Articles Posted in DUI Probation Violation

With Election Day just a few weeks away, proponents and opponents of California’s Proposition 64 are weighing in on how the legalization of marijuana could impact the incidence of DUI in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions throughout the state.prop-64-los-angeles-DUI

Proposition 64 would decriminalize the use of marijuana in California by adults 21 years of age or older. The law would allow people to grow up to six marijuana plants in their own homes, as long as the public couldn’t see those plants. The state would reap big financial benefits, collecting a tax on the sale of marijuana (15 percent) and on the cultivation of marijuana flowers ($9.25 per ounce) and marijuana leaves ($2.75 per ounce).

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Most people who spent time in prison after a conviction for a Los Angeles DUI would try to do everything they could to avoid going back behind bars. But one woman in Maryland wasn’t willing (or able) to take advantage of her opportunity to remain free.Kelli Loos DUI

The Washington Post reported that a judge is sending 40-year-old Kelli Loos back to jail–at least temporarily–after she violated her probation in a 2009 DUI conviction by trying to drive while she was under the influence of alcohol.

Loos allegedly had a BAC of 0.20–more than twice the legal limit–when she slammed into a vehicle carrying Gradys Mendoza and Franklin Manzanares in July 2009. The impact sent their vehicle flying over a guardrail and down into a 60-foot ravine, killing both men. Loos, apparently oblivious, continued driving until she had another accident in Virginia that brought her to a halt.

After Loos pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter and one count of leaving the scene of an accident, a judge sentenced her to 20 years in jail. Loos got out on probation after serving four years of her sentence. But before Loos could drive again, she had to get an ignition interlock device installed on her vehicle. Prosecutors brought her back into court on parole violation charges after the IID registered at least three occasions on which Loos tried to drive while under the influence.

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A Halloween night DUI in Los Angeles left 10 people injured and a 40-year old man in jail for allegedly driving while impaired.
According to KTLA channel 5 and other local news reports, Michael Maurice Wilson had cocaine in his possession when police finally caught up with him after his out-of-control driving spree. Wilson, who was driving a rented U-Haul truck, allegedly initially sideswiped a parked vehicle on Seventh Street. But he didn’t slow down, and ended up traveling a short distance in the wrong direction on Seventh Street. He finally crashed into a motorcycle carrying two passengers and a vehicle with four occupants. (The driver of that vehicle was making an Uber run.) Wilson then plowed into a sidewalk, hitting several pedestrians before coming to a stop.dui-los-angeles-halloween-defense

Wilson, who told police he had been heading to the store, abandoned his truck but didn’t get far before police arrived.

Ten people received injuries during Wilson’s scary Halloween drive; three ended up in the hospital, but police said none of the injuries was life-threatening. Wilson allegedly admitted that he was under the influence of marijuana, and police booked him on charges of DUI and possessing cocaine.

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We’re going to look north today, to Idaho, for insight into the often misunderstood arena of Los Angeles DUI blood tests. In an Idaho Supreme Court decision on December 3, 2014, a judge ruled that police must get a warrant before performing a DUI blood test if a suspect refuses to give blood or perform other sobriety tests.DUI-blood-test-for-los-angeles

Former Idaho Supreme Court decisions have stated that a warrantless blood law is permissible under an “implied consent statute.” However, 1st District Court Judge Benjamin R. Simpson reversed these decisions based on two local cases in which men suspected of DUI had their blood drawn to test for alcohol under protest.

Cases such as the McNeely case of 2013 — as well as Judge Simpson’s two most recent decisions — cite the fact that “the natural metabolization of alcohol in the bloodstream does not alone present an urgent need [for a blood draw],” according to the Spokesman-Review. However, the attorneys at Kraut Law Group want readers to know there are pros and cons to a blood draw, consensual or otherwise.

Pros of a Blood Draw

A blood draw is the most specific and accurate DUI test. If a driver believes he or she was under the legal alcohol limit, a blood test may unequivocally prove it. Blood draws are also less subjective than traditional sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line, and they can result in fewer misunderstandings between the officer and the driver. For example, in a traditional sobriety test, an officer might think a physically disabled driver was intoxicated because of stumbling related to the disability.

Cons of a Blood Draw

Refusal to submit to a blood draw may result in automatic license suspension, particularly in states where a warrantless blood draw is considered permissible. Failure to cooperate with a blood draw may also make an arresting officer think the driver is belligerent or dangerous, thus giving him or her more reason to make an arrest.

Can a Blood Draw Decision Be Fought?

