Articles Posted in DUI Near USC or UCLA

Taken out of context, your Beverly Hills DUI arrest – whether you got pulled over on the 405 after partying with friends or stopped at a checkpoint on Sepulveda – is a “100% negative.” forest-for-trees-los-angeles-DUI.jpg

In other words, there is no silver lining to what happened, other than the fact that you survived the stop and/or accident and that, theoretically, the situation could have been even worse. While that attitude can be technically justified, it’s grim.

It may also be misleading, because it prevents you from seeing the forest for the trees.

Most people who get stopped and charged with a crime like Beverly Hills DUI, for whatever reason, refuse to consider the charges in a broader context. They see it as a “fluke” – either an out of character one-time mistake or an injustice perpetrated by a biased or irresponsible police force.

It’s certainly true that the police can make mistakes. For instance, we’ve spilled a great deal of digital ink cataloguing the whys and wherefores of DUI breath test failures.

But the Beverly Hills DUI criminal defense lawyers at the Kraut Law Group also believe that defendants should spend time introspecting — trying to figure out what, if anything, the DUI crisis means for them. For instance:

• Perhaps you only started getting in trouble (e.g. collecting DUIs) after you started to hanging out with certain friends. Upon reflection, maybe you should stop hanging out with those people!
• Perhaps you turned to alcohol and prescription medications after you hit a slump with your career. Perhaps you need to restrategize with respect your business, so you can deal with the helplessness and thus feel less seduced by the need to use the substances;
• Perhaps the police pulled you over multiple times because your car is missing a tail light and looks like a hunk of junk. Perhaps if you just fixed up your car, you would be less of a target for authorities (and you would be a safer driver, as well)

The point of this article is not to blame you, unnecessarily, for your Beverly Hills DUI arrest. As discussed above, you might be completely innocent – just like the 60-year-old Surprise, Arizona man who was arrested for DUI, despite blowing a 0.000 % BAC on his breath test!

But no matter what happened, by drilling down to figure out what went wrong in your case, you can feel more empowered and more excited to move on with your life. To start making progress, talk to the thorough, sensitive Beverly Hills DUI defense lawyers at the Kraut Law Group now to schedule a free evaluation of your case.

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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 Law Group 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 Law Group? 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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Now for another Glendale DUI “true or false” quiz. Here’s how it works. You read the synopsis of six stories that may or may not have happened. Try to guess which three stories are made up and which actually occurred in real life. glendale-dui-quiz.jpg

Here we go:

1. Only in China: 10 employees shove their boss’s vehicle home, after he gets too inebriated to drive.

If you think punishments for Glendale DUI are harsh, they’re nothing compared to what the country of China metes out. Not only do convicted offenders get steep fines, but they also can spend six months or longer in jail for first misdemeanor DUI offenses. In any event… 10 Chinese workers and their boss partied too hard at a restaurant. Soon, no one was sober enough to drive. So the boss convinced his workers to push his car all the way home. The journey took 45 minutes!

2. Woman who did not like the results of her breathalyzer bites off cop’s thumb.

A woman in Louisiana was displeased with the results on her breathalyzer, which found her to be over 2.5 times the legal limit for Glendale DUI (0.08% BAC). She exhibited her displeasure by mangling the thumb of the arresting officer with her teeth. She later told authorities that she was “confused” and thought he had actually instructed her to bite him. Two years after her arrest, she was sadly institutionalized.

3. A woman arrested for DUI had 23 cats in the car with her!

A Meriden, Connecticut woman was pulled over on I-95, when an officer saw her veer suddenly across three lanes of traffic. During her subsequent field sobriety test, officers heard strange noises coming from the car. Upon inspection, they found 23 different cats in her car. Only 5 of them were in cages. The rest were freely moving through the vehicle. Obviously, the woman was arrested on animal cruelty charges. But the big kicker is that she blew a 0.23 on her breath test – the same as the number of cats in her vehicle!

4. Vladimir Putin often purposefully drove drunk to “sharpen his driving skills.”

Former Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, is famous for his rigorous self-discipline and eccentric forms of self-improvement. The ex-KGB op taught himself to drive under the influence “just in case” he ever needed that skill. The former Russian President even had advisers videotape his performances so he could improve his response times.

