Articles Posted in DUI Expungements

You just got arrested for DUI in Los Angeles. Your mind is racing with questions:deja-vu-los-angeles-dui

•    “What attorney should I hire?”
•    “What can I do, if anything, to fight the automatic drivers license suspension?”
•    “How will I manage my life, if I have to spend substantial time behind bars or spend months without a valid license to drive to work?”
•    “What will my friends and parents think about me?”

You’d love to concentrate on solving those issues, but your mind just can’t stay focused. You keep getting drawn back into remembering the drama of what happened. Perhaps the event was actually dramatic, in an objective sense. For instance, maybe your car flipped on the 210, and you hit a concrete barrier. Or maybe you almost ran into (and killed) some pedestrians.

You can’t stop yourself from thinking about the different ways the accident or arrest could have “gone worse.”

Or maybe you keep recalling the feeling of fear that jolted through your body when the red and blue lights flashed behind you, or the maddening conversation you had with the arresting officer.

In any case, the following lesson is abundantly clear: you need to manage this non-stop, destructive mental monologue.

To the extent that you feel out of control about you case is to the extent that your mind will likely “hold onto” these negative thoughts and drive you nuts. But once you know what to expect about your case — and what to do in the next few hours and days — you’ll likely find yourself spontaneously letting go of the looping mental chatter. So that’s one key: get clarity on your case!

Here’s another suggestion. Practice deep breathing and meditation exercises. And/or get therapy, particularly if you were involved in a traumatic incident.

Lastly, connect with a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Attorney Michael Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated former prosecutor – he used to work as a Senior Deputy District Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, during which time he obtained a 99%+ success rate at jury trials. He’s won respect as a criminal defense lawyer not just from clients but also from his peers, such as judges and prosecutors.
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This Los Angeles DUI blog spends a lot of time talking directly to offenders and direct relatives of offenders.under-21-dui-los-angeles

But what if you’re concerned about a person who isn’t in your family? What if one of your teenage son’s good friends, for instance, got arrested for driving under the influence? What then? What should you do? What CAN you do?

Obviously, the answer depends on the context of the arrest. For instance, did your son do anything illegal or not? Was he hurt? Did he supply the alcohol that the other young man drank? How many people were arrested? Did charges include drug possession, hit and run, resisting arrest, etc? If your son faces charges also, you’ll likely want to retain an effective Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at your earliest convenience.

On the other hand, you might want to consider another subtle danger that has to do with your son’s peer group. As adolescent psychologists will tell you, peers can profoundly influence on one another. If your son, for instance, hangs out with kids who are driving DUI in Los Angeles and engaged in other criminal activity, he will be much more likely to ape that bad behavior and get in trouble himself. As a parent, you have only limited control over your child’s behavior and decisions. But if you can get your son to stop hanging around with kids who break the law, that’s a great idea.

Obviously not every kid who gets arrested is a “bad seed.” And even the most brilliant, moral, sober-minded people make mistakes and go through challenging times. So you shouldn’t necessarily be prejudiced just because of this one incident. However, in general, pay attention to the peer group’s influence, and respectfully steer your son towards people who exhibit values that resonate with you.

For practical, nuts and bolts help with your (or your son’s) underage Los Angeles DUI defense, look to Harvard Law School educated lawyer Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut spent more than 14 years in the District Attorney’s office, prosecuting crimes, so he has a compelling and unique viewpoint on criminal defense cases.
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You’re desperate to build an effective defense to recent Los Angeles DUI charges.mistakes-los-angeles-dui-defense

But if you’re like many (perhaps most) defendants, odds are you will make one of the following mistakes that could compromise your chances to fight your charges and potentially lead to unnecessarily long and harsh punishments, like excessive jail time, very steep fines and fees, a lengthy suspension of your California driver’s license, etc. That doesn’t even include all the auxiliary problems that will flow from the DUI arrest/conviction, such as drained self esteem, problems with your relationships and employer, and so forth.

