Posted by

Judges will often waive jail time and place drivers on probation when they’re charged with a first-offense DUI in Los Angeles. But some people don’t appreciate that kind of leniency; they take advantage of it. What’s worse, the ingrates often don’t receive any punishment.ethan-couch-dui-los-angeles

Ethan Couch of Tarrant County, Texas, made international headlines after his attorneys claimed that he was suffering from “affluenza” when he killed four people in a horrific DUI accident in 2013. (According to the lawyer, Couch wasn’t to blame because his family’s money had shielded him from the consequences of other bad behavior.)

Continue reading →

Posted by

Judges will often waive jail time and place drivers on probation when they’re charged
with a first-offense DUI in Los Angeles. But some people don’t appreciate that kind of leniency; they take advantage of it. What’s worse, the ingrates often don’t receive any punishment.

Ethan Couch of Tarrant County, Texas, made international headlines after his attorneys claimed that he was suffering from “affluenza” when he killed four people in a horrific DUI accident in 2013. (According to the lawyer, Couch wasn’t to blame because his family’s money had shielded him from the consequences of other bad behavior.)

Instead of sending him to juvenile detention, the judge sentenced Couch to 10 years’ probation. That decision drew a lot of criticism, which now appears justified. In December 2015, videos of Couch playing beer pong surfaced online. Since Couch knew drinking violated his probation, he and his mother fled to Mexico. After a two-week manhunt, Mexican police captured Couch and eventually extradited him to the U.S.

The judge originally assigned Couch’s case to juvenile court, so he currently remains in custody in a juvenile housing unit. However, since Couch is now 18, prosecutors are pushing for him to go into the adult justice system. Couch’s attorney said the teen won’t fight that move.

Legal experts seem to differ on what will happen next. Some say that Couch will likely serve 120 days in jail for violating probation, and then he’ll be able to finish serving his 10 years of probation. (Another parole violation would land Couch behind bars long term.) But one former prosecutor, quoted on Fox News, believes that the judge will lock Couch away, anywhere from two to 80 years. (Each manslaughter conviction carried a 10-year maximum term.)

That’s more time than he might spend in jail in California under similar circumstances. A charge of gross vehicular manslaughter under California Penal Code 192 (c) brings a maximum six years behind bars.

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

Posted by

When police arrest a driver on charges of DUI in Los Angeles and causing a death, you can generally assume that motorist was behind the wheel when the accident occurred. But James Ryan, a 28-year-old part-time student in New York, could face up to 25 years in jail for causing the death of a police officer, even though he wasn’t driving at the moment the accident occurred. A jury may soon be deciding his fate.James-Ryan-DUI

According to multiple media accounts of the October 2012 accident, Ryan clipped a BMW on the Long Island Expressway and then stopped his vehicle in the high occupancy lane (HOV). That’s when another car hit his. Ryan got out of his Toyota after the second accident and waited by the side of the road for the police to arrive.

Nassau County Police Officer Joseph Olivieri pulled up on the right shoulder of the road, then crossed over and stood close to Ryan’s car in the HOV lane. Another vehicle, an SUV, slammed into Ryan’s car and into Officer Olivieri, killing him. Ryan was unhurt, but other police officers at the scene measured his blood alcohol content at 0.13.
Continue reading →

Posted by

Residents of Southern California may have to worry about drought, but there’s one problem we’re not going to face. Even in these times of climate change, police won’t be charging any drivers for a DUI in Los Angeles while a blizzard is going on.blizzard-los-angeles-DUI

That’s not the case in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, however. The snow that those regions received during at the end of January apparently didn’t deter drivers from getting behind the wheel while they were under the influence. Considering the amount of snow that came down in a short time, they were lucky (or maybe unlucky) to be able to get out onto the streets.

In Delaware, police had parked an official vehicle in the roadway at the scene of a domestic dispute. (With more than a foot of snow on the ground already, they didn’t have a choice of parking areas.) That’s when Daryl Holcomb, age 33, allegedly plowed his sports utility vehicle right into their patrol car. Fortunately, the officers suffered no injuries. Holcomb, on the other hand, is looking at charges for driving under the influence, failure to have insurance identification and operating a motor vehicle during a declared emergency.

