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Burden of Proof at Your Driver License Restoration Hearing

If your driver’s license has been revoked, you are not eligible to operate a motor vehicle for any reason until after you have presented your case before the Michigan Driver Appeal and Assessment Division (DAAD). Pursuant to MCL 257.303, some of the most common reasons for license revocation are because of convictions for: 2 DUI cases within 7 years, 3 DUI cases within 10 years, a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle, a DUI causing death or a DUI causing a serious personal injury.

Contact ABDO LAW if your driver’s license is revoked and you want the services of a law firm that wins over 90% of our cases with the DAAD. Call for a free confidential consultation. Phone: 586-412-5555, Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo.

Meeting the Burden of Proof at a License Restoration Hearing

A party that is eligible for a driver’s license appeal is not automatically entitled to a license at a future point in time. Revocations are indefinite and driving privileges will not be granted unless the petitioner can meet the burden of proof before a Michigan Driver Appeal and Assessment Division (DAAD) hearing officer. In this regard, an individual with a revoked license is required to prove by clear and convincing evidence all of the following:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse problems are under control.
  • That the risk of petitioner repeating his past conduct is low or minimal.
  • That the risk of petitioner repeating the act of drunk driving is low or minimal.
  • That the petitioner has the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.
  • At least 6 consecutive months of abstinence or for a period of not less than 12 consecutive months if the evidence at the hearing establishes that a longer period is required such as: A chemical test result more than 2x the level or 3 or more alcohol or controlled substance related offenses.

AVOID MAKING COSTLY MISTAKES: Submitting faulty evidence can permanently ruin your changes of ever regaining driving privileges. The services of an attorney are essential to insure your evidence is solid and consistent.

The Proof is in the Evidence and Testimony Provided at the Hearing

The hearing officer’s decision will be based upon the documentation of sobriety submitted and the testimony of the parties at the DAAD hearing. The required documentation consists of the following:

  • SOS Form 257 (to be completed by petitioner)
  • SOS Form 258 Substance Abuse Evaluation
  • A 10 panel urinalysis drug screen
  • 3-6 character letters
  • Doctor’s letter if certain prescriptions drugs are used by petitioner
  • Proof of AA and/or counseling
  • Additional supporting evidence (awards, achievements)

Assuming the documentation is sufficient and consistent, the petitioner will also be required to testify at the appeal hearing. Knowing that most people are nervous about public speaking or testifying at a hearing, we spend some time preparing our clients for the hearing and reviewing pertinent questions that are likely to be covered at the hearing. Hearings may be “live” (before the hearing officer) or video linked to a hearing officer that is at another location. Hearings at the Livonia location are always “live”. Hearings at the Port Huron or Clinton Township locations are video linked.

Don’t assume that you will be given a license by the hearing officer just because you waited out the minimum revocation period and need a license for work or other necessity. The issue of “need” is not relevant. You must meet the burden of proof regarding sobriety and the likelihood of remaining sober. If you do not meet the burden of proof, your license revocation will continue and you will be required to wait up to 12 months before you are eligible for your next hearing.

You May Have Grounds to Appeal the Decision of the DAAD Hearing Officer

If you lose your hearing at the administrative level before the DAAD, you may have grounds to file an appeal. Pursuant to MCL 257.323(4), the decision of a hearing officer may be appealed to the circuit court where the petitioner resides based upon the following:

  • In violation of the Constitution of the United States, the state constitution of 1963, or a statute.
  • In excess of the secretary of state's statutory authority or jurisdiction.
  • Made upon unlawful procedure resulting in material prejudice to the petitioner.
  • Not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record.
  • Arbitrary, capricious, or clearly an abuse or unwarranted exercise of discretion.
  • Affected by other substantial and material error of law. 

The circuit court appeal process is expensive and arduous. It can take 2 – 4 months after you receive a decision from the DAAD before you can get a hearing before a circuit court judge. And winning at the circuit court is not guaranteed because the Michigan Department of State will contest the circuit court appeal and be represented by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

Our Goal is to WIN in the First Round

Winning at the initial DAAD hearing is a far better option than going through the circuit court appeal process or waiting another year for a re-hearing. That is why we say that there is no room for error and winning in this first round is what we strive to achieve.

Haven't you waited long enough? ABDO LAW has a proven track record of winning DAAD hearings to get you back on the road!

EMAIL or CALL Abdo Law for a FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION. Phone messages after business hours are forwarded to our attorneys. We offer same day, evening, weekend appointments and the ability to retain us over the internet. Payment plans and all credit cards accepted.

CALL: Metro Detroit: 586-412-5555 or Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

Client Reviews
★★★★★
The level of service exceeded my expectations, your devotion to my refusal to settle for a lessor misdemeanor was reassuring and inspired, and the team's creative interpretation of the law in finding a comparable civil infraction was legendary. It was a five-star experience. Thank you for refusing to settle when I was innocent of my accused crime. Satisfied Client, Assault Charge DISMISSED
★★★★★
Matt and his staff...turned a terrible situation in my life into a positive life learning experience. Not many court cases end up being a positive in life, but Abdo Law delivered just that. Going with their firm was the best decision I could have made and I owe them everything for turning my bad decision into a extremely manageable situation. Thank you Abdo law!!!! Bill L., Satisfied Client
★★★★★
The Abdo Law Firm represented myself during one of my biggest times of need in my life. They handled my cases with ease and met my expectations far beyond what I anticipated. Not only did they got one, but two domestic violence charges completely dropped. I would have been lost without this five-star Law Firm. Satisfied Client, 2 Separate Assault Charges DISMISSED
★★★★★
Abdo law FOUGHT and got my DUI kicked out of court when my job was on line. Five Stars! Satisfied Client, OWI DISMISSED