How we do License Appeals
Here’s how, as Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyers, a reinstatement or clearance case is handled in our office, from your first call through winning back your license:
[NOTE: Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, all Michigan Secretary of State license appeal hearings have been conducted remotely, and will continue that way until further notice.
Our office is fully equipped to handle all client intake and other meetings remotely, as well as in-person.
In addition, our main evaluator is also conducting all substance use evaluations remotely, as well.
This means that a person can essentially go through the entire license appeal process from the convenience of his or her living room, or wherever he or she has an internet connection. Changes and updates will be posted as they occur.]
About half of our clients live rather far away, so convenience is and always has been important. Now, in the era of remote meetings, things could not possibly be more convenient.
There are a few criteria that must be met before we can be your Michigan drivers license restoration attorneys.
When you call, we’ll need to figure out your situation. Even before determining if you’re legally eligible to file a license appeal, we need to know if you are really sober.
Our firm will NOT take a case if a person is still drinking.
Beyond having a minimum period of sobriety, you must also be committed to remaining sober.
Sobriety is a non-negotiable first requirement for us to take a case because it is the MAIN issue in every driver’s license restoration or clearance case following a revocation for multiple DUI’s.
You will also need to have been off of any probation (or parole) long enough, as well.
The first official step in a Michigan license restoration appeal is to file certain documents. These include:
- A request for hearing,
- A completed substance use evaluation (SUE) form, and
- Letters of support (the Michigan Secretary of State requires 3 letters, but our firm requires 4, in order to have 1 as a “backup”).
Because my team and control every step of the license appeal process, we make sure things ares done right at every point along the way. Nevertheless, before anything is ever filed by our office, it will be checked, re-checked, and then checked yet again.
Remember, our firm guarantees a first time win. This makes us every bit as invested in winning as our clients, and means we’re going to be extra-thorough because the last thing we want to do is miss something that causes us to lose a case, thereby obligating ourselves to do the whole thing all over again, without charge, as “warranty work.”
Once assembled, checked over, and approved as “good to go” everything is electronically filed with the Secretary of State’s Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight (OHAO).
In our office, the process begins by meeting with you (this can be done remotely) before you undergo the substance abuse evaluation, in order to prepare you for it.
Because this evaluation is really the foundation of your Michigan driver’s license restoration case, we’ll spend several hours at our first meeting preparing for this critically important step. We make sure that our evaluator not only gets a well-prepared client, but is also provided a special form of our own creation, called a “Substance Use Evaluation Checklist” that includes all the information we need to be included in the formal evaluation
In addition we’ll send along a “coded” copy of the client’s driving record to make sure that the evaluator can include the relevant information from that on the evaluation form, as well.
Legally speaking, the evaluation must be both clinically and factually accurate, as well as favorable.
In other words, it has to be “watertight.”
We’ll have your evaluation completed by our evaluator. We’ll schedule things so that you’ll meet with us first, and then, once ready, have your evaluation done thereafter.
Usually, these 2 meetings, whether in-person or remote, can be scheduled consecutively, one right after the other.
When things were being done in-person, we’d make sure that our clients could leave our office and go directly to our evaluator’s, a few blocks away. That, of course, worked great for anyone who was coming in from out of town. Now that things are being conducted remotely, this isn’t as much of a concern.
It’s important to point out that our main evaluator has an unsurpassed degree of integrity and skill, and, as an added bonus, also charges less than most others.
From time to time, we also use one of a few other top-notch evaluators for various scheduling or other reasons, but the experience of our main clinician is beyond compare.
The key is to make sure we provide the Secretary of State’s OHAO with an accurate and thoroughly detailed evaluation – and we do.
It takes several weeks or so for the evaluation to be completed, and once we receive it, we’ll carefully review it, and then double-check it again, to make sure that it is, in fact, accurate, favorable, and “watertight.”
In addition to the evaluation, letters of support must also be provided to the OHAO when your case is filed. We give the same level of attention to the letters of support that we do the evaluation.
We provide a sample template of this our first meeting, and will go over exactly how your letters should be done.
However, given the overwhelming importance of the support letters in a Michigan drivers license restoration appeal, your main job is to get draft copies back to us so that we can edit and revise them for you. We’ll fix them up and send back corrected copies for completion.
It has been our consistent experience that 99% of all letters need substantial work, no matter who writes them.
Our job is to put together a winning case, and we so well enough to back that up with our guarantee. As a result, you can expect that we will be doing a lot of work on your letters to make sure they’re just right.
When everything is ready, we’ll file your case.
It can take some time before we receive notice of the date and time for your actual Michigan license restoration appeal hearing.
Prior to Covid, we used to have all of our cases set for a live, in-person hearing at the Livonia branch of the OHAO.
Since everything started being done remotely, and because our office handles over 200 license appeal matters each year, we’ve grown very comfortable with conducting our hearings that way.
Our firm believes that it is extremely important for every client to be thoroughly “prepped” before his or her actual hearing, and we’ll make sure you are. These “prep sessions” usually takes about a half hour.
We’ll cover everything necessary to win, but one thing we won’t be talking about is witnesses. We never call witnesses. Witnesses are only a liability, and calling them is a first-class amateur mistake. We’ll explain this in more detail when we meet.
Ultimately, you’ll be thoroughly prepared, and we’ll appear together for the hearing, which itself will last about a half hour.
We’ll show up for that hearing (even if only online), ready to win.
We will have prepared your case so that it’s a winner. The evaluation will be strong, favorable, and “watertight,” and your letters of support will be concise and helpful.
We’ll have the confidence of knowing that, above and beyond all of our preparations, we are going in to tell the truth about your sobriety, and that means everything.
We’ll leave your hearing knowing we did well. Usually, within a few weeks, we’ll receive your decision:
For you, that means finally being able to slip a valid driver’s license back into your wallet!
For us, as Michigan drivers license lawyers, that means we get the satisfaction of having helped someone who deserves it to get back on the road, legally.