Driver’s License Appeal and Restoration Attorney
Attorneys Dedicated to the Passionate, Tireless, and Highly Effective Pursuit of Restoration of Driver’s License Privileges
Winning Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Attorneys
We understand how the inability to drive can dramatically negatively affect family, income, medical treatment, and personal obligations. Losing an operator’s license can often result in a perpetual circle of hardship that seems inescapable. The hardship of being unable to drive legally is significant. When you need to get your license back, the Michigan driver’s license appeal and restoration attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will do whatever is necessary to help you, and we are not afraid to win! Most importantly, we have an unparalleled track record of winning driver’s license appeals with Driver Assessment, the Driver’s License Appeal Division (DLAD), and Circuit Court.
We have handled thousands of cases in Michigan with driver’s license implications including, but not limited to:
- OWI and DUI
- Implied consent violations
- License suspensions due to traffic violations
- Hardship appeals
- DLAD appeals
- Circuit court revocation appeals
- Violations of license restrictions
- DWLS, and much more.
How to Win a DAAD Hearing the First Time
The belief that someone cannot win license restoration on their first appeal to the DAAD is a myth created by unprepared and ineffective lawyers who wanted an excuse for losing DAAD appeals. The truth is that a petitioner should expect to win a Michigan driver’s license appeal if they adequately prepare and have credible, persuasive proof and evidence. You can and should win! If you do everything correctly, you should be able to win even a first DAAD appeal. The DAAD was formerly known as the DLAD. The reasons that most appeals with the DAAD are unsuccessful are:
- lack of preparation,
- inadequate letters of community support,
- unpersuasive testimony,
- unconvincing substance abuse evaluation,
- conflicting evidence,
- insufficient period of sobriety, and
- poorly completed petition forms.
Letters of Community Support and Other Evidence
Letters of community support must be well-written, typed, at a proper length, consistent, and focused on the issues most important to the hearing officers. It takes years of specialized practice to assist a client’s friends and family with crafting letters that convince a Hearing Officer they are authentic and credible.
Like the substance abuse evaluation and the petition, other evidence submitted must be entirely consistent with any additional evidence submitted. Any discrepancies can result in the denial of an appeal. A petitioner’s testimony must be practiced and rehearsed before the hearing. The Hearing Officers are experienced lawyers and look for reasons to deny restoration appeals filed by drivers with alcohol or drug-related convictions. The burden is on the Petitioner to prove the following:
- that their alcohol or substance abuse issues are under control and likely to remain under control, and
- that the petitioner is not a danger to him or herself or others.
Statutory Criteria for License Restoration under the Michigan Administrative Code
Under Michigan law, the hearing officer must deny an appeal for restoration of a driver’s license unless the petitioner proves, by clear and convincing evidence, the following:
- (i) That the petitioner’s alcohol or substance abuse problems, if any, are under control and likely to remain under control.
- (ii) That the risk of the petitioner repeating their past abusive behavior is a low or minimal risk;
- (iii) That the risk of the petitioner repeating the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by, or under the influence of, alcohol or controlled substances or a combination of alcohol and a controlled substance is a low or minimal risk.
- (iv) That the petitioner has the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.
A Proven, Reliable, Winning System
If you decide to work with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we have a winning system that our attorneys will employ on your behalf. Our team designed, tailored, and perfected our proven system over decades to maximize our client’s chances of attaining the best possible outcome. Our track record of successful driver’s license representation is so well known that other lawyers frequently hire us to teach them how to handle these cases and consult with ongoing license restoration cases. The most common form of license restoration case is the Driver’s License Appeal Division (DLAD) appeal based upon repeated drinking and driving convictions like OWI, DUI, and DWI. Generally, the Michigan Department of State will revoke the driving privileges of someone convicted of two drinking and driving cases (or driving under the influence of controlled substance cases) within seven (7) years or three within ten (10) years. DLAD hearings involve an appeal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (hearing officer).
The goal at the DLAD is to win; however, if a hearing officer denies a license restoration appeal, we can appeal the hearing officer’s ruling to a circuit court. People who’ve lost their appeal with other, less experienced lawyers and need new and effective representation for a circuit court appeal often hire LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to help them. A recent change in the law gives an appealing party more options in the circuit court. The petitioner can now ask the circuit judge to accept new evidence or testimony during the appeal process. The ability to admit new evidence is essential when the record and evidence introduced at the earlier DLAD hearing were insufficient. The key is a lawyer who knows what evidence is most persuasive and how to create the most influential record.
Losing a Michigan Driver’s License Appeal is Not an Option!
Suppose you consider appealing a Michigan driver’s license revocation to the DLAD or Circuit Court. In that case, presenting the best, most persuasive, and most compelling case to the hearing officer is critical. Winning takes more than just intensive preparation; it takes a tried and true system designed for winning. If the DLAD hearing officer denies your appeal, you will have to wait a minimum of one additional year before you can attempt to restore your driving privileges. People who’ve lost their appeals routinely hire LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to appeal the decision and fight to regain their rights. Invariably, most of these individuals represented themselves or had an ineffective lawyer. If losing is not an option, you need a winning strategy. Investing in a successful and effective DLAD lawyer is critical. No outcome is guaranteed, but we can give you the best chance to win.
