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When you report the news—whether you’re describing a fire in Chicago or a high-profile arrest for DUI in Los Angeles—you don’t want to end up as a story on the 6 p.m. broadcast. But that’s just what’s happened to a couple of TV reporters in the last few weeks.Amanda-Davis-DUI

On June 15th, cops arrested Atlanta news anchor Amanda Davis on DUI charges for the second time in less than two years. Davis had been driving her Mercedes E350 down the southbound lane of Atlanta Road, but reports say that she experienced trouble staying in her lane. An officer who pulled her over said that she staggered out of her vehicle.

It was a case of particularly poor timing for Davis, who had been scheduled to make her return to the screen on that very same night. Earlier in June, in a radio interview, she had said her previous arrest for DUI driving was awful. This latest one probably wasn’t any better.

Less than a week later, in Washington State, police picked up KEPR Action News anchor Terry Chick. The 61-year-old allegedly had been drinking in a bar, and despite protests from other patrons, chose to drive off in his Mazda. He backed into a parked truck, but then took off instead of stopping. Witnesses alerted the cops, who followed Chick’s car and saw it swerving on the road. When the police stopped him, Chick allegedly didn’t do well on the roadside tests, and he refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Chick had a previous arrest for DUI in 2011. He pleaded guilty, and the court sentenced him to serve five years’ probation.

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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Police officers are constantly on the lookout for drivers whom they can charge with a DUI in Los Angeles. So the last thing that impaired motorists usually want to do is to call attention to themselves and their driving. But in two recent cases, that’s just what happened—once accidentally and once deliberately.voluntary-los-angeles-DUI-arrest

Pedro S. Garcia of White Plains, New York, allegedly gained the notice two officers by almost hitting them. They had been directing traffic at the scene of a medical emergency when they saw a driver accelerate towards them, stopping just before he reached them.

When the cops investigated, they found that Garcia smelled like alcohol, had watery eyes and was speaking slowly and deliberately. When they gave him a field sobriety test, he flunked. The officers charged Garcia with DUI and hauled him off to jail, but he was soon released on a $220 bond.

In Hopkinsville, Kentucky, however, the police didn’t have to go searching for the intoxicated driver; he came right to them and literally asked to be arrested. Christopher Stewart, age 26, drove to the police station in this small town on June 16th and almost hit a parked police cruiser. He then got out of his vehicle and told officers that he was ready to go to jail for DUI.

Stewart told police that he drank a pint of alcohol before coming to visit them, and he then tried to drink a bottle (closed) of fuel injector cleaning fluid. So the cops obliged the young man by charging him as he requested. They didn’t say whether there was a particular motive for his unusual behavior.

Do you or a family member need insight from a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney? Contact Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group to set up your free consultation.

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Hundreds of drivers found guilty of a Los Angeles DUI are getting another (unwelcome) day in court.Orange-County-Court-los-angeles-DUI

An investigation by county prosecutors and the FBI has revealed that a former court clerk may have fixed as many as 1,000 DUI and other misdemeanor traffic cases, deliberately reducing or wiping out punishments for convicted offenders while entering cases into the system.

According to news reports, the unnamed clerk in a back office in the Orange County Court House apparently altered the paperwork in hundreds of cases. The Orange County Register reported that the clerk recorded cases as dismissed when they were not and listed the wrong (reduced) penalties on case files. The phony resolutions listed in the case files meant that defendants had their punishments reduced or wiped out.

The problem came to light just three months ago, when a supervisor, doing a routine random check of case files, noticed a missing document in a DUI case. The manager went on to check all the other cases that clerk had handled, and he found inconsistencies in as many as a thousand of them.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the clerk’s actions appear to be part of a scheme that targeted Latino defendants.

The county prosecutor and the FBI, which are investigating the case, have not yet charged the clerk or anyone else in the case. The clerk no longer works for the court system, however.

Unfortunately for the defendants, they are not getting off with the lighter sentences. They have been called into court to face a judge, who is reinstating the original penalties in their cases. The judge is sending some defendants directly to jail if they have avoided serving their time so far.

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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While police have arrested drivers on a lot of different roads for a DUI in Los Angeles, it’s doubtful that they have often gone to the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport. But cops in San Diego had to head to their own city’s airport when they needed to make a DUI arrest one day last April.jet-tanker-DUI

According to NBC 7, James Stewart, employed at San Diego International Airport, may have had a couple of beers before he went on the job one evening. The problem was that his work involved driving a big truck—a 10,000-gallon jet fuel tanker. Uh oh. Stewart took the truck out on the tarmac, then stepped out of the vehicle to begin the fueling process. He allegedly staggered a bit when he walked and then fell down, waving his legs in the air before struggling up once again.

At that point, other ground workers contacted Stewart’s boss, who checked out his employee and then alerted police. The police came out and found that Steward had bloodshot eyes and smelled like alcohol. When they tested his blood alcohol content, they measured it at .24, three times the legal limit as defined by CVC 23152. Police also uncovered two empty beer bottles in the tanker he was operating. They also found that Stewart was so out of it that he didn’t realize that the tanker tuck he had driven out to fuel the plane was empty.

Stewart pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance, but he later changed his plea to guilty on a DUI misdemeanor charge. (The change in plea may have come from the broadcast of an airport surveillance system that recorded the whole incident.)

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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You can never tell what someone will do when they’re operating under the influence. Police who deal with drivers accused of Los Angeles DUI can probably tell many stories about motorists trying to flee, becoming belligerent and/or fabricating some pretty creative excuses about why they shouldn’t be arrested.captain-america-los-angeles-DUI

But it would probably be difficult for most police officers to top a recent story from Central Pennsylvania. In late May, 19-year-old Logan Shaulis allegedly imbibed a bit too freely before deciding it would be fun to set up his very own, do-it-yourself DUI checkpoint.

The website wearecentralpa.com reports that at about 3 a.m. on May 31st, Shaulis took a BB pistol, handcuffs and a portable scanner out to an intersection in Lincoln Township. He parked diagonally across the road, set out some flares, and started waving motorists over.

One motorist said that Shaulis demanded to see his driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance cards. The fake officer identified himself as Pennsylvania Police Trooper Steve Rogers. (In case you’re not familiar with The Avengers movie, that’s the name of Captain America.)

When the real cops showed up, Shaulis tried to hand the BB pistol off to the motorist he had stopped because he didn’t want to get caught with the weapon.

It didn’t take the officers long to figure out that Shaulis was under the influence, and it probably didn’t take Shaulis long to figure out that he was in big trouble. Police arrested him for DUI, carrying a firearm without a license, impersonating a public servant, harassment, disorderly conduct and several other charges.

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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California has some pretty tough consequences if you’re convicted of DUI in Los Angeles; if you’re found guilty of the offense a fourth time within ten years you can face a possible felony as well as up to five years in jail.4th-DUI-los-angeles

Until recently, Colorado had some of the laxest DUI laws in the country. The state lacked a felony provision for multiple DUI arrests; someone arrested for a fourth, fifth or six DUI would only face misdemeanor charges and a relatively short jail term.
But that’s no longer the case, thanks to continuing advocacy by family and friends of people killed and injured by DUI drivers. After years of legislative battles, the Colorado state legislature just passed a bill making a fourth DUI a felony. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law on June 1. To qualify as felony offenses, the DUI convictions don’t have to be in Colorado. If a judge or jury finds a Colorado licensed driver guilty of DUI in another state, that counts towards their total of DUI convictions.

Fox 31 Denver reports that the new law doesn’t require judges to treat the fourth offense as a felony, but it does give them the power to do so. The judges are somewhat limited by the new law, however; they can apply the felony penalty only if it appears unlikely that treatment for alcohol problems will help the convicted driver.

The bill will become law in two months, unless Colorado citizens unhappy with its provisions collect the more than 86,000 signatures required to put the issue on the ballot for state voters. They have until August 5th to file those petitions.

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 experience Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.

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Anyone arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles has probably wished that the charges against them would just disappear. That just might happen in the case of several drivers who were picked up for DUI in New Hampshire.new-hampshire-los-angeles-DUI-report

Television station WMUR 9, located in Manchester, reports that attorney John Durkin is taking the state to court to get information about police officers who may not have passed the breathalyzer certification test. New Hampshire state law requires that all officers get recertified each year.

If it turns out the officers flunked the certification test, the DUI arrests that they made because of breathalyzer results, as well as the convictions that prosecutors won using those results, may all be invalidated.

The problem apparently stems from a glitch in the computer testing program that the state uses. More than 100 officers failed the test, but the program indicated that they had passed. The systemic issues could go all the way back to 2013, which could affect a lot of drivers charged with DUI during that stretch of time.

According to seacoastonline.com, the issue came to light when Durkin heard rumors about the certification problem. He filed a Freedom of Information request with the New Hampshire Department of Safety, asking that the department send him the list of officers incorrectly certified.

