How to Request a Driver's License Hearing in Michigan
In this section we will tell you everything you need to know about how to request a driver’s license hearing in Michigan. Now, we will discuss a topic rarely addressed on this site, losing. You certainly can do it on your own, however, there is a much higher likelihood that you will lose. Attorneys who do not regularly practice in the arena of driver’s license restoration hearings routinely lose. If you choose to try on your own, then losing is a very real possibility. If you had unlimited attempts, it might be worth trying one shot on your own. However, you only get one hearing each year, so the real question you have to ask yourself after learning how to request a driver’s license hearing in Michigan is, how much is a year of driving worth? Grabel & Associates wins 97% of our cases the first time, and we are so confident that we will win for you that we guarantee it. If you do not win your driver’s license restoration hearing the first time, then we will represent you free of charge until you get your driver’s license back.
Step One: Determine If You Are Eligible
Some people may not be happy to learn you must go at least a year without a drink before you can apply for a driver’s license restoration hearing, but the truth is, under MCL 257.303 you are a habitual offender. This means there is a presumption that you have a drinking problem, and the only way to overcome that presumption is with sobriety and a program of recovery that demonstrates you are not likely to relapse. If you have been convicted of a second drinking and driving offense within seven years, then there are three time frames to consider to determine your eligibility. First, you must wait a year since your conviction. Second, you must go a year without being caught driving while your license is revoked, and finally, you must be sober for a year. If it has been at least a year since all three of these occurrences, then you are ready to begin assembling the documents.
A Note About the Burden of Proof and The Hearing Officer’s Perspective
Under MCL 257.303, if you have more than two drinking and driving offenses than you qualify as a habitual offender. This means that you must overcome the presumption by meeting your burden of proof and proving the elements. We are not going to get into the elements that must be proved in this section, but you can learn more about them in our What You Need to Prove at Your Driver’s License Hearing section. Appreciating the standard of proof is important when you are requesting a hearing, because you want all of your evidence and documents to build towards rebutting the presumption that you are a habitual offender, so that you win your driver’s license restoration hearing. Consequently, all of the elements, including that you are sober and likely to remain sober must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. Clear and convincing evidence is a standard that requires the evidence be substantially more likely to be true than not.
Clear and convincing evidence is not as low of standard of proof as preponderance of the evidence which only requires that evidence be more likely to be true than not. This is important when assembling the documents and evidence, not only to prove the elements of your case, but also to ease the mind of the hearing officer. The hearing officer has a great moral burden when weighing his or her decisions, because he or she has to decide whether to put someone back on the road who has multiple drinking and driving convictions. Can you imagine if he or she gave someone their license back and they killed someone while drinking and driving? Well, you can count on the hearing officer having considered that exact scenario. Essentially, you want everything to point to you having turned your life around because of sobriety, and that you have built the type of recovery network that will help ensure that you stay sober no matter what happens in your life.
Assembling the Documents
The anchor of your request will be Secretary of State form 258. This is a comprehensive questionnaire about your previous criminal, alcohol, and drug history along with other required information. Next you will need a laboratory performed 10 panel drug screen. An instant 10 panel drug screen will not suffice, because it lacks the specific gravity and creatinine level measurements that the Secretary of State both requires ands specifies in form 258. You will also need a substance abuse evaluation. You can find an evaluator in your area relatively easily with a google search, but similar to attorneys, some are better than others. Some evaluators are better at recognizing the evidentiary value of the report that they are generating and help you to build your case. A favorable prognosis is key. If you work with our driver's license reinstatement attorneys, we will be sure to put you in touch with the best evaluator in your area, and prepare you for the types of questions you can expect to be asked.
Next, you will need three but not more than six reference letters from people in your community who can vouch for your sobriety. These letters can come from friends, co-workers, pastors, family, or support group members. Each letter should be signed and notarized, and should contain information including: how long they have known you, the type of relationship they have with you, the last time they saw you consume drugs or alcohol, and any changes they have noticed since you have become sober. In addition providing evidence supporting your sobriety in the form of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) attendance sheets, Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) meeting attendance, or a letter from a drug and alcohol abuse counselor that you have been working with can be helpful as well. These are important to show that you have taken an active role in your recovery and are serious and committed to staying sober.
The Winning Edge: Expert Legal Counsel
Grabel & Associates takes both driver’s license restoration and winning seriously. We want to create the best outcomes possible for our clients on every case, and maintain our 97% win rate. This is accomplished through care and attention to detail. We oversee every aspect of the case and deliver a comprehensive strategy to win. Preparation is key, but execution is crucial. There is no substitute for having a skilled attorney in your corner on the day of the hearing to sing your praises and guide the interview to a favorable outcome. Contact us online or call 1-800-677-9795 today to schedule your free consultation and get rolling toward getting you back in the driver’s seat of your life and on the road to your future.