5. Man shows up for driving test while insanely under the influence.

A man in Romania had his license suspended for two years for driving under the influence. When he returned to the Romanian version of the DMV to retest, the organizers saw him stumbling around. Officers gave him an alcohol test, which he promptly failed.

6. Mother and her boyfriend force 13-year-old to drive, because both adults were DUI.

A 32-year-old woman and her boyfriend downed tons of wine at a local pizzeria. Since both the mom and her boyfriend had multiple DUIs on their record, they forced the woman’s 13-year-old son to drive them home. The young man became confused and disoriented and started driving in the wrong way. But his mom and her boyfriend were too busy making out in the back seat to pay any heed.

If you need help with your Glendale DUI case, connect with the team at the Kraut Law Group today for an insightful, useful free consultation.


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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 Law Group, 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 Law Group can help you meet your challenges and rebound from unfortunate events.

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Your Los Angeles DUI came at a strange time. After years of struggling to achieve some goal – perhaps a raise at your job, a successful relationship, or the conception of a child – you finally “broke through” and “made it.” For instance, maybe after sweating away, writing spec screenplays for 10 years, you finally optioned an original creative work to a big studio.armonty-bryant-dui-los-angeles.jpg

Given the great news in your personal or business life, an outsider might think that you’d be at minimal risk for doing something dangerous and destructive, like driving under the influence in Los Angeles.

But sometimes, rapid positive change can stimulate destructive behavior, just like unexpected negative change can do.

That sounds paradoxical, so let’s take a look at example.

In early May, Armonty Bryant, a new defensive end drafted by the Cleveland Browns, got arrested near East Central University in Oklahoma and charged with DUI. Per the police report, he made a left without signaling, attracting the attention of a police officer. The officer tried to get Bryant to take a breathalyzer test 10 separate times before the athlete agreed. Both Bryant and his passenger got arrested.

Bryant is no stranger to legal trouble. In 2012, police arrested him for felony distribution of marijuana in a school zone, a charge to which he pleaded no contest. Cleveland nevertheless chose him in the seventh round (217th pick overall) because, as the Browns coach put it “[he has moved] passed the mistakes that he has made and he’s ready to move on. He has matured.”

Bryant even released a statement about his past activities, shortly after the draft: “I feel like it was just a stupid move on my part. I should have been more mature about the situation and more focused on football, which is something I really want to do with my life. Now that I’ve gotten that second chance, I feel like I won’t let anyone down.”

Given that Bryant had turned his life around – he went from nearly-going-to-jail to playing-in-the-NFL – why on Earth would he have jeopardized everything by driving DUI?

This brings us back to the earlier point, which is that stressful events (even positive, exciting events) can lead us to take dangerous actions.

It’s not necessarily that we “get lost in the celebration of the moment” but rather that the wrenching changes caused by big life events (positive and negative) can make us feel helpless and out of control.

So what can you do, now that you’ve been hit with a Los Angeles DUI?

The team here at the Kraut Law Group in Los Angeles has extensive experience helping people like you move beyond their mistakes and fight charges vigorously.

Mr. Kraut is a former very high level prosecutor. He rose to the ranks of Senior Deputy District Attorney for L.A. He can help you figure out exactly what to do next, so you can start the process of putting your arrest behind you.

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What’s a Burbank DUI worst-case scenario?burbank-dui-lose-control.jpg

Your Burbank DUI arrest was probably pretty rough. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how it could have gone any worse. Whether police pulled you over on Olive, after you attended a cast party of a WB show; or you crashed into a cop car on the 101, your situation was pretty embarrassing and possibly painful and scary.

But could it have been worse?

Consider your Burbank DUI arrest in light of what happened to a 21-year-old man from Boulder, who was recently arrested on 11th Street near an area called University Hill. Police found the man vomiting all over himself at around 2 in the morning. But that’s not all. Apparently, he also defecated on himself. The officers’ report said: “he told [the officers] it was because he was scared.” The 21-year-old faces a variety of unpleasant charges, including obstructing a police officer, violating a protection order, DUI, and DUI per se.

Hopefully, that puts your Burbank DUI charge in context.

For more context, let’s look to the town of York, Pennsylvania, where a woman from Newberry Township just got arrested for DUI – her second of the week and third DUI since July 5th!