We Understand the System – We Know How To Win
A criminal defense attorney must understand the system, know how to win, and do whatever is necessary to maximize his client’s chances of success. Unfortunately, most lawyers who handle DLAD cases lose and give potential clients a false sense of security relative to their qualifications to handle these matters. The driver’s license appeal and restoration attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully handling appeals and achieving license restoration for clients. We have a proven system developed to give the client the best chance of winning.
The client must also be part of the process. A client determined to win the restoration of their driver’s license will understand that preparation, planning, and cooperation are necessary for a successful appeal. We will help the client through the process, assist them in getting the essential information, and ensure they are exceptionally prepared and can handle any question thrown at them by the hearing officer or judge.
Michigan Medical Marijuana and Driver’s License Restoration
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) includes an “immunity” provision. The provision provides that a qualifying patient cannot be denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to a civil penalty. A petitioner’s possession or receipt of a valid MMMA patient or caregiver card cannot be considered relative to an appeal to restore a driver’s license.
Highly Experienced Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Lawyers
The defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., has decades of experience winning Michigan driver’s license appeals and DAAD hearings. Our system has been perfected over many years and is the recipe for our success. Regardless of your situation, we can find a way to help you. Many of our clients are in AA or other support grounds. Others rely on the support of family and friends. Most importantly, your sobriety must be long-term, and people who know you well and are willing to attest to your abstinence in a notarized letter. We can take care of everything else for you.
If you want a free consultation with a highly experienced Michigan Driver’s License Appeal and Restoration Attorney proficient with driver’s license restoration cases, please call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. We will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns. We will work with you to develop a winning strategy at an affordable price.
Do not represent yourself, trust your fate to the lowest bidder, or roll the dice on an inferior lawyer.
Many people attempt to achieve license restoration without a lawyer or with an inferior or general practice attorney. The truth is that most people who are unrepresented or who have bargain lawyers fail to achieve license restoration following a revocation for habitual drinking and driving offenses. DAAD hearing officers hold those with multiple convictions for OWI, DUI, or any Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol conviction to a very high degree of scrutiny. A genuinely great DLAD attorney will have decades of experience winning DLAD cases and a strategy to WIN restoration when others would not be successful. This is the type of experience and expertise that LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., brings to the table for our clients. Call for a free consultation, and we will discuss your situation, answer your questions, and work with you to develop a winning strategy.
Difference Between Suspension and Revocation
Understanding the distinction between a suspended and revoked license is essential, as they have different meanings and reinstatement procedures. In Michigan, a license is suspended when the Secretary of State prohibits you from using your driver’s license. A suspension has a beginning and end date. You may still possess your driver’s license but cannot use it. Since you still possess a valid license, it has only been suspended.
In contrast, if your license is revoked, you no longer possess it. In Michigan, a license is revoked when the Secretary of State takes away the license. You no longer possess a valid license when your driver’s license is revoked. If your license has been revoked in Michigan, you must request a driver’s license restoration hearing to obtain a new one. A person with multiple OWI convictions in Michigan becomes eligible for this lengthy procedure after one year.
The Driver’s License Appeal and Restoration Hearing
An attorney for the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) will serve as the hearing officer and decide your case at the hearing. You must attend the hearing with your Driver’s License Appeal and Restoration Attorney at the designated location on the scheduled date. The hearing will occur in an SOS office. Look for a small office room labeled “hearings” in the lobby of the SOS office. Some hearing offices are located next to or separate from the ordinary branch office. There is no requirement to check in with anyone. Sit in the lobby with your lawyer and wait to be called. If checking in is necessary, let your lawyer take care of it.
It is advisable to arrive a minimum of 15 minutes early. If the administrative hearing officer has a lobby, sit and wait. If the SOS office is inside a branch office and someone else is in the room for a hearing, you should wait until they are finished before entering. Typically, these hearings begin on time and last less than one hour.
The hearing officer may attend the hearing in person or via video conferencing. If your hearing is conducted via video conferencing, a television will turn on at the appointed time, and the hearing officer will begin the hearing at that time. If the hearing officer is present, they usually start the meeting promptly at the scheduled time.
Before deciding whether or not to reinstate your license, the hearing officer will review your testimony and all the evidence. The Hearing Officer might make copies of any evidence brought to the driver’s license appeal hearing; however, all evidence should be submitted electronically before the hearing. Maintaining a copy of the letters and other documents you submitted will be helpful, as the hearing officer may refer to them. You may bring witnesses if you wish, but the hearing officer may state that the letters you submitted from them contain all the information they require. Again, it is essential that you work with an experienced Driver’s License Appeal and Restoration Attorney who can guide you through this process and ensure you present the most compelling evidence.
You will receive a written decision via mail or email, based on your preference. The decision could be rendered on the same day as the hearing or take several weeks.
