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Imagine someone charged with DUI in Los Angeles arriving in a courtroom and pleading not guilty. Not because he didn’t commit the crime, but because he was too intoxicated to really understand what was going on at the time of the arrest and to consent to a test measuring blood alcohol content.

Georgia Supreme Court building in downtown Atlanta.  Photo by Jason R. Bennitt/Daily Report (5/14/2012).

Georgia Supreme Court building in downtown Atlanta. Photo by Jason R. Bennitt/Daily Report (5/14/2012).

It’s happening in Georgia, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in that state that has created a loophole in the state’s DUI law.

A report on website said that DUI attorneys have been using this argument in court ever since John Williams won an appeal of a ruling in his DUI case before the state’s highest court. Lance Tyler, who represented Williams, said that his client could not have given his consent “knowingly and intelligently” for voluntary blood tests, since he was too intoxicated to understand what was happening and the implications of BAC testing.

The Supreme Court ruled in Williams’ favor in March 2012 and asked the trial judge to reconsider his decision not to suppress the BAC evidence. The judge, Gwinett State Court Judge Joseph Iannazzone, not only threw out the BAC evidence in Williams’ case but also excluded it as evidence in the cases of five other drivers.

Since that time, more and more DUI defense lawyers have been using that argument successfully in Georgia’s courts. The lawyers point out that since judges won’t accept a guilty plea from defendants if they’re under the influence, the same standards should apply to agreeing to blood tests when they’re alcohol impaired.

Other judges have thrown out DUI cases when the driver does not appear to have a good enough grasp of English to have understood the police officer’s explanation of consent to a blood test.

Prosecutors, of course, are not happy. The prosecutor in Williams’ case is appealing the suppression of the BAC evidence, but it’s uncertain how successful that appeal will be to the court that already expressed doubts about the consent procedure for BAC.

To develop an effective, evidence-based defense to your Los Angeles DUI charges, call Harvard Law School educated attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group today for a free consultation.

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A 36-year-old man is contemplating his future from a hospital bed after causing a fatal accident in the early morning hours on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The alleged cause of the accident is a Los Angeles DUI incident.fatal-losangeles-DUI-crash

According to various news reports, the as yet-unidentified driver of a Buick LeSabre was speeding when he careened across West 59th Street near Normandie Avenue and slammed into a minivan containing a family of five. The accident killed the mother of the family, who was driving. The father and the three children, all under age 10, suffered minor injuries.

That collision didn’t slow the driver down, however. He continued on a deadly path, traveling several blocks and eventually mowing down a pedestrian before crashing into a building where member of the Persuaders Motorcycle Club were holding a party. Even then the car didn’t stop, but destroyed several motorcycles before finally coming to a rest. (Pictures from the scene showed the smashed minivan and the flattened motorcycles stretched out in the street.)

A police officer on patrol saw the accident and responded quickly. Ambulance crews ended up transporting eight people to the hospital. One of the children in the minivan suffered a fractured bone.

Police have not yet released the deceased mother’s name, but did identify the pedestrian killed in the crash as William Lamar Walker. The coroner’s office said that Walker was a youth football coach from Bell Gardens.
Officers arrested the driver, whom they suspect of DUI.

In 2013, the city had more than 2,300 people killed or injured in alcohol-related accidents, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. A 2014 report from the California Department of Motor Vehicles said that 23 percent of all California DUI arrests occurred in Los Angeles County in 2010.

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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Your Los Angeles DUI shook you up, particularly if it led to an accident and injuries. However, it can be helpful to see your incident in context. To that end, let’s take a brief tour for five unbelievably crazy truck accidents:crazy-truck-accident-dui-los-angeles

1. Semi Sandwich

On a foggy morning in January 2015, Oregon driver Kaleb Whitby ended up in every motorist’s worst nightmare when he was pinned between two semi-trucks on the icy interstate. Whitby explained that he saw the first semi-truck jackknife in front of him on the road, which caused him to plow into the back of the semi and flip his pickup. The driver described hopelessly gripping the steering wheel as the second semi crushed his pickup like a can of soda. Miraculously, Whitby sustained only minor bruising from the accident, while only a dozen of the other people involved sustained injuries.

2. Truck Meets Road Sign

Houston’s Interstate 45 was closed for hours after an accident left one end of a semi-truck bed leaning against the structure of an overhead road sign. The driver was completely unharmed—and in fact didn’t even notice the incident until much later—as the truck’s empty bed was the only part of the vehicle affected by the snare.

