Testimony Preparation – A Key to Driver’s License Restoration Hearing Success

testimony preparation
Testimony preparation – a key to success at the Michigan driver’s license restoration hearing.

Testimony preparation is the final key to success at the license restoration hearing.  Once the required information has been sent to the Secretary of State to request a license restoration hearing, it will all come down to your testimony.  Your testimony should “seal the deal” to get your license back.

Your testimony is the final piece of evidence at the license restoration hearing. We want your testimony to confirm the evidence that we have presented to the hearing officer.  In preparation for your license appeal, our office thoroughly reviews the substance abuse evaluation report, drug screen, reference letters of support and other documents.  When the hearing officer reviews the evidence, and before you testify, the hearing officer will have a pretty good idea as to how dedicated you are to your sobriety.  You must remember this point: if you lost your driver’s license because of drinking and driving offenses, the administrative rules require 12 months of sobriety.  The evidence we submitted confirms your sobriety.  Your testimony confirms the evidence.

The following link to the Secretary of State defines what you need to get ready for you hearing.

Preparing for your hearing – by the SOS

Testimony Preparation

Your testimony preparation serves an important function.  It gives you an idea as to what questions you will be asked at the hearing both by me and the hearing officer.  A well prepared client who knows what to expect is almost always a successful client.

Thorough testimony preparation also helps lessen many clients’ nerves or fears.  After a practice session or two, you will know what to expect.  In fact, if I have prepared you thoroughly, the hearing officer may repeat some of the same questions I had already asked you.  I usually get to ask you questions first.

What is the secret behind testimony preparation?  

If you have been dedicated to your sobriety and worked hard to achieve it – you already know the answers to the questions.  It is your life and sobriety.  You know the story better than anyone.  My job as your attorney is to prepare you to testify so you can tell your story to the hearing officer.

What type of questions will be asked?

I always tell my clients that all of the questions center around one theme – your alcohol problem is under control and is likely to remain under control.  The question and answer exchange seeks to confirm that you have the proper support mechanisms in place to prevent a relapse.  Remember, it is our burden to prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that you are a low risk for repeating the offense and that your sobriety is firmly established.

Accordingly, the questions examine your commitment to sobriety.  Your testimony should confirm everything that has been previously submitted to the hearing officer.  As I have stated earlier, while the hearing is important, I anticipate we have proven your case before you testify.  I spend hours getting to know your sobriety story.  I interview you so that I know all I can about  what it took for you to get there.  Like your testimony preparation, we are very meticulous when it comes to reviewing your paperwork.  Every piece of paper gets reviewed before it is submitted.

We review your testimonial letters to see if they are consistent with the substance abuse evaluation report.  The letters are also checked to see if they contain all the relevant information such as the exact date of your sobriety and how your life has changed since you have been sober.  The letters should be consistent with the evaluation report.  The substance evaluation report is reviewed to see if it accurately confirms your dedication to sobriety.  We diligently review everything for you.

Your testimony preparation is focused on your sobriety story.  Through my questions, I help bring that story out to the hearing officer to confirm what has been submitted in the documents.  I have been using a very good system for testimony preparation.  It has proven successful for nearly the 15 years I have been doing license restoration work.  I believe our dedication to thorough preparation has lead to our 97% success rate at the first hearing.  We are proud of that number.

Preparation Process

Once I receive the notice of hearing I contact you to schedule an appointment to begin your testimony preparation.  Since the hearing is usually scheduled two weeks after I receive the notice, we have plenty of time to get you ready.

On our appointment day, I will ask you every single question that I have heard asked in the 15 years of being a license restoration lawyer.  Do not worry, it only takes about an hour.  The questions are pretty consistent over the years.

When I listen to your answers I pay attention to make sure they are consistent with what has been stated in the documents.   I also offer suggestions as to how better explain yourself.  In my experience, most people have never testified under oath before.  When they answer questions, the answers are usually short.  During our testimony preparation I help you deliver the best answer.  There are no wrong answers because you are telling the true story of your sobriety and how alcohol has affected your life.

After our testimony preparation has ended I will provide you with feedback as to how you should work on your answers.  On the way out, I provide you with a list of the questions so you can read them in your free time.  The more familiar you are with the questions, the more relaxed you will be at the hearing.  The more relaxed you are the better your answers will be.

After a few days, I will contact you again so we can go over your testimony a second time.  By this time, you should be able to easily explain your story.

An important thing worth mentioning is that your case will be assigned to one of several hearing officers.  Since I have been doing this for so long, I know what to expect from each one them when it comes to the questions.  I have been in the hearing offices in Livonia, Flint, Ann Arbor and Port Huron.  In nearly 15 years of license restoration I can predict what a particular officer will ask.  We will know in advance who our hearing officer is going to be because his or her name is on the notice of hearing.  I will instruct you as to what your particular hearing officer likes to ask. By the time we are done, you will also know what to expect.

As I have explained here, and in other articles, thorough preparation is the key to success.  Specifically, in this article, your testimony preparation should be the final key to restoring your driving privileges.  We want to take advantage of the opportunity to tell your sobriety story.

If you want to discuss your case,  you can contact our office at any time.  We can be reached 24-7/365.

We have evening and weekend appointment availability.

We have flexible payment plans.

Any consultation either by telephone or in our office is absolutely – free.

JAMES E. CZARNECKI II (586) 718-2345

GENEVIEVE L. TAYLOR (586) 350-6044