Michigan Driver’s License Appeal Process

Michigan revokes driver’s licenses for those convicted of two or more drinking and driving convictions. A person with a revoked license must wait out the revocation time imposed upon them before they are eligible to file for an appeal hearing in front of the Secretary of State.

Evidence for Your Appeal

Your evidence is usually submitted before the hearing. Examples of evidence typically submitted would be:

  • request for administrative hearing
  • substance use disorders evaluation
  • 10 panel drug screen with two integrity variables
  • evidence of support including AA sign-in sheets
  • treatment records
  • letters from 3 to 6 people documenting sobriety and any additional information that you feel may be helpful.

Making Your Case at Hearing

You will receive a hearing notice in the mail with the date, time and location for your driver's license appeal hearing. The hearing is similar to a trial. At the hearing, you will be expected to testify. You may also have additional witnesses testify on your behalf.

What do you need to prove in order to win your appeal?

You must clearly and convincingly prove the following four elements:

  1. Your alcohol and/or substance abuse problem is controlled and will likely remain under control in the future.
  2. You have a low risk of drunk driving and a low risk of drinking and/or drug use in the future.
  3. That you have the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.
  4. You must prove 6 - 12 months of sobriety. Most will have to prove a minimum of 12 months of sobriety before the hearing.

It is a must that you prove these things with clear and convincing evidence. If there's any doubt in the hearing officer's mind, you will lose. Therefore, it's critical that all your evidence be properly prepared and that your testimony is convincing.

How can you improve your odds of winning your Michigan driver's license appeal?

I have several suggestions. First, if you are attending alcohol or substance abuse counseling, complete it. This helps show that you have gotten professional help with your problem and have a higher probability of remaining sober in the future.

Secondly, attend Alcoholics Anonymous or another recognized support group. While AA is not for everyone, for many it truly helps. Consistent Alcoholics Anonymous attendance helps prove that your problem is likely to stay controlled in the future because you are a part of a support community. If you have a sponsor, that's a definite plus.

Third, letters of sobriety help prove that you are sober and are committed to staying that way into the future. These letters are extremely important to winning your Michigan driver's license appeal. Finally, I would suggest hiring an attorney who practices in the area of Michigan driver’s license appeals. A lawyer can help you put together a strategy to maximize your chances of winning, obtain and file the necessary paperwork and prepare you to testify at your hearing. At the hearing, your attorney can submit key evidence and argue your case to the hearing officer.

Disclaimer: Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter, including yours, in which a lawyer or law firm may be retained. The information you from this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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