Bearing all that in mind, here are three important blunders to avoid:

1. Blabbing about how much you drank to police.

Your instincts might be to “come clean” to the officer in the hope that he or she will show leniency. Or you might get defensive and deny wrongdoing: “I only had two or three drinks!” Don’t get into that business. Save your explanation for later.

2. Doing stupid things after the stop or accident.

For whatever reason, when people get stopped for DUI, they often lose touch with their senses and engage in wild behavior that puts them and others at risk. This appears to be a somewhat universal problem. (Consider actress Reese Witherspoon’s bizarrely aggressive behavior, after a Georgia trooper pulled over her husband, John Toth, for DUI in the summer of 2013.)

We’ve catalogued diverse examples of this phenomenon at work – drivers who hit and run; who resist arrest; who compound their humiliation by saying or doing totally ridiculous things during or after arrest, etc. The moral is: maintain your composure and dignity. Your behavior after the stop or arrest can have a measurable impact on your punishment (or lack of punishment) and thus on your future.

3. Waiting far too long to connect with a lawyer.

Whether you talk to someone at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers or find another Los Angeles DUI lawyer that you trust and respect, get experienced insight into your case sooner than later.

Imagine if you had a heart problem. Would you wait days or weeks to call a doctor? Or would you get in touch with a doctor as soon as you could? When your health’s on the line, the choice is clear – you make the call as soon as possible. This same kind of logic applies to your DUI defense. Don’t wait to get insight into your case, so you can start making responsible decisions.

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Maybe your Burbank DUI arrest came just a few months after you moved into the Oakwood Apartments complex to kick off what you’d hoped would be a wonderful, enduring acting career. burbank-DUI-arrest.jpg

Or maybe police stopped you on Olive Boulevard, late at night, while you were driving back from your “best audition yet.” In either case, you’re worried about what your Burbank DUI charge might mean for your acting, modeling or singing career.

In Hollywood, brand management is crucial. You need to be able to sell yourself, not just so agents and managers will pay attention to your work (and casting directors will call you back), but also so that your audience will cheer you and look at you in a good light.

It’s one thing for an already established actor, like Lindsay Lohan, to collect a string of Los Angeles DUIs. That’s not necessarily good for her career, but she already had cache that she could afford to “burn off” and remain viable as an acting commodity.

But if your name is associated with a Burbank DUI arrest (or, worse, an injury accident punishable as a felony under California Vehicle Code Section 23153), your career can be stunted. (It’s not as if casting directors and executive producers don’t know how to use Google!)

Your carefully wrought (and expensive to edit) personal home page may come up as the top result in Google, when someone Googles your name? But do you really want result #2 to be along the lines of “24 year-old Janie McBanie was busted for Burbank DUI Thursday. The aspiring actress and comedian smashed her Toyota Corolla into a telephone poll on Olive and tried to scratch the arresting officer with her nails.”

Unfortunately, you can’t turn back the clock. What’s happened has happened.

But you can be judicious about how you defend against your Burbank DUI charge.

When you retain our Burbank DUI defense lawyer, we will immediately go to work for you to collect evidence and advise you strategically. For instance, we can represent you at your DMV hearing and help you deal with the suspension of your California driver’s license. (If you can’t drive, it’s hard to book auditions and jobs).

We can challenge evidence, such as your breath test results, and answer all of your questions and concerns throughout the process. You have so much potential. Don’t let your Burbank DUI charges threaten your ability to do good work. Let the team at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers help you.

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One of the most stinging, annoying punishments for a DUI in Los Angeles is the license suspension. california-drivers-license-dui-suspension.jpg

Even if this is your first ever DUI – indeed, your first time doing anything illegal – prosecutors can ask the Court to suspend your license for six months or a year or even longer, depending on what happened. Whether you’re a UCLA or USC student, who needs a California driver’s license to attend class; or you’re a single mom of three who needs a license to get to and from work, you want to avoid or at least minimize the suspension.

Here are 3 strategic ideas:

1. Retain a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, sooner than later.

Don’t wait. The clock is ticking, and a suspension may soon automatically go into effect. A seasoned attorney can tell you how you can fight back. Perhaps you can stop the suspension or at least obtain more lenient terms.

2. Once you know how many days (or months) you’ll need to go without a license, make an action plan.

First, determine your ideal outcome. How do you want the next four months (or however long the suspension will last) to work? Make a list of goals. For instance:

• Keep my job;
• Make sure I can get the kids to and from school and doctors appointments, etc.
• Stay out of legal trouble (i.e.. don’t violate the terms of the suspension);
• Arrange alternative transportation, so all bases are covered.

Once you’ve got a solid list of goals, work backwards to try to achieve them resourcefully. Ask yourself questions. For instance:

• Can the kids take the bus for the next three months?
• Can a neighbor or nanny help with errands?
• Can your spouse or partner help with childcare responsibilities?

An experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer can advise you about this plan.

3. Execute your action plan, and stay the course.

Setbacks may happen, no matter how well you plan. For instance, you may not be able to anticipate an illness in the family. Or your boss who originally agreed to let you telecommute may change her mind and demand you come to the office every day. Solve such problems when they occur, and be creative and resourceful.

For help dealing with your Los Angeles DUI charges, connect with Attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers to schedule a free, no pressure consultation.

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Why do so many Los Angeles DUI defendants trust Attorney Michael Kraut of Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers? One reason is that Mr. Kraut spent 14 years “on the other side” as a widely respected, highly accomplished criminal prosecutor. los-angeles-dui-ex-prosecutor.jpg

Here are three reasons why working with an ex-prosecutor makes tons of sense.

1. An ex-Los Angeles DUI prosecutor understands how your prosecutor will think and negotiate.

A baseball coach who actually played pro ball will have insights into the sport other coaches (who never made it to the “The Show”) won’t. Similarly, a nutritionist who heals herself through diet will understand what it’s like to go through diet struggles in ways that her “healthy from the get go” colleagues. Likewise, criminal prosecutors can develop deep insight into the prosecutorial mindset that defense-attorneys-for-life will never have. Sometimes, that intuitive empathy can give an edge.

2. Looking at the law “from both sides” can lead to unique solutions.

Your Los Angeles DUI case is a negotiation, technically speaking. It’s a conversation between your defense team and the prosecution to come up with an effective solution (punitive or otherwise). In any negotiation, stakeholders who invent more options often get better results. A former prosecutor can help invent options that might not be apparent to Los Angeles DUI lawyers who have only practiced defense.

3. Some ex-prosecutors remain very close to their former colleagues, and those relationships can be important.

Attorney Kraut, for instance, currently works as a criminal defense attorney. But he remains well respected by other prosecutors, police officers, et cetera. He uses these relationships (ethically, of course!) to help his clients navigate their complex situations, so that everyone involved wins.

For help with your Los Angeles DUI defense, turn to Harvard Law School educated attorney Kraut.

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Your Burbank DUI arrest might have been pretty “garden variety.” burbank-dui-134.jpg

Maybe you blew a 0.13% BAC on a breath test, after spending the night drinking and playing pool at Burbank Town Center. A sheriff saw you swerve on Hollywood Way, while you were driving to an after-party at an acquaintance’s house.

Or maybe you crashed into a sign while getting off the 134.

Your case is a huge deal to you. Depending on what happens with the charges, you could have to confront the loss of your California driver’s license, and you may face substantial jail time, fees and fines, hikes in your insurance rates, and other mayhem.

That said, odds are that your case is pretty “run of the mill.” In fact, you might be surprised by how similar your Burbank DUI case is to others. When you study large numbers of Burbank DUI cases, the results are stunning. People tend to misbehave in the same ways.

So is there anything new under the sun?

Definitively: yes! The details of each case ALWAYS matter.

• Tiny details can determine, for instance, whether the court accepts or rejects the results of a blood alcohol test that found that you had twice the legal limit for Burbank DUI, per CVC 23152(b);
• Tiny details can mean the difference between whether the court will let you off with or without jail time;
• Tiny details can mean the difference between whether this will be your one and only Burbank DUI arrest… or whether this event will signal a downward spiral in your life towards more criminal behavior.

Understand these two paradoxical truths about Burbank DUI:

1. Most DUIs are pretty similar to one another;
2. The details always matter in DUI cases.

So what should you do?

The answer is simple: sweat the details. Understand that no one can predict which small choices that you make (or fail to make) will affect your life. So to the extent that you can make good “little choices,” do so!

• Take time to be selective about your Burbank DUI criminal defense lawyer. Don’t just choose the first random name that you find on Google or choose an attorney that your third cousin recommended because he saw an advertisement several years ago.
• Choose a DUI defense law firm that has good values and credentials.
• Take action immediately to begin your defense. Don’t wait several days or weeks.
• Understand your arrest in context. Spend some time mulling over why you got in trouble. Address the root cause of your arrest, not just the superficial cause, so you can avoid trouble next time.

In life, if you get the “little things” moving in the right direction, the big things will often, spontaneously, move in that direction too. Connect with a Burbank DUI defense lawyer at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today to build your effective defense.

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As you’re searching for a Beverly Hills DUI defense attorney, you’re probably under the impression that most lawyers who focus on criminal defense understand the law well enough to avoid trouble themselves.dan_doorakian_dui-dui.jpg

Truth be told, most attorneys do behave quite well.

But not all.

Consider the bizarre case of Dan Doorakian, a high level attorney who practices in West Palm Beach, Florida… and who recently got busted for his fourth DUI arrest in four years. The 39-year-old Doorakian is desperately trying to avoid prison time. But local legal analysts believe that he may have a difficult time convincing Judge Marni Bryson to keep him out of jail.

Doorakian wants the judge to consider two months of inpatient rehab he served his to count as “jail time” for purposes of his sentencing. But an anonymous source told Gossip Extra, a local celebrity journalism magazine: “ultimately, he is facing time behind bars, but he is trying to find a way to stay out or just spend a few days there.”

Doorakian’s DUI was his second of the year. He got busted back in January 2013. Prior to that, he picked up two DUI arrests in 2009. He was found not guilty the first time but picked up a conviction for his second arrest and put on probation for a year.

The Takeaway for Your Beverly Hills DUI Defense

This case is disturbing for many reasons. The conventional wisdom suggests that, once you understand the consequences of Beverly Hills DUI driving, you’ll likely avoid breaking the law. But Doorakian’s situation shows that that’s not necessarily the case. In other words, you can have deep knowledge and understanding about what a DUI conviction entails… and STILL be unable to control your behavior.

That case also showcases that there are real limits to what any DUI defense attorney in Beverly Hills or elsewhere can do for you. The facts, ultimately, are the facts. You need to play the hand you’re dealt.

Fortunately, you’re not helpless either. An experienced Beverly Hills DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers would be happy to help you make sense of what’s gone wrong and develop a sound, effective response to your charges. Please call Attorney Kraut today to get insight into your legal situation. Mr. Kraut is a highly respected Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor who has helped many clients in complex cases get good results.

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Whether you’re a budding filmmaker at USC – hoping to become your generation’s next “George Lucas” — or you’re a UCLA grad student barely able to afford rent in Westwood, your recent UCLA DUI or USC DUI has been a catastrophe.ucla-dui-usc-dui-los-angeles.jpg

You’re afraid things are going to get worse, probably because you’re not yet 21-years-old.

It’s bad enough to get stopped for DUI “normally” – as someone who’s over 21, driving with a BAC of 0.08%. Even if you don’t hurt anybody, you can face license suspension, fees, fines, insurance rate spikes, jail time, tough probation terms, and beyond. (If you did hurt someone or did commit other crimes while DUI near USC or UCLA, prosecutors can have that much more to “throw at you.”)

If you’re a minor, your situation is actually even more complicated and fraught. According to CVC Section 23136 – the so-called “Zero Tolerance” Policy Section — if you’re younger than 21, and an officer stops you and tests your BAC at just 0.01%, you can lose your license for a full year, or suffer a full year delay in getting your license, if you haven’t passed your test yet.