Yes. Blood tests can be compromised in DUI cases or otherwise shown to be inadmissible as evidence. The collection and storage of blood can easily influence the amount of alcohol determined to be present in a sample. For example, if the officiating nurse cannot find a vein and must prick the driver several times, the blood sample could be compromised. This kind of compromise can also happen if blood is stored at the wrong temperature or in a carelessly sealed container. Faulty forensic equipment can also result in compromised draws and ultimately in wrongful convictions. Drivers who suspect their blood draws were compromised can and should fight the conviction to avoid unjust consequences.

Do you or a family member need insight from a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney? Contact Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group to set up your free consultation.

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For years, our Los Angeles DUI defense blog has reported on strange cases of DUI recidivists. These people — for one reason or another — keep getting arrested for DUI, despite harsh punishments, license suspensions, increasingly heavy fines, and so forth.12-duis-los-angeles

To wit, consider the outlandish case of a Delaware man, James R. Fischer, who was arrested back in March for his 12th DUI since 1991. The 55-year-old had gone to jail in 2009 on a DUI charge and had gotten out about a year ago. How could this man have been allowed to get 12 DUIs? How has the system broken down? And what can be done about it?

Department of Homeland Safety & Homeland Security statistical analyses report that around 37% of the 5,400 or so people busted for DUI in Delaware in 2012 were recidivists. Similar statistics hold for California and other states. Cases like Fischer’s have confounded lawmakers, police officers and others in the DUI community. What should be done?

DE Democratic State Representative, Helene Keeley, voiced her consternation and confusion: “do we say, lock them up and throw away the key? Maybe we do… but honestly right now I don’t know the answer to that question.” For now, Fischer is being held on cash bail of nearly $20,000 at Sussex Correctional Institution.

DUI recidivism may be high in Delaware, but national figures compiled by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) in March found that DUI recidivism has actually plummeted from a level of 31% in 1995 to 25% today. Who knows what’s caused that? Maybe we’re just seeing statistical noise. Maybe DUI recidivism education is working better.

When analyzing solutions to the recidivism problem, we need to take into account a critical idea called the Pareto Principle or “80-20 rule.” This concept — developed by a 19th Century Italian economist — hypothesizes that, in certain systems, natural imbalances form. 20% of DUI drivers, for instance, will be responsible for 80% of DUI arrests. Likewise, 80% of the wealth in any country or state will be owned by 20% of the people. 20% of people who get divorced will account for 80% of divorces, and so forth.

These super recidivists may need to be treated like an entirely separate cohort. The law does distinguish between people who are serial recidivists and people who are not. But it certainly does not take a fine-grained approach to the problem. The law generally just punishes recidivists harder and longer.

But perhaps an entirely different treatment/prevention approach is necessary for these people. After all, the goal is not necessarily to punish people but rather to make the roads safer. If current punishment/rehabilitation strategies aren’t working for some drivers, it’s worth our collective while to contemplate why and to come up with better policy/legal solutions.

This debate notwithstanding, you probably have very specific questions about your Los Angeles DUI defense options. Call Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group right now to set up a consultation with a former Harvard Law School educated former city prosecutor about various strategic options.

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The act of driving under the influence in Glendale (or wherever) is a fundamentally dangerous and potentially destructive act. It’s often the tip of a more disturbing iceberg. kenny-anderson-glendale-dui.jpg

But DUI defendants are a diverse lot.

Some suspects just make simple “dumb” errors of judgment and wind up sitting in the back seat of a police cruiser. Others struggle mightily for years with psychological demons, and these struggles manifest as asocial behavior, like driving under the influence of medication or drugs.

As someone who was recently arrested for Glendale DUI, you may fit into either category. It’s helpful to “drill down” to understand why you got in trouble, so that you can remedy not only the charges but also the root problem that drove you to accrue the charges.

If were just “being careless,” that’s one thing. But if you got a DUI after struggling for years with alcohol, depression, anxiety, and other life problems, you might need serious help to uncover what’s gone wrong and take steps to fix thing.

In light of that preamble, consider the sad case of 42-year-old Kenny Anderson, a former basketball star with the Boston Celtics and New Jersey Nets. He was arrested recently in Broward County, FL, when Pembroke Pines police saw him weaving in and out of lanes in the middle of the night.

Anderson had been arrested a year and half ago, in December 2011, in Miramar, when he crashed his Escalade SUV into a tree. He left the scene of that crash, and police had to call him to return to the scene. He apparently had an odor of alcohol on him and had bloodshot eyes – typical symptoms of a DUI in Glendale – but police did not charge him for driving under the influence, because he could have argued that he had consumed the alcohol at his house. Nevertheless, he got a misdemeanor charge for leaving the scene of an accident.

Anderson has seen serious ups and downs in his life.

At one point, pundits estimate that he had earned over $60 million through basketball. Today, he’s apparently nearly broke. He coaches basketball at a private school. He also had been married to Tami Roman, who starred in VH1’s reality series, Basketball Wives.

