Articles Posted in Driver’s License Restoration

In Michigan, we have some of the most severe laws in our country when it comes to the punishment of drivers that have lost their license. Today will be the first in a series of articles that will discuss the topic of Driver’s License Restoration. We will begin by tackling the issue of the eligibility requirements for restoring your driver’s license once it has been revoked. cruising-1430324-m-300x199

What are the rules for eligibility in the State of Michigan?

The first thing to keep in mind is the timing of asking to have your license restored. According to the Michigan Secretary of State, the rules state that one can apply for restoration 1 year after your first revocation or 5 years after any subsequent revocation within 7 years. While that timing seems harsh to many not in the legal profession, there are pitfalls that many people do not consider when dealing with this issue.

An individual’s driver’s license may be revoked due to multiple convictions for driving under the influencedriver's license (DUI); in some cases, a person’s license may be permanently revoked if that individual has been convicted for DUI repeatedly over a specific time period. Is it possible to get a revoked license back in Michigan? In most cases – but be warned, the process is very complex.

The first step you must take to have any chance of getting your driver’s license reinstated is to file a request with the Michigan Secretary of State’s DAAD (Driver Assessment and Appeal Division). However, there are certain guidelines that must be followed, and you cannot request a hearing at any time of your choosing. For example, if your driver’s license was revoked due to being convicted for DUI twice within seven years, you must wait for one year following the revocation before filing a request with the DAAD. If you were convicted on DUI charges three times within 10 years, you may file a request after one year has passed; however, if your license was revoked at any time during the seven (7) years prior to the ten-year period in which you were convicted three times for DUI, you will have to wait for five years to file a request. As you can see, determining when you may be eligible to file a request with the DAAD is quite confusing.

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The majority of the time, a person’s driver’s license is suspended due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are other reasons why someone’s license may be suspended, but this article focuses on drinking and driving. iStock_000054888764_XXXLarge-2-300x200

Recently, an article at AJC.com revealed that a judge in Atlanta lifted the suspension of a motorist’s driver’s license after he refused to take a field sobriety test after being stopped for driving 55 mph in a 35 mph zone. David Leoni was stopped by an Atlanta police officer who claimed that while Leoni’s eyes were watery, they were not red. The police officer also claimed that Leoni exited his vehicle and walked without balance problems, and that he answered all questions appropriately. Leoni refused to submit to field sobriety tests, and told the officer he had been sleeping when friends called and asked him for a ride.

On New Year’s Eve, a Georgia administrative law judge ruled that an odor of alcohol on the breath, watery eyes, and even striking a curb are not sufficient evidence to determine that a motorist is drunk and his/her license should be suspended. In this case, the judge ruled that the officer did not have sufficient evidence to arrest Leoni for impairment, because a person’s ability to drive after consuming alcohol varies from one person to another. The judge ruled that a driver could only be considered drunk when he or she became incapable of driving safely while under the influence of alcohol. The judge’s ruling also stated insufficient grounds for the Dept. of Driver Services to suspend Leoni’s license; he restored Leoni’s license pending his criminal case.

A recent NBC Miami news article says that singer Enrique Iglesias is scheduled to appear in court on July 10 after he was charged with obstruction and driving on a suspended license on May 6. freeway-6663-m

Iglesias was pulled over by Florida Highway Patrol in Miami-Dade County after he was spotted driving a Cadillac Escalade in the closed express lanes of Interstate 95. A trooper claims that in the process of being pulled over, a passenger in the SUV moved into the driver’s seat after Iglesias jumped into the back of the vehicle. He then climbed into the passenger seat, although FHP Lt. Julio Pajon said that Mr. Iglesias was the one driving the vehicle when the incident occurred.

The passenger in the SUV, Abel Tabuyo, said he did not know why he switched seats with the singer. Both men were handcuffed, and released after signing notices to appear in court. Iglesias invoked his Miranda rights, and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Michigan driver’s license reinstatement attorneys realize that nearly anyone can have his/her driver’s license suspended once or twice – but 26 times, when an individual is only 23 years old? This is exactly what seems to be the case with a South Florida man, who authorities discovered had his license suspended 26 times while running multi-agency DUI checkpoints in Miami Beach on Friday evening, May 8. miamis-sunset-960138-m

According to news reports Local10.com and Random Pixels, 23-year-old Kiarri Tommy Lee Cook was discovered to have had his license suspended more times than he is old in years after officers ran a records check on him at a DUI checkpoint. Officers said Cook is what is referred to as a habitual traffic offender, or H.T.O. In Florida, it is considered a felony to continue to drive knowing that your license has been suspended, particularly when someone repeats this behavior multiple times. Police also found marijuana in Cook’s glove compartment.

Cook claimed when interviewed by Local 10 News reporter John Turchin that he did not know his driver’s license was suspended. State records also indicate his license had been revoked for four years.