24 year-old Anna Elizabeth Spittler hit a car on Interstate 83 and left the scene. According to reports, two people suffered injuries in the crash. Ms. Spittler faces a variety of citations and charges, including violating the controlled substances law, hit and run and DUI. According to one of the victims, Spittler’s car approached rapidly from behind. It swerved at the last second and smashed into the rear of his driver side, forcing his vehicle into a spin that sent it down an embankment.

A local newspaper report details the rest of the story “the [Pennsylvania] trooper found a Volvo parked in the right shoulder of I-83 about a mile away … police found a card with Spittler’s name on it, an unmarked pill bottle and open bottle of Smirnoff in the car.”

Spittler later confessed to driving under the influence and hitting the vehicle and leaving. She said that she thought she hit a guardrail.

It sounds like a very unfortunate situation, although Spittler was very lucky that no one got seriously hurt or killed in the crash (or in her previous two DUI incidences).

What You Can Learn from These Stories about Your Burbank DUI Defense
No driver is perfect. For every crazy/sad/unbelievable DUI story out there, there’s always one that’s crazier/sadder/weirder.

The key is not to dwell on the past but rather to acknowledge the present and look forward to the future. An experienced Burbank DUI defense attorney, like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group, can help you make an effective plan of action. Mr. Kraut is an ex-prosecutor who amassed a 99-plus percent success rate at jury trials as a prosecutor. He has the connections and wherewithal to create excellent defenses.

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As someone who just got pulled over for DUI in Los Angeles, you’re intensely aware of the serious trouble that faces you. Whether you got “just” a misdemeanor DUI by violating California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) or 23152(b) – or you caused injury and face a felony per California Vehicle Code Section 23153(a) or 23153(b) – you face a litany of a scary penalties, such as:first-DUI-car-crash-los-angeles.jpg

• Mandatory alcohol school;
• Big fines and fees;
• Jail time;
• The court can force you to install an ignition interlock device in your car, which means that you cannot drive your car unless you “blow a sober breath” into a machine that you pay to install and maintain;
• High insurance rates (almost inevitable after you get a Los Angeles DUI conviction);
• Driver’s license suspension;
• Massive additional penalties, if you ever get convicted again for a DUI or anything else – the court does not take recidivism lightly;
• Indirect problems regarding your social life, your relationships, your job, your self-esteem, and your long-term future.

That’s all for a first time DUI, mind you.

So how does your situation stack up against the first ever DUI driver’s? That honor belongs to George Smith, a taxi driver from London, who was busted at the age of 25, after he crashed his cab into a building on September 10, 1897. His penalty? A fine of just 25 shillings.

The first DUI laws here in the United States didn’t go into effect until 13 years later, in 1910. The earliest prototype of the modern breathalyzer — called the Drunkometer (which is kind of a cool name) — was patented in 1936 by Dr. Rolla Harger, a toxicologist and biochemist. The Drunkometer wasn’t a particularly useful piece of equipment, and it took nearly 20 years – until 1953 – for a professor and police captain from Indiana, Robert Borkenstein, to modify the Drunkometer into the breathalyzer.

Borkenstein’s device was capable of being used in the field to (somewhat) gauge whether or not a driver was under the influence and to quantify that DUI on an objective scale.

Over the next six decades, the breathalyzer evolved, and other types of tests, including the DUI blood test, came into vogue. On our Los Angeles DUI blog, we’ve discussed many times how and why even the most sophisticated DUI tests can fail. These reasons range from officer errors to machine/calibration errors to data analysis flubs to peculiar, idiosyncratic “stuff” — such as the fact that diabetics can exhale compounds that fool breathalyzers into thinking that they are under the influence of alcohol.

The point is that DUI law in Los Angeles and beyond has gotten more sophisticated since 1897. But DUI science is still a very imperfect science.
Connect with the Kraut Law Group today for assistance with your DUI case. Attorney Kraut is a very experienced and highly regarded Los Angeles DUI defense attorney. He also served as a prosecutor for many years, and his prosecutorial knowledge and connections can help inform your defense.

