Preparing for Your Driver's License Hearing with Attorneys in Michigan
We know how hard it can be living without a driver’s license, and that once you are eligible to request a hearing you will be understandably excited to get underway. We encourage you to read through this before you jump into doing it yourself, so that you will be capable of making thoughtful and informed decisions about how to proceed. Here at Grabel and Associates we take a careful and meticulous approach to ensuring we win. The first steps lay the foundation for success and we put great care into setting up the hearing for success which is why we win 97% of our driver’s license restoration hearings the first time.
Driver’s License Restoration Hearing - Do It Right the First Time
Why is it so crucial to get it right the first time? The short answer is that you only get one Driver’s License Restoration hearing per year, so it is imperative to win your first hearing. More precisely put, if you are denied at your first hearing you are prohibited from reapplying for another year. This underscores the grave importance we place on winning the first time, because if the hearing officer senses a lack of remorse or commitment to your sobriety, or you do not have all of the required documents, then you may have to wait another year before you try again.
Thankfully, by making the prudent decision to hire Grabel and Associates to represent you it will nearly erase the possibility of having to wait an additional year to secure your driver’s license. We are so confident we can get you your driver’s license back, we guarantee in writing that if we are not successful at the first hearing, we will continue to represent you until you successfully have your driver’s license reinstated.
Initial Steps in Preparation – Represent Success
The most important step in Driver’s License Restoration is hiring the right attorney to represent you. Our driver’s license hearing attorneys have the experience, winning track record, and written guarantee you need to rest assured you are making the right choice. We win 97% of our Driver’s License Restoration hearings, because we have specialized in Driver’s License Restoration in Michigan for more than eighteen years and are familiar with each and every hearing officer in the state. You can be confident that we will bring you through every step of this process successfully. We know how much you, your family, and your friends are depending on your success. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Can you afford to go another year without your driver’s license?”
That is why we offer free consultations twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. We want to put you back in the driver’s seat of your life, and the first step is talking with us. We will take our time to understand the particular facts of your case, and be sure you are confident and knowledgeable about the next steps you need to take to make progress towards requesting your Driver’s License Restoration hearing. We are positive that picking up the phone and speaking with one of our experienced attorneys will assure you that you are making the right choice to hire top-notch legal representation. You can call now at 1-800-677-9795 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.
Additional Steps in Preparation For A Hearing
- 10 Panel Drug Screen
- Substance Abuse Evaluation
- Documentation of Sobriety – Reference letters
- Evidence in Support of Sobriety – AA meeting attendance or counseling
Before you begin, keep in mind that all paperwork submitted to the State of Michigan must be less than 90 days old (and once the paperwork is submitted that clock stops). Next, you need to schedule 10 Panel Urinalysis Drug Screen. The results of the drug screen will be reviewed by a State Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor that we will put you in contact with. A typical 10 panel drug screen will test for active components in 10 substances which include amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, methadone, methaqualone, opioids, phencyclidine, and propoxyphene.
Detection times vary depending on the substance. You may want to know that marijuana has the longest half-life of the substances checked for, and therefore, can be detected for the longest period of time after ingestion. Typically, the active metabolite in marijuana, THC, is detectable in urine for a period of one month or longer after use depending on the amount consumed and frequency of use leading up to abstinence. The main issue is that all test results have to come back negative to lay the groundwork for a favorable substance abuse evaluation from a state certified clinician.
The Substance Abuse Evaluation is one of the most important steps in preparing you for your hearing. The Substance Abuse Evaluation is a written report by a State Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor. The report will detail issues regarding your substance abuse history, social and support network, and healthy coping strategies you have learned. The report is especially important, because it will be reviewed directly by the hearing officer who will make the ultimate decision regarding your driver’s license. Additionally, this will be the only opinion or recommendation made by a qualified professional that will be reviewed by the hearing officer.
Consequently, this evaluation will carry a great amount of weight in the hearing officer’s ultimate decision, and therefore, contacting the right evaluator and preparing for difficult questions is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
We can put you in contact with the best evaluator in your area, and prepare you for what questions to expect. Not all evaluators have the same quality of reports or carry the same level of reliability with hearing officers. The report must include the right information for the hearing officer to rely on. Often times a new evaluator will not include all of the information a hearing officers needs to make a decision, or the hearing officer may not know who the evaluator is.
