How to Win a Hardship Appeal in Circuit Court
If you lost your license because you refused a breath or blood test, you might be eligible for a hardship driver’s license from a Circuit Court.
What is a hardship license from Circuit Court?
If you’ve been pulled over by an officer due to an alleged drinking and driving event and you refused to submit to an officer’s requested breathalyzer test at the police station, you most likely ended up with a one-year suspension and 6 points on your license. If the Michigan Department of State suspended your license because of an implied consent violation, the only way you will be able to drive legally is a court order for reinstatement of your driving privileges at a hardship appeal to Circuit Court. A hardship license lets you legally drive for work and school, and other limited purposes.
Implied Consent Suspension – Refusal to Take Breath Test
If you’ve requested and received a driver’s license, you have legally consented to obey a police officer when they ask you for a chemical breath, blood, or urine sample during an investigation for drunk driving, OWI, DUI, or any related charge. The request must be reasonable and connected with a type of driving offense where you are suspected of driving impaired due to alcohol, drug, or controlled substance consumption. If you unreasonably refuse a chemical test, the Michigan Department of State will suspend your driver’s license because you violated the implied consent law in the State of Michigan.
Complicated and Rigid Process
You have only 14 days to request an Implied Consent Hearing with the Michigan Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD). Don’t think for one minute that a quick hearing will restore your license and get you back on the road. It doesn’t even come close to working that way. The hearing is complicated, and the police officer has every advantage at the Secretary of State hearing.
Although you can go from suspended license right to Circuit Court on an appeal, it may not be in your best interest to skip the Implied Consent Hearing with the DAAD. If your DAAD appeal is unsuccessful, then your last resort is a hardship appeal. The appeal is generally for a first offense, and you cannot try again if you are not successful the first time. If you lose, “there is no second bite at the apple,” is why you should seek the assistance of a very experienced attorney.
If you failed to request an Implied Consent Hearing in time or you lose the hearing, your only chance for getting your driver’s license restored right away is with a hardship appeal to Circuit Court.
Hardship Appeal to Circuit Court Process
You can appeal an implied consent suspension to Circuit Court and request a hardship license so that you can drive to and from work, to school, to probation, alcohol or drug treatment, and more. You must file the appeal in the county where the arrest and refusal occurred. Further, there are forms to be completed, notices to be sent to all parties, and you will have to pay a filing fee, to name a few of the requirements. Hardship appeals have strict time guidelines, and judges will not overlook even minor deviations. An experienced lawyer will know the best strategy to win.
The Hearing in Circuit Court
Before the hearing, all of the paperwork must be in order. Items for the judge to review may include a substance abuse evaluation, proof of therapy or support group participation, letters from witnesses, and so much more. Once there is the opportunity to go before the judge, a fervent advocate for you is crucial. Your practiced and skilled attorney must convince the judge that driving without a license is a genuine hardship for you, and you have no other reasonable alternatives. A persuasive attorney will ask the judge to contemplate your inability to go to work to provide for family or difficulty going to school. Everyone’s situation is different. The State of Michigan has limited public transit, and most earners and students need vehicles and the ability to drive. An excellent criminal defense attorney will fight for you and make sure to do everything possible to win.
Attorneys for a Hardship Appeal to Circuit Court
A hardship appeal to the Circuit Court is not a simple process, and most appeals handled without experienced lawyers are not successful. The legal team at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. knows how to navigate the court system effectively and has won countless hardship appeals.
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.