Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI defense lawyer

DUI-myths-vs-realityAs much as we are bombarded with media messages and warnings to avoid drinking and driving—and the consequences if we ignore those warnings—it’s remarkable how much the public doesn’t understand about DUI, especially here in Los Angeles. In particular, people who get pulled over on suspicion of DUI frequently have inaccurate preconceived ideas about what officers can and cannot do, what might cause an arrest, whether or not the charges will stick, and so on.

To be clear, you should never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking, and nothing we’re about to say should be construed as suggesting otherwise. However, people frequently misjudge their own thresholds, and even people who haven’t been drinking sometimes find themselves under roadside investigation for DUI. Let’s dispel a few commonly held myths about DUI in Los Angeles (and the rest of California, for that matter) and replace them with the facts.

MYTH: Only people who have been drinking are arrested for DUI.

When police officers are out on patrol looking for drivers who might be DUI in Los Angeles, they watch for vehicles weaving in and out of traffic, veering over the center line and blowing through stop signs and other traffic signals.
In Sommers, Connecticut, however, it was a poor parking job that gave an intoxicated driver away. A passing motorist noticed that the car driven by 56-year-old Brian Benoit of Hampden, Massachusetts, was parked perpendicular to the side of the road. Fearing there had been a crash, the motorist called police. Police found Benoit unhurt but in no condition to pass the field sobriety test that they administered. They charged him with DUI. bad-parking-los-angeles=DUI

Law enforcement officials in South Burlington, Vermont, would probably have preferred finding an oddly parked car to what they did discover when they answered a report of suspicious activity on a Wednesday afternoon in mid-July. They found 58-year-old William Harman sitting nude inside his parked car. Harman may not have even been aware that his clothing had somehow disappeared; his blood alcohol content measured .235, almost triple the legal limit. Police charged him with DUI as well.

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Since the passage of AB 91 in 2010, California has required all drivers convicted of DUI in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare Counties to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles if they want to qualify for a restricted driving license. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has supported this effort and similar policies adopted by other states.Luis Reluzco DUI

Now Maryland legislators have passed their own version of the IID law. In their 2016 session, which ended in mid-April, Maryland legislators unanimously adopted Noah’s Law, named in honor of a Montgomery County police officer struck and killed by a drunk driver last December. Ironically, Officer Noah Leotta was working at a sobriety checkpoint at the time.

The new law will apply to anyone, including first-time offenders, who have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. They’ll need to keep the IID for six months or lose their license. Anyone who refuses a breathalyzer test at the time of arrest will have to install the IID for nine months after conviction or give up their driving privileges for that time.

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Motorists stopped for speeding often face other problems, including charges of DUI in Los Angeles. The police can use the results of a field sobriety test to support the charge, but what happens if the results of that test are not clear?

interesting-DUI-case-TennesseeA ruling by Tennessee’s Court of Criminal Appeals will require Anthony John Silver to stand trial for driving under the influence, despite dispute over his performance on a field sobriety test. A Williamson County Circuit Court judge had thrown out Silver’s arrest, contending that the police officer on the case had inaccurately described what happened during the tests. The three-panel appeals court disagreed with that decision and reinstated the charges against Silva.

News agencies reported that Officer Adam Cohen of the Franklin Police Department pulled Silva over when he saw him driving 46 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone. Officer Cohen said Silva smelled like alcohol and admitted he had drunk three beers several hours earlier.

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Drivers arrested for DUI in Los Angeles often have a history of repeated offenses. Taking away their drivers’ licenses doesn’t seem to prevent them from driving while intoxicated; neither does jail time. But each time they get behind the wheel, they not only put other people at risk of injury of death, but they also risk their own welfare and the well-being of any family members who depend on them for support.Sam-Lavorto-DUI-program

What can be done, for real, to solve the problem at its root?

California’s Monterey County Superior Court is attempting a radically different approach that could, if successful, alter how we think about DUI treatment and prevention. According to reports on KSBW and in the Monterey County Weekly, the Court has recently launched a new Driving Under the Influence Court. Judge Sam Lavorto had the idea for this special court, which will operate on a therapeutic model, trying to get help for people who have alcohol problems so that they won’t repeat their offenses.

