I am the original Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer. Over the last several years, more and more “McLicense” lawyers have popped up, trying to market themselves in this field by doing things like using some version of the words “driver’s license restoration” or “driver’s license restoration lawyer” in their website names to hawk their services on google ads. And while these tactics might have some value, the fact is that I was winning license appeals nearly 30 years ago, and was writing blog articles about how I do that more than 10 years ago, before many of these attorneys were even admitted to the bar, or had ever handled their first Secretary of State case.
I’ve had a guarantee to win every case I take longer than most of these websites has been around. Beyond me, there is a very small circle of bona-fide license appeal lawyers scattered across the state, all of whom have been practicing for 20 years or more. Any one of us in this little group has forgotten more than all these Johnny-come-lately, copy-cat operations will ever know about license restorations. Although these newbies try and make it look like license reinstatement issues are the focus of their practice, as I noted, there are rather few of us who truly concentrate in this field. Unlike most of my other “informational” articles, this one will be a piece of shameless self-promotion, so hold on…
I am uniquely qualified to help you win your driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal because beyond just being a lawyer, I also have a formal, university post-graduate background in addiction studies. This clinical training enables me to really understand the various processes of recovery, and that, in turn, enables me to present my cases so that I can guarantee to win every one I take. For example, the majority of my clients are NOT in AA, and many have never even been to a single meeting, but that couldn’t matter less, because they all do win. It kills me that some lawyers actually misinform people they need to go to AA in order to win their license back…
Not only is that wrong, but it shows a profound lack of understanding about the whole license appeal process, and how the Michigan Secretary of State hearing officers evaluate the evidence in driver’s license restoration and clearance cases. The idea that someone who managed to get and stay sober without AA would start going again just to “look good” is not only misguided but also as phony as can be. Moreover, AA is NOT necessary to win a license appeal.
Sure, in the distant past, recovery from an alcohol problem was primarily achieved through a combination of AA and counseling. That may have been how things were done “back in the day,” but a LOT has changed in the last 30 years.
To be sure, AA is a great program, but research has shown that it’s not a good fit for most people. Modern therapists can now draw from a broad panorama of treatment protocols, and one of the more important underlying goals when evaluating them is to find the specific kind of treatment that “works” for any particular person. What may be right for one person may not for another, and vice-versa.
While it’s unfortunate that the less informed are stuck in the past and don’t know better, the truth is that we are decades beyond the “one-size-fits-all” approach of AA and such.
A good driver’s license restoration lawyer should understand the history of recovery methods, back from the time when AA was the only game in town, to now, where there are more and better options for many people. I think it’s important to comprehend how current science either validates or refutes any particular recovery process.
I certainly do, and not just from a legal point of view, but also from the clinical perspective, as well.
For me, being a real “driver’s license restoration lawyer” means keeping up with the clinical developments in, and realities of, recovery. I didn’t complete that post-grad program of addiction studies because I was bored, or wanted a side job as a substance abuse counselor; I did it so that I could be an effective and informed advocate for my clients in license restoration cases.
I can argue recovery methods most of these “McLicense” lawyers have never even heard about, and this is the kind of stuff that can make the difference between winning your case or not.
My clinical expertise enables me to explain how someone who got sober or managed to stay sober without AA is NOT any kind of a rarity or risk. When I’m in court on a DUI case, or in a license hearing, how can I effectively advocate for my client if I’m not the foremost expert in the room regarding alcohol problems, especially when it comes to their development, diagnosis, and ultimately, treatment?
As a license restoration attorney, I have to be able to argue the efficacy of all kinds of ways people manage to quit drinking, from things like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), plain old individual or group therapy, and even things like spontaneous recovery.
It’s precisely because they don’t know what any of this stuff is, or how it works, that some lawyers are still stuck in AA-land, circa 1990.