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If you’ve recently gotten arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles (or elsewhere), stories like the following undoubtedly will make you seethe because they confirm the public’s stereotypes about DUI drivers. son-dad-los-angeles-DUI.jpg

According to The Associated Press, a 10-year-old boy called 911 on his father, claiming that his dad was driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The young man considered jumping out of his dad’s Mercedes Benz on Interstate 95. His protestations and call to the police did not come in time – the father, 49-year-old Owen Gilman, plowed into a jeep driven by 22-year-old Michael Pernick, injuring Pernick and also causing injuries to the 10-year-old and his 12-year-old sister.

Fortunately, the children were not seriously hurt in the crash.

Pernick was transported to a local hospital, where he was listed in fair condition. The boy is recovering with his mother, Gilman’s ex-wife. He and his sister were reportedly “doing good, considering,” according to a report from The Day of New London. Gilman, meanwhile, was released from jail on a $250,000 bond.

The police gave Gilman a field sobriety test at the scene, which he allegedly failed. They also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Gilman was hit with a battery of charges, including alcohol or drug DUI, failure to follow at a reasonable distance, reckless driving, illegal sale of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, second degree vehicular assault, and risk of injury to a minor (two counts).

Lessons for dealing with your Los Angeles DUI Arrest

Whether the police pulled you over on Wilshire and Fairfax, after you and friends attended a wine and cheese at LACMA; or police stopped your son in Burbank, after he sped through a traffic light on Olive, you’re worried. You fear for your reputation and potential punishments. You also want to contextualize the scary incident and to avoid ever getting into a similar situation in the future.

Every driver makes bad judgments, now and again.

Hopefully, yours did not lead to the loss of life or serious injury. But even if you “royally” messed up – like the father in this story apparently did – you have options both to manage your legal crises and to move beyond your Los Angeles DUI. The thorough, experienced team with the Kraut Law Group in Los Angeles has the wherewithal, deep knowledge of Los Angeles DUI law and connections to deliver an effective defense for you. Please connect with our team today to set up a free, confidential discussion about your needs.

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Your Glendale DUI arrest is not going to go over well with the folks at work, or at least so you’re afraid.fight-with-boss-after-pasadena-dui.jpg

Perhaps you already were struggling at work — on the verge of getting demoted or even fired. Once your employer finds out about the arrest – particularly if you hurt someone while DUI in Glendale – you may lose your main source of income, another horrible blow after what has already been a traumatic experience.

Even if you keep your job, you might face backlash from your coworkers and even from clients. You want to avoid lying about your experience — and even if you wanted to lie, you also may not be able to, particularly if you were arrested in spectacular fashion or if you seriously hurt yourself or someone else while DUI in Glendale.

So what can you do?

First of all, give yourself credit just for reading this article and beginning the thinking process about how to address the issue. Yes, you made mistakes. Yes, you’re in trouble and you’re rightly worried about the “snowball effect” of your DUI – i.e., how many other areas of your life will the DUI arrest impact in a negative fashion?

But you might be surprised by what you can accomplish by being compassionate with yourself and being strategic about how you proceed. For instance, depending on your employer and the nature of your relationship with him or her, you could address the issue upfront and ask for guidance:

“Ms. Hankins, I’ve come to your office to tell you that I got arrested over the weekend for driving under the influence in Glendale on a misdemeanor charge.

I can’t really say much about my case right now, but I deeply regret what happened and I’m working with an experienced Glendale DUI criminal defense lawyer to figure out what to do. I want to tell you this upfront, because I value my role at this company and I didn’t want you hear the news from someone else. I am committed to getting the appropriate help and coming out of this experience stronger. I would obviously love to keep working for this company. Tell me what you think about how to go forward.”

Even if you think that your boss “won’t understand,” you might be surprised by what people are capable of, when you’re honest and forthcoming.

Of course, so you want to avoid putting the cart before the horse. First, get insight into your Glendale DUI case by connecting with the Kraut Law Group. After attending Harvard Law School, attorney Kraut spent nearly 15 years as a prosecutor for Los Angeles (working his way up to Senior Deputy District Attorney), before switching over to represent criminal defendants. He and his team can give you the resources and insights to manage not only work-related challenges (flowing from the DUI) but also other challenges, such as the imminent license suspension, jail time, mandatory alcohol school, mandated interlocking ignition device installation and so forth.

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