Are you ready to take back your life by restoring your driver’s license? If so, you may have a long road ahead of you. Sometimes we forget that driving is considered a privilege, not a right. But the hearing officers employed at the Driver License Appeal Division of the state of Michigan understand this all too well and are extremely cautious when determining whether your privileges should be restored, especially after a DUI. Legal representation by an experienced and reputable Grand Rapids DUI attorney is invaluable during this stressful and complex process.
The Burden of Proof
The process to restore a revoked or suspended Michigan driver’s license is a long and complicated. Under the Michigan state guidelines, you must present “clear and convincing” evidence that you will not drink and drive. In other words, you have the burden of proof in convincing the hearing officer that he or she should restore your driving privileges. An experienced Grand Rapids DUI attorney from Miel & Carr PLC understands this process well, and can successfully guide you through your appeal.
Your Right to an Appeal Hearing
In order to have your driving privileges restored, you must first request a hearing with the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD). In Michigan, your license is presumed to be revoked for life, and you merely have the right to have a hearing annually.
In order to get a favorable outcome at an appeal hearing, you must prove two things; one, your substance abuse or drinking problem is under control and will remain under control; and two, you will not drink and drive again.
It is crucial that you be well prepared for your hearing. Prior to submitting your application to the appeal board, you must make sure that the information you provided is consistent. The specifics are important. Your reference letters and the evaluation must be persuasive. Reference letters must be dated, especially with regards to when you abstained from alcohol. All documentation must be dated and signed.
The Possible Outcome
Although this may sound like an easy process, it is not. The odds are stacked against you. If you fail, you will have to wait one more year to request another hearing for restoring your driving privileges. Moreover, if you fail, the reasons you failed will be examined the next time you appeal. The attorneys at Miel & Carr PLC can help you win your appeal the first time by avoiding the common mistakes made by those individuals without legal guidance.
If you win your hearing, there is a great possibility that you will be required to have an ignition interlock for one year and you will only be given a restricted license. The interlock is generally removed after one year, whereas your restricted license remains.
If you need to restore your Michigan driver’s license but have questions or do not know where to start, contact Miel & Carr PLC today at 616-773-2945.