How to Submit a Hardship Appeal After Refusing the Alcohol Breath Test
It’s a major inconvenience to be without a driver’s license, and one our clients often encounter as a result of operating while intoxicated (OWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI). If you’re arrested for OWI, you’ll be asked to take a breath test at the police station called a DataMaster. The DataMaster records the alcohol concentration in your breath sample, or a blood or urine test. If you refuse the tests, your license will be suspended for one year by the Secretary of State (SOS). In this article you’re learn about hardship appeals and how to file one after refusing a breathalyzer.
When your driver license is suspended, that means you don’t have your driving privileges for a period of time. For example, if your license gets suspended on June 8, 2021, you won’t be able to drive again until June 9, 2022. Fortunately, there’s a way to get a restricted license during that suspension period so you aren’t completely without a license. This is done by submitting a hardship appeal.
Michigan law recognizes the following as hardships:
Not being able to drive to:
– work (or drive if your job requires you to do so)
– drug or alcohol treatment programs ordered by a court
– the court’s probation department
– court-ordered community service
The hours a person can drive are restricted as well. For instance, the license might only allow for driving between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
Interested in learning more about hardship appeals? Request a free consultation now.
How does the hardship appeal process work?
You will need to submit a claim of appeal to the circuit court of the county your incident took place in. For instance, if you’re arrested in Hazel Park, your hearing will take place at the Oakland County Circuit Court since Hazel Park is in Oakland County.
You need to comply with the court rules (MCR 7.120) and the statute (MCL 257.323) when filing your appeal which is why it’s important to hire an attorney. You must pay $175 to open a case in the court and a $20 motion fee to have your case heard in front of a judge.
If you’re successful at your hearing, the judge will sign an order stating you are granted a restricted license. Your restrictions will be listed on the order so the SOS knows what restrictions to place on the restricted license you’re given.
When can I order a hardship appeal?
It’s your responsibility to get your order to the SOS within seven days of the order being signed by the judge. You must wait for the SOS to process your order before you can drive, even though the judge has already signed the order. The SOS has an online system called the Driver Appeal Integrated System (DAIS) which allows people to file their orders online and track the progress of their order. Click here to create a log in.
By law, the SOS has 21 days to process your order or appeal the judge’s decision. If you’re caught driving before your order is process, you will face additional penalties. Therefore, it’s vital for you to remain patient and wait for the order to be processed.
Sarah Tarockoff is one of the paralegals at The Law Offices of Barton Morris. She earned a Paralegal Certificate from Oakland Community College in 2015 and graduated from Oakland University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a concentration in criminal justice. She completed internships at the 52-3 District Court where she aided probation officers in the Probation Department and at Bernstein & Bernstein, where she worked closely with attorneys and paralegals on various litigation-related matters.
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