Driver's License Restoration

Whether you realize it or not, driving an automobile is a huge privilege, and many people do not realize how important it is until that privilege has been suspended or revoked.  Losing that privilege quickly deprives you of your freedom and independence as virtually everything you do in your daily lives revolves around and requires transportation--employment, education, medical appointments, and entertainment.  Even court hearings, when you have lost the privilege to drive, will hold you responsible to find transportation.

The Michigan Secretary of State will take licensing actions for certain criminal convictions involving the use of a motor vehicle, either suspending or revoking your license.  If your license has been revoked as a result of a criminal conviction or multiple convictions for drinking and driving offenses, you need to consult with an attorney who specializes in this area of the law sooner rather than later.  Too often, clients wait to contact an attorney until they are eligible to request a hearing with the Driver's Appeal and Assessment Division (DAAD).  This delay will often result in more time without driving privileges because you cannot adequately prepare for such hearings unless you know what steps are required of you and what types of treatment and/or support you required to prove.

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is trying to represent themselves in petitioning for a restoration hearing before the DAAD.  The DAAD hearing-officer requires very specific proofs from the petitioner and any errors or inconsistencies often result in a DENIAL and then the petitioner, aside from a possible appeal, is forced to wait another year before reapplying for restoration of driving privileges.

APPLICATION PACKAGE

When a petitioner is eligible, and properly prepared, to request a restoration hearing, s/he is required to include: the application form; three to six notarized letters from persons in the community who can attest to the petitioners past drinking and use of drugs as well as the petitioner's current sobriety; an alcohol assessment; and a 10-panel drug screening.  The burden of proof is placed upon the petitioner to prove by clear and convincing evidence that s/he has maintained absolute sobriety for at least 6 months and given certain situations up to 1 year.  The petitioner must prove that s/he has the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law, and the risk of repeating past behavior involving substance abuse is low or minimal.

If the petitioner has had previous hearings that were denied, those previous hearings now become relevant to the current application, and each hearing builds on the previous one, as the DAAD will certainly consider previous proofs and testimony as part of the history of sobriety. 

DRIVING HISTORY & SUBSEQUENT CONVICTIONS

The SOS will also look to your ability and willingness to follow the law, and if there if evidence that you have driven without a license, this will certainly work against you in your attempt to restore your driving privileges.  Any convictions for offenses abstracted to SOS during a defined period of suspension or revocation will result in a like-kind suspension or revocation, and you will have to wait longer to submit the application for a hearing. 

Do not waste time and money by trying to navigate this puzzle on your own. Contact Timothy A. Slais, Attorney at Law PLLC for a free consultation today.

Serving Ottawa County, Allegan County, Kent County, Berrien County, and Van Buren County.

© 2023 by Timothy A. Slais, Attorney at Law PLLC--Serving Ottawa, Holland, Kent, Allegan, Berrien, and Van Buren. 

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