Articles Posted in DUI checkpoints

Published on:

A recent incident in Milton, Georgia serves as a cautionary tale for potential Los Angeles DUI drivers. On Tuesday, July 8, Milton resident Marjorie Rose Ryan-Santos pled guilty in a DUI driving incident that led to a car accident the week before.Marjorie-Rose-Ryan-Santos-DUI

Ryan-Santos admitted not only to driving under the influence, but to endangering the safety of the four children riding in the car with her at the time. She received a sentence of 10 days in jail, and she was given credit for five days served after her arrest. In addition, she faces community service, probation, and a license suspension.

The Milton Police Department reports they arrested Ryan-Santos after the accident due to her slurred speech, unsteady gait, and blood alcohol level of 0.168.

Thankfully, the car accident did not lead to any injuries for Ryan-Santos or for the children in the car. The current condition and location of the children are not known.

This Milton, Georgia, case represents a best-case scenario for individuals who drive under the influence with minors in the car. Fortunately, the driver and occupants were unharmed; however, many DUI accidents result in more tragic consequences.

In California, the law often imposes harsh penalties on DUI drivers, which increase with repeated offenses and become considerably more severe with additional factors, such as child endangerment. When a DUI accident causes injury or death to passengers in the driver’s car or another vehicle, the responsible party likely faces jail time, hefty fines, and other life-changing consequences.

The best way to avoid Los Angeles DUI charges is not to get behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking. If not for your own sake, consider the life and safety of your passengers and other drivers.

Kraut Law Group understands that everyone makes mistakes. Whether you face first-time DUI charges, a repeat offense, or more serious allegations regarding endangerment or injury, contact us today to learn how we can help you build a strong defense. Continue reading

Published on:

Individuals facing Los Angeles DUI charges would do well to take a lesson from the case of Ronald Searl, a Chicago area man recently arrested for drunk driving.dui-mug-shot-laughing

Police stopped 54-year-old Searl on July 3 when they spotted him driving in the center turn lane of a city street. After smelling alcohol on his breath, officers administrated field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer, which revealed Searl’s blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit.

In addition to DUI charges, Searl received a citation for operating his vehicle in the wrong lane. Perhaps due to his “polite, cooperative and respectful” demeanor during the arrest process, police released him on his own recognizance.

Although Searl may have behaved well throughout the booking process, his bizarre mug shot tells a different story. In the photo, Searl is visibly laughing and neglects to look at the camera. The lackadaisical response to his arrest may appear to some as an utter disregard for the seriousness of his offense.

California law imposes serious penalties on individuals who commit DUI offenses, regardless of whether they cause accidents or injuries to others. First-time drunk drivers may receive jail time, fines, license suspensions, probation, and installation of interlock devices in their vehicles.

Although no one should drink and drive, mistakes happen. Should you find yourself under arrest for driving with a prohibited blood alcohol content, cooperating with authorities and taking full responsibility for your actions affords you the best chance of a minimal sentence. Maintaining a serious demeanor – particularly in a mug shot – shows genuine remorse for unlawful behavior and may sway a judge in the accused’s favor.

If you have been charged with DUI in Los Angeles, you may feel confident you’ll get off with a “slap on the wrist.” However, an experienced DUI attorney such as Michael Kraut helps defendants better understand the laws regarding their cases and achieve the best possible outcomes. To discuss your case, contact Kraut Law Group to set up a free consultation.

Continue reading

Published on:

Your Los Angeles DUI arrest might have been your single lowest moment since you moved out to Los Angeles to study at UCSC or UCLA or try to “break in” to the film and television industry. And you’ve had a lot of challenging moments!Reticular-Activating-System-Los-Angeles-DUI

Fortunately, you survived the incident. But maybe you hurt yourself or someone else. Or maybe you simply got in so much trouble that your entire career out here (or educational opportunity) has been threatened.

You want to know: will there be any light at the end of the tunnel? Will you be able to move beyond this difficult period in your life and gain stability? Or will you wind up a Los Angeles DUI recidivist and get gobsmacked with penalties, such as a long California driver’s license suspension, months of jail time, and a felony charge permanently etched into your record?

Our memories and past experiences deeply and unconsciously inform our life trajectories. If you were bullied as a kid, for instance, and you suffered social problems at school, the psychological residue of those traumas decades ago can live on and cause you to act out in bizarre or potentially dangerous and self-destructive ways.

When you look at your personal history in a certain light, you can easily fall into a fit of doom and gloom. What’s past is just prologue – or is it?

To answer our question, we really need to look at neuroscience research. Some of the most promising scientific inquires have focused on a region of the bran known as the Reticular Activating System or RAS, which helps you control your focus. The brain receives far too much input on a day-to-day (and moment-to-moment) basis to process, so it intuitively filters out what “you” become conscious of, so you can make effective decisions.

