Out of State Clearance

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


In the world of DAAD hearings, "sobriety" is the king of all priorities, however, right below that priority (or perhaps on equal footing with sobriety) is the length of sobriety!

A not so obvious correlation exists between DAAD requirements (rules) and being on probation/parole. Many wanna be petitioners ask me why aren't they eligible to petition for a license, after all, they just served ten years in prison and have successfully completed, say, three out of four years of parole. While the individual may be proud of this accomplishment (and rightfully so), the very problem lies within this "status".

Their thinking is, "I've been in this environment (prison) where no alcohol is allowed and now i am serving out a period of parole without any violations or problems, what is the hang up??" The hang up is this; the DAAD hearing officers look at this situation a bit differently. The thinking goes something like this: While the individual is in prison there are rules governing everything the person does from the time they wake up till the time they go to sleep.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


As a Michigan license restoration lawyer, I cannot tell you the frequency with which I am told by some poor soul, "You know, my last attorney only met me at the hearing!"

This cannot make anybody comfortable, let alone feeling prepared!!

I believe that this is not fair to the client. By the time my clients meet me at the hearing location, we are very well acquainted. We will have met a number of times in the preparation phase, and the petitioner will have a fairly good understanding of how the hearing will be conducted.

Read more . . .

Friday, February 10, 2017


After a successful DAAD hearing for license reinstatement clients are elated and overjoyed, and rightfully so; they can DRIVE LEGALLY again. But not so fast.

What ALL petitioners would be wise to bear in mind is that the initial hearing is but the first step in a process!

With the exception of the rare petitioner that gets "FULL DRIVING PRIVILEGES RESTORED" at their first hearing, (the reasons for this will be the topic of another blog article) getting the green light to drive again initially is but the beginning - but take heart, it is the biggest hurdle that petitioners face. Once this first phase is successfully completed, the newly won rights are for the petitioner to lose. That is to say, unless you do something silly or worse, stupid, the rest of the process is downhill.

Read more . . .

Friday, January 20, 2017


In a word "yes", and anywhere else for that matter but for the most part prescription medications will not present a problem. Michigan DAAD hearing officers are not going to be concerned about medications for high blood pressure or cholesterol. Nor will antibiotics pose a problem. What MAY be of concern to someone are the scripts for Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Dilaudid, Vicodin even Xanax, etc..

Read more . . .

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The problem with leaving the State of Michigan with unfinished license issues of the "revoked" nature, is that they never go away!! No passage of time will result in a free pass. The only positive thing the passage of time will accomplish is to put more time between the last time you drank/did illegal drugs and the time you petition the Secretary of State for driving privileges.

The longer your sobriety the better your chances of getting your desired relief.

But, the long and short of it is..

Read more . . .

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


DAAD testimonial letters are some of the most important evidence we submit for a restoration of driving privileges hearing. So why is it that so many people disdain the task??

Well, for one, maybe it is because they are doing it for someone else and not themselves? After all, how many times do we find ourselves saying, “I wish there were more hours in the day”?? We don’t even have enough time to do our own stuff let alone write a letter for someone else… Or maybe it is because they do not know what to write. Understandably people are busy with trying to keep their own lives just under a loud roar. I get it. So for my clients I’ve tried to streamline the procedure.

No, wondering what to write, I’ve taken the guess out of the task. My workup of license restoration cases includes a list of factors which must be included in every testimonial letter. I fully explain just how long the letter needs to be and the “technical” information that also must be included in each letter.

For most of the people writing these letters, I have come to realize, probably have not written a letter since they were in school. I couldn’t care less about grammar, sentence structure, punctuation or spelling. These things are not what is important to the reader (the hearing officer). In fact, I leave all imperfections in every letter so as not to make the reader think that I “sanitized” every letter.

What IS important is that each author of a letter convey with heartfelt conviction that the petitioner is in fact sober and will likely remain sober. The bullet points I provide will guide the writers as how to effectively do this and still include all required information.

As for the petitioner’s, these letters represent the single most important piece of evidence we will present to the hearing officer. They provide invaluable insight into the life of the petitioner. It allows the hearing officer to get a visual, if you will, into the daily activity of the petitioner and therefore enables the hearing officer to make a more informed decision. The more convincing the letters the better the chances of getting the relief we came there for.

For these reasons, I put a lot of emphasis on making these letters, “as good as they can be”. Almost without exception, I have “corrections” or “suggestions” that I mark on each letter requiring a “second draft” to be done by the author. This generally irritates people; sometimes it “enrages” people. But to those people I say, “consider if the shoe was on the other foot…” Everybody needs help at some point in their lives” and at this point in time this particular friend who is petitioning for license privileges, needs your help; and I do not believe that it is too far of a stretch to say, “their livelihoods depends on it”.

Don’t risk driving on a revoked license any longer….it only makes matters worse when you get caught. Call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois at 810-232-3223 for a free phone consultation and plan to get you back on the road “legally”.

Monday, October 26, 2015


For the most I put stock in the old saying, “You get what you pay for”. This is very true when it comes to the attorney/client relationship.

In light of the fact that, “you don’t know what you don’t know”, the petitioner’s case is only as good as the attorney’s preparation makes it. If the attorney misses a requirement of the statute or just plain does not prepare the client adequately, there is very little the client can do to rectify the situation.

And, for the client, they will be unaware of any problems until they get the denial of their petition and it is too late to do anything about it.

Having said that, what should a person pay for a license restoration hearing?? Since there is no “one size fits all” price out there, it really boils down to the difficulty of the particular case. Does the petitioner have many drinking/driving offenses? Does the petitioner have multiple DWLS charges after his license was revoked? Has the petitioner attempted a DAAD hearing already, and failed? How many hearings?

