Articles Posted in Drug Possession

Published on:

On January 1, 2018, California officially became the eighth state to legalize cannabis for recreational use—a move that USA Today predicts will cause an economic “gold rush” in the state worth up to $5.1 billion in its first year. While you shouldn’t expect the Los Angeles smog in general to suddenly take on a familiar pungent smell, don’t be surprised to see a few more “superstores” popping up on your way to work. You may also need to be a bit more wary of other drivers on the roadways, as law enforcement officials have expressed concerns about the possibility of more accidents caused by impaired drivers. (More on that point in a moment.)

That all being said, if you plan to take advantage of legalized pot, you should understand that the new California marijuana laws don’t add up to a free-for-all for partakers and enthusiasts. Let’s look at some of the more important caveats you should keep in mind.

There’s a Limit to What You Can Carry

Published on:

If you were busted for driving under the influence in Los Angeles, you may be feeling pretty ashamed and depressed. Don’t beat yourself up too much, though: even Superman occasionally gets a DUI.Christopher-Reeves-dui-superman-dui


Last week, 33-year-old Christopher Reeves of Utah (no relation to the actor Christopher Reeves who played the Man of Steel) was busted for drug DUI per the David Country Sheriff’s Office. In his mug shot, Reeves wore a Superman shirt.

Authorities charged him with possessing methamphetamines and DUI and set his bail at $15,000.00. A local deputy said he saw the 33-year-old erratically driving early on Tuesday morning, “performing weaving maneuvers, drawing the attention of deputies.” When police searched his car, they allegedly found massive amounts of methamphetamines, as well as drug paraphernalia and Spice – a synthetic kind of marijuana.

The local Sheriff’s Office wryly commented “I hope he will live not to regret the choice of T-shirt on this day, but rather his actions.” Reportedly, the paraphernalia and the amount of drugs found in his car was “plenty to distribute around” – and indicated that Reeves could face distribution and intent to sell charges, which would make his criminal situation far more dire and complicated.

His arrest raises an important issue that needs to be discussed – the distinction between over-the-counter meds and illegal narcotics, such as meth, LSD, cocaine, etc. You might think the law would classify these drugs differently, from a DUI standpoint. If you’re high on over-the-counter vicodin or Benadryl while behind the wheel, that doesn’t seem “as bad” as being high from pot or cocaine.

However, California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) doesn’t really care about what got you high — it just cares if you ARE high. And if you are, it’s a criminal offense: the statute does not distinguish between street drugs and legally prescribed medicines. The statute only cares about the level of impairment. It concerns itself with the end result: did you take a substance (alcohol, drugs, other) that made you a dangerous driver?

So how can you fight back against such charges?

Law enforcement does not have the equivalent of a breathalyzer to test for drugs like prescription meds or marijuana. Prosecutors rely on the expertise of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), who use field tests and other methods to identify potentially drug impaired drivers. Authorities also use blood and urine tests.

If you or someone you love needs to find a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney, call Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today. Mr. Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney (ex-prosecutor), and he has tremendous experience defending complex DUI cases. He can help you create a smart and astute defense to your charges.
Continue reading

Published on:

The annals of Los Angeles DUI history are replete with stories of famous politicians, business owners, celebrities, and athletes busted for driving under the influence in sordid situations. This alone should debunk the myth that only incompetent or irresponsible people get busted for this crime.jim-irsay-dui

Add another iron to that fire: Jim Irsay, the owner of Indianapolis Colts, found himself in handcuffs on Sunday night in Carmel, Indiana, facing four felony counts. Authorities say that the 50-year-old football club owner had been driving at a very slow rate of speed. He stopped in the middle of the roadway and failed to turn. A Police Department spokesperson, Lieutenant Joe Bickel, said that “during the course of the investigation, Irsay subsequently failed several roadside field sobriety tests … [and then police found] multiple prescription drugs … and pill bottles” in his vehicle.

