Articles Posted in Vehicle Code 23153(a) and 23153(b)

Some really sad Los Angeles DUI news out of Sun Valley — a veteran LAPD officer suffered massive injuries following a weekend crash. He is reported to be in “very critical condition” at the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, and 100 police officers and members of the community have donated blood in an attempt to aid his treatment.police-officer-hurt-in-dui-crash-los-angeles

Valley Traffic Division Commanding Officer, Maureen Ryan, reported that “he has spinal injuries. They are trying to stabilize to get him ready for a serious surgery regarding his back.”

According to reports, a woman driving a Chevy Blazer hit his motorcycle from behind. Her driver’s license had expired nearly 10 years ago, and authorities later arrested her for drug DUI. Ryan said that “it’s ironic. It’s tragic. This woman chose to drive while being impaired. That’s why we are out there, to save lives.”

On Saturday evening, the 26 year veteran officer had been stopped at a red light, when a Chevy Blazer traveling southbound failed to see light and smashed into the motorcycle, crushing the officer against a Honda Accord that had stopped in front of him. The 33-year-old driver, Qaneak Cobb, is being held at the Van Nuys jail on $185,000 bond.

Per Los Angeles Superior Court records, Cobb has a significant criminal history, including charges that she possessed narcotics and a theft conviction. She was also driving on a license that had expired way back in June of 2005.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the brave officer, and we hope that he pulls through despite the horrific injuries.

In a DUI case in which someone gets hurt, prosecutors can ask to elevate what ordinarily would be a misdemeanor DUI charge (per CVC 23152) to an injury DUI charge (per CVC 23153). Even a misdemeanor charge carries substantial penalties, such as mandatory jail time, mandatory license suspension, forced alcohol school, probation, and (in some cases) forced installation of an interlock ignition device on the offender’s vehicle.

But charges per 23153 are even more intense. Depending on the nature of the alleged crime and what happened to the victim, the offender could face over a year behind bars – perhaps substantially longer.

The team here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers can help you build a defense to a Los Angeles DUI injury charge. Call former prosecutor and experienced criminal defense attorney, Michael Kraut, and the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers team today for a confidential assessment of your case.
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Getting arrested for driving under the influence in Burbank is a monstrously embarrassing and challenging experience. burbank-dui-arrest-again.jpg

You probably don’t want to think about the assortment of punishments that prosecutors can seek, such as extensive jail time, weeks of compulsory alcohol school, mandatory IID installation in your car, fines and fees, intensely restrictive probation terms, and, of course, the suspension of your California drivers license for a year. And that’s just if you committed a minor crime — one that did not involve injuries, other charges, or a past criminal history!

You can obviously understand why someone would want to celebrate the lifting of such restrictions – the finalizing of a Burbank DUI case. Unfortunately, some people take such celebrations too far.

The results can be quite ironic.

Consider, for instance, what happened to Riverside Illinois resident Erin James, a 58-year-old woman on the verge of getting her driver license back — a court suspended it back for a 2012 DUI. But James got ahead of herself, according to CBS Chicago. Riverside police pulled her over for speeding at around 2 a.m., the night of the end of her suspension. The officer suspected that she was DUI, and he put her through the paces of field sobriety test. She failed and later tested to have a BAC of 0.15%. (For those of you keeping score, that’s nearly twice the Burbank DUI limit of 0.08%.)

The bad news did not end there, for James.

After checking her driver’s license, police found that it was suspended in 2012. James also did not have a mandated interlock ignition device (IID) in her car, which was supposed to stop her from driving while under the influence.

Police handcuffed and arrested the woman and hit her with the charge of felony aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. A very serious charge. As you probably already know, a felony can be punished with a jail sentence in excess of a year. Convicted felons permanently lose many rights that most people take for granted, such as the right to vote in elections. Plus convicted felons often struggle to get loans, secure housing, find employment, et cetera.

Depending on the nature of your Burbank DUI charge, you, too, may face a felony, particularly if you hurt someone else while behind the wheel. The California Vehicle Code has actually a special section just for injury DUIs – 23153(a) and 23153(b). This CVC section is very similar to 23152 (the standard DUI misdemeanor), except that it elevates what would normally be misdemeanors to felonies.

Whether your Burbank DUI arrest was “ironic” or not, or “newsworthy” or not, you have a lot of work to do, legally speaking and otherwise. You want to forge an effective, appropriate, responsible Burbank DUI defense, but you’re not sure exactly how to start the process.

Get in touch with the reputable, results-focused team here at Burbank’s Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut is an ex-prosecutor who has a long, successful track record of helping defendants like you meet their charges effectively and smartly.

