License Restoration Lawyer

Experienced License Restoration Lawyers at Michigan Defense Law - Paul J Tafelski License Restoration Lawyer

In Michigan, most of us understand that navigating our cities can be next to impossible without a car. But if you have had your license suspended or revoked, you may find that it is exactly what you are left to do. 

While you may be lucky enough to be able to rely on friends and other family members to get you where you need to go, this is inconvenient and frustrating for everyone. It also interferes with your ability to make a living, go to school, or just go about your daily life. If you have had your license revoked or suspended in Michigan, you will need the assistance of an experienced license restoration attorney to help you get back to normal life again. 

At Michigan Defense Law, skilled attorney Paul J. Tafelski and his team of experienced license restoration attorneys can help get your driving privileges restored after a license suspension or revocation. Whether you want to appeal your suspension, need a restricted license until your suspension has expired, or need assistance getting your license restored after a revocation for two or more OWI convictions, attorney Mr. Tafelski and his staff have the experience and skill it takes to get your license reinstated and get you back on the road.

Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to schedule a free consultation.

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There are Lawyers and than there is Paul J. Tafelski. A person who cares about his clients and their well-being. Paul goes out of his way to help his clients and knows the Law inside and out. If a person had cancer and was looking for the best doctor they would search all over the internet for someone who can cure them. Similarly if your having issues with Court in Michigan State primarily in Metro Detroit area Paul J Tafelski is the Attorney to cure your Court matters. Don’t Look Around Just call Paul and I promise you won’t regret it. Thank you Paul for the help you provided to my friend I really appreciate it.

Losing Your License in Michigan

There are a number of ways you can lose your driver’s license in Michigan. 

Under Michigan laws and traffic point systems, traffic offenses can result in getting your license suspended or even revoked. Traffic convictions accumulate points against your license. With each traffic offense, you collect points depending on the level of the severity of the conviction. When you accumulate enough points, the state will take action and suspend or even revoke your license. 

If you are facing a license suspension or revocation, you should get the advice and guidance of experienced attorneys. At Michigan Defense Law, attorney Paul J Tafelski and our team of driver license reinstatement lawyers may be able to help you clean up your record and work toward restoring your license.

Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Suspension or Revocation: What is the Difference?

License suspension and revocation are very different and the processes for restoration are also different. 

A license suspension is when the state, either at its discretion or as a matter of a conviction, no longer allows you to drive under your driver’s license for an established period of time. Depending on the offense, a suspension can either be a definite suspension with a finite time limit or an indefinite suspension. After a definite suspension, the driver may automatically pay a reinstatement fee and get their license reinstated. Indefinite suspensions can be more complicated. 

On the other hand, a revocation of your license means that you have had your license taken away from you. If you have been revoked there is no amount of time you can wait before being granted a license automatically.  And, there is no state you can move to and get a license until the revocation is cleared from your record in Michigan.  If you have had your license revoked, you can only reapply for restoration after a minimum of one year has passed from the date of your license revocation. If you have had your license revoked more than one time, the eligibility to apply is extended to five years. Additional time penalties will be imposed for every driving ticket you receive during a revocation period.  Revocation means you have lost the privilege to drive permanently unless and until you go through the specific procedure of the Secretary of State Drivers License Appeal Division.  It does not matter if you wait many years, the only process is the drivers license restoration process.  

Whether you are facing a suspension due to a DUI or you are trying to make a license restoration appeal after it has been revoked, our skilled license restoration lawyers at Michigan Defense Law can help. 

If you or someone you know is in need of a license restoration attorney, call Michigan Defense Law today.

Contact us at (248) 451-2200 to speak with a license reinstatement attorney.

Lawyer Explains

After you have had your license suspended or revoked, you will eventually want to get your license reinstated.

Once a suspension has expired, the suspended license can be reinstated upon payment of a reinstatement fee. Restoring a license after revocation, however, is much more involved. 

While the law may allow you to seek a new license after your license has been revoked, license restoration after a revocation can be complicated and never guaranteed. It is critical to have the assistance of a licensed restoration attorney who can guide and advise you toward your best possible outcome. At Michigan Defense Law, license lawyer Paul J.  Tafelski and our experienced team of attorneys are there to help you reinstate your license.

Another option available to you if your license has been suspended or revoked may be a restricted license. A restricted license will allow you to get around while you are under license suspension or revocation. You may be issued a restricted license if you have demonstrated eligibility and meet certain conditions. 

When you are issued a restricted license, you must always carry proof of why you are behind the wheel, showing:

  • Your immediate destination
  • Your work hours if you are on your way to work
  • Any classes you are enrolled in if you are on your way to school
  • Proof of any other valid reason that you are driving

If you are caught driving for an ineligible reason under your restricted license, you can be charged with driving under a suspended license, increasing the penalties and duration of your original charges.

Twelve points over a period of two years trigger the state to require re-examination, which may include a driving test, eyesight test, and review of your driving record. Depending on the offenses that caused the accumulation of the points and the outcome of the reviews and tests, you will likely face license suspension.

Violations that accumulate points and possibly result in license suspension or revocation include:

  • Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or other felony involving a motor vehicle – 6 points
  • Operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs – 6 points
  • Failing to stop at the scene of an accident – 6 points
  • Reckless driving – 6 points
  • Unlawful BAC of .08% or more – 6 points
  • Refusal to take a chemical test – 6 points
  • Fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer – 6 points
  • Drag racing – 4 points
  • Operating while visibly impaired – 4 points
  • Any alcohol BAC for under the age of 21 driver – 4 points
  • Driving 16 mph over the speed limit – 4 points
  • Failure to yield or show caution for emergency vehicles – 4 points
  • Careless driving – 3 points
  • Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign – 3 points
  • Failure to stop and at a railroad crossing – 3 points
  • Failure to stop for a school bus or disobeying a crossing guard – 3 points
  • Open alcohol container – 2 points
  • Moving traffic violations – 2 points
  • Refusal of a breath test by a driver under the age of 21 – 2 points

Points will stay on your record for two years from the date of your conviction and accumulate over the course of any two-year time frame.


Under Michigan law, there are particular offenses that will result in the automatic suspension or revocation of your license. The most common reason for drivers to automatically lose their license are offenses relating to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugged driving. 

Michigan takes DUI offenses seriously, so even a first-time offender will suffer a mandatory license suspension if convicted. DUI-related offenses that can result in the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license include:

  • A first offense OWI conviction – Even a first conviction for an alcohol or drug-related conviction requires a minimum 6-month license suspension.
  • A high BAC conviction – If your conviction involved a BAC of .17% or more, Michigan mandates a 1-year driver’s license suspension. 
  • Multiple convictions labeling you as a habitable violator – Two or more alcohol-related or drugged driving convictions in 7 years, or three in 10 years label you as a habitual violator, and your license will  be revoked.
  • Refusing a breath or blood test – Those who have been ordered to take a breath or blood test have already consented to it under our implied consent doctrine. Consequently, if you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended for one year although you will have the chance to appeal that suspension and attempt to prove that the police failed to follow certain legal requirements.   
  • Fortunately, if you receive a 1st offense OWVI (operating while impaired) you can avoid a long term suspension of your driver’s license and instead receive a 90 day restricted license.  

Michigan has repeat offender laws that are particularly tough on repeat offenders.

These are individuals who have:

  • Two or more alcohol-related convictions in seven years
  • Three or more alcohol-related convictions in ten years
  • Three or more convictions for driving under a suspended or revoked license in seven years when mandatory suspension or revocation was required. 

Additional penalties may be imposed against repeat offenders including license plate confiscation, registration denial, suspension, revocation, the requirement of an ignition interlock device, mandatory substance abuse treatment, vehicle immobilization, or forfeiture. 

If your license has been suspended or revoked, you should get the guidance of a skilled license restoration attorney to discuss your legal rights and options. At Michigan Defense Law, attorney Paul Tafelski and his team of license reinstatement attorneys are ready to help.

Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to learn how we can help with license restoration. 

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I didn’t know much about the entire legal process so Paul was a great Lawyer for me. He took the time to explain everything without making me feel dumb. He fought for me and got me a great outcome for my case. He is a great guy that eased my stress about my case and I would recommend him to anyone. Thank you Paul!

Requesting a Reinstatement Hearing

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After a license revocation, you will be eligible to apply to restore your license after a year or after five years if you have had two or more revocations. It may take even longer if you’ve received traffic citations during your revocation period. Once you are eligible, you must request a hearing before the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. 

The purpose of the hearing is to provide proof that you are now safe and sober so you can get your license restored. To do this, you will need to prove:

What does this really mean?  The Secretary of State will not issue you any type of license ever unless they believe you have been completely sober for six months to a year (really it’s a year) and, importantly, that they believe you will remain sober the rest of your life.  This is no game to them.  Sobriety is the real key to every getting your privilege to drive back in Michigan.  Everything that you can show them to support your sobriety and prove you are likely to remain sober will be helpful.  Are you involved in church, run marathons, volunteer at charities or basically do anything people who drink a lot don’t get around to?  Those items are circumstantial proof of your sobriety and do make a difference.  It’s very important that you have help from an experienced attorney in order to best present the evidence you have in a convincing manner.

I’ve used Paul for a BAIID appeal hearing multiple times. He has been very professional is very knowledgeable in the laws applicable. I’ve used other attorneys in the past but have never had the satisfaction as I’ve had with Paul. Most attorneys will over promise but be hard to reach after the contract is signed. Despite the time of day or the day of the week, he has always immediately responded to me. In addition, his assistant Karen has always been incredibly helpful in making calls to the SOS on my behalf. Although he may not have all the answers immediately, his immediate reply has reassured me numerous times. Just knowing that he’s reachable allayed much of my anxiety. In the end, he went above and beyond to make sure everything worked out. I would gladly recommend him to friends and family without hesitation.

Professional Evaluation

At the hearing, you will go before a hearing officer who will decide if you are now a sober and safe driver based on evaluations, testimony, and other evidence. At that time, you will need to bring an evaluation for substance abuse from a state-recognized professional.

This evaluation will include results from a test administered by a drug or alcohol rehabilitation therapist, including:

The evaluation will also include any information regarding your treatment history, relapses, or diagnoses. You will also be required to take a 12-panel urinalysis drug test that will test for a variety of drugs.

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Evidence and Testimony

In addition to your evaluation, you will need to bring documentation and testimony that supports your sobriety from three sources. These can be in the form of notarized statements from family, friends, coworkers, or others who have been close to you both before and after your treatment or involvement in support programs. You will also want to be able to demonstrate ongoing involvement in some type of alcohol or drug organization that provides structured support. 

The importance of this hearing cannot be overstated if your objective is to get your license restored. It is critical to get the help of an experienced Michigan license restoration attorney to ensure that your hearing goes well and that you are fully prepared. You should not face this battle alone. At Michigan Defense Law, we are with you each step of the way. We help with the documents, review the letters and submit everything on your behalf once it’s properly prepared.  Contact us today to speak with a lawyer who can help you win your case and get your license reinstated.

You really helped us through a tough situation and got us the best possible outcome. The way you handled the situation, we believe was key to this great outcome. We will be sure to recommend you to anyone we know that needs the assistance of a great defense lawyer.

When a person has a hearing, they appear in front of the hearing officer. This will be a single person with a tape recorder. The appearance happens in an office that looks like a normal office in an office building. It does not look like a courtroom. The hearing is recorded and the petitioner or the person who is seeking their license back has the burden of presenting the evidence and meeting the legal standards necessary to get their license back.

To go through the process, usually their criminal defense attorney will present the evidence to convince the hearing officer that the individual is completely sober, and that they deserve a license because they will drive safely, obey all traffic laws, and that they are at a minimal risk to repeat the behavior that got them into trouble to begin with. That evidence will consist of numerous different pieces and factors. At the end of a hearing, the hearing officer will sometimes tell you if you have won or not, but most often they take it under advisement and then issue a written opinion on their decision.

What Does Someone Need To Prove In Order To Have Their License Reinstated At A Hearing?

There are some specific things that are spelled out in the administrative rules, particularly known as Rule 13 of the secretary of state’s administrative rules. Some of the specifics are that the hearing officer shall not issue a driver’s license to the petitioner unless the petitioner shows by clear and convincing evidence that any substance abuse problem they have is under control and that it is likely to remain under control.

Further, there must be evidence that there is a minimal risk of them repeating the past behavior that got them into trouble. They are also looking at different situations in the petitioner’s past to determine how long of a period of sobriety it will take for them to be satisfied. There are some cases where they might say that 6 months of sobriety is enough for a person to get their license back, but in reality, a person wants to have at least one year of complete sobriety under their belt before they petition for that license. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to get your license back if you don’t have at least one year of complete sobriety that you can try and prove at a hearing.

What Is The Hearing Officer Looking For In Terms Of Proving Sobriety?

The legal requirement is that the petitioner proves by clear or convincing evidence that they are sober and likely to remain sober. Basically, it comes down to how you can prove that. It’s not simple and easy because every person will show up and say, “Yes. I don’t drink anymore and I don’t think I will drink ever again.” If it was that simple, they would just hand them the license and that would be it – but it’s not. They try to get it right and they try to figure out if the person is being untruthful. That is where the experience of your motor vehicle offenses attorney is very important because we know of the struggle and the points that help us in trying to prove that someone is sober.

For example, we have to show the changes that occurred in the individual’s life. Usually when someone is an alcoholic or has a significant problem with alcohol, and they have now turned it around and have been sober for an extended period of time, there have been some major changes in their life. Their circle of friends is different, their employment status has improved, their relationship with their family has improved, and their financial status may have improved. They just have more going on in a positive way. They may have completed projects that they never finished before, or they may be in better shape or losing weight for example.

There are all sorts of different things that we look for and try to demonstrate to the hearing officer to prove that the client is on the right path and doing the right things. It’s really a matter of carefully discussing it with the client to try and figure out what evidence we can use and present that will be convincing. At the end of the day, you’ve got to convince this other person who is somebody that is probably generally cynical, given the nature of their work, about the people who are before them and asking for their licenses back. It does take preparation; there is no exact rule on what you can present to try and get the license back but it is important that you do certain things.

For example, you must present an alcohol or substance abuse evaluation performed by a licensed evaluator. You must present a 10 panel drug screen showing that you are drug free. You must present letters from at least 3 people attesting to your sobriety. Beyond that, however, is up to you. We can present anything that we think is convincing and compelling, such as AA sign in sheets or certificates of completion for sobriety court, certificates of completion from counseling, etc. Additionally, it can include testimony of friends or family members or co-workers or AA sponsors or whatever we determine will be powerful and convincing evidence. Basically, anything that we can think of that will help convince them that you are sober, we can use at the hearing. A lot of times, you don’t have any one giant piece of evidence to prove your sobriety. It’s not like you have a camera videotaping you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But what you want to try and do is just build a wall brick by brick and demonstrate to the hearing officer that there are enough things going on that are indicative of sobriety, and therefore, they should give you the opportunity to drive again.

For more information on Driver’s License Appeals Process, a free initial consultation is your next best step. To get the information and legal answers you are seeking, contact us online or call (248) 451-2200 today.

Getting a Decision After the Hearing

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After your hearing, you will likely receive the hearing officer’s decision in about four to six weeks. If you are granted license restoration, you will be granted a restricted license for one year, complete with an ignition interlock device.

The Importance of Being Prepared

Being prepared for your license reinstatement hearing is critical. If you are not successful at this hearing, you will have to wait another year to apply for another hearing. You will want to get the support and knowledge of an experienced Michigan license restoration lawyer to guide you toward the greatest possible chances for success.

At Michigan Defense Law, we put our decades of experience in your corner after a license suspension or revocation. Paul J. Tafelski and his team of skilled attorneys will advise and guide you through each step of the restoration process to ensure your best outcome. If you have had your license revoked, it is critical that you get skilled legal counsel. Let us help.

Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to speak with a license restoration lawyer and how we can help.

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