Articles Posted in DUI Near USC or UCLA

santa-DUI-los-angeles-300x225For many of us, the holiday season is intended to be a time for celebrating with family and friends, a time of joy and merriment. However, few things can put a bigger damper on the celebrations quicker than a DUI arrest—and DUI incidents spike considerably over the holidays, compared to the rest of the year.

Here in Southern California, the Los Angeles Police Department has already announced an increased number of sobriety checkpoints throughout L.A., from December 15 through January 1, as part of their “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Officer Inman of the Traffic Coordination Section explained:

“This holiday season, drivers will notice increased enforcement watching closely for anyone who is driving impaired.… With extra travelers on the roads and people celebrating, we will likely see an uptick in impaired driving. The LAPD will be arresting anyone caught driving impaired.”

Do you have an extra $7,300 to spare? If you’d have trouble coming up with that kind of cash, you need to think carefully before you get behind the wheel when you’re under the influence!costs-of-a-los-angeles-DUI-calculated

Just paying the fines and court costs for a DUI conviction could leave you struggling to make ends meet. And that doesn’t include the other expenses that you could face along the way for legal fees, spikes in your insurance premiums, lost work time, the installation of an interlock ignition device, and beyond.

For the sake of this analysis, we’ll take a first time DUI—no accident or personal injury involved—as the basis for guesstimating your expenses.

Recent studies commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington State after it legalized usage of the drug. This fact makes it clear that states need good ways to get drivers under the influence of marijuana off the road. But there’s a big problem. To date, there’s no reliable and widely accepted method of measuring levels of marijuana in a driver’s system.  marijuana-breathalyzer-300x169

It would be great if companies could develop the equivalent of an alcohol breathalyzer for testing for motorists who are DUI for cannabis. Law enforcement officials have been relying on breathalyzer technology to estimate blood alcohol levels for decades. In addition, there’s a clear-cut agreement of what constitutes DUI; all 50 states accept a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater as the dividing line.

But it isn’t that easy when it comes to determining DUI for marijuana.  First, police need a roadside method of measuring levels of cannabis’s main active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in a driver’s system. There are a few companies and university researchers that are attempting to solve this challenge right now, and some are already marketing devices.

Drivers arrested for DUI in Los Angeles have usually demonstrated that they don’t make good decisions. Once you’ve made a poor choice, it’s surprisingly easy to make a tough situation worse – often, far worse!DUI-alligator-los-angeles

Case in point: Richard Lange faced a decision recently in Montgomery County, Florida. Should he continue to flee from police and risk getting bitten by alligators? Or should he remain on safe ground and wait for rescue (and arrest on charges of DUI, among other things)?

According to The Courier of Montgomery County, Lange hit several cars on I-45 and left the scene of those accidents when deputies spotted the front end damage to his vehicle and saw that he was riding on only three wheels.
But Lange wasn’t ready to surrender. When police pulled him over, he ran and jumped into a nearby lake to avoid capture. Trouble was, the lake was full of alligators. Lange realized his mistake and swam to the island in the center of the water, where he stayed for four hours until police got a boat to rescue him. He still tried to appear innocent and reportedly asked the officers if it was a crime to go swimming.

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Whether police arrested you for a Los Angeles DUI after you veered across three lanes on the 101 on early Saturday morning, after partying hard with WB execs, or you lost your composure (and your balance) at a DUI check point, you’re still reeling from what happened and confused about how to proceed.inertia-los-angeles-DUI

In the past, our blog has spilled a lot of virtual ink re: the actual laws involved in DUI arrests (e.g. California Vehicle Code sections 23152 and 23153), discussed common misconceptions about breathalyzer tests and blood tests, and examined the Constitutionality of certain police actions.

However, the tactical nuts and bolts of DUI defense don’t mean as much if you don’t take effective action. In less than a week and a half after your stop, if you do nothing, you could lose your license automatically for an extended period of time. This in turn could make it nearly impossible for you to get to work or school, drive your kids to daycare, and so forth.

Plus, the more time that goes by after your arrest without your taking action, the more challenging it will be to collect evidence that might exonerate you or show that the police engaged in misconduct or inappropriate testing.

So why don’t people automatically “get into gear” after a stop? The answer may have to do with the psychology of regret.

When we engage in activities that we later realize were outside of our values, our minds struggle to process those events and square them with our internal narratives. For instance, if you consider yourself a “law abiding citizen,” but then you get busted for swearing at a police officer and hitting three parked cars on Highland Avenue, your brain must somehow figure out how a “law abiding citizen” ended up in so much trouble.

One response is to pretend that the DUI didn’t happen. This reaction can be psychologically useful, but it can also torpedo your chances for freedom. If you’ve been lulled into inaction after your stop, now is the time to act. Contact a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers to set up your free consultation.

