hard will never survive the Michigan Secretary of State’s analysis of their case. Our first priority is to make sure that any client we take can win his or her license appeal, and our guarantee means that we will only take someone’s money when we are sure of that.
By putting our money where our mouths are, we eliminate the risk of anyone taking a “chance” on hiring us to win back his or her license. The deal is that you pay us once, and we get you back on the road, period. I have pointed out before that, although our guarantee is not the industry standard for license restoration cases, it really should be. To me, the lack of a guarantee makes no sense whatsoever, and is like paying the money to a dentist for the “chance” to have your teeth cleaned.
When it comes to a driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal, just like going to the dentist’s office to get your teeth cleaned, a person is essentially purchasing a result. Driver’s license restoration cases are different from other legal matters in terms of likely, predictable, and possible outcomes, and if a lawyer isn’t good enough to know how to screen a driver’s license appeal to make sure a potential client is eligible and otherwise meets the necessary requirements to win, then he or she shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money in the first place.
Not that we’ve ever been so inclined, but our guarantee removes any incentive for us to get greedy and make a mistake by taking a driver’s license restoration case that we can’t make into a winner. On the flip side, it also protects the client from risking his or her money, or otherwise getting ripped off.
The real inspiration for this article came from a recent conversation with Ann, our senior assistant and office manager. She had bees speaking with a caller and was directly asking him the last time he had consumed alcohol, and he was being evasive. She drilled down further with him on that point, and he said to her, “boy, you’re tough.”
Ann responded, “if you think I’m being hard, you’ll never get through the Secretary of State.”
As it turns out, there is a lot of wisdom in those words. It’s not just that we’re tough, however, it’s that we are keenly aware that the WHOLE POINT of the license appeal process is to make sure a person has genuinely given up drinking, and our job is to screen out anyone who doesn’t have what it takes to win.
A person filing a license appeal must prove 2 things, by what the law defines as clear and convincing evidence:
First, that the person’s alcohol and/or substance abuse problems are under control, and,
Second, that the person’s alcohol and/or substance abuse problems are likely to remain under control.
The first requirement translates to a person having to show that he or she has been completely alcohol (and/or drug) free for a “sufficient” period of time.
The second means that he or she must also prove that they have the ability and commitment to remain sober, meaning alcohol (and/or drug) free, for life.
I have examined and explained how all of this plays out in detail within the more than 500-plus driver’s license restoration articles on this blog, so any reader who wants to know more can simply use the link to that section and look around to explore the subject in more depth. My blog even has a search box to help narrow the scope of your inquiry.
For now, its’ most important to simply understand that the Michigan Secretary of State has essentially drawn a hard line in the sand, and that the ONLY people who can win a license appeal are those who can convincingly prove that they haven’t had a drink for a legally “sufficient” period of time (that varies from case to case, but we generally require at least 18 months of sobriety before we’ll file an appeal) AND that they are a safe bet to never drink again.
The state knows that people who don’t drink are exactly zero risk to ever drive drunk, and that, under the law, only proven and committed non-drinkers are the only ones who will ever get a license back.
Accordingly, if we seem tough, it’s only to make sure that a person can meet those minimum requirements.
If not, then there’s no sense moving forward. If so, then, his or her case needs to be made into a winner.
If you think about it, the minimum requirements to play professional basketball are to be able to run, catch, dribble, and shoot the ball. Most people can do those things.
To make it onto a professional team, however, requires proving that you can do those things consistently, and exceptionally well. Thus, meeting “minimum requirements” doesn’t get you on the team, in the same way that meeting the minimum requirements to win a driver’s license restoration appeal won’t get you back behind the wheel (at least legally).
In the context of a driver’s license restoration or clearance case, meeting the minimum requirements of having your alcohol problem under control, and that it’s likely to remain under control is not enough to succeed. Instead, we have to dig deep, and explore the facts of a person’s recovery, and then explain them in a way to convince the hearing officer that the person really is sober, and likely to remain so.
Make no mistake, every person who gets sober does, in fact, have a recovery story.
Nobody decides to quit drinking because it’s working out so well. Instead, people quit when they just can’t take it anymore, and drinking has stopped being fun. By the time anyone decides to “put the plug in the jug,” so to speak, they’ve usually racked up all kinds of problems, including multiple DUI’s and a revoked driver’s license.
The whole process of getting sober involves substantial and sweeping life changes that ultimately results in a person choosing to live a sober lifestyle.
Our job is to get those facts and distill them into the framework of a winning license restoration or clearance appeal. We have to get the most relevant facts to the evaluator, who, in turn, will make sure they are included in the evaluation. We’ll highlight other key points in the letters of support, and then tie it all together in the person’s testimony before the hearing officer.
One thing you can take to the bank, however, is that none of this is possible unless it’s true. Every sober person has a recovery story, but, by contrast, nobody who isn’t genuinely sober does. Thus, when we speak to someone, we want to find out if they really have given up drinking for good.
This is about a lot more than just saying so. As my late mom always used to remind me, “actions speak louder than words,” and every recovery story will be chock-full of things a person has done to ensure his or her continued sobriety (think: sober lifestyle).
My office has NO interest in taking a case for anyone who has not honestly quit drinking. Although we guarantee our work, the reader should understand the economic reality here: we make our money winning these cases the first time around, not having to do everything all over again as “warranty work.”
The last thing either my team or I would ever have any interest in doing is going back in and fighting a second time for someone we didn’t believe in the first time.
In other words, we’ll put our hearts and souls into a case for a person who is genuinely sober, but, we have no heart to lie, and won’t represent some scammer who still drinks. We play fair and honest.
This means we ask direct questions because, as much as we’re in business to make money, we do it the old fashioned way: we earn it, and we do that by being honest. This is why our guarantee protects both sides. It keeps us honest, and it insulates the client from gambling his or her money. You’ll only pay us once to get your license back, and you will get it back.
That’s why we’re tough.
If you are looking to win back your Michigan driver’s license, or you need to clear a Michigan hold on your driving record so that you can get (or renew) a license in another state, do your homework. Be a good consumer and read around. Examine how lawyers explain things, and how they explain themselves.
When you’ve done enough of that, start checking around. All of our consultation s 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 can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST) at 248-986-9700 or 586-465-1980.