Posted by

Anyone charged with a Los Angeles DUI can expect a fairly speed resolution to their case, whether that means paying a fine, spending some time in jail or having an ignition interlock system installed on their car.north-dakota-dui-punishment

But it took 20 years for justice to catch up with Jason William Gale. According to the INFORUM website, on March 13, 1995, a police officer in Grand Forks, North Dakota, saw Gale swerving his vehicle into a bicycle path. The cop pulled him over, but Gale didn’t do well on the field sobriety test. The cop arrested him for DUI.

Gale hired a lawyer, Henry Howe, to defend himself against that charge. Gale trusted Howe to guide him through the court process and even signed a power of attorney so that Howe could represent him during preliminary court proceedings. Howe told Gale he had handled everything, but the lawyer actually never showed up in court.

Gale moved soon after the DUI incident and subsequently lived in Colorado, Fargo, North Dakota, Florida and Minnesota. Along the way he held multiple jobs, got involved in a few civil court cases and had at least five background checks. But it took a recent employment background check to uncover the fact that the Grand Forks court had issued a warrant for his arrest back in 1995 after he failed to show up in court.

North Dakota must have some tough prosecutors. Gale tried to set things right, and his new attorney thought the court would dismiss the charges. But the prosecutor tried the case, calling up the arresting officer from 20 years ago to testify. Gale ended up paying a $500 fine, but at least he didn’t get sent to jail and there are no more outstanding arrests warrants against him.

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.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Prosecutors typically have no qualms about bringing charges against someone who’s operating a motor vehicle after drinking to excess. They rely on breathalyzer results to help them get convictions for DUI in Los Angeles and other California locales. If the BAC measures above .08 percent, prosecutors feel they have a good case.deputy-dui-los-angeles

But what if prosecutors have no good way to quantify just how impaired a driver is? That can occur when police pick up someone for a DUI charge that’s related to something besides alcohol. One California cop found that worked to his advantage in beating a DUI arrest.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that sheriff’s deputies charged Montebello Police Sergeant Christopher Cervantes with DUI after he rammed his car into a tree in May. Cervantes claimed he had lost control of the vehicle when trying to avoid hitting another car. But the deputies said he appeared to be under the influence of a drug, and they arrested him.

A blood test revealed that Cervantes had a drug in his system that included codeine and morphine—a drug his doctor had prescribed. But the fact that he had a prescription would not normally get Cervantes off the DUI charge.

But on his scheduled arraignment day, Cervantes got a welcome surprise. Prosecutors said that field sobriety tests weren’t enough to gain a conviction against him. They admitted that they had no expert witnesses who could testify Cervantes had enough of the prescription drug in his bloodstream to leave him impaired. So the prosecutors declined to bring DUI charges against Cervantes due to insufficient evidence.

Do you need assistance constructing an appropriate response to a DUI charge? Look to the Kraut Law Group’s Michael Kraut for insight and peace of mind. Mr. Kraut is an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.

Continue reading →

Posted by

A good rule of thumb: if cops pick you up for a DUI in Los Angeles, don’t hit the road again before the intoxicating substance has left your bloodstream. If a West Virginia man had followed that advice, a teenager in that state might have avoided some unwelcome time at the hospital.rural-dui-los-angeles

According to TV station WOWK in Charleston, police got a summons on July 6th to the vicinity of the Smiley Motel. A woman there told them that Randy Bailies was driving on Route 60 under the influence of alcohol. (It’s not clear whether she was Bailies wife or his ex-wife.)

The officers tracked Bailies down, pulled him over and found his blood alcohol content was .268, more than three times the legal limit. They booked him for DUI and released him—into the custody of a sober driver—after he posted a $600 bond.

That incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. Around 12 hours later, Bailies was driving along Route 62 near Poca City when he hit a teenager walking along the side of the road. Fortunately, the youth didn’t suffer life-threatening injuries, although he did end up at the hospital for treatment.

Bailies meanwhile fled the scene, but cops caught up with him at a gas station and arrested him. They charged him with DUI causing injury, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries and driving without insurance.

Under West Virginia law, Bailies could spend up to a year in jail, pay fines up to $3,000 and lose his license for a year if convicted of these two offenses.

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.

Continue reading →

Posted by

The Associated Press reported in late June that rapper/reality star Flavor Flav of Public Enemy was getting ready to settle a driving-related case in New York, when police picked him up on a DUI charge in Las Vegas. All he needs to complicate his life a little more is an arrest for a DUI in Los Angeles.flavor-flav-DUI-los-angeles

Flav was apparently speeding along at 73 MPH on a 45-mph freeway ramp near Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport when cops pulled him over. He allegedly had been driving on a suspended license, and his vehicle registration had expired. Cops booked him on a felony charge of driving on a suspended license, driving while DUI, possession of marijuana (they found a small amount in his car), speeding and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.

This arrest clearly didn’t help much with the charges that Flav is dealing with in New York. The rapper was already looking at doing time—up to four years in jail—because of a January 2014 incident in that state. According to Fox News, Flav had been speeding on the way to his mother’s funeral when police officers pulled him over. They ran his license and found that it had been suspended 16 times for various offenses.

Flav had been trying to negotiate a plea deal with New York authorities, when news of his Las Vegas arrest broke. Prosecutors were apparently already dubious about Flav’s supposed reformation, and the new arrest hasn’t helped. New York prosecutors have said they will seek a six-month jail sentence if Flav’s case goes to court and he’s found guilty.

Do you or a family member need insight from a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney? Contact Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group to set up your free consultation.

Continue reading →

Posted by

When you hear a report about someone arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, your immediate thought might be that the person had been drinking too much alcohol before getting behind the wheel. But other substances can cause impairment similar to alcohol’s effects.xanax DUI los angeles

Television station WAFF in northern Alabama reported in June that state police are seeing more and more cases of motorists driving erratically after taking prescription drugs like Xanax. In one case, a man used Xanax and codeine before driving, eventually running off the road in an accident that killed his seven-year-old daughter.

Police officers have a problem when it comes to determining whether a motorist has been impaired because of prescription meds. They can immediately get a fairly good gauge of blood alcohol levels by administering a breathalyzer test. But the breathalyzer can’t detect the presence of prescription drugs. Police officers need a laboratory to conduct those tests, and long waits for processing samples at state labs gums up the system and leads to lots of delays.

Critics say this “how do we stop prescription drug DUI” problem now challenges law enforcement all over the country. In Fresno, California, on Friday, June 5th, police responded to two separate accidents that involved DUI and prescription drugs. ABC 30 reported that Alyssa Gonzales, age 18, slammed into David Torres when he was stopped at a red light. The accident killed Torres and resulted in charges against Gonzales, who allegedly had been taking a prescription for a spinal condition.

A few hours later, 38-year-old Denise Lago, under the influence of prescription drugs, swerved into oncoming traffic. She caused a four-vehicle accident that killed Ken and Jeannine Balderrama, who were riding a motorcycle. In an ironic twist of fate, the defense attorney representing Lago is a cousin of David Torres, the man killed in the earlier accident.

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.

Continue reading →

Posted by

People in big cities have grown fairly accustomed to the shenanigans of their elected officials. A politician’s arrest for a Los Angeles DUI might make the headlines one day, but the story would soon disappear to the back page.Dakotah-Norton-DUI

But the same may not be true in smaller jurisdictions around the country. In the Village of Mundelein, a northern suburb of Chicago, DUI charges filed against one elected representative have caused a great deal of controversy, and the story isn’t going away.

Dakotah Norton, age 25, took office as one of the Village’s Trustees last April. (A trustee is the equivalent of a council member in other jurisdictions.) Two months later, a police officer patrolling in a neighboring jurisdiction noticed a car that had only one working taillight. It was Norton’s. The officer followed the car and observed the driver straddling the road’s center line. When

Norton came to a red light, he allegedly failed to stop and instead immediately made a turn. At that point, the cop pulled him over, administered a field sobriety test and took Norton to the police station. His blood alcohol content reportedly measured twice the legal limit.

Per reports, Norton had already earned a reputation as a bit of a controversial figure. His juvenile police record showed charges for retail theft and for possession of cannabis. At the age of 18, Norton served a sentence of probation and community service for a similar marijuana charge.

Although Norton insists he won’t resign because of his DUI arrest, other office holders in the Village have a different idea. The Mayor and three other Trustees have asked him to step down, but they have no legal way to force him out of office.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

Continue reading →

Posted by

When people are arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, they may harbor the hope that the arresting officer will go easy on them. But it probably won’t help their case if some unpleasant incident—like getting sick all over the back of the police cruiser–occurs during the arrest.Petties-dui-los-angeles

Police in Seminole County, Florida, for example, will probably remember (and not in a good way) 29-year-old Metilia Petties, picked up for DUI in mid-June. Petties had apparently been involved in a fight earlier in the evening, and then she allegedly used nine (nine!) vodka-and Sprite mixed drinks to take the edge off her anger. She eventually left the bar and drove off in her Toyota sedan, but officers spotted her swerving into traffic going the opposite direction on Goldsboro Boulevard.

