Circuit Court Restoration of Driving Privileges
Attorneys Dedicated to the Successful Representation of Clients Seeking Restoration of Driving Privileges Through an Appeal to Circuit Court.
Before August 15, 2016, a person who lost an appeal for restoration with the DAAD (Michigan Driver’s Appeal and Assessment Division, formerly the Driver’s License Appeal Division (DLAD)) could only appeal to Circuit Court and argue that the hearing officer abused his or her discretion or that the law did not support the decision. Many people who attempt to appeal on their own, or with an inexperienced lawyer, lose in court. If you lose the appeal at the DLAD and the evidence you present is weak, there is little hope for reversing the DLAD denial on appeal. A reversal of the denial is unlikely under these circumstances because the record at the DLAD hearing was not sufficient to win, and the standard on appeal is an “abuse of discretion.” Abuse of discretion is a very high standard. In other words, an appeal was limited to the evidence admitted at the DAAD hearing, and the appellant could not introduce any evidence in court. Because the appellant could not improve their position with new evidence in the circuit court, the judge was often helpless to order the reinstatement of the driver’s license. A recent amendment to the law changes this entire process and makes the chances of winning on appeal much higher.
Under the August 2016 amendment, a person seeking reinstatement of his or her driver’s license can now admit new evidence in the circuit court. The judge must agree to allow for the introduction of the new evidence. The new evidence can be either testimony or physical evidence like letters, expert opinions, documents, and substance abuse evaluations. Having an experienced and respected lawyer is essential because he or she must know what evidence to introduce and how to persuade the judge to grant driving privileges. An inferior attorney gives the appellant a significant handicap in the effort to provide persuasive and compelling evidence to the judge.
A driver’s license appeal attorney must know what evidence is most compelling and how to introduce the evidence in a hearing.
Simply admitting more evidence is not enough for a win. Winning is generally not about how much evidence the petitioner can provide; it is more about the quality and persuasiveness of the evidence. The judge must be convinced by “clear and convincing evidence” the person can adhere to the rules of the road, that any alcohol or drug problem is under control and likely to stay under control, and that he or she is not a danger to themselves or others before he or she will reverse the DAAD denial. Because petitioners in these cases generally have two or more alcohol-related driving convictions, there is a starting presumption that he or she is a danger.
Why not try a DAAD appeal without a lawyer or with a budget lawyer?
Under the new law, clients frequently ask whether they should just try a DAAD hearing on their own or with a discount lawyer first and then, if they lose, spend the money to hire a good lawyer for the appeal. Going it alone or with an inferior lawyer would be a dire mistake. New evidence admitted on appeal does not make the old, inadequate evidence disappear. You can admit new evidence, but you cannot make the previously admitted evidence disappear. The Driver’s License Restoration Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. sees that even experienced lawyers inadvertently admit evidence that is harmful to the client’s case; for example, letters that do not use the correct language or a substance abuse evaluation that uses unpersuasive terms to describe a diagnosis or prognosis. Frequently, this evidence is so inadequate that it is difficult to overcome, even with the introduction of new evidence. There is no substitute for good, experienced lawyers who have a track record of winning.
Winning Driver’s License Restoration Attorneys
The goal of handling a driver’s license restoration case is to win and win early. While most people lose when they represent themselves or have ineffective lawyers, our attorneys have developed a system that is proven and wins consistently. We will work with you to make sure that your evidence is in order, compelling, and admissible before it goes to the Michigan Department of State and that you are prepared to testify effectively on your own behalf. If you’ve lost at the DLAD, we can accurately identify the weaknesses in your evidence and make sure that on appeal to Circuit Court, you are in the best possible position to win! For Circuit Court restoration of driving privileges, our team is your best hope of winning.
If you are interested in having your driving privileges restored at the DLAD or Circuit Court, call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation. We will take the time to listen to you, answer all of your questions, address your concerns, and find a strategy to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.