One of the most important parts of the process of getting your driver’s license reinstated or restored, is the letters of community support. They are also referred to as reference letters or testimonial letters. It is very critical that they are done correctly and contain the proper information. Many people have lost their driver’s license restoration hearings on the deficiency of the content of the support letters alone. I spend a great deal of time working with clients on these letters and often having them revised several times. Most clients start to hate me at this point in the process, but their emotions turns to joy and thankfulness when they see the end result. Most of the letters they submit are well meaning, but just don’t talk about what the Secretary of State hearing officers are looking for. That is why you need an experienced Michigan driver’s license restoration attorney representing you.
Clear and Convincing Evidence of Sobriety
The main things you have to prove by “clear and convincing” evidence at your reinstatement hearing is that your alcohol problem is under control and it is likely to remain under control. “Clear and convincing” is a standard of proof somewhere in between a “preponderance of the evidence” and “beyond all reasonable doubt.” It’s not just simply a matter of having friends and family show up or write letters saying that you don’t drink anymore. The Driver’s Appeal and Assessment Division (DAAD) requires proof. Some of the ways you demonstrate that is through the 10-panel drug screen and the substance abuse assessment that you submit. Another way is through the reference letters and they are very critical.
How Many Reference Letters do I need for my DAAD Hearing and Who Should Write Them?
The DAAD recommends three to six letters, but I generally have clients submit five. They should be from a broad range and sampling among your family, friends, co-workers, recovery or support group members, clergy. One letter should be from your sponsor. Do not submit letters from just one group because it looks suspicious. The hearing officer will wonder why only your co-workers know about your sobriety and not your family. The letters need to be notarized and must contain a contact phone number for the person writing it. These requirements have changed over the years so it’s always important to keep up on the current format requirements. For example, in years past they weren’t required to be notarized; now they are. That is also why it is important to have an attorney represent you with significant experience in driver’s license restoration hearings.
Michigan Driver’s License Appeals and Restoration Attorney
Your eligibility to petition the DAAD for a restricted license depends on the nature of your convictions. If you have two drunk driving convictions of any kind in a seven-year period, you must wait one year. If you have three drunk driving convictions within a 10-year period, you must wait five years. Make sure you are not on probation or parole, have no pending criminal charges, and all your court costs, fines, and driver’s responsibility fees are paid.
If you think you are eligible to have your driver’s license restored, contact Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to our Michigan driver’s license restoration attorney today!
Representing clients in driver’s license appeals and restorations and ignition interlock violations throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Livingston, Jackson, Washtenaw, Clinton, Gratiot, Barry, Shiawassee, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and in the cities of Lansing, Charlotte, Howell, Jackson, Ann Arbor, St. Johns, Ithaca, Hastings, Corunna, Durand, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids.