Last updated on May 5, 2015

Case History: License Restoration

Interviewer: I will ask the same question about license restorations. Are there any particular cases you would want to share in regards to helping someone get their license restored?

Paul Tafelski: I’ve had many cases over the years with clients who have been without driver’s license privileges for several years. Many of these people have been through a lot in their life, trying to get sober, trying to get clean, and trying to get financially back on their feet after years of difficulties and problems in the legal system. They really had given up hope quite often that they would ever have a normal life.

Many Individuals Have Difficulty Overcoming the Many Legal Obstacles in Order to Have Their License Restored

And yet, then they came up with the money to retain me and we went through the whole process and step-by-step we did everything that was supposed to be done. We go the hearing and many of them have very emotional experiences talking about their trials and tribulations. Most of them would never have been able to get their license back without our help. They did the hard work by getting sober and being clean, but for different reasons, they just would not have been able to manage all the hurdles in the legal system.

When they do get their license back, they’re just so happy because it gives them back their feeling like they’re a normal human being again instead of somebody who is constantly asking family members and friends for rides. They no longer only can look for a job at some place that they can walk to. And it opens up a whole new world for them. You really see a high level of happiness on their end when they’re successful.

Auto Insurance and Convictions on Your Record

Interviewer: As far as license restoration goes and the period that someone doesn’t have a license, how does that work with the insurance companies?

Paul Tafelski: The insurance company is usually grading you more on the convictions that are on your record.

The More Time That Passes Since a Conviction, the Less It Should Impact Your Premiums

So, the longer it’s been since you had any recent convictions, the less impact there will be on your insurance. And so the license restoration process doesn’t really have too much effect on your insurance. Once you get a license, obviously, you have to pay for insurance. Depending upon how long ago your offenses were committed is what will really affect your insurance.

Interviewer: If someone has a hardship license, are they going to be staying on the same insurance plan?

Paul Tafelski: I think the insurance company will treat you the same because you’re driving. Insurance is not based on how many miles you drive; it’s just based upon whether or not you’ve got a valid license and the value of your car.

Why Is It a Better Option to Retain an Attorney to Defend Probation Violations or Restore a Driver’s License?

Interviewer: So cases where you have a client that’s had a license revoked for, let’s say, five years and they haven’t been driving that whole time. Now they’re looking to get their license restored, what’s the first step that they’re going to have to take?

Paul Tafelski: The first step that they should take is to call me. Because whatever position they’re in, I can tell them what to do next. Every situation is a little bit different. Everybody is not the same. So what I like to tell people, whether it’s a driver’s license restoration or a drunk driving or a possession of drugs or whatever their case is, look, if you’re going to hire an attorney, hire an attorney right away.

This is because that attorney then can guide you through the whole system. And the sooner you’re getting help, the more likely you’re going to get helpful advice and helpful action taken on your behalf. So that’s the first step.

Loss of a Driver’s License Results in Limitations on Your Employment Opportunities and Interactions with Family and Friends

I think that taking away somebody’s driving privilege is one of the harshest penalties you could put on somebody because it isolates you as a human being, and it limits you in so many ways. This is especially true here in Michigan. If this was New York City or downtown Chicago, it’s a different story.

But everything is spread out in Detroit and in most places everything is spread out. And the bus system is not that good and the taxis are very expensive. And you’re just extremely limited and left out of things without a driver’s license.

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