If you are driving, for instance, your RAS will help you focus on the key sensory observations you need to steer your vehicle safely and obscure unnecessary data. For a great example of how powerful the RAS is, go for a walk out in the park. Concentrate on the color green as you walk: focus on green, green, green. Then close your eyes and try to think of all the red objects that you saw. Odds are, you won’t have seen many, if any, because your RAS was telling your brain to look for green stuff.

Likewise, if you have in your mind this conscious or unconscious belief that your Los Angeles DUI is just the beginning of (or punctuation of) a downward spiral in your life, your RAS is going to pull up information that’s going to make that story sound correct and lead you to feel like your life is hopeless or going nowhere.

How to change your story – Step 1

Often, even if we want to, we have a very difficult time to changing our internal stories, even with great conscious effort. Fortunately, other people can assist. Look to a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group to help you and send your life back on an upward trajectory. Mr. Kraut is a former prosecutor with immense practical experience with DUI cases just like yours.
Continue reading

Published on:

On Saturday, 18-year-old Billy Unger, star of the show Lab Rats on the Disney Channel, was pulled over in Malibu on PCH for driving under the influence in Los Angeles.billy-unger-dui

Police say that he took a breathalyzer test and blew a 0.08%. That BAC would be over the limit for an adult — in other words, if a 40-year old blew a 0.08% on his breath test, he would face an array of disturbing penalties, including jail time, a one year license suspension, spiked insurance rates, probation, alcohol school and fines and fees.

But when a minor (under the age of 21) consumes alcohol and then gets behind the wheel, he can get in trouble for having an even LOWER BAC level. In fact, underage drivers cannot drive with a BAC level of more than 0.01% — that’s hardly any alcohol at all. This makes sense, since people who are under 21 are not legally allowed to drink.

If you’re a young driver booked for DUI, your consequences can range widely, depending on what happened, and what your BAC level tested to be. If it was really low — like 0.01% — you can face a license suspension, but you won’t necessarily go to jail and have a misdemeanor on your record.

If your BAC level is higher (e.g. 0.05% to 0.08%), the penalties can be enhanced and more diverse.

Other ways to increase your punishments include:

•    You left the scene of an accident (committed a hit-and-run).
•    You hurt someone while driving DUI, which can subject you to punishments per California’s Felony Injury DUI law – CVC 23153;
•    You had been arrested in the past for DUI or have an extensive criminal record;
•    You resisted arrest or behaved in a dangerous or obnoxious way towards police officers;
•    You committed other driving infractions, such as speeding, reckless driving, driving without a driver’s license, etc.

Unger fortunately did not hurt anybody during the incident, and he was released shortly after his arrest. Per TMZ, he joins a long line of Disney stars who have wrestled with drug and alcohol problems. These stars include Orlando Brown, Zac Efron, J.T. Austin and of course Lindsay Lohan.

If you have questions about how to deal with your charges, contact a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group immediately to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Continue reading

Published on:

How should you handle your Los Angeles DUI charges?good-enough-dui-losangeles

That question might sound trite. Obviously, you want to minimize/avoid punishments that prosecutors might ask for, which could include jail time, cumbersome probation terms and alcohol school, as well as unfortunate spikes in your insurance rates.

In an ideal world, your DUI lawyer could just snap his fingers and make it as if police never pulled you over on the 210 for cutting across lanes or stopped you at a checkpoint near Caltech. But we don’t live in an ideal world, so “good enough” has to be enough.

Perfection Vs “Good Enough” — Why the Debate Matters for Your DUI Defense

In the world of math, the search for a perfect solution is called an “optimization problem.” Here is a vivid example. Imagine it’s raining torrentially. You need to seek shelter at a high place or you’ll drown. How high do you need to climb above the flood plane to save your life? The answer depends on an astonishing number of variables, including the amount of rain, your swimming ability, how far it is to the nearest high place, whether you can climb aboard a lifeboat or not and just float it out, etc.

The IDEAL solution would be to hike up to the top of Mount Rainer, where the rain is least likely to drown you in the U.S. Obviously, this solution is impractical for many reasons: you just want to find a “good enough” solution, so you can ride out the storm in relative safety.

Likewise, you want to think of your defense in the same way. What does the equivalent of “not drowning” look like for you? Would it mean avoiding a lengthy jail term? Would it mean being able to keep your California driver’s license? The clearer you are about what success means to you, the easier it will be to create a customized battle plan for your defense.

Talk to Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut and his team at the Kraut Law Group to figure out the next steps for your Los Angeles DUI defense. Continue reading

Published on:

Most Los Angeles DUI stories that make it into the mainstream press (and get a lot of “buzz” in the blogosphere) involve celebrities, politicians, ironic DUI scenarios, and heartbreakingly dramatic/tragic news.fatal-dui-defense-los-angeles

Unfortunately, “low profile” victims often do not get the attention they probably deserve.

However, occasionally, an accident is so horrific that it captures national attention, even if the people involved do not have their own reality TV shows. To wit: last Sunday, a homeless man died after a crash near the Fifth Street off-ramp of a San Francisco freeway. Authorities believe that a DUI driver hit a tent where the man had been sleeping near the freeway.

According to the California Highway Patrol, 27-year-old Jaime Juarez allegedly smashed into the homeless man and several other people in his Toyota Forerunner after mis-navigating the West Fifth Street exit of 1-80 and then smashing through the guardrail into the tent. The victim died on the scene. Police arrested Juarez for DUI, took him to the San Francisco County Jail and booked him on charges of vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI. Both counts could land him many years behind bars.

California law distinguishes between two main categories of DUI – standard misdemeanor, non-injury DUIs, defined by California Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a) and (b) and injury DUIs, defined by California Vehicle Code Sections 23153(a) and (b).

Prosecutors can also try to enhance your sentence under the following circumstances:

•    You had been driving with an extremely high blood alcohol concentration (e.g. 0.20%);
•    You severely injured or killed someone as opposed to “merely” hurting someone by breaking his arm, for instance;
•    You behaved with gross negligence as opposed to just standard carelessness;
•    You had been arrested and convicted for a DUI offense in the past. If you received a “Watson advisement” after your last DUI, and then you drove DUI again and killed someone, you could be charged with an offense known as a DUI murder;
•    You hit someone and left the scene (hit and run);
•    You evaded police or struggled or attacked police during or after the arrest;

No matter what happened in your case, you deserve a fair and thorough defense. The team here at the Kraut Law Group can help you understand your charges and construct an appropriate strategy. Speak with a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney right now to protect your rights.

Continue reading

Published on:

Individuals facing a Los Angeles DUI may relate to Jed Prisbey Imlay, a Cedar City, UT police officer arrested for driving under the influence on Monday, June 2.IMLAY-DUI-losangeles

On the force since 2005, Imlay doesn’t appear to have any previous marks on his record. However, on the evening of June 2 at around 7 p.m., he allegedly struck a retaining wall with his patrol car near a local baseball field. Although his cruiser was damaged, the retaining wall remained unharmed. However, rather than reporting the incident or waiting for backup, Imlay fled the scene.

After a witness called to report the accident, Imlay was arrested and charged with a class A misdemeanor (driving under the influence) and a class B misdemeanor (leaving the scene of an accident). Considering the Cedar City Police Department’s conflict of interest in the case, the Utah Highway Patrol is leading the investigation.

Since Imlay left the scene of the accident before investigators arrived, it will be difficult to know with certainty what occurred that evening. However, the damage to the patrol car, the eyewitness testimony, and the results of Imlay’s alcohol screening test appear to provide convincing evidence of his culpability.

Although this incident occurred in Utah, it presents several compelling legal issues to Californians, such as:

• How reliable is the information provided by the eyewitness? Did the individual provide a thorough description of Imlay, plate numbers, or other identifying information?

• When was the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) or blood alcohol test (BAC) administered, and how long after the incident? California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a) sets the DUI standard at blood alcohol levels of 0.08 percent or more, within three hours of the incident.

• What is the nature of the class B misdemeanor? Under California Vehicle Code Section 20002, defendants aren’t subject to criminal liability unless they cause damage to the other party’s property. Although the retaining wall wasn’t damaged, the patrol car – presumably owned by the Cedar City Police Department – was.

If you face a complex DUI case such as this one, working with a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney is crucial to ensuring a fair trial. Michael Kraut, a Harvard-trained former prosecutor, knows the law and will work with you to craft a solid defense. Contact Kraut Law today. Continue reading

Published on:

Given all the sturm und drang over your Los Angeles DUI arrest, you’ve had very little time to reflect about events. The little thinking you’ve done has likely been “surface level” thinking. For instance, you’ve probably spent some time puzzling out:understanding-los-angeles-DUI-arrest

•    What to do about your job;
•    How to get by without a license;
•    What to tell your parents or peers about what happened;
•    How to find an effective Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer to represent your interests and help you avoid (or at least minimize) punishments for your crime, which could range widely and include tough probation terms, forced installation of an interlock ignition device in your car, mandatory CA license suspension, fees and fines and prison time.

But could you benefit from considering your Los Angeles DUI in a different kind of context? What if you tried to figure out what drove you to drink too much (if you did, indeed, drink too much)? What if you spent time puzzling out WHY you got behind the wheel while DUI?

These questions sound almost sophistic and possibly irrelevant. After all, who really cares why you did what you did? You just want to get out of trouble, stay out of jail, avoid the fines, etcetera. But reflecting on your mistakes (if you made any) is vitally important, if you hope to achieve the best outcome.

Such thinking could possibly inform your defense strategy. It could help your attorney figure out what kind of evidence to collect. It could help you figure out what you need to do to avoid future DUI trouble. For instance, let’s say you have a history of driving problems or trouble with drugs and alcohol. If you’re honest about that history, your attorney can help you find a good therapist and other resources to keep you on the straight and narrow, going forward.

So how CAN you figure out what “tipped you” into making your fateful decision?

Try to think back to the key moments of the day or evening of your DUI arrest. What were you thinking about right before you grabbed the keys and got behind the wheel? What were you thinking about right before you chose to have that fourth beer or glass of wine? What were you thinking about just before you drove away from the scene of your Los Angeles DUI accident? What were you thinking about just before you got into the verbal fight with the police officer?

Seek to understand the thoughts and emotions that triggered your strange/unwanted behavior. Your attorney can use this thought process as a springboard to contrive an intuitive and effective defense.

For help getting to the bottom of your Los Angeles DUI situation, get in touch with attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut is a vastly experienced ex-criminal prosecutor with a long history of successes in complex criminal trials.

Continue reading

Published on:

Cinco de Mayo is a joyful celebration that sweeps the Southland every year, but it’s also a time when many people drive under the influence in Los Angeles.cinco-de-mayo-dui

The holiday is over 150 years old — it was kicked off in 1862, after Mexicans defeated the French in a pivotal skirmish called the Battle of Puebla. But police are still trying to understand the dynamics of “celebratory DUIs” during Cinco de Mayo and other major holidays, including Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Super Bowl Sunday, and Valentine’s Day.

The LA Weekly reports that officers set up diverse patrols throughout the Southland for the holiday. On Friday night, for instance, the Los Angeles Police Department set up checkpoints on Western Avenue and 8th Street. They also set up checkpoints in Koreatown from 8 PM until 2 in the morning, as well as checkpoints in East Hollywood at Vermont and Melrose. Other Friday checkpoints included a 7 PM to 1 AM patrol at Huntington Drive and Popular Avenue in El Sereno and a South Los Angeles checkpoint at Avalon and Manchester Avenue. LAPD ran another checkpoint in Lancaster from 6 PM to 2 AM on Friday.

Published on:

Authorities arrested 34-year-old Eric Paul Ivanoff for driving under the influence in Southern California, after he caused an awful accident last Friday evening in Orange County.ivanoff-dui

Police in the community of Cypress had set up a checkpoint, which had been operating for just 30 minutes, when Ivanoff’s vehicle smashed into several cars waiting in line. The force of the collision injured three people badly enough that they had to be hospitalized. (All were listed in stable condition, as of this posting).

But then Ivanoff made the situation worse – much worse – by hopping on his vehicle and fleeing the scene. Authorities found him shortly after and arrested him. Allegedly, he resisted arrest and even injured one of the officers who pursued him. Cypress Police reported that “three victims were transported to a local hospital, two of whom were transported to a trauma center with moderate injuries.”

After booking Ivanoff on charges of hit and run, DUI, resisting arrest, and resisting arrest with violence, authorities set his bail at $100,000.

Obviously, the whole story is scary and sad for many reasons. The situation illustrates, dramatically, how DUI defendants can make their situation much, much worse, even after getting caught or stopped by the police.

As Ivanoff approached the checkpoint, he might have been self-conscious. Perhaps he had consumed several drinks before getting behind the wheel. So he might have anticipated that police would have arrested him. Getting busted at a checkpoint is obviously no fun, and a misdemeanor DUI charge can lead to several days in jail, the loss of your California driver’s license, mandatory alcohol school, tough probation terms, spikes on your car insurance rates, and other indirect problems.

However, since he hit and hurt other people, he likely will now be charged per California Vehicle Code Section 23153 (the injury DUI law). This means that he could face over a year behind bars for each person he hurt while driving DUI.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, he (allegedly) got out of his car, fled the scene, and then attacked an officer. Each one of those mistakes, on its own, could complicate his defense tremendously. Hit and run is a serious crime, as is resisting arrest, as is resisting arrest and then hitting an officer.

Fortunately, no one died in the accident, but it holds important object lessons.

If you or someone you love faces complex Los Angeles DUI charges, call the effective and thorough legal team here at the Kraut Law Group for a confidential case consultation.
Continue reading

Contact Information