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In a recent Long Beach DUI post, we told the terrible story of 20-year-old Karlie Tomica, a self-described “party princess” in South Beach who allegedly hit and killed a chef while under the influence then fled the scene of the accident. party-princess-dui-los-angeles.jpg

Tomica’s story made national headlines for many reasons. It wasn’t a “typical” DUI hit-and-run homicide case. For instance:

• Tomica allegedly had a BAC of over three times the legal limit for Long Beach DUI, 0.08% BAC, which is already pretty high;
• Tomica ignored a motorist’s frantic plea for her to pull over after the arrest, and police finally arrested her at her condo in Miami Beach;
• She fell asleep at the police station later and allegedly “snored loudly”;
• The 20-year-old called herself a “party princess” on Twitter.

After prosecutors got the toxicology reports in mid-February, they filed a DUI manslaughter charge against her. Now, Tomica’s lawyer is saying that the current judge should not be on her case because, from her statements, she had “pre-judged [Tomica] guilty.” Judge Migna Sanchez-Llorens said that Tomica “made choices to drink” — indicating that she [the judge] may not provide the young woman a fair trial.

Without diving deep into the facts and arguments (and counterarguments) of this case, it’s impossible to assess the intelligence of this defense strategy.

As any reputable Long Beach DUI defense lawyer will tell you, there are no one-size-fits-all rules for how to proceed. That’s why you want to find a lawyer who has both the experience and knowledge to help you manage your situation.

If you’re confused about how to proceed with your defense, get in touch with the team at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today to discuss your options and to plan an effective, thorough and strategic response. Michael Kraut is a former Long Beach DUI prosecutor who spent 14 years on the other side of criminal cases, as a Senior Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles.

Find out more about Attorney Kraut and his credentials on this site, or call today to set your consultation about your Long Beach DUI.

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If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence in Burbank – yet again – you’re understandably terrified about what prosecutors might do to you this time. For instance, will they slap you with a felony count per California Vehicle Code section 23153? burbank-dui-burbank-dui-again-and-again.jpg

You’re right to be concerned.

One might dismiss a single Burbank DUI as a product of bad luck, quirky circumstances, or a single lapse of judgment. However, if you get arrested multiple times, you may want to take a look in the mirror. Why do you keep getting into these situations, and what needs to change?

Obviously, you want to deal with the “legal stuff” in an effective, appropriate manner, as rapidly as possible. However, you also want to pay attention to your recurring patterns. These may be subtle to detect but may ultimately prove vital to solving your longer term issues.

It is often very difficult for us to instantly apprehend our own patterns, since we “live inside” them. Other people can look at us and judge: tell us to take certain actions or avoid certain behaviors. But as the saying goes, “it’s easy for you to say.” Outsiders can make these analyses simply, since they don’t have to live the consequences of said judgments, nor are they emotionally invested in your outcome one way or the other.

Here’s one way to start to understand your Burbank DUI recidivism — to learn the lessons from what’s happened to you, and to translate those lessons into better outcomes.

The first step is to understand WHY you got into your bad situation in the first place. Your intuitive answer may not be “deep” enough to give you this insight. For instance, say you had been partying in Burbank Center late at night, playing pool. You got behind the wheel without appreciating how under the influence you actually were, and then police busted you at a Burbank DUI checkpoint. You might initially think you got in trouble “because I was too lazy to get a ride home.”

Not deep enough! You must probe deeper. Ask yourself WHY.

WHY were you too lazy to get a ride home? Your answer then might be “because I don’t really know anyone in the city who I could trust to take me home and not judge me.” Then probe even deeper – WHY don’t you know anybody? And so forth.

This iterative exercise – asking why, over and over, to get deeper and deeper – inevitably gets you into deeper psychological “stuff.” This “stuff” might be underpinning not only why you made a poor driving decision but also why you might be feeling helpless or unhappy in various aspects of your life. Once you figure out that core reason — that deeper WHY — then you can take steps to address the constraint making your life miserable in many diverse was. Perhaps you just feel really lonely: you need a partner or even a close friend. We all have needs for companionship. Perhaps when you find a partner or a close friend, you’ll have a designated driver the next time. You’ll ALSO no longer feel as sad or helpless, and thus you will intuitively avoid dangerous/reckless situations in the future.

All that said, you have practical legal considerations that need to be addressed ASAP. Recidivism DUI in Burbank can lead to felony counts, long jail sentences, massive license suspensions, and more. Attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers in Burbank can help you understand your legal options and make powerful defensive progress. Connect with attorney Kraut and his team today for a free, honest, and thorough evaluation of your case.

