Winning Driver’s License Appeal Hearings
Meticulous preparation is how you win a driver’s license appeal hearing. It can take decades to perfect a consistently successful system.
Why Preparing for a Driver’s License Appeal Hearing is Critical
A primary area of practice for LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is representing those who have lost their driving privileges due to habitual or multiple drinking and driving offenses. We constantly hear story-after-story about those who have gone before the Driver’s License Appeal Division either unrepresented or underrepresented (represented by an inexperienced or ineffective attorney) and lost once…twice or even more times. Our attorneys know exactly what is necessary to win a driver’s license appeal on the first try.
The fact is that successfully and consistently winning driver’s license appeal hearings after multiple convictions is complex, and it takes many years of experience and finely crafted, persuasive arguments. Regretfully, many practicing lawyers take on DAAD cases without knowing how to be successful and make misleading representations to potential clients that they are experienced and effective. Based upon the number of cases where LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is hired to take over these cases, it appears very likely that the pool of knowledgeable and qualified attorneys is much smaller than they would have you believe.
What must be included in a request for a hearing before the DLAD?
To get a DAAD (formerly known as DLAD) hearing, you must present several different documents, including a Request for Hearing, a recent Substance Abuse Evaluation and drug test, and letters verifying abstinence from alcohol and controlled substances. The Request for Hearing must include specific, verifiable information supported by evidence to be admitted at the hearing. Even a minor mistake in any of this documentation can prove fatal to achieving restoration. Great care must be taken to ensure that all documents are in order and done properly. If preparation is not thorough, winning a driver’s license appeal is doubtful.
Substance Abuse Evaluation
All Substance Abuse Evaluations are not the same, and some evaluators have more weight with the Michigan Department of State than others. Further, the evaluation itself must contain information and findings consistent with other evidence to be submitted in the case, findings that are credible and persuasive, and that that will be consistent and corroborate the testimony of the petitioner at the hearing. An experienced driver’s license restoration attorney may insist that the evaluation be done and re-done multiple times until it is correct, error-free, and properly drafted. IT is virtually impossible to win a driver’s license appeal with a poorly drafted evaluation that lacks credibility. Amazingly, many people seeing driver’s license restoration will look on the internet or in the Yellow Pages for a certified substance abuse counselor to do an evaluation. Even many lawyers will refer clients to just anyone or, even worse, let them find their own evaluator. Each region of the DLAD has its own idiosyncrasies. The lawyer has an obligation to ensure that the substance abuse evaluator knows how the evaluation should be completed and done correctly.
Letters of Community Support
You must obtain documentation of your drinking and drug use habits in the form of notarized letters from people in your community who have frequent contact with you and may know something about your drinking habits and/or use of controlled substances. These would include immediate family members, other relatives, employers, friends, pastors, local police, a recognized support group such as 12-step meetings or Women for Sobriety, neighbors, or others with whom you associate. It is required you submit at least 3 letters, but not more than six. These letters should be signed, notarized, and dated and include the complete mailing address and daytime telephone number of the writer, and contain at least the following information about you. Consistent and credible letters are essential if you want to win a driver’s license appeal.
- What their relationship is to you.
- How long they have known you.
- How often they see you.
- Have them describe their knowledge of your past and current use of alcohol and/or drugs, including frequency of use, the amount used, beverage and/or drug of choice, etc.
- When you last used any alcohol and/or drugs (this must be said unequivocally).
- What their knowledge is of your past and current involvement in treatment and/or a support group.
- Have them include other information they believe is important.
One of the most frequent reasons people are denied at the DLAD is insufficient, unpersuasive, or contradictory letters. The format recommended by LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., has been developed over almost two decades and over the course of representing hundreds of clients. Even when we give clients an outline of how the letters are to be drafted, it is not uncommon that the letters need to be revised, edited, and corrected multiple times. If the letters are not exceptional, it is doubtful the petitioner will be successful. Trying to figure this out on your own is very risky, and your chances of winning without sufficient letters are meager.
What can you do to win your DLAD appeal after habitual drunk driving or OWI/DUI offenses?
Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for help. Simply put, these cases are too complex, and the outcome is too important to risk things on self-representation or discount lawyers. Failure generally results in a one-year delay until another opportunity to request reinstatement. The lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., have decades of experience successfully prosecuting appeals for driver’s license restoration. We know the hearing officers, the most successful techniques, and the most persuasive arguments. Although no attorney can guarantee restoration in any case, if you want to maximize your chances of having your driving privileges restored, call us for a free consultation, and we will take the time to talk with you about your situation and determine the best strategy for you to get a valid driver’s license.
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.