Michigan Driver’s License Appeal

Circuit Court Appeals – A Second Chance

License Appeals to the Circuit Court provide a second opportunity to obtain your license should you happen to lose your hearing in front of the Secretary of State.  Because my success rate is 95% in front of the Secretary of State, this only concerns a small number of my clients.  However, for these clients the Circuit Court option is very important.

What Went Wrong At Your Secretary of State Hearing

The goal is always to win your case in front of the Secretary of State.  If you win your case in front of the Secretary of State, you don’t even need to worry about an appeal. If you did not win your hearing at the Secretary of State, the question is “why”?  There are several possible reasons: the hearing officer was wrong and should have given you a license, you did not submit all the evidence in your favor, your evidence was weak, inconsistent or damaging, your testimony was not favorable or your case was questionable to begin with.

Your Best Course Of Action – Call Me to Discuss

I need to talk to you and review your paperwork to determine the best way to proceed.  It will come down to two options:  appeal to the Circuit Court or wait and pursue a Secretary of State hearing a year later.  Which is the best course of action for you will depend on many factors.  If you lost because you had a weak case, you may also have a low probability of winning in the Circuit Court.  Your best option might be to fix the weakness and do another Secretary of State hearing a year later.  If the hearing officer made the wrong decision or you can fix a defect at a Circuit Court appeal, you might want to proceed with the appeal.

Key Points About Appeals

A couple of key points about appeals:

  1. Time is of essence: Your appeal must be filed within 63 days of your Secretary of State hearing.
  2. The Circuit Court may take supplemental testimony or documents. You can supplement the record but not expand it. So if you presented a very weak case in front of the Secretary of State, you may not be able to “fix” it in the Circuit Court because you can’t expand the testimony and/or documents.
  3. A new law effective in August 2016 provides that Circuit Court Judges can disagree with Secretary of State hearing officers and grant restricted licenses.
  4. An alcohol interlock device will be required just as if you won in front of the Secretary of State.

Please feel free to give me a call to discuss your options.

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