DAAD/DLAD Hearing in Lansing
Being arrested for a DWI/OWI can have devastating effects on your ability to hold a license. After just one conviction, the State of Michigan will usually suspend your license, and if you have multiple offenses, your license may be revoked altogether. If this happens, it could be months or even years before you can legally drive again.
That's one reason why it's vital to hire an aggressive and experienced law firm as soon as possible after your arrest. At Grabel & Associates, our Lansing driver’s license lawyers take your driving rights very seriously and can help you at all stages of your defense, from talking with the police to your Administrative Hearings Section (AHS), formally known as the DAAD/DLAD hearing, after your license has been revoked.
New Laws for a New Millenium
Michigan changed its drunk driving laws in 1999. The new laws stated that if a person had multiple drunk driving convictions, then he or she could have their driver's license revoked indefinitely. For some, this might even mean going the rest of their lives without a valid license. In order to lose one's license indefinitely, the driver had to be convicted of several drunk driving offenses within a set period of time or one DUI if someone is injured of killed.
Although it may seem like you will never get your license back, there is hope. Drivers whose licenses are revoked or suspended may file for a hearing with the Michigan Secretary of State's Driver Assessment and Appeal Division.
What are DAAD/DLAD Hearings
Lansing DAAD hearings take place at the Capital Area Super!Center Branch Office for the Secretary of State. Here, defendants may appeal certain sanctions against one’s driver’s license they feel are wrong or no longer needed.
The Capital Area Super!Center is located at:
3315 E. Michigan Ave. Ste. 1
Lansing, MI 48912
Though these hearings may seem straightforward and comprehensible, DAAD hearings can be intimidating and confusing if you are not sure how to go about defending yourself, which is why having an experienced attorney at your side is vital. If you fail to obtain your license after your first hearing, you will have to wait a year or more to appeal again, depending on how many drunk driving convictions you have.
For example, drivers with two convictions over a seven-year period can file an appeal for their revoked license after one year. For drivers with three convictions within a 10-year period, the wait time can be anywhere between one to five years. Additionally, if there is a second revocation within a seven-year-period, then the wait can be up to five years before one can file for a hearing.
Requesting a Hearing
Assuming you are within your legal right to request an appeal, you may do so with the DAAD. Remember that it is imperative that you win this case. The DAAD does not allow people who lose their cases to file again for another calendar year. If you were thinking about doing this alone, you might want to reconsider and hire an experienced attorney who can help you get your license back the first time you appeal.
Before you file, there are a few documents you will need to get a hold of:
Request for Hearing (SOS-257): A formal document that states you would like to request the hearing.
Substance Abuse Evaluation: A qualified professional, such as a therapist, will fill out this form for you. Here your evaluator will evaluate your success. Your evaluator may also document your progress, detailing your history, how you have been proactive in fighting your addiction and any possible relapses. If you had previous relapses before you began this most recent treatment course, your therapist will have to document this.
12-Panel Urinalysis: To ensure that you have not replaced alcohol with drugs, you will need to submit to a urinalysis to check for any drugs in your system.
Documentation of sobriety: This is only needed if you have an alcohol or controlled-substance related charge. You need to procure three to six letters from multiple parties who will testify to your sobriety.
Evidence of support: If you are in AA or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), you will need to provide sign-in sheets to prove you were present. If you have a sponsor, he or she may also submit a notarized letter on your behalf.
Ignition interlock report: The vendor of the ignition interlock can supply you with a report, detailing when the interlock was installed and whether or not you have tried to start your vehicle while intoxicated. An ignition interlock report is only necessary if required, so you do to have to submit one in all situations.
At the Hearing
Getting a hearing is only the beginning. Now you and your lawyer must prove that you are sober and can return safely to the roads. It is up to you to decide how you will demonstrate this, and you should not expect any help or leniency from the state. This is not a case of "innocent until proven guilty." You have already been proven guilty. Now you must prove you are ready to accept your responsibility once more.
What you need to provide is "clear and convincing evidence," that you are no longer abusing alcohol and can be trusted not to drive drunk again. You must also prove complete abstinence from any alcohol or drugs for a certain period of time. The state would like to see a minimum of six months, but those with 12 months or more of sobriety have the best chances. This means no wine at Christmas or champagne at New Year's.
If you are planning to file for a hearing, you will need to gather evidence of your sobriety long before you even begin filling out any paperwork. If you are seeing a therapist or a licensed medical professional, you can ask him or her to help you document your sobriety.
You will also need to procure community proofs before the hearing date. These are notarized testimonial letters that show the state that you are cleaning up your act. At least three of these letters are required from three different sources, but you can offer up to six. You can ask family members, therapists or members of drug and alcohol resistance groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Filing for a DAAD hearing is not something to be taken lightly. Losing the appeal will force you to wait another year before you can file once more, so you must do everything in your power to ensure the appeal goes through. At Grabel & Associates, we have extensive experience helping clients regain their licenses and will aggressively defense your rights. If you are considering filing for a hearing, give us a call today for a free consultation at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online. Let us help you get back on the road.