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People involved in Los Angeles DUI cases–and in DUI cases across the country–often allege that the cops who have charged them have lied about the evidence that was used against them. Whether that’s true or not, drivers in Utah won’t be getting the chance to collectively make their case against one former state trooper.Lisa-Steed-DUI-case

The Utah case involves former Highway Patrol Officer Lisa Steed, honored in 2007 as the State Trooper of the Year but later fired after two judges found that she had lied in court and falsified reports in her DUI arrests. Steed made more than 1,000 such arrests in the course of her 10-year career with the department.

In December 2012, attorneys for three Utah motorists proposed a class action suit against Steed and the Utah Highway Patrol. They argued that Steed’s improper behavior had harmed hundreds or even thousands of drivers arrested for DUI, and that those drivers should be allowed to band together to sue her and UHP.

But Second District Court Judge Michael Allphin ruled in April that the circumstances of each DUI case were too unique to allow everyone arrested by Steed to become part of a single lawsuit. According to KSL.com, the judge wrote in his decision that “The proposed class members’ traffic stops occurred over a period of several years, at various locations, at different times of the day, and for differing reasons. These differences must be considered when determining whether reasonable suspicion and probable cause existed under the totality of circumstances of each traffic stop.”

Designing and executing an effective defense against DUI charges (even simple ones) is not intuitive. Fortunately, you can trust the seasoned, highly successful Michael Kraut. Call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles with nearly two decades of experience.

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California’s police officers don’t yet have to worry about issuing a DUI in Los Angeles for someone who is driving erratically after legally smoking marijuana in the state. (They’ve undoubtedly arrested many for that offense who have been smoking it illegally.)DUI-los-angeles-on-marijuana

But Colorado, which became in 2012 one of the first two states to legalize pot for recreational purposes (the other was Washington State), is apparently dealing with that problem. The Colorado Department of Transportation launched a public information campaign last year that reminds motorists that being impaired by any drugs–not just alcohol–could land you in jail on a charge of DUI. CDOT calls it drugged driving.

Although much of the campaign’s material focuses on marijuana impairment, CDOT officials also want to reinforce the message that driving with any kind of drugs that cause impairment–including prescription medicines–could lead to a DUI arrest. CDOT is using posters and radio and television public service announcements to get its message out to drivers.

In 2013, 627 drivers in Colorado were involved in 481 traffic accidents that resulted in a fatality. More than 21 percent of those drivers–103–were what CDOT calls drugged drivers. Thirty six of them tested positive for cannabis alone; another 10 tested positive for pot and some other drug.

Of course, California cops and the California Department of Transportation may want to be taking notes. If pro-legalization forces have their way, voters in the state will have another chance to vote on legalizing cannabis in 2016. The California electorate rejected legalization of pot in 2010, but many observers give it a much better chance of passage this time due to the more widespread acceptance of marijuana usage in the U.S. today.

How should you respond to your recent and disarming charges? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer (and ex-prosecutor) with nearly two decades of relevant legal experience.

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It would be devastating to learn that someone you loved had been killed or seriously injured by someone arrested for a Los Angeles DUI. It would make matters even worse if you found out that ten years later that driver hadn’t learned his lesson.james-stitt-DUI

The family of 17-year-old Caitlin Weese of Elgin, Illinois, got the dreaded call back in 2003. Paramedics had rushed the high school senior to the hospital after 23-year old James Stitt hit her car head on. Weese died two days later just a few weeks before her high school graduation. Stitt had two prior arrests for DUI, and police found he was driving on a suspended license when he swerved into oncoming traffic and ran into Weese.

Stitt went to prison but got out in 2009. Just four years later, he got his license back, but had to use an ignition interlock device to start his car. Under current Illinois law, however, he was able to get that device removed after a year.

In November 2014, police found Stitt slumped over the wheel of his vehicle after he had crashed into two parked vehicles. After he failed a field sobriety test, police charged him with felony aggravated DUI. (There’s been no resolution of that case to date.)

Stitt’s latest arrest has spurred a move to change Illinois’ DUI law. Thanks to an effort by Weese’s family, who were outraged by Stitt’s newest arrest, a bill making it much tougher for repeated DUI offenders to get their drivers licenses back is speeding through the state legislature.

Do you need help defending against a drug or DUI charge? Michael Kraut of Los Angeles’s Kraut Law Group is a trustworthy, highly qualified former prosecutor. Call a Los Angeles DUI attorney today to strategize for your defense seriously.

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Police working Los Angeles DUI cases have to deal with some pretty difficult accident scenes. But there are probably few worse things than having to handle the aftermath of a DUI incident that involves young children, especially when one of them dies.hyundai-fatal-dui-accident

When El Cajon police officers arrived at an accident scene in the city around 10 p.m. on April 4, they found a 2010 Hyundai Accent that had had crashed into a telephone pole. They discovered 31-year old Brandy Teague and her three injured children inside the vehicle. Emergency vehicles transported the three children, ages 10, 3 and 2, to a nearby hospital, where doctors pronounced the three-year-old girl dead. The other two children suffered serious injuries but should recover.

