Articles Posted in DUI Accidents

Accidents involving drivers DUI in Los Angeles can snarl highways and city streets, resulting in backups that prevent motorists from reaching their destinations for hours. Involve a mass transit system like BART in a DUI crash, and the potential for transportation headaches gets even larger.BART-DUI

Opara Maurice Green crashed through a crossing gate and ended up running his 2006 Toyota truck onto BART’s tracks in West Oakland around 7:40 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20th. Green was lucky; the operator of a San Francisco-bound BART train was able to stop before hitting the truck. (Fortunately, no passengers suffered injuries in the unscheduled rapid stop.)

Continue reading

Advocates for legalizing marijuana in California seem to be gaining supporters, and state voters are likely to see an initiative to change the state’s current ban on the November ballot. If the measure passes, police officers in California are going to have to find a better way to determine whether a driver is guilty of DUI in Los Angeles.marijuana brownies dui attorney los angeles

Oregon passed laws permitting the recreational use of marijuana in 2015, the state only recently okayed the sale of marijuana edibles. Police in Salem, Oregon, stepped up their DUI patrols over the first weekend in June, when stores started selling marijuana brownies and other delicacies containing THC.

Continue reading

Should the government be able to seize a vehicle driven by someone convicted of multiple DUIs in Los Angeles? California’s vehicle codes do permit temporary impoundment of motor vehicles driven by anyone convicted of even a first-time DUI. Although the law also allows for permanent seizure of vehicles of repeat (three or more time) DUI offenders, few jurisdictions take this option.New-Mexico-Lisa-Torraco-Daniel-Ivey-Soto-DUI-law

For DUI drivers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, however the scenario is quite different. They could permanently lose their vehicles after being arrested for DUI, despite an attempt by state legislators to curb this practice. Now a

District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the city’s seizure practice.

People charged with DUI in Los Angeles come from many different professions, including schoolteachers, college professors, principals and other educators. Since the public usually holds educators to a higher standard of behavior–they are supposed to be role models for our children–their arrests for DUI generally get a fair amount of coverage in local media.
teacher-dui-los-angeles
In Meriden, Connecticut, Platt High School Principal Robert Montemurro took sick leave after news of his arrest for DUI hit the news. The 56-year-old Montemurro had been involved in an accident on the main street of town. Police arrived, investigated and charged the principal with DUI.

Matthew B. Lucchini, 26, a Phys ed instructor at a Chicago, Illinois, elementary school, faces more serious charges. He hit sisters Jazmine Oquendo, 14, and Ava Oquendo, 7, while they were walking in a marked crosswalk. He fled the scene with the sisters lying in the road. But police soon caught up with Lucchini and charged him with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and negligent driving.

Continue reading

Would you be able to tell if someone you knew was at risk for a charge of DUI in Los Angeles? Would you take away a friend‘s or a guest’s vehicle keys if you felt they had consumed too much alcohol to drive?losangelesDUI-survey

Just in time for the holiday season, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility released the results of a national poll it took in September 2015. The purpose was to gauge American’s alcohol awareness.

Apparently Americans still have a lot to learn. More than half of all adults in the U.S. (63 percent) don’t know that the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in their state (and in every U.S. state) is .08 percent.

Continue reading

Excessive drinking can reduce inhibitions, so when police officers pick someone up for a Los Angeles DUI, they probably aren’t too surprised if they find the suspect has shed a few items of clothing along the way. But police officers in Waukesha, Wisconsin, were startled when they finally caught up with a DUI suspect after a high-speed chase and found that he had taken everything off.
According to TV station Fox 6, Leif Erickson crashed through a chain link fence enclosing a parking lot on the night of August 11th. Unfortunately for him, two police officers had parked their squad cars on the lot, and Erickson hit one of them. The 21-year-old Erickson ignored the officers’ commands to stop, backed out of the fence and took off, hitting speeds up 70 mph. He ran stop signs and hit curbs repeatedly as he attempted to evade police.erickson-DUI-los-angeles

Erickson did brake hard for one stoplight, which sent his vehicle into a 180-degree spin. An officer attempted to stop him, but Erickson accelerated towards him and his squad car. The chase continued, this time reaching speeds up to 90 mph, before Erickson took a turn too fast, flipped the car and went airborne. He managed to climb out of his car, however, and that’s when the police discovered he was nude. They managed to subdue him after shooting him with a bean bag round (instead of deadlier bullets).

Police charged Erickson with a first offense of operating while intoxicated, since he admitted to them he had taken two hits of acid a few hours before. But he’s also looking at more serious charges. They include three felony counts of reckless endangerment, one count of hit and run causing injury, one count of fleeing and eluding and one count of felony heroin possession.

Yikes.

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

dui-manslaughterLos Angeles DUI manslaughter charges are incredibly serious but also surprisingly diverse.

Let’s say you’ve never driven DUI before, and you didn’t engage in an act of gross negligence, like driving 100 miles the wrong way on the freeway. But you did get into a DUI accident that caused someone to die. You could still go to jail for a long time, lose your license, and face an array of other punishments.

However, prosecutors could try to convince the court that you engaged in a more serious crime — “gross vehicular manslaughter” — which can lead to even steeper punishments.

And if you had been convicted of a prior DUI — and you had signed a document known as a Watson Advisement, which indicates that you understand the lethality of driving DUI –prosecutors can even go after you for an even more intense count, known as DUI Murder.

Bearing that in mind, let’s reflect on a tragic case in Anaheim. On October 18, a 10-year-old boy died in a multi-car DUI-related collision at North Euclid Street and West Oklahoma Avenue, per Anaheim Police Department reports. A black pickup truck smashed into the boy’s Toyota Camry from behind, throwing the vehicle into another car. Everyone in the Camry suffered critical injuries, and the 10-year-old boy died at a local hospital. Los Angeles police later arrested Gary S. Hunt, the driver of the black pickup truck.

The accident moderately injured the driver of the third car.

Whether Hunt actually had been under the influence of alcohol or not, he could face serious criminal and civil charges. The media coverage understandingly focuses on the awful tragedy that befell Ramirez and his family, but it’s important to appreciate that DUI crashes also devastate the lives of people charged with crimes.

For instance, perhaps Hunt also has children, who now may be forced to deal with the fact that their dad could go to prison for many years.

To respond conscientiously, compassionately and effectively to complex criminal charges, contact a Los Angeles DUI injury defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group right now to schedule a consultation with former prosecutor, Michael Kraut.

Continue reading

Murrieta-Mayor-Alan-Long-DUIA Los Angeles DUI charge can have powerful and immediate ramifications, whether you’re a public figure or not.

Witness, for instance, the fast fall of Murrieta Mayor Alan Long, who had to resign recently after he caused an alleged DUI crash that injured four students. The 44-year-old had been driving on Jefferson Avenue in a large truck last Thursday at 8 P.M., when he hit a vehicle driven by four high school students.

Long had served as a Battalion Chief with the Anaheim Fire Department, but his knowledge and understanding of road safety did not prevent him from failing his field sobriety tests (at least per police reports) and demonstrating what authorities said were “signs and symptoms consistent with alcohol impairment.”

Long contends that he had consumed alcohol but did not cross the legal limit of 0.08%. He made a bail of $5,000 and has not yet formally been charged. Rescue workers took the four students from Murrieta Valley High School to local hospitals for treatment for an array of injuries.

Long won election in November 2010 by a landslide. But even though he hasn’t been formally charged with a DUI injury count, he had to resign his political position.

Each charge of injuring someone while driving DUI can lead to a felony conviction and a jail sentence of at least a year, per California Vehicle Section 22153. Prosecutors also do not necessarily need to show that Long had been over the 0.08% BAC mark to convict him for the felony counts.

