Articles Posted in DUI mugshots

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Every year, crazy driving under the influence stories go viral because of their shock value. As the year draws to a close, some pretty interesting stories come to mind. Here are three of the craziest DUI stories 2015 has to offer: periscope-dui-arrest

1.    A young woman uses Periscope to live stream DUI driving. We covered this ridiculous incident shortly after it happened. 23-year-old Whitney Beall made national headlines when she live-streamed herself driving DUI in Lakeland, Florida, in October. Police officers learned about the incident when social media users contacted them with the details. The woman said she was driving DUI repeatedly on the live-streaming app before officers finally located and arrested her. Social media is not the place to broadcast any illegal behaviors, but her live stream that night may have saved her life and the lives of others.

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People arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles don’t always display the best judgment. But if you want proof that excessive alcohol consumption can cause you to do dumb things, consider this story from Lakeland, Florida, where a woman practically begged to be arrested.los-angeles-DUI-periscope

According to WMAZ Channel 13—and media outlets across the country—Jennifer Beall was driving her 2015 Toyota Corolla on Saturday, October 10th, when she decided to broadcast her trip to the world via Periscope, a live streaming app. The only problem was that Beall, age 23, was apparently intoxicated and not afraid to share that information. In the raw video footage, you can hear her say repeatedly that she is “driving drunk.”

Many people watching the broadcast reportedly texted Beall and begged her to stop driving before she killed herself or someone else. Some also alerted the Lakeland Police Department via 911. But the police had a problem, because department regulations don’t allow them to download apps like Periscope; they had no way of watching the streaming video to determine where Beall was driving.

Finally, with the assistance of some 911 callers and a younger officer’s personal computer, police tracked Beall using landmarks they could see in the video. They found her on Carpenters Way in Lakeland. Just as officers prepared to pull her over, Beall hit a curb and flattened the tire on her Toyota.

The police reported that Beall smelled like alcohol, behaved in a disoriented fashion and exhibited bloodshot and glassy eyes. She allegedly failed sobriety tests and refused to take a breathalyzer test, so officers arrested her on DUI charges and took her to the Polk County Jail.

A spokesman for the Lakeland Police Department said he had never seen a case like this before in his 30 years of law enforcement.

Do you need help defending against a serious charge? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers immediately.

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hello-kitty-DUIAs Halloween approaches, spooky Los Angeles DUI stories are bound to start hitting the presses.

Sure enough, two ridiculous and sad tales just popped over the past week. The first involved 26-year-old Catherine Butler, a Rochester, New York woman who earned internet notoriety after police arrested her twice in the span of just three hours for driving under the influence.

Police originally stopped her at around 2 in the morning after noticing that her car didn’t have its headlights on. Per WHEC in Rochester, officers took Butler to the police station for her mugshot and subsequently released her. Less than three hours later, at 4:57 a.m., police allegedly spotted Butler swerving all over the road and arrested her again. By this time, she had cleaned up her zombie makeup. So her second mugshot was normal. But according to authorities, her blood alcohol concentration tested above the 0.08% limit for DUI both times. (The NY limit is identical to the one here in Los Angeles, as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 23152.)

Meanwhile, up in Maine, police arrested non other than Hello Kitty herself for DUI.

Authorities said that 37-year-old Carrie Gipson of Westbrook, Maine had been driving in the wrong lane while wearing a Hello Kitty costume. Police say she refused to take a breathalyzer test. They took her to Cumberland County jail, where she posed for a mugshot in her Hello Kitty costume (sans the giant Hello Kitty head).

Whether you’re in costume or out of costume, authorities do not take DUIs lightly. Nor do they tolerate multiple arrests lightly. In fact, if you are convicted three times for DUI within a 10-year span (never mind a three-hour span), prosecutors can charge what normally would be a misdemeanor as a felony, meaning that you could spend over a year behind bars for a crime that ordinarily would only put you behind bars for a few hours or few days. In addition, a felony conviction can strip you of your right to vote, leave you with a permanent criminal record, and subject you to far more intense prosecutions if you’re ever arrested again for other crimes.

An experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers can help you understand the extent and scope of your troubles and help you develop an intelligent, effective plan to get your life back on track. Attorney Kraut is an ex-prosecutor (Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles) with excellent relationships with judges, prosecutors and police in the area.

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amanda-bynes-drug-DUIOf all the celebrity Los Angeles DUI cases that we’ve covered on this blog over many years, the peculiar case of Amanda Bynes has stood out, because the actress’ encounters with the law have had less to do with willful rule breaking and more to do with mental illness.

The ex-child star, who earned fame in movies like Hairspray, found herself in handcuffs again on Monday, after police arrested her for driving under the influence of drugs. According to news outlets, the actress had stopped taking her antipsychotic medication and “started smoking pot again and drinking again.” Previously, she had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, after she threw a bong out of an apartment building in New York City and later lit a fire in the driveway of a complete stranger. She had enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Southern California after completing a court-ordered parentally supervised conservatorship. An anonymous source claimed to RadarOnline that the 28-year-old actress “is absolutely out of control.”

Per, Bynes had been driving high on the drug Adderall when police stopped her in the San Fernando Valley. They administered toxicology tests, and police said it will take 60 days to determine what, if anything, she had been using. Leland Tang, an officer for the California Highway Patrol, said “we would have released [information about what drugs she had in her possession] if we knew it was a stimulant…we won’t know for sure until the toxicology comes back.”

Getting arrested for drug DUI can be complex, but you may be able to challenge the arrest on multiple grounds. An experienced, strategic and compassionate Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, such as ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers, can help you understand your options and develop and execute a consistent defense.

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michael-phelps-dui-mugshotWhen ultra Olympian Michael Phelps got arrested in 2004 for DUI, he had not yet become an uber Olympic legend. When he got caught with a bong in 2009, he had already transformed the Olympics, but he had not yet become the most gold-decorated Olympian in history.

Today, however, