Articles Posted in DUI and Child Endangerment

Los-Angeles-DUI-attorney-12-225x300Here in California, a single DUI can disrupt your life significantly. Even if you’ve been arrested for your first DUI, it can cost you fines, jail time and license suspension if you are convicted.

However, if you were arrested for DUI with children in the car, your world is about to get a whole lot more complicated. If you drive under the influence, you are considered a threat to public safety, let alone yourself. But if your kids are in the car when you do it, now you’re looking at possible child endangerment—a whole other issue that can add mandatory jail time and more to your sentence.

The repercussions of driving DUI with kids in the car extend well beyond the arrest itself. Let’s look at the numerous possible consequences of doing so.

It’s the call that no parent wants but too many of us receive. “Mom, Dad, I’m at the police station. I’ve been charged with DUI.”teen-dui-los-angeles

As you drive to pick up your wayward teen, your emotions range from relief that your child is safe to anger that she made such poor choices to anxiety about how this arrest will impact her future.

You’re not alone. Many parents in the U.S. have gone through this experience. The National Organization for Youth Safety says that 25 percent of all car crashes involved an underage drinking driver. The CDC reports that in 2014, 17 percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol contact of .08 percent or higher.

In the United States, an average of 20 people a minute suffer physical abuse at the hands of a spouse or an intimate partner. That’s equal to more than 10 million men and women each year, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Although intimate partners of both sexes suffer abuse, the majority of those abused are women; every nine seconds in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten.domestic-violence-los-angeles

But domestic violence includes more than physical abuse. The U.S. Department of Justice’ Office on Violence Against Women defines it as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship to gain or maintain power over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten terrorize, to coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.”

What causes someone to inflict this kind of pain on the people they are supposed to love the most? Writing on, Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards notes that domestic abuse can involve partners of all races, religions, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation. But certain risk factors do appear to be associated with domestic violence, including lack of a high school education, poverty, witnessing family violence as a child and attitudes of male domination.

Some drivers charged with DUI in Los Angeles have had a life-long struggle with alcohol. No matter what the consequences, they can’t stop drinking. DUI-with-children

Michelle Colby of Valparaiso, Indiana, may have such a problem. After making bail on a DUI charge stemming from a crash involving five children last April, she is now back in jail after failing a home breath test.

On April 29th, Colby was carrying five young passengers, including two of her own children, when she failed to yield to another vehicle when making a turn. The driver of the other car and all of Colby’s passengers ended up in the hospital. The crash threw a child and a dog out of Jeep; the child survived, but the dog did not. Police at the scene said that Colby had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on her breath; a breathalyzer test showed a 0.22 blood alcohol reading.

Continue reading

You can be arrested for Los Angeles DUI whether you’re an out-of-state tourist tooling around in a rented convertible or a homegrown Angelino driving a car you’ve owned since high school. However, no matter what vehicle you drive, your legal problems will be significantly compounded if underage kids or teenagers are in the car with

Consider the following situation out of Tennessee. Police responded to a request for help from a high school band: their charter bus, parked in front of a museum, apparently had a problem with one of its tires. Allen Newcomer, 51, allegedly drove the students on a trip from California Area High School in Western Pennsylvania to Nashville, Tennessee. His passengers included members of the high school band and their chaperones–38 students (all but seven under age 18) and 17 chaperones and teachers.

As they spoke with Newcomer, Nashville police officers began to suspect that the bus driver had a problem. Their first clue? He had “an obvious amount” of white powdery substance in his nostrils.

Continue reading

Police officers may arrest multiple drivers for a Los Angeles DUI within a short period for time when they’re conducting sobriety check points, but it’s not as usual for them to nab two DUI drivers at a time at a traffic stop.singing-in-car-dui-los-angeels

When a Florida Highway Patrol officer pulled 31-year-old Josue Moncado over for reckless driving on I-75 near Ocala, he smelled alcohol on his breath. The officer had just arrested Josue when his sister, Ercilia Moncado, pulled up and began arguing with the trooper. Another officer called to the scene ended up arresting the woman for DUI as well; she allegedly tried to escape from the patrol car, but officers managed to quickly recapture her.
No word on whether the Moncado siblings got adjoining cells.

Also a nominee in the category of “drivers who appear to be begging for a DUI arrest” is a woman recently arrested by the California Highway Patrol. The unnamed driver had allegedly stopped her car in the middle of the freeway, climbed up on the roof and began dancing. She apparently was a real entertainer; as the CHP troopers approached, she began singing as well.

Continue reading

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.
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

Drivers convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles face a variety of penalties, including fines, loss of license and time in jail. A judge may show some leniency but usually reserves the right to reinstate punishments (including jail time) if the person violates the terms of parole.Carol-Ferdigan-dui

This summer, Carol Ferdigan pled guilty to charges of vehicular homicide in the horrific deaths of her husband and her son-in-law. The judge released her pending sentence this fall, but she had to promise to refrain from drinking alcohol and to wear a transdermal alcohol sensing device. In early October, that device showed that Ferdigan had been drinking and that her blood alcohol content tipped 0.16% BAC, twice the legal limit, per California Vehicle Code section 23152(b).

That violation sent Ferdigan back to King County Jail to await sentencing on October 23rd.

The deaths occurred in May 2014, when Ferdigan had been enjoying a meal with several family members in her home in Sammamish, Washington. Ferdigan left the table to move her Jeep, but she apparently had consumed so much alcohol that she mistook the accelerator for the brake. She pressed the gas repeatedly, plowing through her home, smashing the table where her family sat and continuing into Lake Sammamish. The crash killed her husband and her son-in-law and badly injured her daughter.

Ferdigan wasn’t hurt; neither was her young grandson, who had been sitting on her lap while she went on her deadly drive.

Ferdigan’s blood alcohol content measured 0.16%, and she allegedly was also driving under the influence of Ambien.
The 69-year-old grandmother ended up taking a guilty plea on charges of reckless endangerment-DUI, with a recommendation

that the court sentence her to six years in prison instead of the 10-13 years she might otherwise have faced.
The justice system isn’t taking any chances with Ferdigan this time; the court denied her bail request. This incident could also influence the judge, who may—but does not have to—follow the sentencing recommendations in her plea deal.

Respond strategically to your arrest and charges by calling a former Senior Deputy D.A. and highly successful Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today for a complimentary consultation.

Continue reading

It’s hard to imagine police arresting your friendly neighborhood ice cream man for a DUI in Los Angeles. However, police officers in one Oregon city had to perform that not-so-sweet duty one day in early

Residents of the Corneilus community had been accustomed to buying ice cream cones, popsicles and other frozen treats from Noe Andrade-Silva, age 38. They knew him by his distinctive ice cream sales vehicle, a 1994 Plymouth Voyager with a sliding door covered in colorful pictures of his products.

While neighborhood kids might have been keeping a hopeful eye out for Andrade-Silva on Friday, July 10th, adults in the area didn’t like what they saw his Voyager doing on the road. They called police, reporting that the colorful van had turned into oncoming traffic and had hit a curb twice.

Police pulled Andrade-Silva over, and the ice cream man allegedly failed several sobriety tests. Officers then took him to Washington County Jail after charging him with a DUI. Fortunately, the police did permit Andrade-Silva’s wife to take the van home, so that she could save the stock of ice cream treats that the vehicle carried.

In a related article on, neighbors expressed concern about the ice cream driver operating under the influence in an area where so many children play. They thanked officers for responding so quickly and worried that, had Andrade-Silva’s truck gone out of control, neighborhood kids might have suffered injury.

It’s unlikely that Andrade-Silva will find many customers if he decides to return to that neighborhood. As one resident commented, “Nobody wants any DUI ice cream.”

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.

Continue reading

halloween-dui-arrestIntuitively, you might suspect that the numbers of Los Angeles DUI arrests spike during Halloween, simply because so many people take time off of work, drink spiked cider, and engage in goofy costume parties and parades. But while Los Angeles is home to some wild Halloween traditions, including the West Hollywood parade and spooky movies at Hollywood Cemetery, fortunately, the denizens of our city often drive rather soberly on this holiday… at least when you compare Halloween DUI statistics with stats from much more dangerous holidays, like Super Bowl Sunday, Labor Day, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving and The Day Before Thanksgiving.

Maybe it’s the fact that everybody knows that kids will be wandering in the streets wearing dark, unwieldy costumes that makes drivers act with more caution. Whatever the case, you want to avoid winding up arrested and in dire need of the services of a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney, like Michael Kraut of Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Here are some tips:

1. Plan your evening.

Be spontaneous, but don’t be so spontaneous that you put your life and the lives of other people at risk.

2. Don’t hang around (or heaven forbid get in the car with) people doing dumb things.

Halloween is a time of surprises, but you want those surprises to be ideally to be non-lethal ones. If you meet strange people at a party or at the Santa Monica parade, and you want to hang out and grab a burger with them afterwards, fine. Just avoid getting unduly influenced by potentially dangerous or unstable folks you meet trick or treating.

3. Learn from your mistakes.

How did Halloween go for you last year? Have you ever almost gotten in trouble while driving or almost gotten arrested for DUI? Consider your habits and your track record, and continuously develop plans to avoid getting into trouble again in the same ways. Know thyself.

If you or someone you love does ultimately need help with a Halloween-related Los Angeles DUI charge, contact attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers for an immediate, judgment free, through and confidential consultation. Mr. Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney – a high-level prosecutor – who understands what it takes to build winning defense cases.

Continue reading

Contact Information