How to Appeal a Driver’s License Hearing Decision in Lansing
Your hearing in front of the Administrative Hearing Section is set. You did your best to collect all the necessary paperwork and the reports from your support group and the ignition interlock company. Despite your best efforts, however, you were still missing certain documents and notarized letters. The appeal is denied and you are still left without a driver's license. What do you do next?
In Lansing, when drivers lose their appeal with the Administrative Hearing Section (now called the AHS, formally known as the DAAD/DLAD), it can seem as if their licenses will never be reinstated, but there is hope. With the help of a great driver’s license attorney, like one from Grabel & Associates, it is possible to get your license back and start driving once more.
After the Loss
The AHS may cite a number of reasons why they denied your appeal for a license. If you have ignition interlock installed on your vehicle, you must supply a clean report from the company. You must also submit and pass a 12-panel urinalysis. Failure to do either of these could result in a denied appeal
You might not have proof that you have been sober longer than six months. While you technically can appeal after six months of sobriety, hearings officers are unlikely to give you your license back without a minimum of twelve months of sobriety. The longer you wait, the stronger your case will be. You need to be able to prove your sobriety; documentation from Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is one example of this, although A.A. attendance is not required. You will also need three to six letters from support group members, friends, family and anyone else who can serve as an expert witness to your sobriety. Failure to produce any of these documents will cause your hearing not to be scheduled, the State will simply return the submitted documentation to you and indicate what items are missing.
Denied appeals from the AHS are extremely difficult to appeal, and in some cases, it is better not to appeal at all. Your best option is to talk to a lawyer and have him or her review the case. He or she will help you determine whether or not an appeal is possible for you and worth pursuing. If you do decide to appeal the hearing's decision, your appeal will go to the circuit court in your county of residence, and a judge will hear your case.
Excellent legal representation is key to winning this appeal, so consider contacting Grabel & Associates to fight for your driving rights and freedoms.
Proving Your Case
In order to overturn the AHS decision, you must prove that the previous hearing treated your case unfairly. It could be that the hearing officer who heard your appeal did not accurately interpret Lansing or Michigan law and therefore ruled incorrectly against you. Traditionally, a hearing officer's decision is highly valued and respected by judges on the circuit court, so if you chose to challenge them, make sure you have only the best in legal representation.
To prove the hearing officer's decision was incorrect, you must be able to sufficiently prove one of the following events happened:
- Your rights, guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, the 1963 State constitution or a legal statute, were violated by the AHS
- The Secretary of State was excessive in their statutory authority or jurisdiction
- An unlawful procedure led to material prejudice against you, the petitioner
- The decision was not supported by any competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record
- Arbitrary, capricious, or clearly an abuse, or unwarranted exercise, of discretion
- Any other substantial and material error of law.
These violations can be found in Section 257.323 in the Michigan Vehicle Code.
You have 63 days after the AHS's decision to file for an appeal, but this can be extended to 182 days, provided to you have a very good reason for having to wait to file. After filing an appeal you must wait 50 days for a hearing date to be set, this allows for a transcript to be prepared. Notice must be submitted to all parties immediately upon filing any documentation.
You and your lawyer will work closely to develop a strong strategy, proving that any one of the previous violations occurred. This is no easy task, and your lawyer must be able to meticulously review the record for errors. Your lawyer will guide you through the appellate process, and if all goes well, you may be able to overturn the AHS's decision and get your license back.
Hire a Lawyer Who Knows the Law
Remember that the appeals process is a long and complicated one, and will require work and dedication from an experienced attorney. If you are considering appealing a decision made by the AHS, then it is imperative that you have a confident, skilled lawyer who will be ready to fight in your corner.
Grabel & Associates knows how important a driver's license is to you, and we will do our very best to get you driving once more. Our lawyers know the law inside and out and can help you overturn a hearing decision from the AHS.
Contact one of our attorneys now at 1-800-342-7896 or online to schedule a free consultation. The sooner we help, the sooner you will be back on the road.