Articles Tagged with DUI lawyer los angeles

self-driving-car-DUI-300x169Few people these days would dispute the idea that fully autonomous vehicles are in our future, probably sooner than we think. Many of our cars are already parking for us, many are equipped to brake automatically to avoid collisions, and many self-driving prototypes are already in development. But what will these advancements do to our current DUI laws? Will our cars truly be so autonomous that intoxicated drivers will be able to use them as taxis? Will DUI laws become obsolete?

Not so fast.

At the annual meeting of the Governors Highway Safety Association, which took place in Louisville, KY in September, autonomous vehicles dominated the conversation, particularly in the context of open container laws. “Autonomous vehicles can be a designated driver,” said Russ Martin, director of government relations for the GHSA in comments after the meeting. “But at a certain point the law is going to have to draw a line somewhere as when it’s safe to do so…Right now, in most states it’s illegal to have an open container of alcohol while you’re driving…What about open container laws? Do they need to be modified or qualified, depending on the level of automation?”

If the number of arrests for DUI in Los Angeles decreased, would it mean that the roads are getting safer? Maybe not. A recent article in Illinois’ Daily Herald newspaper raised some questions about the real meaning behind a decline in DUI arrests in several suburban Chicago neighborhoods.los-angeles-DUI-law-chicago

Columnist Jack Griffin wrote in a November 18th column in the Daily Herald that DUI arrests in 79 Chicago suburbs have been declining since 2007. Surveys compiled by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) reported that police made 12,166 DUI arrests in 2007 and only 6,955 in 2014.

But what’s the reason for the declining arrests? Griffin spoke with one Chicago area attorney who thinks people simply don’t have the money to go out drinking. The police chief in the Chicago suburb of Lake Hills, however, believes people are becoming more conscious of the need to take a cab or have a designated driver when they plan on drinking. (Arrests in this suburb declined from 100-plus each year between 2007-2012 to 86 in 2014.)

Continue reading

Murrieta-Mayor-Alan-Long-DUIA Los Angeles DUI charge can have powerful and immediate ramifications, whether you’re a public figure or not.

Witness, for instance, the fast fall of Murrieta Mayor Alan Long, who had to resign recently after he caused an alleged DUI crash that injured four students. The 44-year-old had been driving on Jefferson Avenue in a large truck last Thursday at 8 P.M., when he hit a vehicle driven by four high school students.

Long had served as a Battalion Chief with the Anaheim Fire Department, but his knowledge and understanding of road safety did not prevent him from failing his field sobriety tests (at least per police reports) and demonstrating what authorities said were “signs and symptoms consistent with alcohol impairment.”

Long contends that he had consumed alcohol but did not cross the legal limit of 0.08%. He made a bail of $5,000 and has not yet formally been charged. Rescue workers took the four students from Murrieta Valley High School to local hospitals for treatment for an array of injuries.

Long won election in November 2010 by a landslide. But even though he hasn’t been formally charged with a DUI injury count, he had to resign his political position.

Each charge of injuring someone while driving DUI can lead to a felony conviction and a jail sentence of at least a year, per California Vehicle Section 22153. Prosecutors also do not necessarily need to show that Long had been over the 0.08% BAC mark to convict him for the felony counts.

Defending against injury DUI charges can be an incredibly fraught and complex business. Protect your rights by getting good insight from a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense attorney, like Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut is an ex-prosecutor: as a Deputy District Attorney, he racked up a 99% success rate in jury trials. Continue reading

Ever since your arrest for DUI in Los Angeles, you’ve been (outwardly, at least) in denial about the seriousness of the implications of your charges.los-angeles-dui-denial

Or perhaps you’re the spouse or significant other of someone with an alcohol or drug problem who recently got stopped for DUI at a checkpoint or arrested after a crash. You’re frustrated because he/she seems to be minimizing the gravity of the situation.

In either case, you might find it resourceful to examine the roots of the denial.

Our Needs for Psychological Consistency

Human beings generally do not behave “randomly.” We may not understand the strategies we employ when we get into trouble, and we might not choose the best strategies — or even very good ones. But the reasons that motivate us are not without logic.

Consider that when someone says, in effect “I’m going to pretend this DUI will go away on its own, and nothing about this is my fault at all,” that person is actually making an attempt to solve a problem. We bury our heads in sand because we want to avoid pain and stress and anxiety. These are not pleasant feelings. Denial is the psyche’s subtle way of protecting itself.

