If you are applying for a Michigan Driver’s License Restoration hearing, one of the many pieces of evidence required include reference letters. This article will explain the proper content of the letters and how our office reviews those letters before submitting them to the Administrative Hearings office.
If you have lost your license due to multiple drinking and driving offenses you will have to document your sobriety through evidence and testimony. The necessary documentation includes, but is not limited to, the following items:
- A current substance abuse evaluation that is dated no later than 3 months prior to submission
- Three to six testimonial reference letters
- Documentary evidence of attendance at support meetings such as AA
- Ignition Interlock report if granted a restricted license at previous hearing and ordered to install device
While the Secretary of State only requires a minimum of 3 letters, our office policy requires six reference letters. We do not do the minimum at CZARNECKI & TAYLOR. We want to have as much evidence as possible to support your sobriety. We want to restore your driving privileges. Accordingly, we strive to present evidence that leaves no question in the hearing officer’s mind that you are sober and will remain so.
While other pieces of evidence are important, this article is specifically intended to discuss your reference letters. Supporting your sobriety with the most effective reference letters is one of the critical keys to success.
Content of the reference letters
As I have stated, we want to leave no question that any alcohol issue is under control and likely to remain that way. At your hearing, you must prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that any alcohol problem is in remission. Your reference letters are testimonials to your sobriety. Excellent reference letters help you meet the clear and convincing burden of proof.
Who can write reference letters for you
Almost anyone can write a reference letter for you. Your sobriety can be confirmed by family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, AA sponsor- just about anyone. However, the reference letters must meet specific qualifications.
Most importantly, the people must be in a position to know, observe and personally attest to your habits regarding your avoidance of alcohol or controlled substances. The letters should state the following:
- how long the person has known you
- how often they see you
- your exact date of sobriety; last time you used alcohol
- you do not keep any alcohol in the home
- you do not go to any place where the primary purpose is to serve alcohol
- how your life has changed since you stopped drinking
- knowledge any support groups like AA
- you do not use an illegal substances (if there was an issue in your past)
- social activities you participate in
As stated, my office requires six letters and no less. Reference letters must be signed, dated and notarized with complete information where the writer can be contacted. A telephone number must be included as well.
Attorney Review – Meticulous Evaluation
Once your reference letters are near final draft form, our office will evaluate them before they are submitted with the request for a hearing and other pieces of evidence.
During our career as Michigan license appeal attorneys, we have seen thousands of reference letters. We can quickly determine if the letters will be a credible testament to your sobriety. After we review your letters, we can assure you, the final reference letters will convincingly tell your sobriety story. There hearing officer will be in a difficult position to question the credibility of your letters. Our job is to make it difficult for the hearing officer to deny you.
As attorneys we have dedicated a large part of our practice to appeals. In fact, while in law school, I was the editor-in-chief of the moot court appeal program. So, we have considerable experience with persuasive writing and arguments. We have written greater than a thousand motions, memorandums of law to support the motion, appellate briefs, etc.
By relying on our experience, we can help remove the stress from the letter writing process.
We will use our extensive experience to ensure that every word and sentence in your letter supports your sobriety story. Our review meticulously covers every word in the reference letter. If something can be phrased better, we will let you know. If something in the letter hurts your chances of winning, we will suggest that it be removed. In essence, since we have been doing driver’s license restoration for nearly 15 years, we know what the hearing officers want to see.
As we have stated in our other articles and website, we guarantee a win. We stand by our expertise. If for some reason, we do not win – we will represent you with no additional legal fees until you do win. However, we have a 97% success rate at winning license restoration hearings. We expect to get it right the first time.
Author – James E. Czarnecki II
If you want to discuss the license restoration process you can contact us 24-7/365. We will answer all of your questions.
Evening and weekend appointment availability. Flexible payment plans.
Any consultation either by phone or appoint is free.
JAMES E. CZARNECKI II (586) 718-2345
GENEVIEVE L. TAYLOR (586) 350-6044