Before you even meet with your lawyer it might be a good idea to think about the people in your life with whom you spend the most time. For most of us, this will include our spouse, children, and employers, support group members, including sponsors and accountability partners and close friends. Then narrow it down to about six people that know about your substance use and recovery history, and who would be willing to write a letter of support.
Once you’ve obtained the list, then discuss with your lawyer the kind of information that should be included. It is best not to use a “form” letter or copy from a sample letter because the hearing officers quickly identify patterns in the information they look at every day for driver license restoration petitioners. If they notice you are using a form letter, you will almost certainly be denied on that basis along, even if the information contained in the letters is true. This is because a hearing officer might question the authenticity of such a letter.
Your best bet is to bring sample letters written by the people you select to your visit with your lawyer. He or she can then look at the letters, and make certain that they are written in a way that will help ensure your success. Just understand that it is very difficult to fabricate evidence for these cases. Hearing officers are very experienced in uncovering fraud; so if you don’t have the requisite period of sobriety, or have otherwise not done what’s necessary to meet your burden of proof; don’t assume you will be able to collect a bunch of letters that suggest you have done these things. It won’t work. And any ethical lawyer that knows you’ve done this will turn you down as a client.
In fact, the most important thing you have when you appear before the hearing officer is your credibility. Once that’s shot, you will have a super hard time getting it back, and then getting back your license.