3. Cliffhanger

A driver transporting 40 tons of coal nearly met his demise when he made a quick turn that left him hanging off the edge of a 400-foot cliff in southwest China. A police spokesperson at the scene claimed the driver was convinced he was going to die and needed constant persuading to climb to the other end of the truck to escape.

4. Sitcom-Worthy Fiasco

The City That Never Sleeps could probably use a bit more shut-eye—as indicated by the sanitation worker who lost control of a garbage truck and crashed through the third floor of a maintenance facility in August 2011. The strange accident was investigated by law enforcement, while the driver was eventually freed and transported to the hospital with only minor injuries. Workers used a crane to lift the front end of the truck, while the rear was slowly pulled back into the building.

5. …Literally

A viral photo that quickly became a classic meme features a large, white delivery truck printed with the words: “The Republican. Where the News Hits Home.” Though there aren’t any reports available detailing exactly what happened, it’s likely The Republican’s PR crew had some serious damage control to do.

Whether you’ve been involved in a DUI accident that became just a crazy story or caused a lot of damage, our Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys can provide a free consultation for your unique case.

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Although drivers convicted of DUI in Los Angeles sometimes face harsh sentences, those jail terms rarely approach the time a judge gave to a man in Austin, Texas, for a March 2014 DUI incident.rashad-owens-dui-sentence

Rashad Owens, 23, an aspiring rapper, had been driving while intoxicated and without his vehicle lights on when he spotted a police check point on March 13 around 12:30 a.m. Instead of stopping, Owens took off, driving through a gas station, speeding the wrong way on a one-way street and reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour before crashing through a traffic barrier. He then turned onto Red River Street, plowing through a crowd of people who had gathered for the South by Southwest (SWSW) music, film and interactive festival.

Owens wreaked devastation with his gray Honda Civic. Two people died at the scene, and two died a week later in the hospital. He also injured more than 20 people during his flight.

Prosecutors said that Owens fled because he was trying to evade the traffic stop. After an investigation, police charged Owens with capital murder. Witnesses at his trial testified that Owens accelerated through the crowd instead of trying to slow down and stop after hitting people. Prosecutors said he deliberately ran people over, but his defense lawyers argued that Owens’ actions resulted from his panic.

Videos that police took at the scene showed Owens saying that he should have just stopped. He asked if he had killed anybody, and said he didn’t mean to if he had.

Prosecutors called 16 witnesses to testify against Owens; the defense called none, not even Owens. The jury took less than four hours to find Owens guilty of capital murder, and the judge immediately sentenced him to life in prison without possibility of parole.

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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Drivers charged with a DUI in Los Angeles rarely dress like they expect to go to jail. But in the early morning hours after Halloween, police in South Carolina picked up one motorist who apparently had a premonition of where he’d be spending the night.utah-dui-jail-cell-bathroom

Fox Carolina reported that an officer with the Springdale Police Department tried to pull Jamal Alexander over on suspicion of DUI. Instead of stopping, Alexander allegedly took off, hitting a patrol car and a porch of a house before ditching his car while it was still moving. When police caught up with Alexander, he threw a loaded gun under a patrol car.

Alexander had probably been out celebrating the Halloween holiday, since he wore a prisoner costume—all ready for his trip to jail. Police charged him with DUI, driving under suspension, failure to stop for blue lights, open container in a vehicle and unlawful carrying of a firearm.

While Alexander wasn’t purposefully dressing for an evening in custody, a bar in Salt Lake City, Utah really wants its customers to think about what jail would be like. A story on the Channel WAGT 26 website said that SKY SLC has given its bathroom an unusual makeover for the Halloween holiday. They made it look just like a jail cell.

The “jail” bathroom features a door with bars and a prisoner’s bunk against the wall. When patrons glance up when washing their hands, they’ll see their heads rising out of an orange-and-white –striped prison suit that’s been painted on the mirror. A sign on the wall asks “Ever wonder what a DUI looks like? Drive sober or get pulled over.”

Bar manager Jacob Torres said they wanted to remind customers of the consequences of getting behind the wheel after they’d been drinking. The bar partnered with the state safety office and the Utah Highway Patrol on the makeover.