The Department of Public Safety says that it responded to Durkin within the required five days, telling him that it would take several weeks for them to comply with his request. At that time, Durkin filed his lawsuit, saying that time frame wasn’t good enough for people arrested for DUI by uncertified officers.

Durkin says he plans to share the information about the uncertified officers with other attorneys. Hopefully, these legal actions will help create a more open, clear system and challenge other law enforcement agencies across the U.S. (and right here in Southern California) to more effectively and meticulously certify the machines they use when testing people suspected for driving DUI.

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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As the weather gets warmer, the circumstances surrounding arrests for DUI in Los Angeles and other cities seem to get a little stranger. Here’s a look at two such arrests during the past few weeks.kicking-police-car-los-angeles-DUI

Cops are accustomed to finding open beer and alcohol bottles when they pull over a driver because they suspect he/she is driving under the influence. But it’s not often that they can trace a driver’s erratic performance to almost-empty cans of whipped cream in a vehicle.

Police officers in Franklin, Tennessee, arrested 28-year-old Anna Thomas after she crashed her car into mailbox. That was after she had driven the same car into a ditch. The cops said Thomas was apparently high on aerosol gases from 13 whipped cream cans.

Thomas isn’t a stranger to officers—she has had 10 arrests, several for DUI and others for driving on a suspended license and violating probation.

Meanwhile, in Hurricane, Utah, a man tried to kick out the windows of a patrol car as an officer was transporting him to jail for a DUI. Prior to his arrest, Robert Paul Lemkuhl had let his car roll backwards and strike another vehicle; he then took off, driving erratically, and didn’t stop until cops pulled him over. They allegedly found an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.

During Lemkuhl’s trip to jail in a police car, he attempted to break out the vehicle’s windows. Concerned that Lemkuhl would try something else, the officer turned on the flashing lights on his patrol vehicle and the suspect got a fast ride to jail.

In addition to charges for DUI, Lemkuhl could face other charges stemming from the initial collision and from his behavior in the cop car.

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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Although California sees more than its fair share of celebrities arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, the latest high-profile case actually took place in the Land of Enchantment. (That’s New Mexico, in case you’re not up on state nicknames).sam-shepard-mugshot-dui

Actor/playwright Sam Shepard had been out to dinner on Monday, May 25th, and he was attempting to drive home when a concerned security guard spotted him and called the cops. It seems that Shepard was driving erratically, trying to get his blue Toyota Tacoma moving out of a parking lot without releasing the emergency brake.

When the police caught up with Shepard, they found he had bloodshot eyes and smelled like alcohol. Although Shepard insisted he had only had two tequilas to drink, he allegedly didn’t do well on the field sobriety test. He also refused to take a breathalyzer test, which could result in him losing his license for a year if he’s convicted. Shepard spent the night in jail and the next day pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated DUI.

This isn’t Shepard’s first run-in with the law over drinking and driving. In 2009, Illinois cops picked him up for speeding and DUI driving. After pleading guilty in that case, he received a sentence of 24 months’ probation and 100 hours of community service.
Shepard won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Chuck Yeager in the 1983 movie The Right Stuff. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child. Maybe he’ll find some dramatic inspiration—writing or acting–in his latest run-in with the law.

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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GPS is usually a pretty handy tool for people to have when they’re driving—especially if they’ve imbibed enough alcohol to get them arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles. It’s a lot easier to have a device calling out the directions than to read them on a map when your brain is a little fuzzy.DUI-GPS

But there are times when GPS is less than helpful. Just ask Richard Schnee and Ardean Marie Smith about their experience in Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania.

Schnee, age 41, and Smith, age 44, are both out-of-towners who were trying to reach the Hilton Garden Inn in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Both were driving their own cars, with Schnee following Smith, who had supposedly programmed her GPS with the hotel address.

No one quite knows how Smith ended up leading Schnee to the Upper Dublin police station—and into an area that was restricted to cops only. The officers who challenged them soon realized that there was something more going on than an incorrect GSP route; they smelled alcohol on both drivers. Schnee and Smith failed the field sobriety test and ended up spending some time in the police station—charged with DUI—instead of at the hotel.

Upper Dublin police officers said they didn’t know why the pair had ended up at their station, but they were glad that it was so easy to get the pair of them off the road. One cop tweeted a photo with the caption: “GSP tells two DUI suspects to drive to police sally port. Same GPS tells @Upperdublinpd to lock them up. #OneSmartGPS!”

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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