Recently, I have had several clients approach me about the process of restoring their driving privileges with the Michigan Secretary of State. Unfortunately, by the time the client comes to me with their problem, they have already failed at least one attempt at restoring their driver’s license without the assistance of an attorney.

If you are like some of my clients in this area, you have probably asked yourself, “Do I really need a lawyer for this?” I am guessing you may have sought out additional opinions from friends or family as to whether you should spend money on a lawyer to represent you in this process. If you did seek advice from family or friends, I am also guessing that the split was probably 50/50 on whether you should get a lawyer, which is of little help to you in making such an important decision regarding your driving privileges.

But before I explain to you why you need a lawyer in this process, I would like to explain briefly that the restoration process which has been created by the Michigan Legislature is Byzantine, to say the least. It is laden with laws and rules that are outside of the knowledge base of your average citizen. My high school math teacher, Mr. Jim Brandt, used to preach about the importance of learning the rules of geometry. He would often say: “Geometry is like sports. If you don’t know the rules, you can’t play the game.” Mr. Brandt’s axiom holds true in the world of driver’s license restoration. If you don’t know the rules, you can’t play their game.

Here are the top three reasons why you should hire an attorney:

  1. Experienced Attorney Knows the Rules – the primary reason for hiring an attorney is that an experienced attorney knows all the rules of the game. If you do not know all the rules of the game, you will lose. It’s just that simple.
  2. Top-flight Trial Attorneys Know How to Prepare to Win – to win, you have to make your case look appealing to the finder of fact, whether it be a judge, jury, or administrative hearing officer. You cannot simply file the necessary paperwork for restoration, roll out of bed, walk into the Secretary of State’s office, and win your hearing by being “yourself” or being a “standup guy”. If you take that approach, you will lose. Hall of Fame Coach Vincent Lombardi said it best: “The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win.” Top flight trial attorneys in this area know how to prepare to win. If you are not prepared to win, you will lose. It’s that simple.
  3. Ready for Questions – You also cannot afford to be unprepared for the questions that will be posed to you. An experienced trial attorney can help prepare you to face the difficult questions that can and will be posed to you by the hearing officer. Remember, this is not a courtroom. There are no judges. There is no jury. And often times, there is no procedure. But their mission is the same: to get to the facts of the case, and get there in a hurry. They often will dive right in and start asking you questions. You need to be prepared to answer these questions. If you are not prepared to answer these questions, you will lose. It’s that simple.

Do you know these rules? Are you prepared to win?