Thinking of handling your driver license restoration on your own? Think again. I often receive calls from people who thought they could do it on their own, only to be sorely disappointed. They tell me that they have been sober and have not been arrested in many years. They thought that is what it would take to get a license back. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Burden of Proof
Driver License Appeals are LEGAL PROCEEDINGS. The Administrative Rules and Rules of Evidence apply at these Hearings. You are expected and required to know the rules. Unlike a criminal proceeding, where an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, in a driver license hearing you have the burden of proof. You have to prove that…
- your substance use problem is under control and likely to remain under control,
- that you are a low risk for repeating past abusive behavior, and
- that you are able and motivated to drive safely and within the law.
At a minimum, you will have to provide an accurate and comprehensive Substance Use Evaluation, a drug test with at least 10-panels and 2 integrity variables, and 3-6 community letters that include specific and accurate information about you and the writer. One imperfection or discrepancy can cost you your license. I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve received a call from someone who lost, not because they are still drinking, but because there was an error or omission in the paperwork.
Testifying On Your Own
You will also have to testify on your own behalf subject to the interrogation of the Hearing Officer. Have you ever been so nervous that you were not able to say what you mean to say? Have you ever volunteered information that was later used against you? I’ve seen countless cases that were lost simply because the petitioner was naïve about this part of the process.
What You Have to Lose
If you lose, you will have to wait a year before you can try it again. Do you have a year to waste? What’s worse is that you may screw your case up so bad that it’s now impossible to win next time.
If you have a revoked license for multiple drunk driving offenses, contact us at the Law Offices of Barton Morris for the best chance to get it back. Our legal team highly experienced in conducting the Driver License Appeal Division Hearings with a 98% success rate.
Charlotte Steffen specializes in criminal defense and driver’s license restorations. She has been practicing law for nearly 20 years. Her experience includes thousands of criminal cases, including capital offenses and high profile cases. She began her career at the Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit, handling the toughest felonies in Wayne County. She went into private practice in 2002 and has continued helping those who need it most.
Charlotte is an adjunct law professor at the Detroit Mercy Law School in the Criminal Trial Clinic. She supervises student attorneys and lectures on drunk driving and driver’s license issues. She is also on the faculty of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan in which she helps train lawyers to become trial lawyers.