Our Driver’s License Appeal and Restoration Attorneys Can Help You.
Michigan started issuing driver’s licenses in the year 1926. Before that, there was no state-level requirement for drivers to have a license, although some cities had licensing systems in place.
The reason for the introduction of driver’s licenses in Michigan and other states was to promote public safety on the roads. With the increasing number of automobiles on the road, there was a growing concern about reckless and untrained drivers causing accidents and endangering others. Driver’s licenses were seen as a way to ensure that drivers had a minimum level of knowledge and skill behind the wheel and to provide a means of identification and accountability for reckless or dangerous driving.
In Michigan, the Secretary of State’s office is responsible for issuing and regulating licenses, and the state developed a system of testing and licensing drivers. Today, Michigan issues driver’s licenses and enforces licensing requirements to maintain public road safety.
The license restoration attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can help you with an appeal to restore your driving privileges. We would value the opportunity to discuss your situation and help you get your license reinstated.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.
We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!
Driver’s License Appeal and Restoration Process
The process for driver’s license restoration following a second OWI conviction in Michigan is as follows:
Wait period: After a second OWI conviction, the individual must wait at least one year before applying for license restoration.
- Sobriety: The individual must demonstrate sobriety, typically through participation in a substance abuse treatment program, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, or some organized rehabilitation education or therapy.
- Proof of sobriety: The individual must provide evidence of their sobriety, such as certificates of completion from treatment programs or AA meetings and letters from family/friends, to the Michigan Secretary of State.
- Hiring an attorney: It is recommended that individuals hire a Michigan license restoration attorney to help navigate the process and increase the chances of a successful outcome. Self-representation or working with an ineffective lawyer can make future attempts to restore your license more difficult.
- Secretary of State hearing: The individual must attend a hearing with the Michigan Secretary of State to present their case for license restoration. They must provide evidence of their sobriety and demonstrate that they are a safe and responsible driver.
- Decision: The Secretary of State will decide on the license restoration request. If the request is approved, the individual will be issued a restricted license and may begin driving again. If the request is denied, the individual must wait another year before reapplying. In the meantime, the person can file an appeal to a Circuit Court judge requesting they reverse the order denying license restoration.
It’s important to note that the process can be complex and varies depending on the individual’s circumstances. An attorney can provide guidance and help increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a driver’s license restoration lawyer cost in Michigan?
A skilled Driver’s License Appeal and Restoration Attorney will charge a fee commensurate with their training, experience, track record, and proficiency. Prices can range from $2,500 to $10,000, depending on the case’s complexity, the lawyer’s reputation, and the necessary work.
How do I get my Michigan driver’s license reinstated?
How you get your driving privileges reinstated depends on why they were lost in the first place. If your license was revoked due to multiple OWI convictions within seven (7) or 10 years, you must file an appeal with the Michigan Department of State’s DAAD. It is in your best interest to work with the best lawyer you can get to assist you with the restoration process. All the odds are stacked against you, and it takes a qualified lawyer to turn the tables to favor you.
How do I get my license back after a second DUI in Michigan?
If your license has been revoked or suspended by the Michigan DAAD (Driver Assessment and Appeal Division), you may be able to appeal for license restoration. Here are the steps to follow:
- Determine your eligibility: Before the appeal process, ensure you are eligible for license restoration. If you do not know how to check your eligibility for license restoration, an attorney can assist you. In most cases, the Michigan Department of State sends a letter indicting when someone is eligible to apply.
- Obtain necessary documents: You must obtain several documents to support your appeal, including a substance abuse evaluation, treatment or sobriety verification, a driving record, letters of community support, and negative drug testing results.
- Submit your appeal: You can submit your request online, by mail, or in person. You must complete the appeal form and provide all necessary documents and fees.
- Attend a hearing: After you submit your appeal, you will receive notice of a hearing. You must attend this hearing, in person or by video, and present your case to the hearing officer.
- Await decision: After the hearing, the hearing officer will decide whether to grant or deny your appeal. If your appeal is granted, you must complete any requirements before your license is restored, including paying a license reinstatement fee.
- Circuit Court Appeal: If your DAAD appeal is unsuccessful, you can file an appeal with the Circuit Court for the county where you reside.
It is important to note that the appeals process for license restoration can be complex and time-consuming. You may want to consider hiring an attorney specializing in license restoration to assist you with the process.
How do I check the status of my driver’s license in Michigan?
To check the status of your driver’s license in Michigan, you can visit the Michigan Secretary of State’s website and follow these steps:
- Go to the Michigan Secretary of State website: https://www.michigan.gov/sos/
- Click the “Driver’s License & ID” tab on the top navigation bar.
- Under the “Online Services” section, click “Check Driver’s License Status.”
- Enter your personal identifying information.
- Click on the “Search” button.
The website will display the current status of your license, including any suspensions or restrictions. If you have trouble accessing your license status online, contact the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office at 888-SOS-MICH (888-767-6424) for assistance.