It must have been a terrifying experience for the children. The oldest in the car, a 10-year old boy, ran to a nearby home to seek help after the accident, according to Fox5 San Diego news. An area resident reported the child had blood on his face and glass stuck in his eye.

Police speculated that Teague may have fallen asleep at the wheel of her vehicle just before the crash. Because she complained of pain, emergency responders took her to the hospital, but she didn’t stay there long. She ended up in the jail charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, cruelty to a child and driving under the influence of drugs.

According to MADD, 1,145 children die each year as a result of a traffic accident. Of those cases, 17 percent involve a driver operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Locating a seasoned and qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer is a critical part of the process of reclaiming your life, your time and your peace of mind. Call ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut for a free consultation right now.

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You’d think that police officers charged with enforcing DUI laws would learn a lesson if they got themselves arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or some other jurisdiction. But that that wasn’t the case for Pedro Abad, Jr., age 27, a six-year veteran of the Linden police department in New Jersey. He already had two DUI arrests on his record when he got behind the wheel after partying with friends on March 20th.cop-fatal-dui-los-angeles

According to press reports, Abad and three friends—Linden police officers Frank Viggiano and Patrik Kudlak,, and Joseph Rodriguez, all 28 years old—were traveling in Abad’s Honda after spending several hours at strip clubs in New Jersey and Staten Island. (Newday said that several hours before the crash Abad had posted on Instagram a photo of three shot glasses filled with “Jack Daniels fire on the house.”)

Shortly before 5 a.m., Abad apparently drove the wrong way on a service road and then continued in the wrong direction on the West Shore Expressway on Staten Island. One 18-wheeler managed to avoid colliding with the vehicle, but another wasn’t able to move out of the way in time and hit Abad’s Honda head on. Viggiano and Rodriguez were killed, and Abad and his remaining passenger were admitted to the hospital in critical condition.

Abad had two arrests for DUI on his record. In January 2011, he put his car through a supermarket building in Roselle, New Jersey. The case never came to trial because Abad’s attorney said the police had not sent him information that he requested. Thirteen months later—in an incident caught on police recording equipment—Abad failed a roadside sobriety test when pulled over. After that incident, the state suspended his driver’s license for seven months and required him to use an ignition interlock device for four months.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.

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A police officer in southern Texas may be recalling the old saying about people who live in glass houses never throwing stones. We don’t know if Devon Brittany New, a member of the Nixon, Texas, police force, ever arrested anyone for driving under the influence. But after her own recent arrest, New may be a little more sympathetic towards anyone accused of DUI in Los Angeles, in Texas, or in any other jurisdiction.2015-Dodge-Challenger-DUI-los-angeles

An article on the San Antonio Express-News’ website said that Officer New was suspended from duty for a week following her DUI arrest on March 9th. She had a narrow escape; after running a red light at 1 a.m., she stalled her vehicle on nearby railroad tracks. Fortunately, she was sober enough to get out of her 2015 Dodge Challenger, because a freight train coming down the track hit her vehicle and totaled it.

Although New is back at work until her April 9th court date, it’s not clear if she’ll be able to remain on the job if she’s found guilty.
Los Angeles police officers have also been charged with DUI in some rather high-profile cases. One notable incident occurred just about a year ago, when an off-duty officer lost control of his vehicle after getting off the westbound Pomona Freeway in Diamond Bar. What made the crash more unusual was that the 29-year-old officer traveled over a 50-foot area (not a road) separating the freeway from a McDonalds restaurant. He ended up crashing in the restaurant’s drive-through lanes.

The officer probably had little interest in the restaurant’s menu at that point, since he landed in the hospital with moderate injuries.

Do you need help defending against a drug or DUI charge? Michael Kraut of Los Angeles’s Kraut Law Group is a trustworthy, highly qualified former prosecutor. Call a Los Angeles DUI attorney today to strategize for your defense seriously.

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People who have had a drink or two (or three) often don’t realize that they shouldn’t drive because they’re over the legal limit for blood alcohol content. That could change if Uber (the app that connects people needing rides to those willing to offer them) is successful in a new partnership with Breathometer, a startup company featured on the Shark Tank television show last year. The partnership might not eliminate everyone’s need for a Los Angeles DUI attorney, but it could reduce the number of DUI arrests in the city and in others.uber-los-angeles-DUI

Breathometer gives people the ability to check their blood alcohol content. It works through a combination of a smart phone app connected by Bluetooth technology to a device that people breathe into after they’ve been drinking. In less than a minute, people can get their BAC measurements to determine whether or not they’re legally safe to drive.