Who knows whether the 46-year-old can rebound from his DUI charges to clean up his life and find clarity and peace. Hopefully, he can do so.

The point is that you may also need effective guidance with your Glendale DUI charges. Connect with the Kraut Law Group for a complementary, confidential consultation. Attorney Kraut is a highly regarded ex-prosecutor (also Harvard Law School educated) who has helped many people in situations similar to yours fix their problems and move on.

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Okay, this is a weird one — one of the strangest Pasadena DUI news stories of 2013, so far. weird-pasadena-dui.jpg

According to, last Friday, police arrested a 22-year-old suspect in Panorama City for driving under the influence after a late morning slow speed chase. When the young driver pulled over, police observed him inhaling balloons full of nitrous — a recreational drug that can cause hallucinations, problems with depth perception, nausea, and other unpleasantness.

Per Lieutenant Mitzi Fierro, “when the officers initially approached [the driver], he appeared to be greatly intoxicated. He was rocking back and forth in his vehicle. He continued to inhale the gas in the balloon.”

Alarmed and obviously concerned for their own safety, officers eventually shot bean bags through the passenger side window to subdue the 22-year-old. Then broke the window with a baton, dragged him from the vehicle and arrested him for driving under the influence at around 11:15 AM.

The young man was taken to a local hospital for treatment. His father told the media that he has a history of drug use.

The story illustrates what we’ve been discussing a lot recently on this Pasadena DUI blog: namely, that defendants who get into “hot water” with authorities at a DUI checkpoint (or wherever) often make spur of the moment, dumb decisions. These “bad calls” endanger their own lives and the lives of others and also get them into serious legal trouble.

For instance, perhaps you hit someone with your vehicle while coming back from a cocktail party. Instead of stopping and exchanging information – i.e. doing the right thing – you drove off, hoping no one would recognize you. But then the police tracked you down and arrested you not only for the DUI but also for a hit and run. DUI suspects often make less than stellar decisions, like trying to elude police, fighting police, lying to police, and so forth.

It’s human to make mistakes. As human beings, when we get into a hole, sometimes we lack the sense and good judgment to “stop digging.”

This much is obvious. But what is not so obvious — for many Pasadena DUI defendants — is that you may STILL be digging that hole. Even though your arrest is concluded, you still run the risk of doing “dumb things” with respect to your case, such as missing your license suspension hearing.

Appreciate that you have an opportunity, even now, to turn things around.

The team here at the Kraut Law Group understands how stressful and confusing it feels to get arrested. But you might be surprised by your strategic options. This doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Connect with former city prosecutor Michael Kraut about your Pasadena DUI. The Harvard Law School educated Kraut and his team can provide a no nonsense, compassionate consultation about your case.

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Statistics compiled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol spell good news: the number of Los Angeles DUI arrests over the holiday season dropped substantially from the 2011 numbers. la-dui-arrest-over-holidays.jpg

The stats are still pretty staggering, but they mark a step in the right direction. Here are the numbers. From December 14 through December 19, per the LA County Sheriff’s Department, police officers from 100 different agencies busted 1,773 people for DUI in Los Angeles — down by nearly 500 from the 2011 numbers for the same period (2,205).

Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol recorded a radically different trend statewide.

Between December 21 and December 25, 1,170 people got arrested for driving under the influence in California, and 39 people died. This compares poorly to the 2011 stats for the same period — 980 arrested and 14 killed.

When you tally up the numbers from December 14 through January 1, they are also pretty eye opening. 2,168 people got arrested throughout Los Angeles for DUI, per the Sheriff’s Department’s report. That means that one out of three arrests — almost 600 DUIs — came during the final 4 days of the campaign, from December 28 through January 1.

As we’ve discussed before, Los Angeles DUI arrests spike like crazy during holidays like New Year’s Eve, because partying people fail to get designated drivers or create “Plan Bs” for their route home.

The Sheriff’s Department leveraged a variety of methods to crack down on DUI driving during the holiday, including roving patrols, multi-agency task force operations, checkpoints, and beyond — all made possible by a California Office of Traffic Safety grant.

What should you do if you got wrapped up in the Los Angeles DUI holiday “dragnet”?

Whether you got stopped at a checkpoint and arrested for a routine misdemeanor charge, per California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) or 23152(b); or you got tagged for a more complex offence, including hit and run, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, et cetera, you’re entitled to a stiff defense.

The question before you is: how should you build that defense? How can you avoid the scary penalties, such as loss of your Californian driver’s license, substantial jail time, large fines, and a substantial criminal record?

The team here at the Kraut Law Group can help you put together a detailed, step by step strategy to manage your charges and confront them in the most effective and knowledgeable way. Attorney Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated former prosecutor — he worked for the city for many years, so he knows what prosecutors tend to do in case like yours, and he can help you prepare accordingly. Get in touch with him and his team today for a free consultation.