Irsay made his bail bond of $22,500 and got released at 1:30 PM on Monday. He publicly admitted to battling a prescription addiction in the past. In a statement he made back in 2002, he said “after several years of orthopedic operations and procedures, accompanied by long bouts of chronic pain, I became dependent on prescription pain medications … this summer I sought professional help at a nationally recognized facility located outside Indiana. I have successfully dealt with my dependence and my chronic pain issues.”

If convicted of his felony charges, Irsay will face punishments like jail time, the loss of his license, mandatory alcohol classes, and major fines and fees… as well as disciplinary action from the National Football League.

The Colts released a statement about the arrest: “the team will issue additional statements when facts are sorted, and we are aware of the next steps to this process … the club continues to fully support Mr. Irsay but must refrain from commenting further at least until formal charges have been filed. A hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 26.”

In 2010, Tom Lewand, the President of the Detroit Lions, paid a $100,000 fine to the League and faced a 30-day suspension after he pled guilty to driving under the influence.

Irsay recently separated from his wife of 33 years – Meg Irsay – in November 2013. Sometimes traumatic life events, like a new divorce, can lead to addictive behavior and to drug DUIs.

In Southern California, if you’re arrested for a similar crime, you’ll face charges per California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), which makes it a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs and illegal narcotics as well as prescription or OTC pain meds.

Of course, there are no breath tests that can be used in cases like this – instead, a police officer will administer a blood or urine test, if you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs. Your performance on field sobriety tests and the officer’s judgment of your sobriety can also play a role in determining your guilt. For help defending a Los Angeles DUI drug case, call Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers immediately. Mr. Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor, and he regularly consults with major media (e.g. KTLA, the New York Times, Good Morning America, etc) about big DUI news events.
Continue reading

Published on:

Los Angeles DUI analysts are always keen to follow legal developments in the state of Colorado, which often stands on the “leading edge” of curious new DUI-related developments, legally and culturally.marijuana-DUI-los-angeles-laws

Recently, Colorado passed a statewide law that legalized recreational marijuana use. However, the CO government wants to prevent stoned drivers from causing accidents on Rocky Mountain highways. To that end, the Colorado Department of Transportation just aired a series of TV ads as a part of an ambitious “drive high, get a DUI” safety campaign.

The CDOT campaign is rich with cheeky, gallows humor. One ad features a man trying to put up a TV set, which comes crashing down. The ad copy reads: “installing your TV while high is now legal … driving to get a new one isn’t.”

The Colorado State Patrol’s Chief of Police, Scott Hernandez, emphasized a “safety first” message: “as Coloradoans now have more access to marijuana, we want you to be aware that law enforcement is trained to identify impairment by all categories of drugs and alcohol.”

The CDOT limits blood marijuana to just 5 nanograms of THC (active) per milliliter of blood. A survey from September of last year found that more than one out of five Colorado drivers had driven after consuming or smoking marijuana within a month from when the survey was taken. That’s a crazily alarming statistic.

Advocates on both sides of the debate worry that the 5 nanogram limit may be too hard to enforce. One spokeswoman for the CDOT told USA Today “one hit could put someone over the limit.” Meanwhile, Mason Tvert, a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, told USA Today “too much evidence suggests that [the 5 nanogram limit] would result in people being unfairly convicted of a DUI when they are not actually impaired.”

In Los Angeles, driving under the influence of drugs can be charged as a crime per CVC Section 23152(a), which defines “under the influence” as an umbrella term — it includes not only alcohol but also drugs like marijuana, prescription narcotics, illegal drugs, and over-the-counter medications.

Authorities cannot use a breath test to measure the presence of marijuana or other drugs. Instead, they give suspected drivers urine or blood tests. Juries then examine these chemical analyses to determine guilt and sentencing.

For help defending against a Los Angeles DUI drug charge, call attorney Michael Kraut today with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut has an excellent reputation; he served as a prosecutor for 14 years before working with defendants, so he really understands how prosecutors act and think.
Continue reading

Published on:

If you were arrested for a drug DUI in Los Angeles last year, you were in pretty rare company. Only 598 drug DUI cases came before the city attorney’s office in 2013. By comparison, during the 2012 winter holiday alone, there were nearly 600 DUI arrests.los-angeles-dui-drug-test.jpg

Those numbers may soon shift, thanks to local prosecutors, who want to use an oral swab test to look for evidence of marijuana and other drug use. According to Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, “traditionally, our officers focus on drunken driving cases… we are expanding drug collection aggressively, enforcing all impaired-driving laws.” According to a new Los Angeles Times story on the new drug DUI swab testing, the eight minute test of oral fluids can detect a surprisingly wide array of substances, including:

• Amphetamines;
• Methadone;
• THC (the active chemical component in marijuana);
• Benzodiazepine (Xanax);
• Methamphetamine;
• Cocaine;
• Narcotic analgesics.

Thus far, Los Angeles prosecutors have not used oral swabs as evidence in any case, but all indicators suggest that that hiatus will not last. Big questions remain, however, such as:

• Will the court accept the oral swabs as evidence?
• What can defendants do to attack prosecutorial arguments and evidence?
• Will this enhanced testing actually make Los Angeles roads safer?
• How accurate and precise are the tests, and what are the expected variations among different people in the population? For instance, it’s likely that a 300 pound diabetic male will metabolize certain drugs far differently than will a 82-year-old lean, athletic woman.

The point is that any time the prosecutor uses a test – be it a breathalyzer for DUI or a swab test for drug DUI – you need to examine that evidence in a broader context that considers both the arrest and the person’s physiology.

To develop an active defense against your Los Angeles DUI charges, look to the team here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers for innovative, intelligent defense strategies.

Continue reading

Published on:

Your recent Glendale DUI arrest is one of the few topics you feel uncomfortable even thinking about.focus-on-glendale-dui.jpg

When close friends and family members – who are totally on your side – ask you about it, you flinch and even snap at them. The very fact that you’ve been self aware enough to research Glendale DUI defense options on the web is a good sign – an indicator that you recognize the need to respond to your charges strategically.

As any yogi or student of Eastern mythology or battle tactics will tell you, focus equals power. When you are too diverse and diluted with your attention, you cannot make the progress you need to make. The reason karate masters can break bricks with their hands, for instance, has to do with their ability to focus. Same holds true for high level corporate executive, actors, and entrepreneurs. Focus = power. If you cannot create and hold a vision in your mind of where you want to get to, you may never get the resources you need to achieve your ends.

Why all the focus on “focus?” Isn’t it already pretty obvious that your Glendale DUI defense deserves substantial concentration?

Yes and no.

Many people spend a lot of time worrying about the consequences of their DUI and replaying the arrest/accident in their minds. But this thinking isn’t particularly productive.

Instead, you might find it more resourceful to imagine what life will be like after you completely and thoroughly resolve your Glendale DUI situation. Probably, that means the following:

• You will be out of jail;
• You will have paid off your fines and fees;
• You will have served your alcohol school time and probation;
• You will have repaired your criminal record to the best of your ability.

Make these focal points realistic. You might want to write them down on a piece of paper or a Word document and concentrate on them at least once or twice a day. Envision what the final result will look like in your mind. Spend time savoring the emotion of freedom from worry, etc. This focus, when done daily, can guide you well.

Of course, it’s best not to develop this focus in a vacuum – you don’t want to overestimate (or underestimate) what can be accomplished. Let the team here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers help develop your Glendale DUI defense. Connect with us today for a free consultation with a Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor, who has helped many people overcome their charges and reclaim their lives.

Continue reading

Published on:

A Pasadena DUI arrest can land you behind bars. worse-than-jail-pasadena-DUI.jpg

No one wants to pay big fines or pay to have an encumbering interlock ignition device installed on her car. But JAIL holds a special place in the pantheon of scary punishments.

