Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Monday, January 26, 2015


Thinking back on my first DAAD hearing in front of Mr. Olds on the seventh floor of the State building in downtown Flint nearly 25 years ago, I cringe at thinking how little I knew about what was going to transpire in the quickly approaching hearing just moments away.

How were these “hearing officers” going to act? Were they going to be in robes?  Was the hearing going to be private? Would it be a cattle call where everybody who has hearings gathers in one room and then the hearings are conducted one by one but in front of everyone else? What would be the procedure?

It’s kind of funny to say, but something no one thinks about is who says what and when; as a defense attorney, something as simple as this unknown creates stress.

Many hearings later, I can now look back at all the Hearing Officers that have come and gone, all the various hearing locations, all the rules and regulation changes and finally all the various issues that accompany the widely divergent clients over the years.

The one common denominator for every client is the urgency with which they need relief. They all need their driver’s license restored yesterday!!! The stress and anxiety clients have over this is palpable. Conversely, the relief and elation a client shows after the hearing is so very satisfying to me….it certainly makes that hour long drive back to the office most enjoyable.

So, nowadays when I meet with a new client and I hear them recount prior experiences with unsuccessful hearings and how the attorney approached the whole case is disheartening to say the least. I cannot recall all the clients that have said things like, “my other attorney didn’t have me do this”, or “the only time I saw my attorney is when we met at the hearing”.

These hearings take meticulous preparation and time must be spent with the client before the hearing. Questions and answers must be reviewed; testimonial letters must also be reviewed, and, most often revised.  And little details like map-questing the hearing location for the client and where to go sit when they get to their, are some of the details which should not be ignored. Anything that helps alleviate stress and anxiety for the client serves to ensure a smoother, glitch free hearing, and the smoother the hearing, the greater the odds for success.

As I have repeated over and over in past blog articles the client gets only one hearing per year!! By the time they come to my office for relief the client has already suffered through many hardships getting around and through day to day living. So take advantage of all my trials and tribulations, all my hearing experience, my passion for helping people and winning and the dedication to my clients needs.

When you cannot afford to gamble, when you need the best odds for getting your driver’s license restored, call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Many people currently facing this dilemma are not even aware of their peril. They will find out soon enough.

The fact is, whatever the nature of your visit to Michigan, be it business or pleasure, if you find yourself in the unenviable position of pleading to a 2nd drinking and driving offense in this State, the Secretary of State will, upon receiving notice of the conviction, revoke the Out-of-State drivers’ privileges to use his license to drive in Michigan. Because that’s all Out-of-State driver had, that is, Michigan’s approval of Out-of-State driver using his home States’ license to establish driving privileges in Michigan. And, conversely, that’s all Michigan has the power to do. Michigan has no power to suspend or revoke a license issued by another State but the State can revoke Out-of-State drivers’ privileges to drive here in Michigan.

 These “privileges” are revoked from between 1-5 years and until a successful petition is granted by the DAAD (drivers assessment and appeal division) of the Michigan Secretary of State. The period of revocation is dictated by the amount of convictions one compiles within a specific time frame, i.e.:

  • 2 convictions within 7 years will saddle driver with a one year revocation, and;
  • 3 convictions within 10 years will penalize driver with a five year revocation.

The problem can be compounded by the delay before the driver becomes aware. This “awareness” punches driver in the face usually when they go to re-new their license. This is when the driver’s home DMV conducts a check of the network. At this point the check will expose the Michigan driving sanctions. It will show up as a “hold” on the driver’s privileges in Michigan. The DMV will deny driver’s request to re-new his home State driver’s license until he “clears” the hold in Michigan.

 Subsequent revelations will undoubtedly worsen drivers’ already anxious state of mind. YES, you do have to go to Michigan to deal with it!!

But getting back to that delay… consider this, in Michigan a driver re-news his license every four years; if Out-of-State driver picks up a 2nd drinking and driving conviction  in Michigan and just re-newed  his home State license, he may have another four years before he goes to re-new. If his DMV never has a reason to check drivers’ record, they may not discover it until driver goes to re-new. So drivers’ ability to resolve the revocation will have been delayed by three years. (Remember he has a one year revocation whether he knows about it or not.)

The best approach follows an old adage, “knowledge is power”. If you received a 2nd or 3rd drinking and or drugging and driving in Michigan and are an out-of-State resident, call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550. Hard revocations are mandatory but the day they expire is the day driver is eligible for relief; the longer you wait the longer your life is on hold.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


In my nearly 25 of experience as a lawyer i have encountered people with legal problems from all walks of life. And, I suppose money plays a role in the decision to hire a lawyer, but, when faced with a crime that could leave a permanent mark on your record or worse end you in prison or jail, i have never understood an individuals drive to find the cheapest lawyer on the face of the planet!!

Believe me when i say, "you get what you pat for". Does anyone really believe that if you give a lawyer $500.00 for a drunk driving that that lawyer is going to go to the well for his client??? That the lawyer is going to leave no stone unturned? Or that he is going to adjourn your matter as many times as he can in order to posture you in the best light possible?? The answer if you don't know is NO!

 Most people do not realize that a drunk driving conviction remains on ones record for life. They cannot be expunged!! Although i have never understood the public policy  behind it, (after all a person can "expunge" a felony from their record but not a misdemeanor?!?), we don't make the laws we just interpret them.

And it gets worse. If you are unfortunate enough to have a drunk driving conviction on your record, any subsequent charge for anything now also stays on your record forever. No other misdemeanor charge has this punitive sanction. In other words, any other type of misdemeanor, be it retail fraud, domestic violence, use or possession of marihuana, etc., can be expunged or "erased" from ones record; but once a drunk driving conviction is entered nothing after that is expungable. No other misdemeanors no felonies no nothing goes anywhere, everything stays on your record after a drunk driving conviction.

In my 56 years of living on this good earth, experience has imparted on me the belief, at least in my world, that, when the proverbial you know what hits the fan, when your back is up against the wall, you just find the resources needed to get the problem fixed. Period. Criminal records do matter! They need to be clean. The ease with which you go through life depends on it.

When your criminal record is on the line, don't go looking for the "blue light special".

I try to appeal to the client who cares about their future, who want to, and can be, proactive in their defense. That is, the people who have the resources to participate in programs, people that realize how important these types of matters are and that will fit whats needed to be done into their already busy schedules. People who believe that their only requirement is to pay the retainer and that its the lawyers job from there need not apply.

If you care about the eventual outcome of your case and desire to go through life with as few impediments as possible call the Law Office of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Way back in 1927 the Michigan legislature enacted a law that acknowledged the fact that good people sometimes, inexplicably, do bad things. And, regarding the people that find themselves in these types of situations, MCL771.1 provides that if you have committed a felony or misdemeanor, with some exceptions (excluded from this relief are felonies such as murder, treason, criminal sexual conduct in the 1st or 3rd degree, armed robbery or major controlled substance violations) the court MAY decide that if a defendant has entered a plea of guilty or by verdict has been found guilty and it appears that the defendant will not engage in the behavior again, and, that the public good does not require the person suffer the penalties imposed by law, then the Judge may order the defendant to probation and be supervised by a probation officer.

Pursuant to this probation, the Judge may also order that the actual sentencing of the defendant be delayed for not more than a year. This time period is used by the courts to enable the defendant, if needed, to participate in counseling for whatever issues that need  it. (eg. drug counseling, anger management, impulse control, etc.).

Many times however the Judge merely orders the defendant to stay out of trouble during this probationary period and to return to court on the deferred date to be sentenced.

Now as you can imagine, prosecutors do not like this statute! Many conservative Judges do not like this statute (presumably because they do not want to look weak on crime - remember that they are "elected" officials). In light of these facts, in general, you can further imagine that the facts of your particular case better fit the statute.

In other words, you had better be worthy. What's that you ask?!? Well, lets start with the hope that we can sell this extraordinary relief to a prosecutor and Judge on the basis that the criminal behavior is "isolated" in nature and that it is not likely that the client will engage in such behavior again. Obviously this is possible only if the client does not have prior convictions on his/her record of a similar nature.

Further, if the facts of the case are particularly repulsive or offensive to the prosecutor's/Judges sensibilities, we will be confronted with more of an uphill battle. Remember, this relief is discretionary.

The best chances for relief under this statute is to be able to  show that the client is an exemplary member of society, with many life achievements to point to. Some examples are long term marriage, long term employment/good job (Judges love to imagine everybody paying taxes, after all, how do you think they get paid?), raising a family, putting children through school/college and mostly, not having any type of prior criminal history.

The art of persuasion is paramount here. Attorneys must be willing to go the extra mile to posture their client to be in the best position possible to be granted this relief. This takes work not only on the Attorneys part but also the clients. The client must be willing to follow their Attorney's direction and do what it takes. They must be proactive.

If you have been charged with a crime and care about keeping your criminal record clean, and it does matter, then call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1556 or in Flint at 810-250-4550.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Defense for Drivers Using Medical Marijuana

Is use of medical marijuana a defense to a Michigan Operating with the Presence of Drugs (OWPD) charge?


