ATTORNEY – CLIENT CONSULTATION, CASE PLANNING: When we meet with someone for the first time to discuss a new license restoration case, we take our time to review their substance abuse history, driving record, counseling history, lifestyle changes and plan for continued sobriety. Each person has distinctive circumstances and we handle driver license restorations on a case by case basis. Given that each driver license restoration case is one-of-a-kind, we may decline to represent a client who does not have a sufficient period of sobriety or advise the person to make specific improvements before we will go forward. If necessary, we may advise our clients to become involved in a relapse prevention program, attend AA or counseling for a few months before he or she obtains a substance abuse evaluation and other documentation.
After being retained for persons that we feel will meet the burden of proof, we will advise our client to get a substance abuse evaluation, drug test, character letters and other important documentation. In addition, we provide our clients with a template for the required character letters and recommend local licensed counselors who are best suited to provide the required substance abuse evaluation.
SCHEDULING A DLAD HEARING: Our job is to provide the documentation to the Driver License Appeal Division which will be used as evidence in the case and prepare our clients for the actual hearing stage of the case. In my opinion, the documents which are strategically selected provide an organized foundation for the hearing that will follow. When we receive all of the requested documentation/evidence, we will request a hearing. It usually takes 30 to 60 days for our clients to gather all of the required documentation.
The hearing date is scheduled by the DLAD from 4 to 6 weeks after it is requested. A notice of the hearing date will be provided by mail to the petitioner and attorney.
REVIEW OF QUESTIONS BEFORE THE HEARING: Our firm has accumulated a comprehensive list of questions which are usually asked at DLAD hearings. We meet with our clients before the hearing and review many of the challenging questions which are covered. We find that many of our clients have maintained sobriety for many years but have no clue about the intimidating hearing process which involves many personal and invasive questions. If you fail to answer the questions to the satisfaction of the hearing officer, you could run the risk of a continued license revocation. Here is just a sample of the questions that may arise at a hearing:
Are you an alcoholic?
Do you live with someone who drinks alcohol?
Do you think it would be okay to work somewhere that serves alcohol?
Do you ever have the urge to drink alcoholic beverages?
There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. A person who answers YES to any of the above questions may be required to expand upon his or her response. However, it is my opinion that you have a chance of winning a DLAD hearing even if you are an alcoholic, live with someone who drinks, work somewhere that serves alcohol and have an urge to drink. The crux of a Michigan DLAD hearing will always depend upon whether the petitioner has met the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence which will be discussed in Part 4, The Hearing.
The ABDO LAW FIRM believes in preparation before appearing for any hearing. Our ability to advocate for our clients comes from years of experience and practice before the DLAD. Phone: 586-412-5555.
Part 1: Michigan License Restorations, Building A Mountain With Positive Evidence
Part 2: Michigan License Restorations, Initial Preparation
Part 3: Michigan License Restorations, Getting Organized, Reviewing Questions Part 4: Michigan License Restorations, The Hearing
Part 5: Michigan License Restorations, The Decision By The DLAD and Appeal Rights