Driver's License Restoration Attorneys
97% Success Rate at Driver’s License Review Hearings
Let’s face it. If you live in Michigan, you can’t get around without a driver’s license. In a state known as the birthplace of the auto industry, attention to public transportation has been sorely lacking. But if you’ve been convicted of multiple drinking and driving offenses, you’re likely in the unenviable position of trying to get around without a license. You have to rely on your spouse, your family, your friends, and maybe even your coworkers just to get to work and everywhere else you need to go to live your life. Not fun, right?
Don’t resign yourself to living without a driver’s license. If you’re serious about maintaining your sobriety, you can get your license back by petitioning the Secretary of State. But don’t try to go it alone. Often, we see clients who tried to do their own restoration and ended up only making their situation worse. We’ll be the first ones to tell you that there are certain legal problems that you can solve without the assistance of an attorney. Driver’s license restoration isn’t one of them.
The good news is that we here at Grabel & Associates have a 97% success rate when it comes to driver’s license restoration cases. In fact, we have one attorney who handles these cases exclusively. She’s developed unsurpassed expertise and is considered one of the best driver’s license restoration attorneys in the state. If you want to get back on the road, you want us on your case.
Are you eligible to apply?
The first thing we’ll need to figure out is if you’re eligible to petition for your license to be restored. In most cases, you’ll need to wait a full year from when you lost your license before you can petition for your license to be restored. In some cases, you’ll have to wait 5 years. It’s best for us just to see your official driving record so we can pinpoint your eligibility date.
Just as importantly, you’ll need to be able to show that you’re committed to maintaining your sobriety. After you’ve been convicted of multiple drinking and driving offenses, the burden is on you to demonstrate that it won’t happen again and that the public isn’t going to be at risk with you on the road. You will only be able to petition to get your license back if you can show that you’ve maintained your sobriety for at least one year.
One more thing. Although this shouldn’t need to be said, our experience tells us it does: if you don’t have a license, don’t drive. We find that many of our clients who don’t have a driver’s license make the poor decision to drive anyway, thinking they won’t get caught. For whatever reason, though, unlicensed drivers seem to be cop magnets. And here’s the kicker—any new tickets or criminal offenses on your driving record will make you ineligible to petition for a license for at least another year. So, for example, let’s say that you become eligible to petition for your license in April. You begin to take the preliminary steps but—oops—you get caught driving without a license in May. You’ll now have to wait at least another year before you can petition.
The bottom line—you should not drive if you don’t have a license; you should especially not drive if you don’t have a license and are considering petitioning for restoration.
The initial steps
To get your license back, you’ll have to go through the Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearings Section (AHS), formerly known as the Driver License Appeal Division (DLAD) or the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD). Ultimately, your case will go to a hearing in front of a “hearing officer,” tantamount to a judge. Before you get that far, though, there’s a lot that needs to be done.
First, you’ll need to get a substance use evaluation through a state-licensed substance abuse counselor. The purpose is to ensure that any of your substance abuse issues have been resolved and that you’re not at risk of drinking and driving again.
Second, you’ll need to do a 10-panel drug screen to show that you have not recently consumed any alcohol or other illicit substances. Again, the goal is to ensure that you’re living a sober lifestyle without the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Third, you’ll need “documentation of sobriety.” This requires you to submit four to eight (depending on your hearing officer) notarized letters from friends, family members, or coworkers who can attest to your sobriety. The letters must include certain key information, including the person’s relationship to you, how long the person has known you, and the last time the person saw you use alcohol or controlled substances.
Finally, you’ll need “evidence of support.” That is, you’ll need to be able to prove that you’ve been actively engaged in measures to ensure your sobriety, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and counseling. If you have a sponsor, you’ll want to have a notarized letter from him or her. To be clear, AA is not required but if you choose to participate in AA make sure your attendance can be verified.
This is just an overview of what you’ll need to do before you can request a hearing. Each step can become very involved and time consuming. You’ll need an experienced firm (like us!) to guide you through each step.
The request for a hearing
So you’ve gone through all the initial steps and now you’re ready to request a hearing. You’ll need to fill out all the forms, bundle everything up, and send it off to the Secretary of State. If everything is not in order, the Secretary of State will not schedule a hearing for you. Of course, an attorney can make sure that all the correct paperwork has been submitted.
We find that it usually takes two or three months from when the request for a hearing is sent until the hearing is actually held. You’ll receive notice of the date about two or three weeks beforehand.
So you’ve made it through all the preliminary steps and you now have a hearing date. To get your license back, you’ll need to show the hearing officer the following four things:
- That your alcohol or substance abuse problems are under control and likely to remain under control
- That you’re at low or minimal risk of repeating your past abusive behavior
- That you’re at low or minimal risk of drinking and driving again
- That you have the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law
The Secretary of State employs several hearing officers throughout the state, and each runs the hearing in his or her own particular way. Our firm has been in front of every hearing officer, and we know how to prepare you for success regardless of which one is assigned to your case.
In most cases, you’ll receive the hearing officer’s decision within four to six weeks after the hearing. Grabel & Associates wins 97% of it driver’s license restoration cases, so if you hire us, you can expect to receive a favorable decision.
If you’re granted a license, you’ll need to have your car equipped with an ignition interlock device, sometimes called an in-car breathylzer. You’ll need to have this in your car for at least a year before you can petition to get it taken off.
For the required documentation and other questions, you may have on retaining your driver's license please visit the following practice pages on driver's license suspension and restoration:
- Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD/DLAD) Letters of Reference
- Driving on a Suspended License Defense
- How to Get a Restricted Driver’s License After Suspension
- Ignition Interlock Violation Defense
- Michigan DL Law Information Center
- Michigan Resources for Revoked or Suspended Driver’s License
- Preparing for Your DAAD/DLAD Hearing
- Revoked and Suspended Driver's License Reinstatement
- Substance Abuse Evaluation
- Treatment and Relapse History
- Types of Licenses Awarded at DAAD Hearings
- What You Need To Prove at Your DAAD/DLAD Hearing
Contact us right away
As you can see, petitioning for restoration of your license is an extremely complicated process. You need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact us online or call us at our 24/7 defense hotline at 1-800-342-7896.