0.01% is actually just one-eighth the limit of normal DUI in Los Angeles, as CVC 23152(b) defines it. An overly ambitious swig of mouthwash, a ketogenic (low carb) diet, or even a big helping of cough syrup can put you over this threshold.

Violating CVC 23136 is an infraction rather than a misdemeanor, but you can still lose your license.

Fortunately, you can talk to a UCLA or USC DUI defense attorney, like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers, to represent you at your DMV hearing and help you challenge the suspension.

(You only have 10 days to do so, so get busy!)

If you are under 21, and you get caught with a BAC between 0.05% and 0.07%, you can be hit with an infraction, per California Vehicle Code 23140. This leads to fines as opposed to jail, but it still triggers the Golden State Zero Tolerance Policy and can lead to a full year of suspension of driving privileges.

Lastly, if you are under 21 and you tip over the legal limit of 0.08%, not only can you face the standard charges that an adult driver might face – such as $2,000 in fines, a year behind bars, up to five years of summary probation, etc – but you also face a zero tolerance suspension.

The loss of driver’s license means a ton, if you’re a college or grad student. At an East Coast university campus, perhaps you could just “walk everywhere.” But it’s devilishly difficult to get around Los Angeles – to attend classes, have a social life, do your job, etc – if you have no vehicle.

Fortunately, you do not need to stand helplessly by as events unfold. An experienced, intelligent, compassionate UCLA and USC DUI defense lawyer with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers can help you meet your challenges and rebound from unfortunate events.

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Whether you got arrested for DUI in Glendale, after police stopped you for speeding on the 134, or police snagged you at a Pasadena DUI checkpoint near Old Town Pasadena, you’re facing a serious legal crisis. aldon-smith-dui-glendale.jpg

Join the club.

Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers also just got busted for driving under the influence in California, after he smashed his truck into a tree. While such an event would render many people unable to walk or engage in vigorous activity, Smith took to the field against the Colts just two days later… and made five tackles on the way to a 27 to 7 defeat.

Jed York, the CEO of the 49ers, said that the team had the right to play him, despite his DUI: “our opinion is, if you’re sitting someone down and paying them to sit down when they’re going to seek treatment in the future, we didn’t feel like that was an appropriate punishment. We’re not trying to circumvent what the NFL will do. This is about making sure that Aldon has the opportunity to work on something, to get better…”

Last season Smith had 19 1/2 sacks – a record for the 49ers, and the second most sacks in NFL. But he’s apparently equally aggressive on and off the gridiron.

• In 2012, Smith got into a car accident in Santa Clara County, and he sustained a deep cut on his face.
• In June 2012, Smith and Delanie Walker (also on the 49ers squad) allegedly got intoxicated at Smith’s house and shot guns into the air to stop their party. Unsurprisingly, in shooting off their guns in a crowded area, they allegedly hit a man, who later filed a lawsuit against Smith.

The NFL’s personal conduct policy takes a Glendale DUI violation (or DUI violation anywhere) extremely seriously. But since Smith’s case had not been adjudicated, he was allowed to play against the Colts. Following that game, however, he was put on the non-football-injury leave of absence list.

As we reported in a separate post on Jacoby Jones and Pacman Jones, NFL players have gotten into some horrendous legal turmoil recently. (To refresh your memory, Jacoby Jones got smashed over the head with a bottle of champion (by a stripper, no less!) on a party bus. Pacman Jones, meanwhile, got hit with DUI charges and mouthed off to the officer arresting him.)

But the mayhem is not restricted to the NFL. Taylor Olander, a UConn basketball hero, recently also got suspended, after police busted him for driving under the influence without a license.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for driving under the influence in Glendale (or elsewhere in Southern California), consider getting in touch immediately with an experienced Glendale DUI defense lawyer at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut is a very experienced Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor. He is known for his excellent relationships with judges, prosecutors and other members of the Southern California legal system.

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