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Police officers see all kinds of BAC numbers when they arrest people for DUI in Los Angeles. But officers don’t often come across a person whose BAC measures five times the legal limit–especially when the driver turns out to be another policeman.
Newspaper accounts say that Officer John Finley of the New York Police Department is lucky to be alive after an accident in which alcohol contributed. Back on August 8th, Finley slammed into a guardrail on the West Shore Expressway on Staten Island. He suffered head injuries, but they weren’t life-threatening. He was even conscious enough to talk, although witnesses reported that Finley—perhaps unsurprisingly, given his charges–slurred his words.

John Finley From: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/John%20Finley%20nypd/keywords_top

John Finley From: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/John%20Finley%20nypd/keywords_top

The police officers who worked the scene deferred DUI charges against Finley pending a review of his blood alcohol content levels. While they must have suspected something out of the ordinary, they probably didn’t expect that Finley’s BAC would measure at 0.43–more than five times the legal limit for driving. According to the New York Post, a 200-pound man would have to drink 23 beers (or the equivalent in other types of alcoholic beverages) in two hours to achieve that high a BAC score.

Just how impaired was Finley? The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a chart on its website listing the different effects of various levels of alcohol in the bloodstream. In the range of 0.31 to 0.45 percent the impairments include loss of consciousness, danger of life-threatening alcohol poisoning and significant risk of death in most drinkers due to the suppression of vital life functions. In other words–Finley was fortunate not only to have survived his encounter with a guardrail but also to be alive at all.

Police eventually arrested Finley, a 25-year veteran on the force, on a charge of aggravated DUI.

If you need to develop a sound, systematic defense to a Los Angeles DUI charge, call experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock – or you’ve been so totally overwhelmed by your Los Angeles DUI that you haven’t checked CNN or your Facebook feed in months – you probably are keenly aware of the explosive Ebola outbreak in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.ebola-lessons-for-los-angeles-DUI

In mid-October, officials with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other prestigious bodies panicked and worried that the epidemic could explode outside of West Africa and create a worldwide pandemic that could lead to the infection of hundreds of thousands if not millions of individuals. Thanks to alert action on part of the U.S. Military, health authorities, and philanthropists, it at least appears that we are finally staunching the Ebola tide. However, the Ebola outbreak – in particular, how it played out in the media – holds powerful lessons for DUI defendants. Here are three.

1.    We tend to fear the disturbing and exotic as opposed to the mundane and realistic.

For instance, if you have been arrested for DUI, you might be terrified about going to jail for 2+ days. While staying in jail is not a picnic, you might be overlooking far more profound consequences… such as losing your California driver’s license for a year or longer. Imagine not being able to drive to work, take your kids to school, and even go on simple errand runs.

2.    When things go wrong in life, it’s easy to spiral out of control into a panic, but overreacting can make problems worse.

For instance, despite statistical and epidemiological evidence that closing off the U.S. borders to West African countries would not stop the spread of Ebola in the U.S. — and potentially even impede efforts to contain disease, because rescue workers and doctors could not as easily travel back and forth — many people choose not to hear these rational arguments. Likewise, many DUI defendants react in nonstrategic fashion by, for instance, waiting way too long to hire attorneys to represent them and guide them through the process.

3.    The right kind of help at the right time can make a huge difference.

If you look at the projections for Ebola before and after the massive international reaction, the data are stark. Our intervention really seems to have made a big difference. Likewise, if you find the right people, such as a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group, you may be able to powerfully affect your future, win back your freedom, and avert personal catastrophe.

Call the Kraut Law Group today for a free and confidential consultation.

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As someone who recently had the unpleasant experience of getting arrested and handcuffed for charges of driving under the influence in Los Angeles, you vividly recall the feelings of fear, frustration and hopelessness that accompanied your stop/accident and subsequent jailing.

VODKA-BOTTLES-open-container-los-angeles-DUIYet you also know that the situation could have been worst. For instance, hopefully you did not seriously injure or kill someone while DUI. And at the very least, you personally survived the incident – not necessarily a given, particularly if you had been seriously impaired.

Even if police found an open container (or two or three) in your vehicle, you have nothing on 26 year old James M. Woodward, a Massachusetts man stopped last Sunday afternoon on Route 24 in Freetown, MA for “moving vehicle violations.”

Massachusetts State Police say they found not just one or two but 42 (!!) nips of open vodka in Woodward’s truck; they arrested him and hit him with multiple charges, including lane violations, negligently driving a motor vehicle, driving DUI, and, of course, having open containers of alcohol in his vehicle.

Driving DUI under any circumstances can be devastating, even if you didn’t violate multiple laws or engage in dubious or reckless behavior after your stop. Even if this is your first time, you can still face a panoply of charges, such as:

•    Driver’s license suspension
•    Forced alcohol school
•    Probation
•    Fines and fees
•    Legal costs
•    Spike in your insurance rates
•    Job loss
•    Mandatory installation of interlock ignition device (IID) in your car
•    Enhanced punishments if you hurt someone

Of course, all is not lost. You may be able to get the charges dismissed entirely or plead them to down to lesser charges, such as wet reckless. Call a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer with the Kraut Law Group right now to set up a time to speak with attorney Michael Kraut about what you can do to defend your interests, protect your rights, and minimize the punishments and other negative repercussions in your life.

 

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dui-manslaughterLos Angeles DUI manslaughter charges are incredibly serious but also surprisingly diverse.

Let’s say you’ve never driven DUI before, and you didn’t engage in an act of gross negligence, like driving 100 miles the wrong way on the freeway. But you did get into a DUI accident that caused someone to die. You could still go to jail for a long time, lose your license, and face an array of other punishments.

However, prosecutors could try to convince the court that you engaged in a more serious crime — “gross vehicular manslaughter” — which can lead to even steeper punishments.

And if you had been convicted of a prior DUI — and you had signed a document known as a Watson Advisement, which indicates that you understand the lethality of driving DUI –prosecutors can even go after you for an even more intense count, known as DUI Murder.

Bearing that in mind, let’s reflect on a tragic case in Anaheim. On October 18, a 10-year-old boy died in a multi-car DUI-related collision at North Euclid Street and West Oklahoma Avenue, per Anaheim Police Department reports. A black pickup truck smashed into the boy’s Toyota Camry from behind, throwing the vehicle into another car. Everyone in the Camry suffered critical injuries, and the 10-year-old boy died at a local hospital. Los Angeles police later arrested Gary S. Hunt, the driver of the black pickup truck.

The accident moderately injured the driver of the third car.

Whether Hunt actually had been under the influence of alcohol or not, he could face serious criminal and civil charges. The media coverage understandingly focuses on the awful tragedy that befell Ramirez and his family, but it’s important to appreciate that DUI crashes also devastate the lives of people charged with crimes.

For instance, perhaps Hunt also has children, who now may be forced to deal with the fact that their dad could go to prison for many years.

To respond conscientiously, compassionately and effectively to complex criminal charges, contact a Los Angeles DUI injury defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group right now to schedule a consultation with former prosecutor, Michael Kraut.

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A competent, motivated Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer can do a lot to help you fight your charges and help you get your life back together. For instance, he or she can:lawyer-superhero

•    Contest evidence in your case;
•    Challenge the Constitutionality of your stop or arrest;
•    Nitpick (to your benefit) the documentation or procedures that the police used before, during, or after your arrest;
•    Engage in sensitive but effective negotiations with prosecutors to reduce your sentence and potentially get you into an alternative program, so that you can avoid the most nasty types of punishments, such as license suspensions, long jail sentences, mandatory IID installation in your car, and the like;
•    Connect you with resources to manage congruent problems in your life that might have caused you to drive DUI;
•    Act as a coach and mentor and answer your questions throughout your case, so that you feel in control and ready for whatever the prosecution throws your way.

But although a properly equipped Los Angeles DUI defense attorney can do a lot for you, he or she is ultimately limited. For instance, if you have a serious problem with alcohol or drugs — and, for whatever reason, you do not respond well to therapy or treatment — your attorney can’t compel you to make smart decisions and avoid putting yourself in harm’s way.

If you’ve “gotten in with a bad crowd” — If your boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with you — if your boss fires you — if your school expels you — your attorney can’t do much. And if your auto insurance company takes a look at your DUI conviction and decides to double your rates, unless the insurance company violated the law… again, there is little that your attorney can do.

The point in highlighting these limitations is not to dissuade you from getting in touch with somebody but rather to hammer home that you need to take responsibility for your situation.

That said, you can benefit hugely from connecting with Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut of the Los Angeles’s Kraut Law Group today for a free consultation about your Los Angeles DUI defense.

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