The partnership between Uber and Breathometer should make it easier for anyone who’s had a little too much to drink to get a ride, because they will be able to call Uber directly from the Breathometer smartphone app. The idea is that people will be less likely to get behind the wheel if they have this quick-call option.
Uber has been claiming that its service is reducing the number of DUI drivers. A joint Uber/Mothers against Drunk Driving study suggests that the availability of Uber as a transportation alternative helped decrease the number of DUI crashes in a city by 60 percent for drivers under 30. But ProPublica, a public interest journalism website, said that while the drop in accidents may correlate with the presence of Uber in a certain city, there’s no proof that Uber is actually the cause of that drop.

Designing and executing an effective defense against DUI charges (even simple ones) is not intuitive. Fortunately, you can trust the seasoned, highly successful Michael Kraut. Call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles with nearly two decades of experience.

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Motorists who know they’ve had too much to drink do the right thing when they call a cab to take them home. But if they get into the wrong cab, they could end up talking to a Los Angeles DUI lawyer, not as a client but as a witness.Wikstrom-DUI

Television station KSBY, which serves California’s central coast, reported in early March that taxi driver Christel Mona Wikstrom is facing DUI charges after smashing into parked vehicles at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez Valley. Wikstrom’s taxi, a white Toyota van, damaged three cars. According to police, the cab driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of the incident measured more than twice the legal limit.

Of course, cab drivers are human, and they make mistakes just like everyone else. A Google search reveals multiple incidents of cab drivers in various states arrested for DUI over the past year. Last July, a Bluegrass Taxi driver in Lexington, Kentucky, William Maddox, started talking to police at a convenience store where he had just bought beer. It didn’t take officers long to realize that the cab driver was too impaired to drive.

Ironically, the police had been searching for an hour for this driver after receiving reports of his erratic driving, but they had not been successful in locating him. They might not have even stopped Maddox if he hadn’t approached them and started a conversation. Maddox’s slurred speech and the smell of alcohol that emanated from him alerted the officers to his condition.

Despite these arrests, calling a cab is always a better alternative than attempting to drive when you’ve had too much to drink. California law treats drivers convicted of DUI harshly, with fines, penalties, suspension of driver’s license and sometimes jail time as well.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.

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Driving under the influence is never the right way to travel, and sometimes that lesson is quite literally true. Even an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney could have difficulty making a case for someone who decides to drive along an interstate highway while under the influence—especially when that driver is headed in the wrong direction.wrongway-los-angeles-DUI

According to the Illinois News Gazette, police officers managed to stop 60-year old Michael Jay Nolan from driving west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 74 in Champaign County. The alleged DUI driver had traveled five miles in the wrong directions, from Ogden to St. Joseph, before a sheriff’s deputy was able to get his pickup truck to stop.

Considering the distance that Nolan covered, it’s fortunate that he forced only two drivers off the road during his wrong-way drive. A 20-year-old woman, Ashley Lurry, ended up in the median after meeting up with Nolan in her Chevrolet Cobalt. She and her passenger received treatment for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.

A Toyota Camry driven by 61-year-old Denise Chestnut landed in a ditch after swerving to avoid a head-on collision with Nolan’s truck. Although her Camry may never be the same—and Chestnut will probably never forget the sight of the headlights coming towards her on an expressway—she wasn’t injured.

Police were able to stop Nolan about 15 minutes after they received the first calls from frantic motorists alerting them to the problem. Nolan received tickets for illegal transportation of alcohol and improper lane usage—not his biggest problems, since the police also charged him with DUI.

One thing that Nolan and the two other drivers did right, however. According to the paper, all of the people involved had buckled up before they hit the road.

Locating a seasoned and qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer is a critical part of the process of reclaiming your life, your time and your peace of mind. Call ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut for a free consultation right now.

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A recent shooting of an unarmed homeless man by members of the Los Angeles Police Department shows why it’s essential that anyone who is arrested for a Los Angeles DUI get good legal representation right away. Police officers can make mistakes, and eyewitnesses don’t always see or hear everything that really happened.los-angeles-DUI-police-shooting-homeless-man

Nobody disputes the basic facts of a recent Los Angeles shooting. On March 1, a homeless man (later identified by the nickname of Africa) was killed during a struggle with four police officers. The man was on the ground when the shots were fired.

The police department said that the officers had already tried to subdue the man with a taser, and it hadn’t worked. Then the man had grabbed a gun from one of the officers during the arrest, and that’s when the other officers opened fire. The eyewitness claimed that he didn’t see that grab and questioned the cops’ decision to shoot an unarmed man who was already tased and on the ground.

But the whole incident was caught on a nearby surveillance camera, and CNN had a forensic expert look at the footage in slow motion. His analysis suggests that the man did indeed reach for the gun. Surveillance footage also showed that the man had been involved in a violent struggle with another homeless person earlier in the day.

So what really happened that day? Different people on the scene–all believing that they are telling the truth–will give you varying answers. It’s going to take a while to sort it all out.

The same thing can happen when somebody is arrested for DUI. No matter what the police and other bystanders think they saw, the truth may be something different–and it’s a good idea to have someone who understands all the legal ramifications available to help.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.

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