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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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Are people in the U.S. without proper documentation getting a pass when it comes to getting picked up on DUI charges? Judicial Watch, a political watchdog group, claims that directives from the U.S. government encourage officials to look the other way when it comes to arresting illegals suspected of DUI along the U.S. and Mexican border. (Too bad such protections aren’t offered to southern Californians, who usually need to hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney if they’re suspected of driving under the influence.)border-los-angeles-DUI

An article in the online Examiner quoted sections of memos to Border Patrol agents from the Department of Homeland Security. One sentence reads, “There is no legal requirement for a Border Patrol agent to intervene in a state crime, including DUI.” Another reads, “There is no duty to detain the alcohol-impaired individual, but if you do this option can raise potential liability for the agent or the agency.”

Border patrol agents could be forgiven for thinking they were getting mixed messages; in the same memo, DHS said that agents should cooperate with local and state officials if those agencies notify them they need help with a violation of state law. Apparently, however, federal agents are not supposed to act on their own in such circumstances, even if they observe someone breaking the law.

This position seems particularly unfair when you consider the penalties that California drivers convicted of DUI can face. A first-time offender may be looking at fines and penalties of up to $1,000, four days to six months in jail and up to 10 months license suspension. Second-time offenders may have to serve up to a year in jail, pay up to $1,800 in fines and lose their license for two years.

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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The cases handled by a Los Angeles DUI attorney can be unusual, but other areas of the country have their fair share of stories that make you think, “What could that driver have been thinking?”  Here are a few recent examples:secret-service-dui

•    Maryland media reported in February on the arrest of a school bus driver for DUI. What made this story really unusual—and a little scary—is that the driver was driving erratically on the busy Baltimore Beltway, on her way to pick up children for a field trip to Washington D.C.  Police pulled the driver over after receiving several frantic 911 calls from motorists who observed the bus swerving all over the road. Officers found four empty, full or partially full containers of alcohol and beer when they searched the bus.

•    Where do Secret Service agents go when they’ve had a little too much to drink? The Washington Post reported in March that four senior agents, including one who helps guard the President, decided to head back to the White House after partying a little too much. Unfortunately for them, they ended up driving a government car into a security barricade at the President’s home. Fortunately for them, the security supervisor that night ordered subordinates to let them go without testing them for BAC.

•    Then there was the Zamboni driver who was smoothing the rink at the Fargo, North Dakota, South Sports Arena for an ice hockey game between the Davies High School and Williston High School girls’ teams. The driver apparently had a difficult time keeping the machine in a straight line; after observing him at work, concerned spectators called police who arrested him for allegedly driving under the influence. The driver has pleaded not guilty, so it will be up to the courts to decide if a DUI charge applies when a vehicle is moving on ice.

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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While we see a fair number of Los Angeles DUI arrests today, the city doesn’t hold the distinction of being the home of the first-ever arrest for DUI driving.First-DUI-in-history

That dubious honor goes to London, where a taxicab driver, George Smith, slammed his cab into a building back in 1897. Smith didn’t contest the charge, and when he pleaded guilty, police fined him 25 shillings. (It’s hard to get an equivalent in today’s U.S. dollars, but one online expert puts it at about $17.50.)

Depending on the source you believe, either New York or Massachusetts passed the first laws in the U.S. against driving under the influence, around 1910. But those laws did not actually define what constituted DUI driving. It took another 25 years – until 1938 — before a joint committee of the American Medical Association and the National Safety Council set that limit at 0.15% blood alcohol content. Those BAC limits have been dramatically reduced since that time.

Even as late as 1980, not all states had adopted laws banning DUI. In January 1985, Los Angeles Times reporter J. Michael Kennedy wrote that “drinking and driving is legal in 26 states, according to statistics provided by the National Safety Council. Drivers and passengers can drink as they roll down the road in Maine and Mississippi, Vermont and Wyoming, so long as they are not legally drunk.” He also cited Texas, Florida and Maryland as states that had no laws against driving while drinking.

Californian Cindy Lightner, who lost her daughter to a DUI driver, helped change that with the founding of Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) in the early 1980s. Since that time, the organization has successfully lobbied for tougher DUI laws throughout the U.S. Today, the Golden State has strict standards; even a first offender can get up to six months in jail, pay a hefty fine and lose his or her license for up to 10 months.

Do you need help defending against a drug or DUI charge? Michael Kraut of Los Angeles’s Kraut Law Group is a trustworthy, highly qualified former prosecutor. Call a Los Angeles DUI attorney today to strategize for your defense seriously.

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The Los Angeles DUI community is abuzz about two recent, highly publicized DUI cases involving additional allegations of manslaughter and illegal weapons possession.Richard-Carillo-DUI

Officers arrested Nevada Legislature assemblyman, Richard Carillo, on Feb. 27. They found Carillo parked in his car just north of the state capitol. The arrest report indicated that officers found Carillo asleep with his hands and feet in driving position. The car was still running.

The officers also allegedly found a loaded .22-caliber weapon in his possession at the time. The assemblyman did have a concealed weapons permit; however, under state law, no one can carry a weapon under the influence. The charges against him include a misdemeanor DUI and weapon’s possession charge for carrying while intoxicated. Carillo has not made a public statement about the arrest yet.

Meanwhile, in Florida, 24-year-old Shameka Jones crashed her SUV. According to reports, her vehicle rocketed into the air after she swerved onto the shoulder. The SUV rolled multiple times and hit nearby trees. Jones’ SUV contained 12 people total, 3 adults and 9 children, ranging in age from 6 months to 10 years. A 2-year-old died, and all other passengers suffered injuries from the accident. Jones faces charges for DUI manslaughter.

These two cases highlight the complexities of DUI law. Contributing factors often lead to additional charges that are difficult to fight. The number of people involved in Jones’ accident will obviously profoundly impact the legal outcome and possible sentencing. Carillo’s weapons charge could complicate his DUI defense and challenge his ability to protect his job as a legislator.

DUIs affect more than a person’s criminal record. They also impact personal and professional lives. Court cases for DUI often take several months, even years, to complete.

Anyone facing a compounded DUI charge would be wise to consult with a qualified, experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney, who can help you understand the relevant laws as well as your rights and determine the best course of action.

Designing and executing an effective defense against DUI charges (even simple ones) is not intuitive. Fortunately, you can trust the seasoned, highly successful Michael Kraut. Call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles with nearly two decades of experience.

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The Los Angeles DUI community urges all those stopped by officers to cooperate and avoid doing dumb things that can make your case worse and add to your charges. Two DUI cases reported out of Scranton, PA and Charlottesville, VA highlight the dangers of driving under the influence. DUI cases involving college and professional sports players appear in the media almost every week. Unfortunately, the athletes’ high profiles mean everyone notices when they make mistakes.Singletary-Sean-DUI-los-angeles

In Scranton, Sean Singletary now faces charges for DUI after an arrest on March 1. Singletary has played basketball at UVA’s notable program as well as at the professional level. Officers pulled him over after noticing erratic driving patterns, and they arrested him after he refused to take a breathalyzer test. Any convictions could obviously affect Singletary’s future in basketball.

In Charlottesville, David Turano recently pled guilty to a 2014 DUI accident that killed a 12-year-old boy. Turano plead guilty to charges of motor vehicle homicide, aggravated assault, and DUI. Turano crashed into Leonard Zupon’s car during Labor Day Weekend 2014. Zupon’s son, Lenny Jr., died from the injuries. Turano fled the scene, but police ultimately found and arrested him. Zupon is still recovering from accident related injuries. Turano faces 5-12 years in prison for his actions.

Alcohol or drugs in the driver’s system can fuel reckless driving. The legal repercussions of a DUI incident or accident can be profound in and of themselves. But punishments can get much worse when drivers flee from the scene. The case in Charlottesville illustrates the importance of remaining at the scene of an accident, even if you fear the consequences.

These two DUI cases rhyme in many ways. Both feature instances of erratic or reckless driving fueled (allegedly in Singletary’s case) by alcohol. However, in one case, the driver hit a vehicle, causing the death of a child. If you face charges for an unintentional death, get in touch with a qualified Los Angles DUI defense attorney to protect your rights and legal options.

Do you need assistance constructing an appropriate response to a DUI charge? Look to the Kraut Law Group’s Michael Kraut for insight and peace of mind. Mr. Kraut is an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.

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Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys often strive to remind the general public that no individual receives special treatment for DUI. Cynthia Imperato, a 57 year old Florida circuit judge, now faces suspension, a $5,000 fine, and a satisfactory alcohol evaluation before she can resume her role on the bench.cynthia-Imperato-DUI

Law enforcement arrested Imperato in November 2013 for DUI and reckless driving in Boca Raton. She allegedly refused both the breathalyzer and field sobriety tests. In December, she received 2 convictions for charges of DUI and reckless driving. The courts sentenced her to almost a month of house arrest and a year of probation.

Imperato also faced a DUI conviction 27 years ago. Early in March, the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which is responsible for assessing a judge’s misconduct, determined that the conviction did not affect Imperato’s role as a judge. She can return to her work after completing her sentence.

Judge Imperato accepts that her behavior on the night of the arrest was unethical. Some have perceived her mention of her role as a judge that night as an attempt to “obtain preferential treatment.” The judge admits that she should have been more compliant and should have submitted to a breathalyzer test.

Law enforcement officials, judges, and lawyers face the same penalties as the general public for driving under the influence. This case shows that the system can exact justice in an impartial way and proves that every citizen can face equal scrutiny under the law.

The story of Imperato’s arrest also illustrates how a person’s prior character and behavior can affect the outcome of a case. Her proven ability in the courtroom and reputation in the community both affected her sentencing. Everyone makes mistakes, but a DUI charge or conviction does not necessarily have to overshadow your life.

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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