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.

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What is a hardship license from Circuit Court?

If an officer pulled you over 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 six (6) points on your license. If the Michigan Department of State suspends your license because of an implied consent violation, the only way you can drive legally is a court order to reinstate your driving privileges at a hardship appeal to Circuit Court. A hardship license lets you legally drive for work, school, and other limited purposes. Because the process is complex, many people wonder, “How do I get a hardship driver’s license?

Suppose you’ve requested and received a driver’s license. In that case, 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 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.

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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 skip the Implied Consent Hearing with the DAAD and go directly to Circuit Court on a hardship appeal, it is probably not in your best interest. If your DAAD appeal is unsuccessful, your last resort is a hardship appeal. The hardship appeal is generally for a first offense, and you cannot try again if unsuccessful 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 fail 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, school, 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 and 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 minor deviations. An experienced lawyer will know the best strategy to win.

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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 you can go before the judge, a passionate, credible, and respected advocate is crucial. Your practiced and skilled attorney must convince the judge that driving without a license is a genuine hardship 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 your family or difficulty going to school. Everyone’s situation is different. 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 do everything possible to win.

Role of the Attorney General in a Hardship Appeal

The Attorney General (AG) plays a significant role in hardship appeals within circuit courts. As the government’s chief legal officer, the AG represents the government’s interests in these appeals for hardship licenses. The Assistant AG’s role involves formulating legally solid arguments in collaboration with the Michigan Department of State, reviewing relevant laws and regulations, and filing persuasive legal briefs to support the government’s position. The AG’s office may also have the opportunity to present oral arguments before the circuit court, presenting and defending the MDOS’s position while addressing any questions from the judges. Additionally, the AG guides the MDOS, ensuring consistent interpretation and application of laws. Overall, the AG’s involvement ensures that the government’s stance, usually opposing a petition for a hardship license, is effectively presented and defended in hardship appeals within circuit courts.

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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 unsuccessful. The legal team at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. knows how to navigate the court system effectively and has won countless hardship appeals. If you call us for a free consultation, we will take the time to discuss your driving record and background. We will work with you to develop a winning strategy for getting you back out on the road legally and licensed. Hardship appeals are tricky because the judge has limited information to decide whether someone will be a danger to themselves or others if granted a license. Your best hope of success is with an established, respected, and credible lawyer at your side.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online 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!

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