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Your Los Angeles DUI charge has thrown your world way out of balance.los-angeles-dui-process

For the first time, you probably feel oddly connected to Lindsay Lohan and Nick Nolte – you know how humiliating, frustrating and scary it can be to stand accused of violating California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (or 23153, if you hurt someone).

All of a sudden, you’re no longer laughing at unfortunate celebrity DUI mug shots. In fact, you can’t stop ruminating about the potential punishments in the offing (e.g. big fees, time behind bars, loss of your driver’s license, diminution of your professional reputation, probation, and other idiosyncratic penalties that court may decide to thrust upon you).

There is one lesson that you can cling to, despite this chaos, that will make the journey towards putting the DUI behind you easier and more certain.

And that lesson is this: moving beyond your DUI is a process, not a onetime project.

Even though you may have “collected” your DUI in a flash, the solution may not come bundled in a simple package. This isn’t to say that you can’t resolve your crisis rapidly and permanently, in somewhat short order. For instance, depending on your case, your lawyer might be able to…

•    Challenge and refute the breathalyzer test results or blood test results;
•    Challenge the Constitutionality of your stop or arrest;
•    Plea-bargain the charges down;
•    Stop the license suspension;
•    Connect you with other resources, so you feel more in control of your life;
•    Structure your defense, so that you can effectively get back to “business as usual,” even while your case is pending and the outcome is uncertain.

View your “post DUI” experience in a “process oriented” way.

When you have a process-oriented view of things — as opposed to a “product-oriented” view — you can learn to see setbacks with your case as opportunities. You can even look beyond issues of punishment and reward and see the DUI as a chance for self-improvement and self-development. In retrospect, the DUI could even be viewed as a good thing, in that it helped you make needed changes. For instance, it could catalyze more productive thinking and action about a drug or alcohol addiction problem.

Call a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today to get a new perspective on your options. Mr. Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated former prosecutor, and his common sense, solid treatment of DUI cases has won him fans not just among clients but also among prosecutors and judges.
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One of the most feared punishments for the crime of driving DUI in Los Angeles involves the so-called Interlock Ignition Device, or IID. According to a law passed a few years ago, DUI offenders in L.A. often must (at their own expense) install IID devices in their vehicles. This device makes it impossible for you to start your car, unless you first blow a sober breath into a breathalyzer type device. The theory is pretty simple: if you can’t make safe decisions about driving, just outsource the decision-making to an automated arbiter, like a machine.iid-device-los-angeles-dui

Many DUI defendants bristle at the thought of putting in an IID, which is not just an expensive encumbrance but also an embarrassing talisman. For instance, let’s say you go out to a party and meet a new potential girlfriend or boyfriend. And then you invite this person into your car for a ride. If your prospective suitor sees the IID, the conversation will inevitably turn to your Los Angeles DUI, and then things could get uncomfortable and hurt the potential relationship.

Critics have voiced other concerns. What if the machine malfunctions, when you’re in a bad part of town, and you can’t start your car? What if the IID automatically notifies police, when you didn’t even do anything? Etc.

That being said, the reality of having an IID is often less awful than most people fear. Some folks actually enjoy having the device in their vehicles, because it helps them stay out of trouble, and they don’t trust themselves to make good judgments in the moment.

For instance, let’s say that your tolerance is pretty low: if you have two normal sized drinks at a party, you’ll be over the limit. Having an IID can help you avoid making a mistake that would put yourself and other people at risk. An IID CAN be a benign, helpful tool for providing structure and managing risks.

Ideally, you want to construct a defense to maximize your sense of control. The Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers is a Los Angeles DUI defense law firm started by Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor, Michael Kraut. Mr. Kraut worked for 14 years as a Deputy District Attorney. He and his team have abundant resources and a great track record to help you develop your case. Continue reading

If you got stopped for DUI on Whitworth in South Beverly Hills, you might have been charged with Beverly Hills DUI or Los Angeles DUI, depending on which side of the street you had been driving.beverly-hills-or-los-angeles-dui

The pavement tells the story: the north side is Beverly Hills territory, while the south side belongs to the City of Los Angeles. In practice, this slight distinction almost never causes any legal issues. After all, the City of Beverly Hills and the City of Los Angeles have very similar laws with respect to DUI driving and punishment. But the jurisdiction of your case can matter in some pretty important ways. For instance, it can help determine the judge and prosecutorial team in your case. It can influence the logistics of the trial.

Here’s the broader point, however, and you probably didn’t see this coming: if you’ve spent any time really thinking about this issue (or similar issues), you’ve almost certainly been wasting your time!

It’s not that jurisdictional issues don’t matter. Rather: you almost certainly lack the experience, knowledge, and resources to make sound legal decisions about such subtleties of the law. You don’t want to spend your very limited time and energy on the wrong things.