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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A driver convicted three times of a DUI in Los Angeles would probably lose his/her license for some period of time. But taking someone’s license away doesn’t always stop his or her from driving, especially if that driver refuses to learn from past mistakes.
Police in Baltimore, Maryland, had to search five days for 38-year-old Wayne Anthony Green, who allegedly killed a 16-month old boy during a police chase. Baltimore County officers started pursuing Green when he hit a police car parked at the scene of a pedestrian fatality. Green didn’t stop, and the county police followed him into Baltimore City, where the driver slammed into a Volvo, which in turn struck the child, Jeremiah Darrin Perry, who was sitting in his stroller. Jeremiah died that night at a nearby hospital.Wayne-Anthony-Green-DUI

Green received minor injuries in the accident, and officers took him to the hospital for treatment. He recovered enough by the next morning for doctors to discharge him from the hospital, before police had a chance to charge him in the accident. Green left the state, and it took police five days to find him.

Jeremiah’s grieving family members questioned why authorities hadn’t charged Green immediately. Prosecutors said they didn’t want Green arrested on lesser charges right away, since they feared that laws against double jeopardy would allow him to walk on the more serious charges. By the time they gave the okay for officers to arrest him, Green had gone into hiding. Police finally caught up with him a few days later in North Carolina.

Green shouldn’t have been driving in the first place, since the state had suspended his license. Television and newspaper reporters said that courts had found him guilty of another DUI-related death in 2002. In that case, he crossed a white line on the road and plowed into another car, killing the 54-year-old occupant. Courts have also convicted him of DUI in two other cases.
The three-time DUI convict faces charges in both Baltimore City for negligent manslaughter with an automobile, trying to elude police and driving on a revoked license. Baltimore County may also press charges against him.

How should you respond to your recent and disarming charges? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer (and ex-prosecutor) with nearly two decades of relevant legal experience.

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If a government prosecutor pleaded guilty to a charge of DUI in Los Angeles—for the second time in less than two years—would that prosecutor go to jail? Would someone who wasn’t as well connected end up behind bars? While there’s no way to tell what might happen in Los Angeles, in San Diego County, Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Ocain has avoided jail time in her second DUI case.DA-Rebecca-Ocain-DUI-charge

The San Diego Union Tribune reported that Ocain, age 39, had pled guilty early in October to a misdemeanor charge of DUI and hit-and-run. Police arrested her in August after she crashed into a cemetery wall and then ran from the scene on foot.

Ocain, who broke her arm during her encounter with the wall, had a blood alcohol content of 0.30%, according to a test taken about an hour after her arrest. That’s nearly four times the legal limit, as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 23152 of 0.08%. But the BAC number San Diego County used during her arraignment in August was 0.20%. In her previous arrest the year before, her BAC was 0.28%. (For reference, a BAC of 0.40% is often fatal.)

The San Diego prosecutor asked that Ocain go to jail for 90 days. But after reviewing 30 similar cases, Judge Matthew C. Braner spared her any jail time. Instead, he ordered her to wear an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet for 90 days. After that, she’ll be on home detention for another four months. During these times, Ocain must also enroll in an alcohol education program for repeat offenders. She’ll pay more than $2,500 in fines.

Readers of the San Diego Union Tribune think that Ocain got a sweet deal. The paper’s online poll (included in their report of the case) asked whether a member of the public would go to jail under similar circumstances. The newspaper reported that 76 percent of respondents said yes, while only 24 percent said no.

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

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Whether your 16-year-old son disobeyed your explicit instructions and tooled wildly around Sunset Blvd. with his friends, or your college-age-son at UCLA or USC picked up a Los Angeles DUI charge after a big football tailgate, you’re equal parts enraged, sad, confused, and desperate.father-son-talk-los-angeles-DUI

Hopefully, your son didn’t hurt anyone (or hurt himself) or rack up additional charges, such as hit and run or extreme DUI (very high blood alcohol concentration levels).

But in any case, you face a suite of challenges:

First, you need to manage your internal emotions and reactions to the situation and figure out how to be constructive.

Second, you want to be a good father (or mother) to your son and help set him straight, if he did do something wrong or out of step.

Finally, you want to help your son get effective help legally to avoid unfair trouble.

First, in terms of dealing with your own emotions and actions, strive to access compassion. Before judging or yelling, take time to understand the facts. What exactly happened? Why? With whom? Etc. Appreciate that you are limited in terms of what you can control about this situation: he is old enough to drive and make his own decisions. In addition to being empathetic, work with him (and an experienced DUI attorney) to develop a strategy.

Recognize your own needs that have been left unmet by the situation, and take care of them. For instance, maybe you feel a loss of control or fear for your son’s safety. How can you make yourself feel better about these issues?

Engage him honestly. Your goal isn’t to litigate the past as a parent but rather to figure out what can be done going forward. If your relationship has been challenging, ask someone else to help you both work through this.

Finally, appreciate that time may be of the essence. If strategic action is not taken, your son can lose his license for a long time, go to jail, face huge fines and fees, and beyond. Rather than try to figure out this system on your own, call Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group, an experienced former prosecutor and highly qualified Los Angeles DUI defense attorney.

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If police recently stopped you on Fairfax or La Brea for speeding and driving under the influence in Los Angeles, odds are that your plate is pretty full. You are probably not thinking too much about global or national issues. Rather, your focus (understandably) is on what you can do to protect your license, stay out of jail, avoid paying massive fines and fees, and avoiding seeing huge spikes on your driver’s insurance

However, you might find it resourceful to take a step back and consider your DUI situation in a broader context.

Most law enforcement agencies, judges, attorneys and public health and safety advocates hold certain fundamental beliefs about the dangers of DUI as well as what should be done to stop this problem. Some sound science supports these policy positions. But the nature of the discussion about DUI prevention, treatment and punishment is ultimately fluid, even if laws like California Vehicle Code Section 23152 and 23153 don’t radically shift over time.

As our understanding of the science of DUI evolves, our laws, institutions and even culture should follow. But would they? Would solid evidence that we got certain “facts” about DUI change our minds?

As a parallel case study, consider the current battle right now being waged in Washington D.C. over the future of the United States Dietary Guidelines. Every 5 years since 1980, the government has issued guidelines for what Americans should eat to be healthy and fit. This year’s process has been anything but smooth, leading to over 29,000 comments on the USDA’s feedback page and sparking a major public battle over the science of nutrition.

Many high level politicians, scientists and even former members of the DGA Committee have argued that the process has gotten out of hand – that our guidelines are not based on sound evidence and that bias and industry interests are setting the agenda. Notably, the British Medical Journal – one of the most reputable medical journals in the world – issued a scathing analysis of the Dietary Guidelines Committee’s report – a report that typically forms the basis of policy.

While we can’t tell what’s going to happen with respect to this year’s guidelines, there’s a big (if subtle) lesson here for DUI defendants. Just because an authority determines that XYZ is a “scientific fact” doesn’t mean that that person (or institution) is right. Subsequent science could come along to force refinement or even rejection of that initial position.

And that’s all a roundabout way of explaining why it is so important for you, as a defendant, to work with an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney, such as Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group.

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Vehicles driven by motorists suspected of Los Angeles DUI often end up in unseemly places — smashed against light posts or walls or discarded, broken in the wrong traffic lane. But such drivers sometimes come to a halt only when they run up against something much bigger… like the side of a house!car-crash-house-los-angeles-DUI

Let’s take a look at recent examples.

In the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, a 21-year-old woman hit a home on Hintz Road around 3:30 in the morning of Saturday, October 10th. Police officers, who charged the driver with DUI, said the accident caused significant damage to the home. They even had to call in building inspectors to determine whether or not the house would collapse when the vehicle was removed. Fortunately, the car/home collision didn’t harm the three people in the building. The driver suffered only minor injuries.

A 20-year-old in Douglas County, Colorado, meanwhile, had allegedly been racing on his street, when he hit a pine tree and flew into the home of a neighbor. Gunner Bolstad had been carrying two passengers, when his car crashed through the bedroom window of 70-year-old Cliff Turner. The grandfather, thrown from his bed, suffered only slight injuries. His visiting 13-year-old grandson, also sleeping in the room, wasn’t hurt but did get a fright when the crash impact launched his bed across the room. Police arrested Bolstad on charges of DUI, reckless driving, careless driving resulting in injury, four counts of reckless endangerment and third-degree assault.

Lastly, Jason Crooks didn’t actually hit a home in Moorhead, North Dakota, but he allegedly caused an accident that resulted in a vehicle/house collision. Crooks, later charged with DUI, had reportedly been speeding when he hit another car making a U-turn. That driver got out of her car but forgot to put it in park; it continued to move until it hit the home and its gas meter. No one was hurt, but the utility company had to rush to the scene to repair the gas leak.

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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