Just thinking about jail may dredge up scary scenes from TV shows like Tom Fontana’s Oz or Orange Is The New Black. But as bad as going to jail can be – it may pale in comparison with some problems that could arise if you fail to handle your DUI defense adroitly.

Here are three:

1. License suspension
How could a license suspension be worse than jail? Here’s how:

Let’s say you live in Pasadena and commute to Santa Monica for work. The license suspension can effectively render you unable to work and lead to your being fired. The long-term repercussions of unemployment could means tens of thousands of dollars to your bottom line — not to mention depression, humiliation and anxiety.

2. Loss of basic civil rights
If convicted of a felony Pasadena DUI, you will permanently lose certain key civil rights, such as the right to vote. Plus, future employers, lenders, and other important people in your life will be less than thrilled with the prospect of employing, lending to, or being in a relationship with a convicted felon.

The consequences could haunt you for a lifetime.

3. Increased likelihood of recidivism
Recidivism means getting caught for the same crime again.

The California penal system is incredibly tough on recidivists. You’ve probably heard about the notorious “three strikes law,” which hammers offenders convicted of three separate crimes with huge penalties. Statistics show that people convicted once for crimes like Long Beach DUI are much more likely to get in trouble again with the law.

The second (or third) time may not be pretty.

So what can you do?

Given the legal intricacies of your current situation, you won’t likely find answers by surfing the internet. Fortunately, the Pasadena DUI defense team at Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers can help you get a deeper understanding of your charges. Get in touch with Mr. Kraut and his team today to take back your future.

Continue reading

Published on:

Burbank DUI news has taken a back seat recently in the papers, thanks to the bizarre antics and astounding confabulations of Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. rob-ford-burbank-dui-1.jpg

In a recent post, we detailed Mayor Ford’s litany of legal and political troubles, including sexual harassment claims and, of course, claims that he knocked over an elderly councilwoman at a meeting, during which his city council stripped him of his mayoral powers. (Why? In part, because he was allegedly videotaped smoking crack cocaine, while in office.)

In an event. Mayor Ford may yet have the last laugh:

• He remains in office;
• He still owns a 42% approval rating from Toronto residents;
• He’s confident that he’ll win re-election in 2014;
• He claims to be “loving” the attention on the world stage.

So what does his situation mean for you, if you’re facing a Burbank DUI charge?
You may be annoyed, if not horrified, by Mayor Ford’s exuberance and defiance. But the positive lesson (from your point of view) is that it’s more than possible to rebound after embarrassing setbacks (like a Burbank DUI arrest) and succeed in life.

Of course, if you do something really stupid, silly or hypocritical, the press can get pretty sardonic. Consider the following zingers about Ford from the American press:

Jay Leno:

• “Apparently, there’s a huge crack problem in Toronto. Luckily, it’s just confined to the Mayor’s office.”
• “The Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, has lost some of his powers. So, apparently, he is snorting Kryptonite, too, I guess.”
• “The Toronto City Council has voted to drastically reduce Mayor Rob Ford’s powers. It says this reduces him to a mere figurehead, which still sounds better than crackhead.”

Jon Stewart:

• “The reference [to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait] may be dated, but in Rob Ford’s defense, it may be one of the last things he remembers.”
• “‘Apparently, the crack-smoking Mayor of Toronto has done it again…’ Here’s the sentence I’m assuming does not follow that sentence: “Saves the day.’”

Jimmy Fallon:

• “Now they’re trying to force him to take a leave of absence while they figure this all out. When asked what he would do with his time off, he [said] “probably smoke crack.”
• “After he admitted to smoking crack while in office, they gave him his own TV show. I guess the TV show was cancelled this week after just one episode, because it takes too much time to produce. When he heard that, Ford said ‘I know something that can make it go a lot faster.'”

If you or someone you know faces a Burbank DUI charge, the ramifications for you and your family could be quite serious. Please connect with former Senior Deputy District Attorney, Michael Kraut, for thorough, strategic assistance in building your DUI defense.

