The purpose of this article is to dispel some of the most frequent Michigan driver’s license restoration myths and misconceptions that I have heard over the many years of representing clients through the license restoration process. Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation gets spread around either by word of mouth or the internet. So, let us explain what is myth and reality.
MYTH: “The state automatically denies your license the first time around.”
The truth of this myth is dependent upon a person’s decision to hire an attorney or proceed alone. You increase your chances at winning when you hire an experienced attorney. For example, at our office, we have a 97%+ rate of winning our client’s license at the first DAAD hearing. However, it is most often true that you will lose your hearing if you do not have an experienced license restoration attorney by your side.
Most people do not understand the “red tape” associated with the hearing process. Take a look at the rules. License Restoration Administrative Rules The rules and procedures are complex. If you improperly file evidence, miss a deadline, or if your evidence is outdated you are sure to lose. Also, without any experience, you do not know what the hearing officer expects regarding the evidence and testimony.
I often ask people, would you want a mechanic to do heart surgery or a heart surgeon fixing your brakes? Expertise matters. I could not do many of the jobs out there because I do not have the experience and training. Driver’s license restoration is no different. As a criminal defense and license restoration attorney, I have gained experience over years of hearings. You, the client benefit from that expertise.
Consider that it is your burden to prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that your alcohol problem is under control and likely to stay that way. The rules are structured in a such a way that you will “unless” you do overcome the burden of proof. The hearing officer is looking for any reason to deny you a license. Please see our article Why is Michigan driver’s License So Hard to Win?
Since you have committed multiple drinking driving offenses, the hearing officer believes that you are a danger to yourself and others. You have to convince the hearing officer otherwise.
An attorney with driver’s license restoration expertise is the best investment you can make if you want to have your driving privileges granted at the first hearing.
MYTH: “If Michigan does not give me a license I can just go to another state and get one.”
This license restoration myth is very common. People often make this statement when they want to skip the license appeal process. However, it does not work. Almost all of the states recognize the revocations and suspensions of another state. Through computer records, the states can easily see if your license is revoked or suspended in Michigan. Before another state will grant you a license you will have to resolve your license revocation in Michigan first.
Our office has represented people from many other states who needed to have a “clearance” issued in Michigan so they can get a license in their new home state. A “clearance” lifts any holds the State of Michigan has on your license allowing you to get a license elsewhere. A “clearance” does not allow you to get a license in Michigan. It just allows you to gain a license in another state.
MYTH: “If I lose at the DAAD hearing, I have to wait a full year before I get another hearing.”
If you lose your license restoration hearing, you can appeal the denial to the circuit court. The circuit court can do one of four things. First, the court can affirm the decision of the hearing officer and you would have to wait a full year for another hearing. Second, the court can remand the case to the DAAD for an immediate hearing. This happens frequently. Third, the circuit court can grant you a full license. The courts rarely grant this form of relief. The fourth form of relief is a chance to have your license reinstated. Specifically, when you appeal to the circuit court, the court has the ability to grant you a restricted license with an interlock device. This is the same result that would occur if you won at the DAAD hearing.
In order to have the circuit court grant you a license on an appeal, the hearing officer must have abused his or her discretion. To prove this, the record must show that the hearing officer ignored the fact that you have met your burden in the case. If your attorney has prepared you correctly for the hearing, and your evidence is correctly submitted, the record of the hearing should support the argument that the circuit court should grant you a license. Three of these remedies do not take a year as a lot of people think.
MYTH: “I can do this on my own.”
Of all the license restoration myths, this one hurts clients the most. For starters, please see the answer to number one. Also, for your reference, you should review our article explaining why you should only hire an experienced license attorney. Steps You Should Take To Get Your License Back . That article explains why a skilled license restoration attorney is an investment.
Experienced lawyers who are veterans of the license restoration process are highly aware of the potential issues that might arise either before or during the hearing. The ability to recognize problems, adapt and overcome them is the key to success. Unlike a novice or inexperienced attorney, an experienced restoration attorney will take into account a variety of issues. For example, past crimes, medical history, driving record, prescription use, illegal past drug use, all affect the chance of your success. You, or an inexperienced attorney, will not know how to present your story in the best possible way to overcome these obstacles.
Many times clients come to our office after they represented themselves, or hired an inexperienced attorney for the license restoration hearing. When I review the denial order, I quickly determine where the error occurred. I explain that the error could have been easily avoided if certain corrective measures had been taken. Had the client been adequately represented, that error would not have made it to the hearing officer. We guarantee we will win the first hearing. We have a 97%+ winning record because we know how to prepare you and the evidence.
License Restoration Myths are almost always just that – Myths
There are may driver’s license restoration myths and misconceptions. This article only discusses a few of them. If you want accurate information or want to determine the truth of any other license restoration myths, always consult with an experienced driver’s license restoration lawyer. Remember, not just any lawyer will do.
If you are ready to get your license back, give us a call. We are ready to help.
You can call 24-7/365. Weekend and evening appointment availability.
As always, any consultation, either telephone or by appointment is free.
We can be reached at:
JAMES E. CZARNECKI II (586) 718-2345
GENEVIEVE L. TAYLOR (586) 350-6044
or visit our website: