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Motorists arrested on a charge of DUI in Los Angeles know that they’ll have to pay the price in fines, loss of license or even jail time. When a court convicts a motorist of causing a death while driving under the influence, the penalties will be much worse. Sometimes the accused driver decides not to stick around to see what’s going to happen. But the police may nab him somewhere down the road.alcantar-DUI

It took almost six years for officers to catch up with Ramiro Alcantar, formerly of Joliet, Illinois. In 2009 Alcantar drove his Dodge Ram van into the oncoming lane of traffic, hitting motorcyclist Caesar Vallejo, who died of his injuries a few weeks later. The investigating cops found a half-empty can of beer in Alcantar’s van; he smelled of alcohol and failed the initial DUI testing. Turns out he was also uninsured.

The cops threw the book at Alcantar, charging him with DUI/alcohol, DUI/drugs and DUI/combination alcohol and drugs. But after a relative posted $5,000 bail, Alcantar fled the area, supposedly seeking refuge in Mexico.

If Alcantar did leave the country at that time, he eventually returned. Police picked him up in Springdale, Arkansas on February 18, 2015. He’s now back in Illinois, where he had a formal arraignment on the 2009 charges. He’s unlikely to get bail this time around, however.

If a court convicts Alcantar of aggravated DUI, which is a felony, he could be looking at three to seven years in prison.

Respond strategically to your arrest and charges by calling a former Senior Deputy D.A. and highly successful Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group today for a complimentary consultation.

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Although it’s tough to admit you’re too old to drive safely, responsible seniors know when it’s time to give up their licenses for the sake of the other motorists who are sharing the road. Medicines, both prescription and non-prescription, can be a problem for older Americans. Those medicines may impair their motor skills and lead to charges like a Los Angeles DUI--even when they haven’t had a drop of alcohol. It just becomes easier to leave the driving to other folks.gilbert-maier-DUI-arrest

It’s somewhat ironic, therefore, that a busload of day trippers from the Snohomish Senior Center in Washington State had the misfortune of having 45-year old Gilbert Maier behind the wheel of their van. Any one of them would have probably done a better job at driving.

The 11 seniors were passengers on a van traveling to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon, Washington. Maier was the driver, but it soon became clear to the terrified travelers that the senior center could have done without this volunteer. Even before he got to the Interstate, Maier ran two stop signs and hit curbs, apparently talking on the phone as he was driving. He even swerved briefly into the wrong lane.

The passengers eventually spotted a state trooper over by the side of the road and demanded that Maier stop. He almost hit the cop as he complied.

Police officers took him off to jail, where they determined that a combination of prescription drugs–antidepressants and pain killers–contributed to Maier’s erratic driving. They charged him with DUI.

This was Maier’s second arrest for DUI. The Snomish Senior Center did run a required background check before letting him drive the van, but an earlier charge in 2014 didn’t show up on Maier’s driving record because it was a misdemeanor.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.

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Cops in the City of Angels could probably tell many tales about unusual incidents that involve cases of DUI in Los Angeles. But their peers in San Diego also have some interesting tales that they could add to the mix.15-freeway-dui-los-angeles

A photographer with KTLA Channel 5 in San Diego happened to be on the scene when an unidentified young woman stalled her car on the 15 Freeway during the early morning hours of April 9th. He recorded events as the young woman got out of the car and ran across traffic lanes to the news station’s van. She asked for jumper cables and assistance in getting her vehicle started. Meanwhile, cars on the freeway had to swerve to avoid hitting the stopped car.

Although two other motorists pulled over to help, the woman made her way back to her own car and sat in it despite the danger posed by other vehicles traveling along the road. One Good Samaritan even tried to help out by directing traffic away from the car, but had to stop when was almost hit himself. As heard in the audio portion of the video, the photojournalist knocked on the car’s window repeatedly and urged the woman to get out of the car so she wouldn’t get hurt.

Fortunately, the California Highway Patrol arrived on the scene before other vehicles struck the woman, her car or any of her would-be helpers. They charged the stranded stroller with driving under the influence.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

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Young people are particularly prone to making stupid decisions that can have long-lasting consequences. Sometimes two poor decisions combined can result in a tragedy. It happens way too often with Los Angeles DUI arrests, and it happens all over the country as well.girl-in-road

No one will ever know for sure just why 13-year old Trinity Bachman decided to sit in the middle of a road in Apopka, Florida, on February 28th. The teen had argued with her mother and her sister about who was going to sit in the front seat of their vehicle. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the fight ended with Trinity refusing to get into the car. She took off, saying she was going to walk home.

After spending some time searching from Trinity, her mom finally found her sitting in the middle North Christiana Avenue near Oak Street in Apopka, Florida. Fearing for her daughter’s safety, her mom, Janice Pedroza, stopped her own vehicle, put on the flashing lights and tried to get Trinity back into the car.

That’s when the second dumb decision converged with the first. Mackenzi Sue-Rose Miller, a 21-year old, apparently decided to drive her Nissan Sentra even though she had too much to drink.  She traveled down North Christina Avenue at just the wrong moment.

Although Pedroza tried to signal Miller to keep away, the young woman hit Trinity’s mom first and then Trinity. Pedroza survived, but doctors declared Trinity dead about 20 minutes after the crash occurred.

Police charged Miller with DUI and DUI/personal injury after tests showed her blood alcohol level was 0.114–well above Florida’s 0.08 limit.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.

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A college football player may soon learn what many Hollywood and sports stars already know after being charged with a DUI in Los Angeles: being a celebrity doesn’t always gain you special treatment.FSU-football-DUI-los-angeles

Florida State University cornerback P.J. Williams has garnered some impressive stats on the football field. In 2014 he earned distinction as a member of the All-ACC First Team and the USA Today All-America Second Team. Sportswriters considered him a top pick for the NFL pro draft this spring.

But Williams may have jeopardized his chances with an unwelcome addition to his off-the-field record. Florida State University police picked him up on April 3rd at 3:30 a.m. and charged him with driving under the influence. TMZ reports that Williams made an illegal left turn onto Dewey Street and drifted over the lane divider several times. When police questioned Williams, they discovered that he was using a rental SUV—and was driving it on a suspended license.

Apparently hoping for a break, Williams reportedly told police he had played football for FSU, and that he just wanted to go home. But officers weren’t impressed. Williams then refused to take either a Breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test. At that point, the officers took him to jail, charging him with DUI.

Williams may have had good reason to expect the cops to take it easy on him. A report in the New York Times last year said that in October 2014, Williams drove his car into the path of another vehicle and fled the scene. Tallahassee police originally called it a hit and run—which would have meant criminal charges—but the police apparently changed their minds and Williams got off with two traffic tickets instead.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

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It’s not unusual–in fact it’s typical–to hear reports of unusual arrests for DUI in Los Angeles and in other cities at holiday times. But these two cases make you wonder if there was something strange in the jelly beans this year.miranda-DUI-los-angeles

ABC Action News in Tampa, Florida, reported that police arrested John Vu Lam for DUI early Easter morning. The 21-year old man was driving the wrong way on Armenia Avenue when a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper spotted him.

That wasn’t Lam’s only problem, however. He handed the officer a paper license in someone else’s name, only he couldn’t tell them that person’s birth date. (Lam actually had his own driver’s license, but the state had suspended it.) Lam’s blood alcohol content came in under the legal limit, and he refused a urine test, but officers arrested him anyway because of his glassy eyes and slurred speech. That was enough under Florida law–and under the laws of all states–to allow troopers to charge him with driving on a suspended license and giving a fake name to law enforcement officers.

Meanwhile, up north in Norwalk, Connecticut, a man picked up for DUI asked officers to cut him a break and give him a ride home. This was after 34-year-old George Atavia sped away from officers attempting to stop him, ran three red lights and crossed over into oncoming traffic. When officers finally brought Atavia to a halt, he apparently informed them that he had already had two DUI arrests.

Once police took Atvia to the station, he asked for a Miranda rights form in Spanish and then in German, apparently to slow down the charging process. It didn’t work; police booked him for driving under the influence and other related charges.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.

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The LAPD may have cracked down on motorists who were partying a little too freely on March 17th, but there were no Los Angeles DUI arrests that were quite as news-making as the chase near Annapolis, Maryland. It involved three other cars, a vehicle fire and a police helicopter.st-paddy-dui-los-angeles-arrest

According to the Annapolis Patch, police officers spotted Marvis Montrell Pollock’s 2008 Honda Accord as it was approaching the DUI checkpoint they had set up to catch people celebrating the holiday with too many drinks. After almost hitting the checkpoint, Pollock swerved onto a nearby highway, quickly pursued by a marked police car. When the officers caught up, Pollock took off again, leading them on a 15-minute chase through an area that included a community college. To avoid causing injuries in a high-speed chase, the police cars eventually dropped back, letting a police helicopter follow the car from overhead.

Pollock didn’t come to a stop, however, until he smashed into three cars waiting at a red light near the U.S. Naval Academy’s football stadium. It was then that his Accord burst into flames.

To top it off, the 34-year-old Pollock didn’t even have a driver’s license.

Unlike some people who have overindulged during the holiday, Pollock should have little trouble remembering the events of this St. Patrick’s Day. He’ll have an arrest record to remember it by. Police have filed multiple charges against him, including driving under the influence (of drugs, not alcohol); four counts of assault (since there were a total of four people in the cars he hit); and fleeing from police.

Do you need help defending against a serious charge? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group immediately.

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Late last year, a grand jury in Arapahoe County, Colorado, indicted Denny Lovem on several charges related to a DUI incident. That kind of judicial action wouldn’t normally attract a great deal of attention unless the accused was a politician or a celebrity, but this story received extensive coverage in the state. The reason for Lovem’s notoriety? The 57-year-old has been arrested 20 times on DUI charges but has never been faced felony charges because of the provisions of Colorado’s DUI law. (It’s not like that in California, where anyone arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the state could face be looking at felony charges if the DUI incident results in someone’s death or injury.)george-brauchler

A local district attorney in Colorado, George Brauchler, expressed his frustration with the Colorado statutes, which don’t allow judges to sentence repeat DUI offenders to more than a year in jail. So Brauchler sought more prison time for Lovem in a different way. He asked the grand jury to indict Lovem on nine charges, including attempted first degree assault and attempted manslaughter.

Lovem was first charged with driving under the influence in 1983. In the latest incident, the habitual offender allegedly hit a car and then drove off without stopping. When police caught up with him, he admitted that he probably shouldn’t have been driving.
The attention surrounding Lovem’s arrest may have helped accomplish what frustrated prosecutors like Brauchler have been unable to do. A bill making some third DUI offenses and all fourth DUI offenses a felony is currently making its way through the Colorado House of Representatives. Anyone convicted could face up to seven years in prison. The bill appears to have a greater chance of success thanks to testimony presented to a legislative committee by families of DUI victims.

Respond strategically to your arrest and charges by calling a former Senior Deputy D.A. and highly successful Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group today for a complimentary consultation.

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Drivers found guilty of a Los Angeles DUI offense may have to get an interlock ignition device (ILL) installed in their vehicles. While the equipment will prevent them from driving under the influence, having this device wired into their cars can be embarrassing not only for the driver but also for family members, when they have to explain it to their friends, their dates or even their bosses.breath-test-los-angeles-dui

So what can these drivers tell their passengers? The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has produced two tongue-in-cheek videos featuring a man who comes up with some pretty creative and unusual excuses for why he is breathing into the device:

• “This raises the antenna.”
• “It helps blow up the tires.”
• “It’s satellite radio–a new one. No one knows the brand.”
• “Recycling oxygen–you know, for the environment.”
• “It’s a secret spy device.”
• “It’s my herbal medicine delivery device.”
• “It’s a lip balm.”
• “It’s an old-fashioned cell phone.”
• “My mom made it for me–a homemade CB radio.”

Of course, there really isn’t anything amusing about having to put an interlock ignition device into a vehicle. For one thing, they’re expensive, costing from $75 to $150 for installation and $60 to $80 a month to operate and calibrate.
People charged with DUI who live in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare Counties know this first hand, because under a pilot state program they must install ILLs if they’re convicted of the offense. But drivers in other Golden State counties may not be off the hook for long. California State Senator Jerry Hill is working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and law enforcement officials on a bill that would extend that requirement statewide.

To respond effectively to your charges, call a qualified Los Angeles DUI lawyer with the Kraut Law Group today to schedule a free consultation.

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Brookhaven, Mississippi, may not be a trendsetter in many areas, but when it comes to enforcing laws against DUI drivers, the town is taking an unusual step—hiring a police officer whose main responsibility will be traffic and DUI enforcement. If other jurisdictions throughout the country copy that action, more Californians could end up requiring the services of a Los Angeles DUI attorney.police-officer-los-angeles-DUI

An article on DailyLeader.com, which serves southwest Mississippi, reports that the Brookhaven Police Department is hoping for state aid—specifically a grant from the Mississippi Office of Public Safety—to fund the new position. The BPD Commander, David Johnson, said the department was concerned because of the increasing number of DUI fatalities in the area. The BPD made 28 arrests for DUI in all of 2014, and so far in 2015 it has flagged five motorists for DUI.

There have also been 172 traffic accidents this year.

Other police departments are using special training to boost the number of DUI arrests in their jurisdictions. In Windmere, Florida, a wealthy suburb of Orlando, the police department increased the number of people charged with DUI by almost 500 percent in 2014. They collared 59 DUI drivers that year, compared to only 10 in 2013.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Windmere Police Chief David Ogden instituted new training for police officers on DUI protocols. The officers have learned how to follow procedures that help establish probable cause for such arrests. The department has also hosted the National Highway Safety Administration’s three-day course on DUI enforcement.

Officers aren’t the only ones getting specialized training. In Riverside County, California, a specially-trained DUI Vertical Prosecution Team handles such cases from arrest through prosecution. This program, funded by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, underscores the importance of having specially trained and experienced attorneys representing defendants in DUI cases.

Locating a seasoned and qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer is a critical part of the process of reclaiming your life, your time and your peace of mind. Call ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut for a free consultation right now.

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