For instance, you may be fretting about the potential jail time (totally natural) but not paying much attention to your license suspension. After all, it’s scarier to think about spending a week behind bars than it is to contemplate the difference between a one and three month driver’s license suspension.

In terms of real costs, though, two extra months without a license can be a tremendous, costly inconvenience. For instance, let’s say that, without a license, you’re going to need to take a cab to work every day until you get your license back. Thus, you might spend literally thousands of dollars in cab fees just to keep your job.

So fighting a license suspension could be hugely important. But because you don’t have the experience to prioritize your DUI defense items, you might wind up missing or mishandling your DMV hearing and thus getting a less than ideal outcome.

Fortunately, an astute Los Angeles DUI attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers can help you make more effective choices. Get in touch with Mr. Kraut and his team for a free consultation today.
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According to the L.A. Times, police around Los Angeles County arrested 2,268 people over the holiday period for driving under the influence in Los Angeles. holiday-dui-los-angeles.jpg
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that the crackdown stretched from December 13 through New Year’s Day and involved diverse law enforcement agencies. The 20 day span utilized special saturation patrols, sobriety check points for Los Angeles DUI, and routine patrols. It netted 100 more people than did a similar crackdown during the 2012 holiday season. Authorities called the plan a success and boasted that the number of people busted for DUI in Los Angeles over the period was “significant.” Authorities plan to perform a similar anti-DUI canvasing during the Super Bowl holiday and St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Taken out of context, the spike in number of Los Angeles DUI arrests may sound alarming. Are anti-DUI messages not resonating? What’s going on?

When analyzing statistics, you need to be careful to avoid over-interpreting data. Arrest numbers can vary due to random statistical noise. In other words, there may not be a “cause” for the fluctuation – randomness just happens. In fact, at one point over the holidays, CBS Los Angeles reported that seasonal DUIs were on a decline. Here’s a key quote from “the CHP tracked DUI related arrests from 6:01 PM Tuesday through 6:00 AM Wednesday and arrested 76 people in Los Angeles County during that time. During the same time last year, CHP officers arrested 86 people.”

The moral here is clear: statistics without context don’t lead to meaning. You need a guide to the Los Angeles DUI defense process that you can really trust. The good news is that former Deputy District Attorney, Michael Kraut, is standing by to help you make sense of what you’ve been through and plan a strategy to protect your rights.

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Whether you got stopped at a Los Angeles DUI checkpoint on Wilshire, or pulled over in the Valley after partying too hard at a TV animation company’s soirée, your recent arrest was embarrassing. reputation-management-los-angeles-DUI.jpg

Many possible problems now confront you:

• Jail time;
• License suspension;
• Mandatory IID installation;
• Higher insurance rates;
• Loss of your job / relationship;
• Etc.

You also fear for your reputation. And rightly so.

Google your name right now. Odds are high that a news article featuring your DUI might come up on the first page of the Google results – or at least near enough to the first page to cause problems. Even if you ultimately clear the charges, what you can do to protect your reputation going forward? Will the specter of your DUI forever haunt you (online), whenever you develop new relationships, take out loans, apply for jobs, meet new friends, etc?

It’s a scary situation — not necessarily an easy one to resolve.

After all, the virtual world creates challenges for all of us.

Pictures taken years before the internet even existed now pop up regularly on Facebook and other social media sites. A friend or colleague from years ago can tag your name in these pictures. A potential client (or date) can now see you in a ridiculous or embarrassing light. Even “normal citizens” are vexed by this effect.

For people who’ve been arrested for a serious crime in Los Angeles, like DUI, the problem can be much worse. Fixing one’s virtual reputation is just no small task, particularly if your arrest involved major news, such as serious injury or death to somebody else.

Here’s the core problem that you face: Google ranks sites and search terms based on relevance as well as on the so-called “authority” of sites that use them. So if ABC News, KTLA News, the Los Angeles Times, and other big publications all run stories about your Los Angeles DUI arrest, Google will look first to these “authority sites” first when returning information about your name, when it’s entered as a search query.

The situation can get even more complicated – and difficult to fix – if your story generated a tremendous amount of interest in the blogosphere or in the social media world. For instance, perhaps you did or said something ironic or ridiculous after the stop. Or perhaps you’re a celebrity or major executive or corporate figure whose arrest was “newsworthy” in and of itself. All the commentary creates more relevance. In other words, when Google looks for your name, it won’t just find articles linking to big authority sites like ABC News, CNN, etc — it will also find threads on big blogs discussing your name and the incident/arrest.

We’ll dive into detail about what you might be able to do to reclaim your online reputation in a future post.

For now, the most important thing is to get exceptional legal input to protect your rights. Connect with widely respected Los Angeles DUI defense attorney, Michael Kraut, today for more insight into your case.

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