Defending against injury DUI charges can be an incredibly fraught and complex business. Protect your rights by getting good insight from a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense attorney, like Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut is an ex-prosecutor: as a Deputy District Attorney, he racked up a 99% success rate in jury trials. Continue reading

repeat-dui-offender-has-funTo defend against a Los Angeles DUI charge effectively — particularly if you actually committed a crime — you want to express remorse at the appropriate time. You need to show that you understand that what you did was dangerous and could have resulted in severe injuries or even the loss of life.

What you DON’T want to do is to brag that you are “going to do it again,” like Willissa Harris allegedly told police in Tulsa, after she smashed into a cable barrier on a local freeway, Highway 75. According to local media, after Harris hit the barrier, police helped her out of her vehicle and observed that she had red, bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech – classic signs of DUI.

Per reports, Harris had been arrested twice prior for DUI, and she decided to chat with the police about her background on the way to the station. They recorded her apparently self-incriminating statements: she told police that she enjoyed “doing this” [causing the DUI wreck] and that she intended to “do it again.” Police took her to the Tulsa County Jail for processing.

Obviously, it’s no secret that people do and say very dumb things after being stopped for DUI – we’ve come back to this theme again and again on this blog. But there are limits to how and when you can self-incriminate. For instance, let’s say the police fail to read your Miranda Rights — these include the caveat that “anything you say or do can be held against you in the court of law.” If so, you can fight back against the charges by making the argument that the court shouldn’t consider any self-incriminating statements that you made because police didn’t remind you of your rights before you said them.

The court will assess your complete history, including both admissible statements that you have made and your actions. In Harris’s case, the fact that she has two DUIs under her belt will probably matter more than the fact that she boasted under duress that she was “going to do it again.”

If you or someone you love needs to defend effectively against a similarly complex suite of charges, please call an experienced Los Angeles DUI criminal defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group immediately to schedule a free consultation with highly respected former prosecutor Michael Kraut

Continue reading

adam-hill-dui-murderDriving under the influence of drugs in Los Angeles is a dangerous crime, as even a child could tell you. But what distinguishes a “run of the mill” drug DUI from an arrest that leads to a second degree murder conviction and a 17 year-to-life jail sentence?

The answer is: the circumstances.

Consider, for instance, the nightmarish series of events that unfolded on the morning of February 13, 2011. Adam Harrison Hall spun out of control in his Ford SUV, smashed into a Toyota SUV at a red light, injuring the occupants, then veered onto the sidewalk and hit and killed 40-year-old Mara Steves, who had been walking a lost labrador retriever.

Hall allegedly killed a pedestrian and caused a massive wreck that led to other injuries… AND he had two prior DUI convictions.

In Southern California, after you get convicted of a DUI, you receive what’s known as a Watson Advisement. This is basically a “last warning” that affirms that you understand that driving DUI can lead to severe injury and death. People who receive the Watson Advisement and then later go on to commit another DUI crime and kill someone can be charged with DUI murder, also known as a “Watson Murder” because of the eponymous advisement.

In any event, Hall apparently had nearly a pharmacy’s worth of drugs in his system, including morphine, amphetamine, temazepam, oxazepam, hydroxyalprazolam, alprazolam, nordiazepam, diazepam, and methamphetamine as well as THCA. In February this year, a jury found Hall guilty of a smorgasbord of charges, including misdemeanor drug DUI, two felony counts of obtaining drugs via a forged prescription, one felony prescription forgery charge, and of course one felony murder count. Hall had appealed the verdict, because he argued his trial attorney had been inadequate and that the prosecution did not have enough evidence to prove that he had been the driver burning through the red light. But the three justices disagreed and upheld the murder conviction.

If you or some you love faces a severe charge, like DUI manslaughter or murder, call a qualified, compassionate Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer with the Kraut Law Group to get effective insight into your possible options.

Continue reading

Contact Information