A PERSONAL APPROACH
FRANK B. FORD
Attorney and Counselor at Law
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first things first
When you call about your drunk driving case, I will ask you some specific questions, so that I know where the case stands both "substantively" and "procedurally." Be aware that:
When you call, I will be glad to discuss my fee arrangements with you.
- You should check both your ticket and your bond receipt to determine when you are supposed to appear in court. Some tickets simply say to appear within a certain number of days, but the bond receipt may give you a specific date that is earlier than the end of what you think is your time limit for coming to court.
- Many courts will not require you to appear for the first court date (called the Arraignment), if an attorney files certain paperwork with the court before the date you would otherwise have to appear. I will be able to do that for you in most cases.
- If the police claim that you refused to take their chemical test (usually a breath test), you should have been given a form called a "Request for Hearing." That form must be mailed to the Secretary of State, at the P.O. Box address in Lansing that is stated on the form, within fourteen days of the date of the incident. I can help you complete that form, or draft one for you if the police did not give you one, and I can represent you at the Secretary of State hearing.
When you come in for your interview about your drunk driving arrest:
- I will take you through the incident "from before the start to after the finish," and I want to know everything that happened in between.
- You may not realize the significance of some small fact, and I won't know about it unless I ask you about it; so I will ask you a lot of questions that may seem to you to be unrelated to your arrest, but which may hold the key to a valid defense.
When you call about a driver’s license restoration, because you have lost your driver's license, and wish to get it restored fully, or at least get back a restricted license so you can drive to work or to school, or even just to the doctor:
- I will ask you some questions about the history of how you lost your license. I may suggest that I review your driving record before you make an appointment to come see me.
- Unfortunately, there are situations where the law simply will not allow the courts or the Secretary of State to give you relief.
- There are situations in which the court, where your drunk driving case was handled, has failed to send the abstract (record) of your conviction for drunk driving to the Secretary of State, so the time period you have to wait to be able to have a hearing hasn’t even started. (I can help get the clock started, and maybe even speed up the clock to catch up to where it should be.)
- If you live outside the State of Michigan and you can’t get a driver’s license in your new home state because Michigan has a hold on your license, I can help you get a clearance of your Michigan driving record.
When you come in for your interview about your driver’s license restoration:
- I will review your past record with you, to make sure I have a full picture of your history.
- I will discuss with you the measures you have taken to address any alcohol or substance abuse problems you have had.
- I will explain to you the procedure you need to follow to be successful at your Secretary of State hearing.
- From Day One, I will be preparing you for the day you and I sit in front of a Hearing Officer at the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division: DAAD (also called Driver License Appeal Division: DLAD).
Keep in mind:
- The Secretary of State has high standards for granting restoration of driver licenses.
- If you go to your hearing unprepared, and you lose your appeal, you will probably not be able to go back to DAAD for another year.
- I can help you prepare, so that I can present you in the most favorable light possible at your hearing.