For all the things one must do to begin a Michigan license restoration appeal, our firm makes it super convenient. Perhaps the one good thing to come out of the Covid pandemic is that a whole lot of things can now be done remotely (virtually), including license appeals. As of this writing, the Michigan Secretary of State is conducting ALL driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal hearings virtually, and not in-person. Fortunately, our firm can handle everything we need to do the same way, as well.
As it turns out, our driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal clients can, with 1 single exception, go through the entire process from the comfort of their homes. This includes undergoing the required Substance Use Evaluation (SUE). The exception, understandably, is that they must physically go to a place where they can provide a urine sample. A urinalysis is mandated by law, and the results must be filed with the other paperwork necessary to begin a license appeal case. Most people can easily find a lab or collection center near where they live.
None of this was possible just a few short years ago. Before Covid, our firm used to require all of our clients to meet with us in person. Then after Covid hit, we had no choice but to handle things virtually. As the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” The whole idea of meeting with a client via computer seemed awkward and strange at first, but we had no choice. Soon enough, though, we became comfortable with it, and, in time, learned how to ensure that our video meetings were every bit as effective as those conducted in-person.
Before I move on, let me clarify one point: Our firm still offers in-office, face-to-face meetings. In addition, any client of ours is always welcome to come to our office for his or her Michigan license restoration appeal hearing. This is true whether all of or any other part of the case was handled remotely. Some people just like to “be with” us when it’s time for their hearing and/or that first meeting, and that’s perfectly fine. As noted, however, the Secretary of State conducts all license restoration appeal and clearance appeal hearings virtually, and has not announced any plans to change that.
However, the fact that a person does not have to go anywhere for any part of his or her license restoration appeal (except to provide a urine sample) is a great option that makes everything easier, and much more convenient.
Of course, this is a huge deal for anyone who lives out-of-state, or anywhere else that’s not particularly close to the Metro-Detroit area, where our offices are located. However, as we’ve learned, it’s also a huge convenience for everyone, including my team and I. In these modern times, convenience rules. Often, though, convenience comes at a cost, either in money, or quality of services. Fortunately, neither is true as far as our license restoration or clearance cases go.
Our firm GUARANTEES to win every Michigan license restoration appeal case (including every out-of-state clearance appeal case) we take. If we represent you, then you’ll only pay us once and you WILL get your license back – guaranteed. As a client, you can’t do better than that.
Except, perhaps, to make doing so as easy as possible. Even someone who doesn’t live that far from our offices can skip having to worry about traffic, commuting time, parking or anything other than just hopping online wherever he or she may be. Although my team and I use computers at our end, plenty of our clients use their phones for all the video interactions with us, the evaluator, and, ultimately, for the actual license appeal hearing.
There is one catch to all of this, however: A person still has to be eligible and otherwise qualified to win a license restoration appeal case. Although the entire process has become virtual, the Michigan Secretary of State still has to follow the rules.
Key among them is the main rule governing license appeals (Rule 13), which requires a person to prove, by what is specified as “clear and convincing evidence,” that he or she has been completely abstinent from alcohol and all drugs (including recreational marijuana) for a legally sufficient period of time. The precise amount will vary from case-to-case, but as a general rule, our firm will never move forward with a case until a person has AT LEAST 18 months of clean time.
In addition, a person must also prove (by “clear and convincing evidence“), that he or she has both the ability and the commitment to remain completely and permanently abstinent from alcohol and all other drugs (again, including recreational marijuana). Put another way, a person must show that he or she is a safe bet to remain totally clean and sober for life.
Proving these things by “clear and convincing evidence” essentially means that in terms of evidence and testimony, a person has to really crush it. In other words, he or she has to basically step up and hit what amounts to a home run.
Here’s why all this matters:
Under Michigan law, any person convicted of 2 DUI’s within 7 years, or 3 within 10 years, is legally categorized as a “habitual alcohol offender.” One of the key consequences of that is that his or her driver’s license gets revoked.
Another, and equally important consequence is that he or she thereby become PRESUMED, BY LAW, to have some kind of alcohol problem. This does not mean a person is any kind of raging alcoholic, but rather that he or she is a demonstrated risk when it comes to drinking and driving.
The rules that govern Michigan license restoration appeal cases are designed to screen everyone who files a case to make sure that only those people who have truly quit drinking for good are put back behind the wheel. It is a given that people who don’t drink are exactly zero risk to ever drive drunk, and that’s precisely who the process is designed to separate from everyone else.
The hearing officers know that loads of people are going to try and say they’ve quit drinking, and that they won’t drink again. Their job is to dig deep and really test a person’s understanding of recover and sobriety, as well as his or her commitment to it.
To make this as easy as possible (at least from the state’s side of things), the law mandates that the hearing officer DENY a license restoration appeal unless the person who files it proves his or her case by that “clear and convincing evidence” standard. This means that there are no close calls. To win a license appeal, a person has to essentially knock it out of the park (yes, another baseball analogy).
Now, post-Covid, it’s fair to say that the way Michigan license restoration appeal cases are handled has evolved. However, the legal requirements for winning are the same as they’ve always been.
Because my team and I guarantee to win every driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal case we take, it is important for us to carefully screen all potential clients to make sure they really have quit drinking. We’ll only take cases we know we can make into winners. The last thing we ever want to do is take a case for someone who is still drinking, using marijuana, or otherwise doesn’t understand recovery and sobriety well enough, and then go ahead and lose.
That would obligate us to do the whole case all over again, without further legal fees. Translated, that means we’d be doing double the work for half the money.
We make sure anyone we take on as a client is genuinely sober. We know what questions to ask, and the hearing officers do, as well. As one of them put it to me during a conversation, “I expect to get lied to.” Make no mistake, the hearing officers are experts at detecting BS, and so are we.
Our firm makes the entire driver’s license restoration appeal process as easy and convenient as possible. As noted, except for providing a urine sample, a person doesn’t even have to leave his or her home.
If you’re looking for a lawyer to win back your driver’s license or obtain the clearance of a Michigan hold on your driving record so that you can get a license in another state, be a wise consumer and read around. Pay attention to how different lawyers break down the license appeal process, and how they explain their various approaches to it.
This blog is a great place to start. It is fully searchable and updated weekly with a new, original article. To-date, I have written and published over 680 articles in the driver’s license restoration section alone. There is simply nothing else like it anywhere, but don’t take my word for it – see for yourself.
When you’ve done enough reading, start checking around. You can learn a lot by actually speaking with a live person, and that’s exactly what you’ll get when you call our office. All of our consultations are free, confidential, and, most convenient of all, 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 NEVER pressure anyone to “sign up” with us, and instead, encourage you to call around and talk to as many law offices as you can. We’ll even be glad to compare notes with anything some other lawyer has told or subsequently tells you.
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.