Driving while impaired by marijuana is illegal in Michigan, as it is in all states. But simply having the drug in your system cannot be used as a basis for an arrest for those who are registered users of medical marijuana

The state’s Supreme Court has ruled that smoking before driving is acceptable for state approved medical marijuana users in certain circumstances. The court ruled last year that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) superseded the zero-tolerance drug policy provision of the Michigan Vehicle Code, for OWPD where just having a schedule one drug (like marijuana) present in a blood test was enough for a criminal charge.

This decision overturned an appeals court ruling involving Rodney Koon, who was pulled over after driving almost 30 mph over the speed limit in Grand Traverse County in 2010.  He told police he had a state marijuana card and had smoked pot five to six hours before the incident. The existence of the drug in his bloodstream was confirmed with a blood test.

The Supreme Court sided with Koon in its ruling.  The decision states that "the MMMA shields registered patients from prosecution for the internal possession of marijuana." Though the act prohibits driving while "under the influence," the state court disagreed with the appeals court's strict interpretation of the law.  The court stated that "While we need not set exact parameters of when a person is 'under the influence,' we conclude that it contemplates something more than having any amount of marijuana in one's system and requires some effect on the person".  Pointing out the MMMA's lack of specifics in determining whether someone was "under the influence" of pot, the court also suggested that legislators create a limit comparable to a blood alcohol level for drunk drivers.

The MMMA was approved by state voters in 2008. Those dealing with a condition on a list of designated ailments like cancer or Crohn's disease can use marijuana as medicine, if they have a certification from a doctor.

Whether or not you’re a medical marijuana user, if you have been arrested for a driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence or operating with the presence of drugs charge, there are any number of possible defenses that can be used to protect your freedom and your rights. If you are facing these charges, call Michigan criminal defense attorney Martin T. Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-2550.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Let’s start this article by making an assertion regarding prosecutors, and for that matter judges too. And that is that they are suspicious by nature. So when a person gets charged with drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs for a second or third time, the attorney that is retained must take a different approach than might otherwise be used for a client being charged as a first time offender.

Often times a first time offender can play upon a prosecutors sympathies when dealing with a first time drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs if the circumstances warrant it. That is, if the BAC (blood alcohol content) is not at a level that would suggest recklessness or if no other extenuating circumstances are present, then the prosecutor may be willing to listen to any argument I can put forward.

When BAC’s are too high, it becomes impossible to claim that the client did not realize he was “under the influence”. Or, on the other hand, that this was an isolated incident and the client rarely drinks.

When a client has no prior offenses on their record and the BAC is low, dispositions that include no or very little probation are within the realm of possibilities. In addition, if the BAC is low enough, sometimes it is possible to amend a drinking and driving charge to a non-drinking offense.

After the first conviction however, dispositions like the ones mentioned above disappear like dust in the wind. In the first place, prosecutors as well as judges believe anybody who is charged again after already having been convicted prior, has an alcohol problem.  Judges firmly believe that anyone who gets caught driving while intoxicated has driven drunk on many prior occasions but has been fortunate to not have been caught. In other words, they believe no one is so unlucky that they get caught drunk driving the one and only time they’ve done it.

So when the client picks up a second or third drinking and driving charge, the focus regarding disposition takes on a different approach.  Rehabilitating a client in this position requires more work and effort but if the client is willing to do what it takes to effectuate a better disposition then it can be accomplished.

If you have been charged with drinking and driving second or third offense, call the Law offices of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550 immediately as time is of the essence.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


I recently received a call from a woman who was looking for legal representation regarding her revoked Michigan driver’s license. She indicated to me that she’s had eleven hearings in the past eleven years!!

Naturally I was flabbergasted. Never in all my years of DAAD Hearings had I ever heard of such a thing. Wanting to understand how such a failure record occurred year after year I began questioning her.

“Had you employed the services of a lawyer?” I asked. She replied, “For some of the hearings yes others I did on my own”.  As we continued to talk I began to question her current condition. Something in her voice just didn’t sound right.

I finally got around to asking her when was the last time she had a drink. She responded, a bit indignantly, “I haven’t had a drink since 2011!!”

Well ok now, one of the reasons I didn’t become a doctor was the math but I can do simple addition and subtraction. If the year is 2014 and you have had eleven DAAD Hearings (remember you can only conduct one hearing per year) that means you would have started your hearings in 2003. If you started doing hearings in 2003 but hadn’t stopped drinking until 2011 is it any wonder why the failures year after year?? And upon further inquiry into her drinking the woman stated that she had stopped drinking, “for the most part”.

NO NO NO….. “For the most part” will never work!!! This is an all or nothing proposition.