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This past week was very busy in terms of Burbank DUI and Los Angeles DUI celebrity news. An Atlanta Braves’ minor leaguer, Derrick Lowe; Notre Dame’s wide receiver, Michael Floyd; and crooner Rick Springfield all made big splashes. But second to Springfield’s arrest, the biggest Pasadena DUI, Glendale DUI, Los Angeles DUI, or Burbank DUI news had to have been the arrest of Ricardo Chavira, the Desperate Housewives star whose character is married to actress Eva Longoria’s character Gabny on ABC’s hit show.ricardo-chavira-dui.jpg

According to various reports, Chavira was pulled over early morning on May 3rd – around 2:20 AM. Radar Online reported: “Chavira was released from the Van Nuys jail Tuesday morning after posting $25,000.00 bail. He refused to take a blood alcohol test after he was pulled over…” The 39-year old’s wife, Marcea Dietzel, had to make a difficult telephone call to Chavira’s dad, Texas Judge Juan Antonio Chavira, who told Radar online: “I had a got a call from my daughter-in-law to tell me that my son had been arrested for DUI this morning.”

Sounds like someone’s in for a difficult conversation with his dad.

Some motorists who get pulled over under suspension of DUI in Burbank often reject the breathalyzer test. Why? Aren’t breathalyzer tests pretty accurate?

If you listen to common lore, then yes. But if you actually look at the science – the objective analyses of breathalyzers – then that certainty you feel about their efficacy should melt away. Breathalyzers can give accurate BAC readings, but they can also be wildly off. For instance, as this blog has reported, certain conditions, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, can lead to very inaccurate readings. Essentially, chemicals on the breath called ketone bodies can throw off the breath test and lead to false positives. The depth of your exhale into the machine can also have a huge influence on the reading. This is often why police officers will tell you to take a deep breath into the machine instead of a shallow one. Shallower breaths will include less alcohol by volume and thus lead to lower BAC readings.

Officer errors, poor calibration, and differences among devices can also lead to confusion. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can effectively challenge breathalyzer test results and leverage other legal resources and tools to help you defend against charges.

Attorney Michael Kraut (2600 West Olive Avenue, 5th Floor, Burbank, California 91505 Phone: (818) 563-9810) has won plaudits not only from clients, but also from professionals like prosecutors and judges, for his keen judgment, superior record at jury trials, and compassionate and sensitive handling of cases.

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When sports stars and celebrities get pulled over for driving under the influence in Burbank, Southern California, or elsewhere in the nation, the national news media and the blogosphere react with shock, awe, and dismay. In many situations, defendants are deemed “guilty” in the eyes of the public, even before counter evidence or counter arguments can be heard. Harry-Teinowitz-DUI.jpg

If someone you love – or yourself – recently got arrested for violating the law against driving DUI in Glendale, DUI in Los Angeles, DUI in Burbank, or DUI in Pasadena, chances are you’ve already experienced some of this unfair “prejudgment” — even among friends and associates.

Consider the case of Harry Teinowitz, a famous radio talk show host for ESPN’s WMVP-AM radio. The 50-year old announcer got stopped for DUI in Illinois the Friday before last and tested to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.131% (nearly twice the legal limit for Los Angeles DUI – 0.08% BAC). After getting released from jail through via a $1,000 bail bond, Teinowitz returned to his radio show last Monday (“The Afternoon Saloon”) and addressed his listeners about what happened.

Teinowitz said: “some of you may have heard about the incident that occurred last Friday night. I made a horrible mistake in judgment… and I take full responsibility for my actions. I let my family down. I let you guys, the listeners who I love, down and I let the company I work for down. And I’m deeply sorry… this doesn’t define me: what happens from now defines me.”

Note Teinowitz’ extremely defensive tone. Like many people arrested for driving under the influence in Burbank (a misdemeanor as defined by California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) or 23152(b)), Teinowitz understands the instant stigma that attaches to defendants in DUI cases. It’s easy to find yourself attached to the label of “DUI defendant” and to feel judged – not only by friends, peers, and outsiders but also by yourself.

The key to remember is that labels and moralistic judgments don’t necessarily define the essence of who you are. In many ways, it’s the lessons we learn, the actions we take, and the motion we take towards helping others and helping ourselves that defines our humanity. As important as it is to respond alertly and fairly to your DUI charges – and that doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding all punishments, by the way — it’s equally important to give yourself a certain degree of forgiveness and to move away from labeling yourself as “good, bad, unfairly targeted, et cetera.” Instead, focus on identifying the most resourceful path to getting what you want and to ensuring the safety and well being of others in your family and other drivers in the road.