If you “don’t want to talk about” the DUI, your hesitation probably has less to do with your wanting to ruin your life than it does with wanting to protect yourself against painful situations, such as:

•    Having to admit to other people that they were right — that you DO need help managing an addiction to prescription medications, drugs, or alcohol;

•    Having to take time out of an already complicated and emotionally full life to deal with DUI defense;

•    Having to contemplate the battery of punishments that may await you, such as loss of your California driver’s license, jail time, costly fines and fees, higher insurance premiums, etcetera;

•    Having to confront emotionally unsettling truths about your life and your past;

Denial is by no means an intentionally self-destructive impulse. It’s a very understandable unconscious tactic we all use to retain psychological equilibrium and a sense of control. In fact, if you just recognize that denial is okay – that it is not intrinsically unhealthy or irrational – then you are already on the path to moving past it to get the help you really need.

The most challenging part of any Los Angeles DUI defense is that very first phone call.

Picking up the phone and calling an experienced attorney — like the Harvard Law School educated Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers — requires courage, because the act involves leaving your comfort zone. But once you cross that threshold, things do get easier! Give yourself the opportunity to get a fresh start. Connect with attorney Kraut and his experienced team today for assistance.
Continue reading

When facing a Los Angeles DUI case involving an injury to the other party, consider the story of Samuel Silva, who was recently arrested in Panama after ten years on the run.samuel-silva-dui-arrest

In April 1998, Silva struck the patrol car of Florida Highway Patrol trooper Marissa Sanders, who was conducting a routine traffic stop. The impact pushed Sanders’ cruiser into the stopped car in front of it, causing that vehicle’s gas tank to explode. Sanders sustained extensive third-degree burns to her legs, the severity of which ended her highway patrol career.

Silva, whose blood alcohol level had tested at double the legal limit, was sentenced in 2001 to 9 months and 5 years in prison. After his appeal and its subsequent denial, the judge ordered him to surrender in 2004 to serve his sentence; however, he never reported.

Instead, Silva used fraudulent passports to escape the country. According to investigators, he traveled throughout Spain, Mexico, and other countries before settling in Panama City. There, U.S. Marshals found and arrested him in May 2014 and brought him back to South Florida.

Although Sanders is surprised Silva has been brought to justice – again – after all these years, she expressed disappointment at his unwillingness to “take responsibility” for his actions.

In California, driving under the influence results in harsher sentences when they lead to injuries of another party. Under California Code Section 23153 (a), driving under the influence is a misdemeanor; with a resulting injury, it becomes a felony. This can cause penalties such as:

•    Prison sentences
•    Restitution to victims
•    Extensive court fines

These punishments increase depending on how many people were injured and the severity. A conviction can also result in job loss, loss of professional licenses, and increased penalties for any future DUIs.

Although facing a DUI with injury is difficult, taking responsibility for your actions is always preferable to running away. A Los Angeles DUI attorney can work to identify mitigating factors and build a defense that will help resolve your case.

Michael Kraut’s comprehension of California law and relationships with law officials can help you build a powerful case to avoid a wrongful conviction or harsh sentence. For your free consultation, contact the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today.
Continue reading

As someone who’s been arrested for the crime of driving under the influence in Los Angeles, you’ve already spent a quite a lot of mental energy figuring out how you’re “going to deal with this” in a constructive fashion. You’ve potentially imagined worst case scenarios – i.e. massive jail sentences, huge spikes in your insurance rates, the loss of your job, etc – as well as positive outcomes – e.g., getting the charges dismissed altogether and even getting a letter of apology from the police for inconveniencing you.los-angeles-dui-thought-experiment

But just imagine for a second what would have happened, if the police hadn’t stopped you that night?

What if you hadn’t been pulled over or busted at a checkpoint? How would your life be different? Would you be as concerned about your driving habits and/or proclivities to consume alcohol and/or prescription medications? Would you be as alert as you are now to your possible bad habits?

The reason why it’s good to run through this thought experiment is that it can help reframe your Los Angeles DUI arrest in a slightly more positive light.

Even if you wind up serving jail time and suffering other slings and arrows doled out by the court system, your arrest can still be an object lesson. After all, you survived the experience. Many people who drive DUI don’t. So no matter what happens, you’re getting a second chance. If you can view your DUI defense as an opportunity for self growth and improvement – as difficult and perhaps absurd as that may sound – it will help you not just psychologically but also logistically. After all, assuming you did commit a crime, the court will want to see that you’re committed to turning yourself around — to becoming a safer and more responsible driver.

Do not make your defense decisions in a vacuum, however.

Let the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers guide your progress and ensure that you follow a coherent, cogent legal strategy. Attorney Kraut is a former prosecutor who attended Harvard Law School. Local and national news organizations, such as KTLA News, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, often consult him for his deep insight into the Los Angeles DUI defense process.
Continue reading

Contact Information