If after a ten minute conversation I can glean that the woman might still be drinking, a Hearing Officer would easily have a field day with this petitioner. Now, this woman’s biggest hurdle is going to be regaining the trust of the Hearing Officer. Moreover she is going to have to reconcile every discrepancy/inconsistency in every past Hearing that resulted in a denial. This of course will require obtaining a copy of every denial and pouring over them with a fine tooth comb. Then of course teaching the petitioner how to answer these inconsistencies and memorize them will be a huge challenge. Not to mention the huge expense also.

If this woman had gotten the proper attorney right from the start she most likely would be driving now. Somehow somebody had to impress upon this woman that abstinence is the only real solution.

This woman’s predicament, while difficult is not impossible. However the needless waste of time and added expense is water under the bridge as they say. Don’t suffer the mistakes this woman has made; call the Law offices of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


As I have indicated in earlier blogs, moving out of Michigan with a revoked Michigan license will not prohibit a petitioner from getting driving privileges restored. However, the act of moving to another State does change the playing field somewhat and the Hearing Officers do delve into it.

First, because of relocation to another State, the revoked driver/petitioner is petitioning for full driving privileges immediately. The difference is that the revoked Michigan resident driver/petitioner, 9 times out of ten, is  going to receive restricted privileges. The restricted phase, assuming there are no problems that “toll” the duration, will last one year.

Because of the difference in relief, the Hearing Officers scrutinize the intent of the relocation. It is my opinion, based on experience, that the Hearing Officers are suspicious of petitioners that are “relocated”. Obviously the timing of relocation will impact any suspicions one way or the other. That is, the closer the relocation to the petition date the more questionable the legitimacy of the relocation.  And perhaps suspicious is too strong of a word to use and it might be that Hearing Officers employ a higher degree of due diligence when faced with an out of State petitioner.

To state the issue more succinctly, Hearing Officers have dealt with petitioners who relocate to another State only to petition and get full driving privileges restored and then move back to Michigan (thus avoiding the hassle of having an interlock device on their vehicle for a year).

So the point of this article is to emphasize the importance of relocating for the appropriate reasons.

Moving because of the terrible Michigan economy could be legitimate but it helps if the person then has a job opportunity waiting. The petitioner should be able to show that the move is going to improve their quality of life. To help bolster that assertion it helps if the petitioner can show ties to the new community in some way. Maybe the petitioner can point to family members that live nearby or perhaps be able to talk about a spouse or fiancé that have attractive job offers there.

The bottom line is that if the Hearing Officer gets a bug in his bonnet about the legitimacy of relocation it could mean denial of relief.

Don’t get caught like a doe in the headlights. If asked, be ready with appropriate answers. I understand the issue (some attorneys are not even aware the issue exists) and know how to respond to it.

Call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or Flint at 810-250-2550.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


I guess this fits in the, “just when you think you’ve heard it all” category.  And I don’t mean to tease you into thinking im going to reveal something shocking or outrageous. Really and truly, in the land of DAAD Hearings and Hearing Officers, shocking and/or outrageous rarely happen.

At any rate, so there I was sitting in a DAAD hearing with my client (a fellow lawyer), myself and another attorney we brought along as a witness. I was feeling good, confident that we were going to walk out of there with a win and would soon be celebrating at el Azteca in good old East Lansing.

The Hearing Officer was settling in to get started and I was reflecting on what our proofs were and how he was going to start reading them into the record. When he gets to the substance abuse evaluation, he would acknowledge it and perhaps read into the record the date the report was authored and by who, but any more information which he may want to highlight/further scrutinize from the evaluation would take place when the Hearing Officer got into his questioning.

I always peruse my copies as im following along with the Hearing Officer. My lawyer/client is following along with me. We look over the substance evaluation as the Officer is dealing with it and Client says nothing so of course im not thinking anything out of the ordinary….i would soon discover my comfort was about to be disrupted.

As we’re getting into the question and answer, this particular Hearing Officer likes to start questioning first and then let me follow up with my questioning after. No problem, my client knows this because we’ve gone over it. My client can even anticipate the questions he’s going to be asked. Im counting the moments before we’re walking out the door shaking hands and basking in the win!! BUT, WE LOSE!!!

So here it is….this is why.  Apparently, in addition to the several drinking related offenses that we did list on his evaluation, there was one additional drinking and driving offense from about thirty years ago (that’s right 30) that did not show up on his driving record and was not recalled by Client during the handful of occasions that that specific information was asked of Client. It was not until the middle of the hearing that Client recalled and blurted out, “You know?!? Now that I think of it there is a drinking and driving from about 30 years ago that is not on here….WHAT?!!? I barely refrained from screaming.