As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when arriving at a fair price. Furthermore, the above list is only a scratching of the surface when one looks at the big picture.

Suffice it to say that the nuances are varied and the pitfalls are plentiful.

That brings the discussion to another point. Knowing the subject matter inside and out is absolutely necessary for the attorney and this goes without saying. However, an effective representation includes knowledge of not only the law but also of the procedural aspects of the hearing itself and also of the particular hearing officer and his/her idiosyncrasies.

Knowing the hearing officers by name, knowing how they “tick”, knowing the questions they are going to ask, knowing what they want to hear, knowing what the DAAD hearing officer thinks is important and knowing how not to waste the hearing officers time are all critical for the best odds of success.

In my mind,, I am a better attorney than I was 25 years ago. Many beat downs later and many hearings of learning the ropes and getting to know the hearing officers on a personal level, has made me the effective lawyer in this field that I am today.

Unfortunately, for lawyering there is a learning curve. Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone has to make the “rookie” mistakes. When you hire me, all those wrinkles have been ironed out many years ago, now the wrinkles are on my face but the experience is on my resume and for those who are fortunate enough to hire me are those who get the benefit of 26 years of experience.

I know how nerve racking driving without a license can be (in addition to being illegal). I also can imagine how difficult it must be trying to make ends meet without the privilege of being able to drive.

When having driving privileges is essential and losing a DAAD petition is not an option, call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


DAAD hearings, although quasi-judicial in nature, are similar to court proceedings in the sense that they have “standards of proof” which must be met if the petitioner is to prevail. The standard of proof that applies to DAAD hearings is “clear and convincing” evidence.

This is a relatively high bar to clear but for good reason.

DAAD hearing officers (located in Lansing, Michigan for petitioners coming from the Genesee County area) are fully aware of relapse statistics. They know that these statistics are not favorable to the alcoholic. They are also aware that some petitioners are not above lying in order to get the relief they need. So it is not enough to merely suggest that you have stopped drinking (or drugging).

 Your “sobriety story” must be comprehensive, detailed and believable.

So the bottom line is time. Time must be spent developing the necessary proofs to be successful. Not only do the proofs need to be developed, they also need to be properly articulated. That is, they need to be orderly and understandable to the hearing officer. Being efficient so that the hearing officer does not have to ask a million follow up questions is good.

Michigan DAAD hearing officers have schedules and they are tight! They schedule hearings every half hour and they do not have time to waste. Not wasting their time is appreciated.

So getting to the crux of the matter is key. Establishing when, why and how the Michigan DAAD petitioner became sober and what measures he/she has put into effect in order to remain sober is number one in terms of importance.

For the client who has already gone through the appeal process unsuccessfully will see a sharp contrast in how I prepare my petitioners for a Michigan DAAD hearing compared to other attorneys.

This contrast is why I have a very high rate of success. My work ethic and holding preparation as my number one priority is why, in over 25 years of practice, I have lost only a handful of appeals (most of the losers are the result of the client saying something off the wall and really stupid….which is why I repeatedly tell my clients not to add lib).

Although the preparation phase takes a little time and effort on the clients part, it is completely doable and, when the petitioner is sitting in the hearing room, crazy nervous, he/she will be thankful for the effort and preparation prior to the hearing.

If your license has been revoked and you cannot risk going another year without driving privileges, call the Law offices of Martin Lievois in Flint at 810-232-3223.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


From the perspective of an attorney it is easy to forget that often times the client is basically clueless as to all aspects of a license restoration hearing.

This is true not only of the “procedural” aspect which is more obvious, but also of the “essence” of the hearing. In light of the fact that the lion’s share of my restoration petitions deal with alcohol abuse, the Hearing Officer’s main objective is to determine the petitioner’s sobriety and the likelihood that the petitioner will remain sober.

Although the petitioner, initially, must wait a period of time to become “eligible” to even be able to petition the Secretary of State and ask for privileges; this is something the petitioner has to be proactive about making happen. In other words, the mere passing of time satisfies the “elegibility” requirement, but that’s where the work starts.

And probably needless to say, that’s the easy part!!! If you have read any of my blog articles you probably know by now that a license restoration petition, or more accurately, the “preparation” for the hearing is, for the attorney and client, a proactive one. To be sure the guidance, actual preparation of the petition along with its submission and various other tasks are all on me… but.a good amount of leg work and effort is born by the client.

I think, in part, the elation and relief felt by the client at the hearings conclusion is because the payoff makes the arduous process worth it. And that is why I love this area of work so much. After 25 years of practicing law, I rarely see clients happier with a “result” as I do in this endeavor. It makes it worth it to me too.

That is why I like to separate myself from the pack so to speak by staying on top of every aspect of the procedure. Many unwitting petitioners hire attorneys who are not. My approach is to make sure the client never loses focus or goes off the reservation in preparing.

A large part of the prep is timing. As in, “we don’t have a lot of it”. From the date of the first testimonial letter we have ninety days to complete all necessary components of the proofs and have them submitted along with the petition and request for the hearing. Now I like to submit all proofs well before we approach the ninety day mark but some clients simply need more time for various reasons. Mostly, in my experience, it is the testimonial letters that causes the delay and that is because they have to be perfect. But whatever delay this causes it is worth it. Remember, we get one shot per year, so it’s worth it to do it right the first time.

For the client that is willing to “bite the bullet”, pony up the $$$ and then follow all my instructions is the client who gets his license privileges back because I refuse to lose!!!

If you are serious about getting back on the road “legally” give the law offices of Martin Lievois a call in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550.

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| Phone: 810-232-3223
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