Obviously, you have some practical issues that you are facing right now, if you are a Burbank DUI defendant. 23152(a) and (b) convictions can lead to plenty of uncomfortable penalties, ranging from community service to jail time to probation to the mandatory putting in of a device called an interlock ignition device, which makes it impossible for you to drive unless you blow a sober breath into a machine.

A quality Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, such as Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers (located in Burbank at: 2600 West Olive Avenue, 5th Floor, Burbank, California 91505 Phone: (818) 563-9810) can deliver the much needed strategic guidance and compassionate support you need during this tumultuous time. Trust a Harvard Law School educated former prosecutor to build your defense today.

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Southern California DUI experts are monitoring a breaking case out of Virginia involving a recidivist DUI driver who allegedly slammed into a car full of nuns, hurting two of them and killing one of the sisters. This epic tragedy made national headlines and sparked debate among the legal community – particularly since the county prosecutor plans to seek a DUI murder charge against the suspect, 23 year old Carlos Montano.carlos-montano.JPG

Prior to this incident, Montano had been twice convicted for DUI, and his license had been revoked for DUI reasons. So he never should have gotten behind the wheel in the first place. Allegedly, he was driving southbound on the highway, when he veered out of his lane, smashed into a barrier, and crossed over to the northbound side, where he hit a car carrying the nuns head on. 66-year old Sister Janet Mosier died on the scene, while sisters Charlotte Lange and Connie Lupton suffered critical injuries and got med-evaced to nearby Fairfax Hospital.

Montano was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter as well as driving under a revoked license. Apparently, Montano was also in the United States illegally, and Paul Ebert announced last Tuesday that he plans to charge the man with DUI murder.

Obviously, this situation is a terrible tragedy, and it drives home the point that anyone who drives under the influence in Long Beach or anywhere else in Southern California risks hurting or even killing other people and suffering grievous consequences themselves.

A DUI murder charge – also known as a Watson murder – is a second degree murder charge. It can result in penalties of 15 years in prison up to life in prison. Watson murder cases are very rarely charged – in most instances of Southern California DUI related homicide, prosecutors will seek something like “gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated” pursuant to Penal Code Section 191.5 (a) – itself a very serious charge but not as serious as a Watson murder charge. In Southern California, to prove a Watson murder case, a prosecutor usually has to show that the defendant has multiple prior Los Angeles DUI convictions and that the person drove with “implied malice” – in other words, he or she had a clear understanding of the dangers but chose to ignore them. And by choosing to ignore them and by driving under the influence in Long Beach (or wherever), he or she caused the death of another human being.

Of course, even if you face a relatively “pedestrian” charge of driving over the California legal limit of 0.08% in Long Beach, you could face tremendous problems, such as a revoked CA drivers’ license, mandatory interlock ignition device installation, jail time, and steep fines.

You want a creditable, successful attorney to suggest solutions.

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Last Sunday, residents of the sleepy town of Danville witnessed a shocking multiple hit and run Southern California DUI rampage involving Cainan Schierholtz, the brother of Nate Schierholtz, an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants. All told, the 23-year old Schierholtz allegedly hit a bicyclist, a pedestrian, and several cars and trucks before he was stopped.schierholtz-dui.jpg

Diagram of a Rampage
The insanity began around 10 in the morning on Sunday, when police officers heard a report that someone was driving DUI near Railroad Avenue and Danville Boulevard. Schierholtz by that time had probably already hit his first victim – a bicyclist on Danville Blvd. Rather than stop to help the bicyclist, Schierholtz continued forward and rammed into a pedestrian. Again, he did not stop and instead swerved into another lane and slammed into a pickup truck. Again, he didn’t stop. He pulled onto Linda Mesa Avenue and smashed into a Lexus SUV. Meanwhile, the driver of the pickup followed him onto Montair Drive.

The suspect was cornered on that dead end street and blocked by the pickup truck. He was at that point driving with his airbags deployed (but still managing somehow to move forward). But because the pickup truck blocked him, he got stuck. The pickup truck driver and local neighbors surrounded and subdued him before police got to the scene and arrested him.

Schierholtz was held on $350,000 bail and charged with multiple counts of Southern California DUI causing injury, three counts of injury hit and run, and two counts of property damage. And to top it off, the 23 year old was charged with driving without a license.

Fortunately, no one appears to have been severely injured during the rampage. But Schierholtz faces a huge legal battle. According to California Vehicle Code Sections 23153 (a) and 23153 (b), a typical count of Los Angeles DUI can be elevated to a felony if a driver under the influence causes injury to another person. Felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors. If you are convicted of a felony, for instance, you will lose your right to vote, and you may find it very difficult to get loans, find employment, and qualify for a lease on a car or an apartment.

