How do I win a DLAD hearing with the Michigan Department of State?
Winning a DLAD Hearing (or a DAAD hearing)
Winning a DLAD hearing and getting your driver’s license restored is possible. The process is highly complicated, and winning takes near-perfect preparation. Technically, the DLAD is now called the Drivers Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD), but for the purposes of this blog, it will be referred to as the traditional acronym, “DLAD.”
Although many people and lawyers may dispute it, it is possible to win a DLAD hearing on the first attempt. In fact, the Driver’s License Restoration Lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are almost always successful with the Driver’s License Appeal Division. Winning a DLAD appeal takes impeccable preparation and studious attention to detail.
Evidence Needed to Win a DLAD Appeal
The law in Michigan requires that all of the evidence to be submitted the DLAD hearing officer be prepared and filed with the Request for a Hearing. It frequently takes about 6 weeks to get a hearing after the request is filed with the Michigan Department of State.
According to the Secretary of State, an individual requesting restoration who is classified as a habitual offender (multiple convictions for DUI, OWI, Impaired Driving and/or OWPD), must submit a current substance abuse evaluation and 3 or more notarized letters attesting to your sobriety. If a person is requesting full restoration after already being granted a restricted license, an ignition interlock Final Report must also be submitted.
So if you provide all the information, shouldn’t you win? Unfortunately, the answer is “no.” We have found through decades of experience that hearing officers require much more than the Department of State tells you on their website. The hearing officers are often like prosecutors and look for reasons to deny relief.
Letters of Community Support for DLAD Hearing
The three letters must contain each and every element the hearing officer is requiring, or they will simply be disregarded in their entirety. Over many, many years and hundreds of DLAD appeals, the DLAD Restoration Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has developed the experience to assist our clients in drafting letters that meet the necessary criteria, to format the letters in a persuasive, professional manner, and ensure that the letters are accurate, truthful and state the necessary information in the most persuasive way possible.
Substance Abuse Evaluations
All substance abuse evaluations are not the same. Many evaluators have poor reputations with the Michigan Department of State or simply misstate their experience in preparing the necessary documentation. The DLAD hearing officers will be unforgiving if the report is prepared in a manner that is not credible or is incomplete. We have the necessary experience to review the Substance Abuse Evaluation to ensure that it is complete, accurate, and sets forth the information necessary to achieve restoration.
Testimony at a DLAD Hearing
There is no other way to say it, the DLAD hearing officer is a lawyer who is going to grill you on your sobriety. We take the time to work with our clients and teach them how to be effective, persuasive and confident witnesses. Being a convincing witness takes careful planning and preparation. Petitioners generally have very little experience testifying in court or at an administrative hearing and lack of preparation can be fatal to an appeal. We will work with you so that you are comfortable, self-assured and ready to tell your story of recovery convincingly.
The Burden of Proof at a DLAD Hearing
The burden of proof at a DLAD hearing is “Clear and Convincing Evidence.” This means that following the proceeding, the hearing officer must be convinced by clear and convincing evidence that any substance or alcohol problem is under control and likely to remain under control. Additionally, he or she must be convinced that you are not a danger to yourself or others if you operate a motor vehicle. The stakes are high in this hearing, and the hearing officer is not going to want to take a chance on you if there is any doubt. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. gives you the best possible chance of having a successful hearing and achieving restoration.
Why hire LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.?
We have the experience, track record and knowledge to help you win. A law firm gives you the advantage of a team of lawyers working together to help you rather than a solo practitioner or multi-practice lawyer. In our experience, the collective experience and knowledge of many lawyers has helped our clients achieve results that would not have been possible with just one lawyer, regardless of his or her experience. If you hire an inferior lawyer or try on your own and lose, you will have to wait a full year to be eligible to request restoration or you will have to hire a lawyer to appeal the outcome of the hearing to your local circuit court. There are times to bargain hunt but not when it comes to your lawyer or your driver’s license. Don’t trust your fate to the lowest bidder.
Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and a highly qualified lawyer will promptly contact you.