Not Hiring a Lawyer for your Board of Appeal Hearing is not Smart

This morning I received this e-mail from a gentleman who is looking for help, after trying to represent himself before the Board of Appeal and losing twice. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that I can do for him at this point and he will likely have to serve his entire suspension, with no hardship license. If he had contacted me before he represented himself and lost, I might have been able to help him and the result would likely have been different.

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I had my 2nd meeting with the Board of Appeals this week to try and obtain a hardship license (had my last one back in February). I’m currently serving a 2 year suspension which began in September of 2009. I was denied a hardship license.

Long story short, I got a DUI in Colorado while I was in college back in 2005 which was dismissed and dropped to a DWAI. I got a DUI last year in MA (I was charged with a first offense). No injuries or property damage or anything like that occurred in both instances. My DWAI in Colorado was automatically considered a DUI when it was transferred over to MA.

I’m not sure why I was denied. I meet all of the OUI Hardship criteria that the Mass RMV requires:

-I haven’t operated a motor vehicle since my suspension began
-The minimum amount of time has been served for hardship consideration
-Provided proof of 24D completion (ordered by the court to do this program)
-Provided letter from the courthouse stating that my probation has been completed
-Provided letter from employer showing the need for a hardship license
-Showed proof that public transportation cannot get me to where my job is located
-I have the Ignition Interlock Packet signed and completed

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My only choice now is to go through the Superior Court to appeal the Boards decision. I should include that I represented myself both times I went up in front of the Board. Not sure if that had any influence on their decision. How do I go about appealing through the Superior Court?

Unfortunately, winning a hardship license appeal in Superior Court is next to impossible. I’ve never taken these cases, because they are a waste of my time and the client’s money. In reviewing the Board’s hardship license denial, the Superior Court is required to give due weight to the Board’s experience, technical competence, specialized knowledge, and the discretionary authority conferred upon it by statute. The Superior Court may not substitute its judgment for that of the Board. It may not dispute the Board’s choice between two conflicting views, even though the court would justifiably have made a different choice had the matter come before it de novo. The Superior Court has ruled that whether or not to grant a hardship license is a decision left to the Board’s sound discreton. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, the Board of Appeal is the “court of last resort” when it comes to hardship licensing. Going there without a lawyer and trying to appeal a denial in Superior Court is not advisable.