If you are arrested for a DUI in Glendale or DUI in Pasadena and charged with injuring someone while under the influence, you will need to put together a strategically engineered defense. Depending on the circumstances, you could try to get the charges dropped altogether. In other cases, you may seek to plea bargain down the charges. For instance, in exchange for prosecutors not charging you with injury DUI in Pasadena, you might accept a lesser charge of a simple Los Angeles DUI, pursuant to California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 (a) or 23152(b).

In any event, chances are that you need a time tested attorney on your side to advise you and suggest a strategic way forward.

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In the annals of arrests for driving under the influence in Southern California, the March 3 bust of 56-year-old Roy Ashburn for driving with a BAC of 0.14% in Sacramento wouldn’t stand out as particularly noteworthy — but for two salient points:Ashburn-dui.jpg

1. Roy Ashburn is a State Senator from California (a representative of District 18).
2. The Senator was busted after leaving a gay bar called Faces with a young male Latino in his car — this in spite of his pronounced anti-gay voting record and the fact that he had been married with five children.

In the wake of the arrest, Ashburn quickly confessed to the press the he was gay. He justified his 12+ years of Assembly and State Senate voting against gay rights by saying that he was simply following the wishes of his conservative constituents. Southern California DUI bloggers have noted that the Republican senator’s ordeal has rhymed closely with the travails of other recently outed Republicans, like evangelical Ted Haggart and senator Larry Craig, who was caught playing footsie with a federal agent in a public men’s room.

According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and 23152(b), most first time offenders will be charged with a misdemeanor. The court has an array of punishments at its disposal, including mandatory time in custody (48 hours), fines of up to $1,000 in addition to court costs, mandatory suspension of California vehicle license for a full year, mandatory alcohol school, formal probation, and mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device in your car or truck.

Ashburn was given 2 days jail time — one of which he served while being in custody during arrest. The other day will involve him working for the Sheriff’s Department. He also has to pay fees and costs of around $2,000, and he will face three years of probation.

According to the senator’s spokesman, Ashburn “accepts full responsibility for his actions (and wants to be) treated like any other resident of California would be treated.”

Although few would argue that the senator got off “easy” for what he did, others charged with similar crimes of driving DUI in Glendale or DUI in Burbank can wind up with much more serious penalties, including longer stints in jail, harsher terms of probation, and much higher costs and fees.

In fact, if you injure someone while driving DUI in Glendale, and the prosecution can prove that your driving DUI led to an accident that caused the injury, you can be charged under California Vehicle Code (CVC) Sections 23153(a) and 23153(b), which could elevate your misdemeanor to a felony charge. If convicted, you could be stripped of your right to vote and forced to spend longer time in jail.

So what can you do if you’ve been hit with a Burbank or Glendale DUI charge?

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Celebrity Los Angeles DUI blogs that cover the public struggles of fallen actors, politicians, and athletes have been chattering nonstop since last week about former Mets All-Star pitcher Dwight Gooden’s arrest in New Jersey. According to the AP, the 45-year old former Cy Young Award winning pitcher slammed into another vehicle early morning last Tuesday and fled from the scene. He was later arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and fleeing the scene of an accident.gooden_dui.jpg

Gooden is no stranger to substance abuse and accidents. He has been dogged by scandal since early in his baseball career. Gooden led the New York Mets to a world championship in 1986, during which the team pulled off one of the all-time greatest comebacks in baseball history – beating the Boston Red Sox in Game Six after going down two runs in the bottom of the tenth inning with two outs and no men on base.

Gooden is scheduled to be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in the beginning of August along with former ‘86 teammate Daryl Strawberry and manager Davey Johnson. According to the AP report, no one was seriously injured in Gooden’s accident. But what if someone had been?

According to Southern California DUI law, as encapsulated in California Vehicle Code Section 23153 (a) and 23153 (b), drivers who hit and injure someone while DUI can be subjected to substantially increased penalties. Specifically, what might ordinarily be a misdemeanor Los Angeles DUI could be reclassified as a felony DUI. 23153 (b) spells out some of the punishments that drivers can face for this crime, which include steep court costs and other fines, hiked up insurance rates, forced restitution to injured victims, jail time, forced probation, and driver’s license suspension. 23153 (a) stipulates that if either alcohol or drugs contributes to the injury or accident, the driver can be subjected to a felony count.

If you have been tagged for a Long Beach DUI for hitting someone after driving under the influence in Burbank, you may need superior legal representation. But how do you find a good attorney to represent you against a charge, say, of DUI in Burbank?

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