Continue reading

Published on:

As someone who has been charged with DUI in Burbank (or elsewhere in Southern California), you’re probably feeling pretty nervous about your future.rob-ford-burbank-dui-2.jpg

• Will you lose your license or your job?
• Will you go to jail?
• Will you need to spend months attending classes or doing community service?
• Will your auto insurance go through the roof?

But some folks who get charged with serious crimes, like DUI in Burbank, are not that phased. For an extreme example, consider the astonishing case of Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. The local city council recently stripped him of his mayoral powers, after video surfaced showing him smoking crack cocaine. During a televised meeting, Ford aggressively pushed over a 90 pound woman, while rampaging around a community center.

Notwithstanding, Mayor Ford’s approval rating among Torontans remains a solid 42% — two points higher, in fact, than President Obama’s current 40% approval rating.

You read that right: a mayor who literally smoked crack cocaine while in office and shoved an elderly female state official is more popular than our president.

Two out of five Torontans approve of the job he is doing.

Ford boasted to Fox News journalist, Bill O’ Reilly, that he believes voters will reelect him in October 2014 to a second term. Mayor Ford’s other scandals include nearly a bakers’ dozen worth of sexual harassment claims.

The following exchange from FOX News reported speaks volumes about the whole situation:

“‘Did I go out and party sometimes? Yes. I’m only human,’ Ford said.

Watters responded: “You party a little harder than most people.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Ford said.

“Most people wouldn’t smoke crack when they party,” Watters replied.

“On Friday night, if I know I have nothing planned the next day, yeah, I’ll drink, I’ll have a big party,” Ford said in the tightly-edited video which saw Ford sweating profusely and gulping down water.”

Unsurprisingly, Ford has become cannon fodder for Late Night talk show hosts and comedians. But his situation speaks to the complexities that face many defendants in Burbank DUI cases. It’s hard to know how to respond, when you’ve been caught doing something that, in retrospect, was foolish or irresponsible.

To make sense of your case, connect today with a Burbank DUI defense lawyer with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut is an experienced, aggressive ex-prosecutor with a wealth of experience battling charges that like the ones you’re facing.

Continue reading

Published on:

A political move could have powerful implications for your Los Angeles DUI or drug crime offense.long-beach-drug-crime-laws.jpg

Governor Jerry Brown recently vetoed legislation that would have reduced penalties for people arrested for possessing heroin or cocaine. The proposed legislation would have transformed those charges from felonies to misdemeanors.

The current law – and future law, thanks to the veto – requires simple possession of heroin or cocaine to be charged as a felony punishable by up to three years behind bars. SB 649, the proposed bill – would have reduced the Los Angeles criminal charge down to what’s known as a wobbler – a crime that can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on circumstances.

Kim Horiuchi, a lawyer for ACLU, expressed her organization’s displeasure with the veto: “Gov. Brown has rejected… modest reform that would have helped end mass incarceration in this state… Brown remains inexplicably opposed to meaningful sentencing reform.”

Not every group wanted reduced penalties. The California District Attorneys Association, for instance, fought SB 649. That group released a statement saying “most would concede that drug addictions destroy lives and families, and are damaging to society… minimizing the consequences of addictive and destructive behavior does not make it less addictive or destructive.”

While Governor Brown did oppose this particular piece of legislation, he said that he remained open to supporting other changes to the state’s criminal justice system.

Many statistics suggest that this system could definitely use some reform. A Human Rights Watch report from 2009, for instance, found that African Americans in California are arrested for drug possession crimes at a rate that’s three times the rate for whites. And new research into the nature of addiction suggests that many conventional approaches may not be particularly effective.

Fortunately, you do not have to fix the system yourself. You just need to get a handle on your own Los Angeles DUI or drug crime charges. To that end, consider working with Attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut is a former prosecutor who spent at least 14 years working in the capacity of Senior Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles.

Continue reading

Contact Information