In many of the driver’s license restoration articles on this blog, I talk about my staff, often mentioning that they are by far the friendliest and most helpful people you will find no matter how many offices you call. Ann, my senior assistant and Ashlee, my paralegal, are the front line people who pick up the phones and answer the questions we hear everyday. I may be the driver’s license restoration lawyer in my office, but Ann and Ashlee are, without a doubt, the directors of first impressions and most responsible for everyone feeling good after calling my office. Having seen every aspect of license appeals from just about every possible angle, they not only know what they’re talking about, but they also pick up on what people are most often concerned about. They see patterns. The article that starts below this paragraph, about when to start thinking about and preparing to get your license back, was written by Ann, my senior assistant, and is based upon the patterns she sees in the endless stream of people we help get back on the road. Here’s Ann’s take on the subject:
When your license has been revoked for two or more alcohol driving convictions, the Michigan Secretary of State provides a specific date that you become eligible to file a driver’s license restoration appeal to try and win your license back. With all of the questions I field and situations I see, one of the first things I wonder when I speak to someone is “Why are you waiting so long before contacting an attorney to see what it will take to get it back?”
People will often call the office and ask “I haven’t had a license in years, so what do I need to do to get my license back because I need it right now?” Many of these callers haven’t had a license for a very long time. They have no idea what to do or how to go about doing it. Because most people have their license revoked after a second DUI, it is important to know what you should be doing immediately after you have been convicted of your last OWI. This will allow you to make productive use of your time while waiting to be eligible to regain your driving privileges back through a driver’s license restoration appeal. It is never a good idea to wait right until you are eligible to find out what you need to do, or, worse yet, what you should have done over the last year or two. Waiting till then will only hold you back from being ready to move forward more quickly, once you do become eligible. It is a good idea to understand what’s involved in and the process required to win a driver’s license appeal if you wish to avoid frustrations and failures down the road. In this sense, the sooner you know, the better off you are all the way around. Here’s why…
No matter how long you’ve waited, even if it’s been decades, you just can’t “get” your license back. You must file a successful license appeal and then win your case. Having the ability to drive again takes work, time and planning. There is no downside to getting all your ducks in a row and being really prepared to move forward. This is what produces the best outcome. Knowledge, as they say, is power, and that’s a wonderful thing. But using that knowledge to plan wisely is the real key to success when it comes to winning back your license. I guess you could compare it to buying a home. You just don’t wake up one day and say, “I want a house. I haven’t had one in years.” Nice as that would be, it doesn’t work that way. You have to have money and most people have to plan and save for the down payment and also make sure they have a steady income to be able to continue to pay the mortgage thereafter. Similarly, in drivers’ license appeals, if you want to have your driving privileges back and be able to keep them, you most likely have to save some money to obtain your substance use evaluation and money for retaining an attorney to help with the process. More important, you need to take the time to find the right attorney who knows what’s necessary for a successful appeal based on your situation.
This is where no other office surpasses ours. We identify, examine, plan and prepare each client for every step in the driver’s license appeal process. What we can’t do is speed up the process because the law and the Secretary of State’s rules dictates when you can appeal and what the requirements must be met when you do. Thousands of appeals every year are filed and with only a handful of hearing officers, it takes quite some time to get a hearing date which is why I recommend not waiting until you are eligible to find out what you need to do, or, if you are eligible, not waiting any longer. Be prepared ahead of time, or find out now what you need to do to appeal. This way, you will be more than ready to go and win your appeal the first time.
So what are you waiting for?
Did you wait till you were 16 to start driver’s training? I bet when you were close to being able to get your license in high school you couldn’t and wouldn’t wait to start driver’s training, right? You wanted to be ready when you turned 16 so you could go to the Secretary of State right away on your birthday to get that driver’s license. What’s different now? Still want your license as soon as possible? Then don’t wait to find out what it takes. Get started and let us be your guide. If there are things that should have been done, things you should be doing, or things you need to do or know now, we can make it happen. Remember, the license appeal process does take some work, it does take some time, but with the guidance from our office, we’ll make sure you have everything you need to be ready sooner, rather than later. We cannot help, however, if you don’t call first. We’re here, standing by, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm, and can be reached at (586) 465-1980.
Here, as the lawyer, I have to puff out and thump my chest a bit: You can’t find another lawyer anywhere with a staff like this! I couldn’t have written a better article despite having written hundreds already. In fact, after reading and setting this article up for publication, I told Ann to please keep writing. This is an angle that I would not have seen from my position in the scheme of things, but it makes perfect sense to me now, as I’m sure it resonates with the reader, as well.
If you’re serious about getting back on the road, pick up the phone and call us to find out what you need to do. As Ann pointed out, sooner is a lot better than later.