The “Do-It-Yourself” Michigan License Appeal, and Losing
Most people who file a Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Appeal without a Lawyer wind up losing. As soon as they receive notice of that Denial, they hop on the computer, and look for a Lawyer to help them “appeal.” I get tons of these calls.
I cannot help with that, because it’s a losing proposition that is seldom amounts to anything more than throwing good money after bad.
Once a person loses a DAAD License Hearing, they are “locked in” to the evidence, including Substance Abuse Evaluation and Letters of Support, as well as testimony, given at their Hearing. An “appeal” to Circuit Court is limited a review of the evidence filed in the DAAD Appeal, along with a transcript of the Hearing, to see if there was “legal error.” In order for the Hearing Officer’s Denial to stand, it must be supported by “material and competent evidence.” If there is significant legal error, the decision can be overturned.
Good luck with that.
In EVERY “do-it-yourself” License Appeal I have ever seen, there has never been a basis to win a Circuit Court Appeal. Not once, not ever.
Because these “do-it-yourself” cases are so overwhelmingly a waste of time and money, I won’t squander my time looking at them to see if there is any basis to file a Court appeal. Honestly, there won’t be. I’d have to read 10,000 such Denials to MAYBE find one, if I got lucky.
Out of the hundreds and hundreds of my own cases (remember, I have a first time win rate of about 98%) that that I have handled in the last several years, I have seen no more than a couple where an “appeal” made any sense. Then again, out of all those cases, only a handful were Denied. I Guarantee that I will win any case that I accept because I only accept cases where a person is really and truly Sober, and I am rather an “expert” at handling (and winning) Michigan License Restoration cases.
Not so with any “do-it-yourself” job. These cases lose because, to be blunt about it, someone has decided to “play” Lawyer, and blundered into the process without knowing the endless rules and procedures that govern how these cases are decided.
You get what you pay for. No Guarantee means no guarantee…
Perhaps the biggest source of frustration for anyone who loses their own Appeal is the feeling of rejection, or of not being believed, if they are really and truly Sober. While Sobriety is a first and necessary requirement in a Michigan Driver’s License Appeal, it is far from enough to win one of these cases. I liken this to needing a tennis racket to play tennis. You can’t play without one, but just because you have one doesn’t mean you’re all set to start winning games. There’s a learning curve. This is where understanding all the rules that govern Michigan License Restoration Appeals comes into play.
A lingering problem created by a “do-it-yourself” loss is that a person also becomes “locked into” the evidence and testimony from the case they lost when they file their next Appeal. This means that that if anything in their Letters of Support, or their testimony or, if they made the regrettable mistake of calling any witnesses, the testimony of any witnesses is part of the reason they were Denied, then they are stuck with that. If there is a question about their Sobriety date, whether it arises from differences within their Support Letters or witnesses, or whatever, it will need to be fixed next year. If their Substance Abuse Evaluation was found to be deficient, or insufficient, or otherwise didn’t hold water, that will need to be fixed next year, as well. Whatever mistakes cause the first Appeal to lose will have to be clarified, made consistent, and otherwise fixed for the next.
To keep the Substance Abuse Evaluation from becoming the source of the problem, I refer all my Clients to a highly qualified local Clinic, and I have a few backup Evaluators, as well. A defective Evaluation will not be a problem if I am in charge of next year’s Appeal.
Anyone contemplating a “do-it-yourself” License Appeal should consider these things before they jump into something that is likely to be deeper than they figured. Yet I will never try and dissuade anyone from trying. In fact, my first and only thought on such an idea is to “go for it.” I truly mean that. I have enough License cases lined up to keep me busy, and I have no need to try and convince anyone to hire me, or “scare” them out of doing their own License Appeal.