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When the police officer arrested you for driving under the influence in Burbank, you were perplexed – shocked, even. Perhaps you hadn’t been drinking that much. Perhaps you hadn’t been drinking at all! But the police officer said that you failed your field sobriety tests and/or that you registered positive for Burbank DUI per a breathalyzer test (BAC greater than 0.08%, as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b)).dui_mistake-police-officer.jpg

Despite the seemingly incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, you maintain your innocence – or at least you believe that the arrest and/or the charges you face are not quite fair.

They may be, or they may not be. Only a thorough inspection of the evidence can determine the truth, either way. However, if you suspect that the arresting officer mistreated you or misbehaved in some fashion, you may not be delusional. Consider, for instance, some amazing – frankly, terrifying – news out of the state of Utah. A Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, Lisa Steed, is on the verge of being fired, after two separate judges found that she lied on the witness stand when testifying about drug possession and DUI cases.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Steed’s trustworthiness has been under fire since April, when a Third District Judge concluded that she suppressed evidence and lied during a case. Another judge, in the Second District, also said that she suppressed evidence, prompting the prosecutor in that county to abandon prosecuting any DUI cases in which Steed had been a substantial witness.

The Salt Lake Tribune also reported on a memo from back in 2010, which found that Steed had provided conflicting info regarding lab results and arrest reports.

That memo also insinuated that Steed arrested four drivers with no drugs or alcohol in their system!

The story serves as a red flag: bad police behavior like this can happen in any city, under any circumstances. This obviously isn’t to say that the officers who arrested you acted inappropriately. That’s possible, but it’s not necessarily likely.

The bigger takeaway lesson is that Burbank DUI defendants can benefit from having a thorough, effective advocate examine evidence from multiple angles and probe to see whether an idiosyncratic factor – such as police incompetence or deliberate suppression of evidence – may have played a role.

Attorney Michael Kraut of Burbank’s Kraut Law Group has spent years fighting Southern California DUI cases from both the prosecutorial and the defense side. His diverse background allows him to develop and execute powerful and highly effective defenses for his clients.

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You or a friend or fellow student recently got arrested for DUI in Long Beach or DUI elsewhere in LA (like UCLA or USC). Frankly speaking, you’re pretty scared. You don’t want to go to jail. You’re nervous about the potential of losing your license, having to a transit through weeks or months of alcohol school and probation, and paying massive court fines and fees… when you can barely pay your student loans. While a Los Angeles DUI attorney can help you deal with your legal woes, you also might benefit from some introspection – from looking inside to determine what, if anything, caused you to get in trouble with the law.Montana.jpg

Perhaps your Long Beach DUI arrest was a fluke – maybe you weren’t actually DUI and the breathalyzer malfunctioned. Or maybe you were right on the bubble — your arrest was a product of poor planning and slightly “off” judgment. But if you have a tendency to drive under the influence in Long Beach or elsewhere, you need to investigate your habits and beliefs now before they become even greater problems.

To take an extreme counter-example, consider the case of 48-year-old Bradley Noble, who was pulled over in Montana last Wednesday for his eighth DUI charge.

His sentence? 10 years behind bars.

He racked up his last DUI 10 years ago — back in January 2002 — and received a 20-year jail sentence with 5-years suspended. Two and a half years later, he was granted parole. But he was sent back to prison in June 2006 due to parole violations. Finally, near the end of 2006, Noble got released. But his troubles did not stop there. He was caught possessing alcohol on two occasions, in violation of his probationary arrangement. He was also caught driving a car four times since 2006 – also in violation of his restrictions. Sadly, the story ended with Noble’s alleged DUI recidivism. He got hit with a jail sentence of 15 years in prison with five suspended, and he must complete a pre-release program called the WATCH program before he can get parole.

You don’t want to rack up multiple Long Beach DUI convictions for obvious reasons. To that end, it’s helpful (and scary) to know what will happen if you become a convicted recidivist (get convicted more than one time). If you rack up three or more DUIs within a decade, prosecutors can escalate your charges and force you to serve much long jail sentences and pay higher fees and fines. A third Long Beach DUI within 10 years, for instance, can be ratcheted up from a misdemeanor to a felony – meaning you could serve a year or longer jail sentence.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for your defense – or for tackling the larger psychological, financial, and emotional problems that might have driven you to violate the law in the first place. That being said, a stellar, highly reputable attorney at the Kraut Law Group (444 West Ocean, Suite 800 Long Beach, California 90802 Phone: (562) 531-7454) in Long Beach can help you make massive progress. Attorney Kraut served as a city prosecutor (Senior District Attorney for Los Angeles for 14-plus years) before switching over to become Long Beach DUI defense attorney.

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