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Driver’s License Appeals in Michigan – Prepare to Win

Home Blog Driver's License Restoration Driver’s License Appeals in Michigan – Prepare to Win

Part and parcel, then, of “preparation” means getting to know a client, getting to know how he or she came to the point of recovery, and then thinking about all of that and deciding how to proceed. If that young man would have called my office a year before, we’d have told him to wait another 6 months before coming in to see me. When a client comes to me and explains that he or she is truly sober, but didn’t get there through AA, and instead just decided that a life change was needed, then “preparation” means helping the person explain this transformation in a way that will be satisfactory to the DAAD (as noted, now the AHS) and reflects, at its core, that he or she has truly internalized the idea of never picking up another drink again, ever.

We must remember that for all the success I have had at license appeals, and even though I guarantee that I will win any case I take, this is not about me; this is about you, the client. I don’t come to the license restoration table with any misconceptions or worries about things the license appeal process, but most clients do. I always use a dental analogy here: If I need a cap or a crown, I go into my dentist’s office a bit apprehensive; what if the tooth breaks? What if the cap or crown won’t stay put? My dentist, by contrast, knows there is nothing to worry about, and is probably thinking about dinner as he works on my tooth. In the context of a license appeal, I have to make sure my client isn’t worried about a problem that doesn’t exist. It is, after all, my job to discover something that could, in fact, be a problem (like not enough time off of probation) in a license appeal, and make sure we don’t just plow ahead and blunder into an avoidable loss. The client, and the client’s concerns, are the focus of a license restoration appeal, and putting the client first means careful and thorough preparation at all stages.

Quite literally, as I was writing this article, an email came in with the following:

Dear Mr. Randa,

I contacted you last year about my license issue and I wish I would have retained your services then. The attorney I went with strung this out and obfuscated the salient points (missing the most obvious one that resulted in my denial at the Administrative Review) in what I can only figure was his method of continuous billing…it seems my admission to using marijuana prior to the offense leaves them with some question about my drug use (I have been clean and sober since the offense and subsequent rehabilitation in 2006).

This is a prime example of inadequate preparation. How is it that the lawyer could have failed to ask this client about marijuana use? I have a specific question on my substance abuse evaluation checklist (a form of my own creation that follows the actual evaluation form almost line-by-line and is meant to clarify my client’s information. A copy of this form sent with the client to be given to the evaluator) about just that. What this really means, predictably, is that this person’s case was lost because of a lack of preparation. I am fond of saying that cases are usually won in the preparation, the implication being (and the reality as demonstrated from the quoted email) that they are lost if that preparation isn’t good enough.

Here’s the thing: You cannot, no matter how hard you try, prepare a case that is a loser to be a winner. Thus, the case for the young man that was filed too soon after his release from probation couldn’t have been “prepared” better. “Preparation,” in that situation, would have meant getting a handle on the situation and telling him that he needed to wait a bit. “Preparation” therefore equates to knowledge, and we all know that knowledge is power. Preparing, in this broader sense, means more than merely getting ready.

I take my time in license appeals. I certainly don’t delay anyone’s case unnecessarily (I couldn’t do so, even if I tried, because the substance abuse evaluation and urine screen must be filed with the Secretary of State in Lansing within 90 days from the time when they are dated and signed), and my payment plan doesn’t get me paid until I do the work, so it’s not like I collect my fee and then disappear. However, I guarantee to win every case I take, so I am as interested in winning the first time as my client. I don’t get anywhere rushing something through and missing a detail that has me on the hook to come back and do “warranty work.” I am reminded of an old saying my mom used to try and get through to me: Haste makes waste. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. There are no shortcuts to properly handling, and that means adequately preparing a license restoration appeal. The key to winning a license restoration always has and always will reside in the preparation of the case.