Continue reading →

Posted by

While city police officers were tackling the typical arrests for DUI in Los Angeles, law enforcement officers in other states were coping with some more atypical incidents.Jessica-Asia-Steinhauser-DUI

In Tucson, Arizona, a woman who gained national fame for wearing a colander on her head in her driver’s license picture is getting a bit more (probably unwanted) attention. According to the Arizona Daily Star website, Jessica “Asia” Steinhauser had traveled by car to the offices of her local school district with her 10-year-old daughter in the vehicle. It didn’t take the district staff long to figure out there was a problem; Steinhauser smelled like alcohol and passed out on the office sofa shortly after her arrival. Police arrived at the scene and arrested her.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Drivers who have neglected to show up in court for a hearing on a Los Angeles DUI charge may find the police knocking at their doors. With the help of some funding from the federal government, several jurisdictions in California are rounding up people who have outstanding warrants for DUI-related cases.

los-angeles-DUI-sweep

Last December, police officers in Petaluma did a DUI warrant sweep. They attempted to contact 49 people arrested for DUI who hadn’t appeared on their court date or who had not complied with the terms of their sentence or paid the fines they owed for DUI.
By the time police ended their work for the evening, they had made five arrests; four people with warrants for failure to appear and one with an outstanding warrant for driving on a suspended license. While the courts gave most new appearance dates, police took one woman into custody, where she remains held without bail.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Small words can have a big impact. Just ask the thousands of drivers in Missouri who could see their DUI convictions thrown out of court thanks to the substitution of “or” for “and” in the instructions for Breathalyzer calibration. If a judge made a similar ruling regarding DUIs in Los Angeles, lawyers could submit dozens of requests to have their clients’ convictions overturned.Missouri Supreme Court-DUI

The ruling stems from an incident on July 12, 2013, when Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, police arrested Kristin Nicole Stiers for driving while intoxicated. When Stier’s attorney, Matt Fry, began looking into the results of the breathalyzer test—which registered her blood alcohol content as above the legal limit—he found that the state agency responsible for the calibration directions had made a mistake in its directions to state police.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Although some arrests for DUI in Los Angeles get big play in the media—especially if there’s some celebrity or prominent politician involved—most drivers manage to keep their incidents fairly private.  DUI-license-plate

But some communities in the U.S. believe that publicizing the names of people charged with DUI will help discourage the practice of getting behind the wheel when you’ve had too much to drink. The theory is that most people will be careful to avoid the notoriety that comes with such an arrest.  If you lived in Helena, Montana, for example, you probably wouldn’t want your name to appear in the Independent Record’s weekly listing of people convicted of DUI offenses. (They even list convictions for driving with a high level of THC—marijuana’s active ingredient—in your bloodstream.)

Continue reading →

Posted by

People tend to have pretty strong opinions when they hear about particularly horrendous accidents involving Los Angeles DUI drivers. It’s no different in Denver, where an e-letter on the Denver Post website complains about the light sentence meted out to a woman who killed another motorist in a DUI accident back last April.april-wilson-dui

April Wilson, 36, had a blood alcohol content of more than .21 when she killed 27-year-old Nathan Real, who was riding his motorcycle on the opposite side of the road. Wilson was allegedly traveling more than 60 mph in a 30 mph zone when she crossed over three lanes of traffic and slammed into Real. The collision sent Real’s cycle into a concrete trash can; he ended up on the ground, fatally injured.

According to a story in the Post, Wilson had been drinking at a bar near the crash site and had promised the bartender that she wouldn’t drive home. While facts presented in the media suggest that Wilson might have been responsible for the accident, she wasn’t the only one reportedly intoxicated that night. Police said that Real was ALSO driving under the influence.

Continue reading →

Posted by

An arrest for DUI in Los Angeles or any other jurisdiction isn’t a good way to start a new year. But a woman in Oswego, Illinois, found herself in hot water on January 1st thanks to a little too much celebrating on New Year’s Eve.

Paula Mason, age 50, apparently lost control of her car and drove over a wall around a retaining pond around 1:45 a.m. Witnesses to the crash called Oswego police to report that the vehicle was in the water.Paula-Mason-dui

Luckily for Mason, who was trapped inside her vehicle, police responded quickly to the scene. The car was located about 100 feet offshore and sinking. A Kendall County deputy braved the frigid pond temperatures to swim out to Mason, but it took several attempts before the deputy could break out the rear window of her vehicle and pull Mason out. Both the deputy and an Oswego police officer who assisted in the rescue ended up receiving treatment at a local hospital.

Continue reading →