In the state of Michigan, someone who has his/her driver’s license revoked for multiple DUIs or other reasons faces an uphill battle when it comes to getting the license reinstated. Why is it so difficult, and why, in most cases, does someone whose license has been revoked have to go through the complicated process of a DLAD (Driver’s License Appeal Division) hearing? cruising-1430324-m

The fact is, most who have their license suspended or revoked for driving under the influence will do it again – in the opinion of state lawmakers, anyway. The government is cautious primarily because it does not want to put innocent people’s lives in danger. This is sometimes understandable, considering one recent incident in which a 61-year-old Battle Creek woman had just had her license reinstated and one day later crashed into an ambulance, resulting in the deaths of three individuals. Shirley Stokes, the woman who had her license reinstated the day prior to the accident, ran a red light while under the influence of alcohol. The accident resulted in the deaths of herself, her passenger, 54-year-old James Earl Stokes, and the patient inside the ambulance who was suffering from cardiac arrest.

While DUI or OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) result in serious implications such as possible jail time, fines, community service, and other punishment, driver’s license suspension or revocation is often the worst punishment of all. Not everyone who seeks to have his/her license reinstated is eligible, however those who are face an arduous task. DAAD hearing officers demand clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner is “rehabilitated,” and that he or she will not consume alcohol, or once again fall into the habit of drinking and possibly driving while under the influence. This requires an extensive effort and mountains of paperwork, including supporting exhibits such as letters of reference, a substance abuse evaluation, 10 panel drug screening, documents that support you have changed your lifestyle, and testimony from yourself and possibly other witnesses who can testify on your behalf.

In the state of Michigan, the most common reasons for an individual’s driver’s license being suspended are DUI or a conviction for leaving the scene of an accident. However, your license can be suspended once you accumulate so many points on your driving record because of other traffic offenses such as speeding, reckless driving, failure to yield, improper passing, and other offenses. road

So, how many points must accumulate before your license will be suspended? The easy answer is 12, but let’s explain the process a bit more clearly.

Once a motorist in Michigan has accumulated four points on his or her record within a 2-year time period, he/she will received a letter from the Secretary of State alerting you to the fact the number of points you have is higher than usual. Accumulate eight points, and you will receive another letter informing you that you are getting closer to having your driver’s license suspended, and warning against the continued violation of traffic laws. Once you have reached 12 points on your driving record, you must submit to several tests and undergo a driver reexamination to determine if your license should be suspended. Ultimately, most people who go through this process will have their license restricted, suspended, or even revoked for a number of months or even years.

If you are a motorist in Michigan whose driver’s license has been suspended, you may be curious as to whether you would be eligible for a hardship appeal. First of all, there are only certain suspensions that may be eligible for an appeal. Second, you must successfully make the argument that you are experiencing a true hardship because of the fact that you do not have a valid driver’s license. driving-50389-m

What is a hardship? A hardship may exist when you cannot get to and from work, school, or other important or essential meetings/destinations. However, it is important to note that even if you win a hardship appeal, the license you receive is not a regular license, but instead one that makes it possible for you to drive only for specific purposes, such as to work, school, or for medical appointments. Violation of the terms of your hardship license will result in a loss of your driving privilege completely.

Whether you may appeal for a hardship depends on the reason for suspension of your driver’s license

On Monday, December 22, 31-year-old Christian Lopez-Barcelo allegedly killed a pedestrian who was running in Huntington Station, LI, after his 2009 Ford Crown Victoria taxi cab struck the runner. Raymond Sipel, 30 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. cab-778099-m

The accident occurred just before 11 p.m., according to a news report at Longisland.com. The accident is still under investigation by Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives.

Lopez-Barcelo was taken to a local hospital to be checked out although he was not injured. He was treated for stress-related symptoms and released. So far, the only charge he is facing is operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. The cab he was driving was impounded for a safety check, and is owned by Orange and White Taxi Company.

While most Michigan DUI defense attorneys would advise not to submit to roadside breath tests when pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, breath or blood tests administered at the police station or hospital are an entirely different matter. If you refuse to submit to either of these tests, you violate the state’s Implied Consent law. Under this law, every person who has a driver’s license and who operates a motor vehicle consents to complying with these tests upon obtaining a driver’s license. So, what happens if you do not comply? Your license is automatically suspended for one year. A Defense Lawyers Guide to DWI & DUI Prevention Pic

What next?

If your driver’s license has been suspended due to refusal to take a breath/blood test, you have 20 days to challenge the suspension through a Secretary of State Implied Consent hearing; you must request this hearing. Once you request this hearing, your license cannot be suspended until the hearing is complete. The arresting officer must attend this hearing, however if he/she does not attend the hearing, you win automatically, meaning that your driver’s license will not be suspended.