Grabel and Associates know who the best evaluators in your area are, and will properly prepare you for the difficult questions you can expect to encounter during the evaluation. We will make sure you are set up for success at this integral stage in the process towards returning you to the road.
Next is collecting reference letters from the people in your life to “document your sobriety.” You will need between three and six support letters from friends, family, co-workers, and leaders in support groups. Each letter should include the following key information and must be notarized. Each letter should state how the person knows you, how long they have known you, and the last time they saw you consume drugs and alcohol. You should encourage your supporter to include any positive changes they have noticed in you since you have made the commitment to stay sober. We will carefully review each letter of support and will carefully review each letter to ensure they are as strong and effective as they need to be. We will not hesitate to tell you if a second draft is necessary along with recommended changes, revisions, or additions. Our attorneys will be sure to help you submit your packet with the strongest group of support letters you can produce.
Finally, you will need “evidence of support.” There are several types of documents that can serve as evidence of support including, AA meeting attendance sheets, Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) attendance sheets, and letters from counselors or an AA sponsor. If you have an AA sponsor, a letter detailing your commitment to the program and your work with the 12-steps should absolutely be included and will count towards both your documentation of sobriety and evidence in support of your sobriety.
If you have a personal or religious objection to AA attendance, it is not the only type of documentation accepted. However, it is worth noting that AA is the “gold standard” when documenting a life-long commitment to recovery. All hearing officer’s look favorably on consistent and continuous AA meeting attendance. That being said, there are alternatives that should suffice, including SMART recovery meeting attendance and drug and alcohol abuse counseling. SMART meetings are a relatively new form of non-12 step support group meetings for recovery and abstinence from drugs and alcohol that takes a scientific approach to self-recovery. SMART recovery meeting attendance along with documentation of regular counseling with a drug and alcohol addiction counselor is a viable option for “evidence of support.”
All of the aforementioned documents will need to be assembled along with a request for hearing form from the Secretary of State which we can provide for you. The above is merely an overview, and more detailed guidance and advice will be given during the consultation and along the way. Our attorneys are here to guide and support you going forward to not only ensure that you are successful, but to ensure you are comfortable and confident throughout the process.
Submitting the Packet
A major landmine for people attempting the process on their own is assembling all of the paperwork and documents correctly with no errors or omissions. If you fail to submit all of the documents correctly the Secretary of State will simply not schedule the hearing. This places you back where you started and you have to resubmit all of the forms and documents again. Now you are forced to wait for the Secretary of State to review all of the documents before you finally get a hearing date – assuming you did it correctly the second time. This can set you back months and happens more often than you think! The good news is you never have to go through this. We have never had to reschedule a hearing because of mismanaged paperwork. You can be confident you will get the professional service and attention to detail that comes with experience to get it right the first time.
Now that the driver’s license attorneys at our law firm have helped you check off all of the boxes: completed 10 panel drug test, a top-notch substance abuse evaluation, reference letters containing all of the required information, and evidence of sobriety documents. All you have to do is submit this paperwork to your attorney. We will do the rest. We will review and verify all of the documents for accuracy and content before we submit the packet to the Secretary Of State.
The hearing date will typically be scheduled within two to three months after the hearing request packet has been submitted. You will receive a notice in the mail detailing the location and time of the hearing approximately two to three weeks before the actual hearing is held.
The Hearing – More Preparation, Execution, and the Win
You may decide with the help of your counsel that having additional character witnesses will benefit you to impress the hearing officer about your lifestyle changes and your sobriety. We will speak with you and all of your witnesses to make sure everyone is prepared for the big day. We will help you and your witnesses anticipate the type of questions to expect and the type of answers they will be looking for.
Your attorney will speak eloquently, persuasively, and effectively on your behalf to illustrate the point that you are no longer a risk to anyone on the road that you have made the changes necessary to be a sober, responsible driver, and that you are an improved and trustworthy person.
If you are serious about getting your license back and are ready to take the most important step, call 1-800-677-9795 right now to schedule a free consultation and let us put our 97% win rate to work for you!