Petties then hit a sedan that was attempting to make a turn, which sent the driver of that car to the hospital because of neck and body injuries. Petties allegedly fled the scene, but cops eventually caught up and pulled her over. After determining that she was DUI, they put her in the back seat of a patrol car. Petties then threw up everything that she had consumed that evening.
Authorities did not take it easy on Petties, who allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .091. They charged her with DUI, hit-and-run crash with injury, operating a vehicle without a valid license and fleeing/eluding police.

Petties had one additional problem as well. The police found that she was wanted on a grand-theft charge in Seminole County.
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.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Wallethub.com’s recent ranking of the strictest states for DUI enforcement (California came out 31st) also contained some interesting statistics about impaired driving. If California follows the national trend, for example, the number of people killed in incidents involving a DUI in Los Angeles should be going down. DUI-related fatalities have declined throughout the U.S. by 52 percent from 1982 to 2013.making-sense-of-los-angeles-DUI-stats

Here are some more facts and statistics offered in the Wallethub study:

• Almost half of all states now require some people convicted of a DUI to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. In 24 states, it’s mandatory after a first offense; 14 states require them after a first offense where the blood alcohol content is above .15. Seven states will make offenders install the device after a second offense. Six states never require the device.
• The federal government estimates the use of these devices has cut the DUI re-arrest rate by 67 percent.
• First-time offenders in the U.S. spend an average of one day in jail for a first arrest; second-time offenders will spend an average of three weeks.
• Local police in 39 states regularly set up DUI checkpoints.
• Georgia is the toughest state when it comes to license suspension; you can lose it for up to 12 months if you’re arrested on a DUI charge. The average suspension time throughout the U.S. is three months.
• In almost three-quarters of the states (37), anyone arrested for a DUI will have to undergo mandatory alcohol abuse assessment and/or treatment.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

Continue reading →

Posted by

People picked up for a DUI in Los Angeles may be luckier than they think. If they were arrested in other states, the penalties could be much higher, especially for repeat offenders.los-angeles-DUI-statistics-2015

The website WalletHub.com recently released the results of its study on the strictest and most lenient states for DUI punishment. California ranks in the bottom half for the harshness of its penalties, coming in at 31st.

The study looked at 15 key metrics, such as minimum jail time for first and subsequent offenses, minimum fines, the number of DUI offenses it takes before a defendant is charged with a felony and whether or not there are more severe penalties imposed if a defendant’s blood alcohol content is very high.

WalletHub gave Arizona the nod as being the strictest when it comes to DUI enforcement. The Grand Canyon State has a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail and requires a mandatory ignition interlock for a first offense. Second-time offenders must serve 90 days, and third-time offenders are looking at automatic felony charges. In South Dakota, which has the dubious distinction of being the most lax when it comes to DUI penalties, there’s no minimum sentence for any DUI offenses (first or subsequent), and no provision at all for an ignition interlock device.

In California, the minimum sentence for a first-time DUI offender is two days in jail and 10 days minimum for repeat offenders. Felony DUI charges aren’t mandatory until the fourth offense, and there’s no statewide law requiring a mandatory ignition interlock device for a DUI offense.

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.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Motorists involved in a Los Angeles DUI accident sometimes cause property damage and (fortunately, more rarely) death or injury to themselves or someone else. But very few of them are involved in three incidents–one deadly–in the same day.Zoltan-Istvan-Pentek-DUI

A Las Vegas driver who reportedly caused three accidents on Thursday, June 11th–one when he was apparently sober, two when he was allegedly DUI–was sitting in jail without bail a day later. But his incarceration came too late for a 67-year old cyclist, who lost his life when their paths crossed.

The Nevada Highway Patrol’s first contact with Zoltan Istvan Pentek, 22, came around 10 p.m. on Thursday night, when police say he was involved in a crash on Interstate 15. The responding officers later said that Pentek filled out an incident report and showed no signs of impairment, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

About an hour and a half later, at 11:40 p.m., Pentek hit 67-year-old Larry Martinez, who was riding his bike near the intersection of Charleston Boulevard and Mojave Road. Martinez had been wearing a reflective vest when Pentek slammed into him from behind, causing fatal injuries.

Pentek didn’t stop, but fled the scene, per the Review-Journal, leaving behind a piece of trim from his dark green, 1999 Honda Civic. Just 10 minutes later, he allegedly caused another crash at an intersection not far from the fatality scene. The police picked him up shortly after this accident. After matching the trim left at the earlier incident to his car, they eventually charged him with DUI involving death and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

Continue reading →