All the preparation in the world still cannot completely eliminate all human error. This is why I decided many years ago to eliminate “in person witnesses” that can make mistakes and say inaccurate things. In conjunction with this decision I beefed up other proofs to compensate for the absence of these people.

Now i try to emphasize to my clients, that, in a situation where they are not sure whether or not to say something…..DONT!!! Let’s not lose because we self-destruct. In our scenario, if Client had said nothing, the hearing officer would have been none the wiser to the omission in light of the fact that it was’nt on Clients Master Driving Record.

Even in light of human error your chances are still the best when you call the Law Offices of Martin T. Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-2550.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Effects of DUI on Auto and Life Insurance

What Will Happen to My Insurance if I’m Convicted of DUI?

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, there are many consequences you may face.  One of them could be major changes to your car insurance policy.

When your insurer learns of your conviction and classifies you as a "high-risk driver," your rate could go through the roof. Rates can vary greatly among auto insurers but generally, rates increase after such a conviction. Your policy could also be cancelled or not renewed, especially if you are currently in a preferred rate class. If that happens you will be facing the dual challenges of having a DUI conviction and an insurance cancellation on your record.

Michigan requires that a DUI offender get a SR-22 form from his or her auto insurer. This form proves to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you carry liability insurance and removes your license suspension. An SR-22 also requires your insurance company to notify the DMV if it cancels your auto insurance for any reason. You will likely have to file proof of insurance with the DMV for three to five years after a conviction.

It is not just auto insurance that can be impacted by a DUI conviction. If you seek life insurance after that conviction, you may face higher premiums. Being cited for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol raises concerns by underwriters about a person’s lifestyle choices and therefore may make your life insurance rates go up. Those considered substance abusers, or who are suspected of such because of a DUI conviction, could pose an increased risk of an early death and early benefit claims. Substance abuse has a connection to motor vehicle and industrial accidents, suicides and crimes. With a DUI on your record, if you apply for insurance you bear the burden of proving it was the result of a lapse in judgment and not a sign of ongoing serious drug use or other risky behavior.

If you have been charged with DUI, given all the legal and financial consequences of a conviction, you need help from experienced DUI defense attorney Martin T. Lievois. He can be reached in Troy at (248)419-1566 or in Flint at (810)250-4550.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


This article is going to focus on that which needs to be done.....taking action. Do not allow your anger, frustration and uncertainty to paralyze you. Of course its a shock to realize that you cannot merely trot on down to the DMV in your new State and get a valid drivers license to better facilitate your new life.  Its reasonable to further speculate that it may be an even bigger shock to discover that you must travel back to Michigan to fix it.

Now is not the time to become a shrinking violet! 

Take action!! Initially your most important priority is to retain a lawyer who understands the license restoration/clearance practice. Many lawyers do not routinely practice in this area...but many will not reveal that to you. But, with a little bit of research, say, on the lawyers website will reveal much.

Additionally, this whole ordeal will cost a few thousand dollars and now is not the time to search out the "blue light special" lawyer. For God's sake you have only one DAAD hearing per year!! Isn't getting licensed and getting your life back on track your top priority? Get the lawyer who knows the hearing officers and what they think is important to present as proofs. Get the lawyer who has done many such hearings. Get the lawyer who does not lose hearings. I am one of those.

For many petitioners, by the time they are eligible for a hearing, they have already waited one year to become eligible, and for others less fortunate still, its been five years since their last conviction before becoming eligible.... and in my estimation of things, any longer than the moment you become able to petition is just wasted time. Really and truly a person who plans on petitioning DAAD for restoration/clearance should plan a visit to the Law Office's of Martin Lievois at least two months BEFORE your eligibility date so as to get a jump on the preparation and be ready to submit your petition by that date.

Regarding the hearing itself, that needs to be conducted in person, in Michigan. You may ask, "isn't there any other way?!!?" Technically yes. But, again, in my estimation of things, no!!

If the petitioner is serious about getting his/her clearance they must BITE THE BULLET and fly to Michigan.

When i said "technically yes" i was referring to administrative hearings that save you the trouble and expense of traveling to the State of Michigan, however, when you become aware that only one out of four of these types of hearings succeed...those are unacceptable odds when you have only one shot per year.

In person hearings are a different matter altogether. The odds are pretty much reversed, or, in other words, three out of four win. My win rate is much higher than 75%, its more like 95%. And of course the petitioner has ample advanced notice to be able to get a pretty cheap flight to Michigan. Most times the petitioner can fly back home the same day.

Call the Law Office of Martin Lievois for more details.....lets get started!!

In Troy call 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550.





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