Even though it’s not common, all kinds of diseases, like cancer, do, sometimes, just “go away,” or spontaneously remit. This can also happen with drinking problems, and when it does, it’s called “spontaneous remission.” This, however, isn’t the kind of theory a lawyer would generally advance in a license appeal without the right kind of clinical training.
On another front, I’m well aware of the fact that almost every lawyer out there who “does” license appeals uses my blog as a learning resource. That’s fine, and a compliment of the highest order, really.
Still, it’s almost a certainty that if you talk with some other lawyer about a driver’s license restoration or clearance case, he or she has searched for answers about license appeal issues on this blog. Look around and try and find anything like it. You won’t. For everything I could say, just check for yourself.
Having published over 460 driver’s license restoration articles as of this writing, it’s fair to say that I’ve written more articles than the number of actual cases almost all of those lawyers will handle in a decade, if not their entire careers.
In terms of actual cases – I handle (and win) an order of magnitude more than they’ll ever see.
This is something worth bragging about. If the reader is looking for a lawyer to win his or her license back, you should ask any lawyer you’re considering, “how many driver’s license restoration cases have you handled?” Whatever else, don’t accept a slippery answer without a good, high number.
If I was asked that question, my answer would be something like, “Several thousand, and I’ve probably won more than a thousand license cases in the last 5 or 6 years alone.”
You won’t find anyone who can compare to that, period.
In fact, you won’t hear any kind of definite, high number from any of the new, “McLicense” operations. Instead, you’d probably get some kind of duck-the-question response that avoids giving a number altogether. You see this when a politician gets asked if he or she is in favor of or opposed to something that can affect his or her reelection; instead of answering the question, he or she does a good job of talking around it.
I won’t. The week before this article was published, I had 8 license appeal hearings. My office handles over 200 of these cases a year. We eat, sleep and drink license restoration issues.
And I guarantee to win every license restoration or clearance appeal I take.
But I don’t take anywhere near all the cases that come my way.
I am honest and play by the rules. I won’t represent someone unless he or she has honestly quit drinking. I’m good because I know what to do, and a key part of that is to NOT take cases for people who aren’t going to win. I don’t cheat, and I won’t take on someone who won’t be truthful.
Sobriety is the meat and potatoes of every license appeal case, and we screen carefully to make sure any potential client is genuinely sober.
This next part is very important: it may sound somewhat boastful, but the truth is that I am busy enough that I don’t have to take every case that comes my way. I like a steady stream of good clients. I worked long and hard to get here, but I now have the luxury of turning away any case that won’t fly;
– Most lawyers don’t.
I spend almost all day, every day, dealing with driver’s license issues;
– Most lawyer’s don’t.
This is why I have a guarantee;
– Most lawyers don’t.
A lawyer either makes license restoration and clearance cases the focus of his or her practice, or not. Most of these new “McLicense” operations (can you tell I like this term?) try to appeal that they handle license restoration appeals full time, but they don’t.
Some lawyers even have other websites with strategic names referencing various areas of criminal or other law, all there to make it look like they “specialize” in some particular field.
Heck, my website name (macombduidfense.com) doesn’t even mention license restorations, but between it and this blog, you will find more real information than you can find on any and every other site, combined.
One of my signature lines has always been that you should check out your options. Note that at no point in this article did I so much as hint that anyone looking for a driver’s license restoration lawyer should NOT do that. When I’m hired, I want it to be because someone did, in fact, look around, and determined that I was the best choice. If anything, I want the reader to shop around, and compare me to any and every other lawyer doing license appeals.
The takeaway from this article is simple: I’m the big dog, and a lot of little pups have been yipping and yapping in my yard lately. I just needed to let out one big woof to make sure everyone knows who’s still the boss.
If you need to win back your driver’s license or need to obtain the clearance of a Michigan hold on your driving record, be a good consumer and read around. Then, call around. All of my consultations are confidential and done over the phone, right when you call. My team and I are really 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 586-465-1980.