Testifying at In-Person Hearings

A lot of people who are revoked in the State of Illinois, know they have to apply to the Illinois Secretary of State's Office in order to be fully reinstated or to obtain a permit to drive. Many of these people already know that they must have a hearing at the Secretary of State's Office if they are ever to get back onto the road again. What a lot of people do not realize is the fact that when they live in Illinois or live within thirty (30) miles of the Illinois border, that hearing must be in person, and they will be required to testify at that hearing.

Testifying for anyone can be difficult. Anyone who is testifying will be under stress, worried about saying the right thing—or, alternatively, saying something the wrong way—and worried about how his or her testimony will be received. These experiences are natural. Couple with this stress and worry the fact that a person at a driver's license hearing will be required to remember and testify about any number of intricate details about things that, frequently, occurred years ago, and the prospect of testifying is made that much worse.

Unless a person lives further than thirty (30) miles from the Illinois border, testimony is absolutely required. However, dealing with that testimony is one of the ways in which we make sure our clients are 100% prior to their hearing. Most clients of ours are asked the same questions at their hearing that we reviewed with them during our hearing preparation. Without adequate preparation, it is easy for testimony to go wrong. People with more than one (1) DUI, may have things they will need to testify about that occurred decades ago. For example, a person can be asked about all aspects of his or her DUI arrest, even when that arrest was decades ago. Even when a person has a single DUI that was recent, that person could be quizzed about details of what is contained in his or her documents. A person's alcohol and drug use history, for instance, is one thing a lot of people do not expect to have to testify about, and anyone could be quizzed about how much alcohol was drunk or what quantity of drugs was consumed in at any given age. It is due to these complexities and difficulties with testifying why so many people doing it on their own are denied, and, sadly, why so many people who go to different law firms are also denied.

We have heard the horror stories of how other attorneys prepare their clients, provided what they do can be called preparation. We have heard about the attorneys who only speak with clients before their hearing, about attorneys who only prepare someone's testimony on the ride to the hearing, and about attorneys who limit their conversations with clients to only a few minutes. These horror stories are one reason why so many attorneys are unsuccessful at driver's license reinstatement hearings.

The good news is that it does not have to be this way, and we work differently. We take our clients through mock hearings, asking them questions, and clarifying their testimony. We make sure our clients know what kinds of questions they will be asked, and the way in which those questions may be answered. We even concern ourselves with non-verbal issues that affect a person's credibility when he or she testifies, such as where one looks, how one holds one's hands, and so on. We make sure our clients are 100%, because we see our job as being to get our clients driver's licenses reinstated, and we take our job seriously. We are happy to prepare anyone for a hearing, and invite everyone who is revoked to call us today.

Copyright © 2017 by Brendan Bukalski

The information provided in this article is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as legal advice or interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship . As a general rule, all specific legal problems should be handled by an individual's attorney. All rights reserved. Any copying, duplication, or commercial use of the information contained in this column is strictly prohibited without prior permission.

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