At every Board of Appeal Hearing, I present a detailed hearing memorandum, which is legal document that explains why the Board of Appeal should decide the case in your favor and grant the requested relief, which is either a 12 hour hardship license or a full reinstatement of your right to operate.
The hearing memorandum contains a summary of the reason for the license suspension, the suspension date, triggering offense(s), and the length of suspension time which you have served. It also explains the time which has elapsed since your last arrest or driving incident.
The Board of Appeal Hearing memorandum will contain detailed information which you have supplied by completing by comprehensive client questionnaire. This section of the hearing memorandum contains information regarding your living situation and family situation, personal background, occupation and work history, and any special circumstances regarding your job, medical issues, or education.
In cases involving DUI or drug suspensions, I address “risk of recidivism” by discussing those factors which, in my experience, the Board finds relevant such as number of DUI / drug offenses, length of sobriety, last use of drugs or alcohol, treatment history, attitude regarding alcohol / controlled substances, program attendance and completion, counseling, drug or alcohol tests, probation reports, AA, NA, Alanon, Smart, or other self-help program involvement, and a several other factors unique to the particular case.
I also address “hardship” which the Board defines as a legitimate, substantial, and documented need to drive for reasons other than errands, social activities, and recreational pursuits. The Board understands that not having a license is inconvenient and Board members need to see a substantial hardship above and beyond the general inconvenience associated with the loss of a license. The documented need to drive for work, school, or medical reasons is what motivates the Board to grant hardship licenses. A hardship license must be a “last resort,” meaning that you do not have other alternatives such as public transportation. The availability of public transportation to get to work, school, or doctor’s appointments will generally disqualify you getting a hardship license.
In cases involving legal issues, I explain why the Board should reach a particular result based on statutes and prior Board decisions as well as Superior Court decisions and rulings from the Massachusetts Appeals and Supreme Judicial Courts. Putting the appropriate legal arguments on the record here is essential in the event that you need to appeal the Board’s decision based on an error of law.
Finally, I explain how the cases of your past and present violations have been brought under control and why the Board should use its discretion and authority to order the Registry to override your suspension and grant you a driver’s license.
To satisfy the Board’s documentation requirements, I attach documents such as your work letter, proof of alcohol program completion, alcohol / drug test results, letters of recommendation, your personal statement, proof of employment, substance abuse evaluation, probation reports, references, proof of AA attendance, and certificates of completion, to name a few. Appeals Board members find documentation of this nature is very important in hardship license appeals.