Driver’s License Restoration in Michigan – Win the First Time

Michigan Driver's License Restoration
Driver’s License Restoration in Michigan

This article discusses how we represent people during the driver’s license restoration process in Michigan.  We also explain why you should hire a lawyer to assist you.  Most importantly, we guarantee that we will win the first time.

As a Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer, I have handled many cases for nearly 15 years.  Since I started practicing law I have focused on criminal defense and driver’s license restoration.  The two go together in the sense that many people who have lost their driver’s license did so because of drinking and driving offenses.  With many years of experience related to Michigan driver’s license restoration there is not much that I have not seen.  The many cases we have handled over the years has given us a great deal of experience and knowledge.  It is that knowledge and experience that we apply to your case so we win the first time. We have a 95% win rate at the first hearing.  That is why I guarantee our results.

The first thing that I recommend is that you do not go through the process by yourself.  Abraham Lincoln has famously said that “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”  There are several reasons that Lincoln made this statement.  Just think about this for a moment. Attorneys go to college to achieve a bachelor’s degree.  After that, they then proceed to study at law school for three years.  Upon graduation, lawyers must take the difficult bar exam.  Practicing attorneys have to study many court rules, legal principles, and procedures that a non-lawyer will not know without continuing legal education and experience.  Attorneys have to then spend years gaining experience in a particular field of law.  As I said, I have spent nearly 15 years gaining experience and winning for clients in driver’s license restoration hearings.  So, the legal process does require specialized knowledge. Unfortunately, many people facing driver’s license restoration do not see it this way.

Over the years I have met with people who decided to represent themselves at the driver’s license restoration hearing.  Usually I have met these people after they have lost.  It is unfortunate to talk with really nice people who made serious legal errors and have to wait another year for a new hearing. While I do understand that people try to save money on an attorney, I often ask people, would you perform dentistry on yourself?  Most people would not cut their own hair.  So, people should not represent themselves at a driver’s license restoration hearing or any legal proceeding for that matter.

When you hire our office – we guarantee that we will win the driver’s license restoration hearing the first time. (If you are currently on probation or parole, please see the exception below.  Guarantee does not apply to probationers or parolees). The reason we can make this guarantee is because of the training and experience that we accumulated over the years.  If for some reason we do not win, which is rare, we will continue the case for free until we do win. No additional legal fees.  We will keep working for you until we do get your license back.

With that guarantee, you really should not represent yourself at the driver’s license restoration hearing.  Part of my practice involves representing people who have attempted to represent themselves.  This also includes taking over a case from an attorney who does not concentrate on driver’s license restoration.  During our first meeting, I will review the order issued by the administrative hearing officer.  I can spot the problems immediately.  In most cases, the errors could have been easily avoided.  Instead of getting it correct the first time, the individual now must wait an additional year, and pay additional costs and fees.  Most people do not have the luxury of waiting another year to get their license back.  This is why it is critical to get it right the first time.

Usually, people commit mistakes at the hearing because they do not understand what the hearing officer is looking for during the hearing.  Most people do not know how to prepare the best evidence.  The Michigan Administrative Rules governing Michigan driver’s license restoration are very detailed and specific. They are not easy to follow.  More importantly, it is your burden to prove that you are a low risk of repeating the offense.  The reason that we are so successful is because we have seen many cases over the years and have encountered nearly every situation regarding the administrative rules.  For easy access I have provided a link to show the rules to you.

Michigan Secretary of State Administrative Rules

As I stated earlier, I can read the denial order and spot where the mistakes were made.  The reason that people should hire a lawyer is to use the expertise, experience and knowledge so you win the first time.  An experienced driver’s license restoration attorney can adapt and overcome issues that may develop during the hearing.  An attorney can make sure that the record of the driver’s license restoration hearing is so thorough that if it becomes necessary to appeal the case to circuit court, the client has an outstanding chance of winning at court because the hearing officer got the decision wrong.  But, most importantly, when you first meet the attorney, he or she will be so detailed as to leave nothing to chance.

When you first meet with us at our office we take a considerable amount of time to get to know you and your story.  By story we mean, how you lost your license, and how you have overcome your problem with alcohol.  It is that story that forms the basis of your driver’s license restoration case.  We then explain the evidentiary materials that are needed to help support your sobriety story.  Additionally, shortly before the hearing we will prepare you to testify by doing a practice direct and cross examinations.  This practice session will help you to prepare your testimony because you will have to testify.  The benefit of hiring an experience Michigan driver’s license restoration attorney is that he or she will know the specific questions that a particular hearing officer will ask.  The attorney knows the nuances of the hearing officer.  It definitely pays to know your audience.  Most people have never testified before and the practice definitely helps ease the nerves because you will know what to expect.

We can help you avoid problems.  Most denials are based upon evidentiary problems.  These problems can relate to the 10 panel drug screen test, substance abuse evaluation, letters of reference, secretary of state forms, physician’s statement of examination, among others.  Again, these problems can be avoided because we review the evidence to correct any problems before we send your evidence to the state to request a restoration hearing.  We also review your reference letters to make sure that they cover the things that the hearing officer will need to see in order to believe that you are safe and sober to drive again.  I also provide all of my clients with a written checklist detailing the evidence we need.  The driver’s license restoration checklist also helps identify how your letters should be written.  In essence, I want to win your hearing before we even get to the hearing.  This means that I want all of your evidence to meet the clear and convincing evidence standard before you testify.  If the evidence is meticulously prepared, your testimony usually seals the win for you.

All of the mistakes that I have seen are very avoidable had the person been prepared correctly the first time. Whether the mistakes have been made by you or by an attorney without much experience, the results are usually the same – you lose the hearing.  We want to win the first time.

If you are ready to win at your first driver’s license restoration hearing, we can help you.  We take phone calls 24/7 -365. We have flexible appointment times including weekend and evening appointments.

We are easy to talk to and really understand what you are facing.  We know the how a driver’s license can change your life. We are here to help you win the first time.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Czarnecki & Taylor PLLC

James E. Czarnecki II (586) 718-2345

Genevieve L. Taylor (586) 350-6044

Website:  CZARNECKI & TAYLOR website



*If you are currently on probation or parole, you should note that as the law stands right now, you would lose your hearing.  It would not be worth your it to pursue a license hearing until you are done with probation or parole. Pursuant to Michigan Court of Appeals Order in Deborah Braddock Reynolds vs. Secretary of State, Docket No. 269714, the Court has stated that a person must demonstrate at least 12 months of uninterrupted sobriety outside the controlled environment of imprisonment or parole.  So, the hearing officer have determined that this Order applies to probation as well.  It is not fair because that is not how the law should be interpreted.

Even though this order is relied upon by the Secretary of State, at license restoration hearings, I have won licenses back for people while on parole or on probation.  I have also won the appeal in circuit court.  For example, I have an order from the Macomb County Circuit Court that held that the hearing officer misinterpreted the meaning of “controlled environment.”  At times, I have had the Macomb County Circuit Court grant my clients’ their license based on that argument in an appeal to that court.  Other courts do not recognize that order though.   I just want you to know that we could not guarantee success when the law is against those on probation or parole.  With that said, we would still fight to get your license back.  We just want to caution you as to what the hearing officers may say.

Also, if you are on probation I would urge you to contact our office.  We have been able to file motions to have our clients’ probation terminated early.  If the court successfully terminates your probation, you can proceed with your license restoration process.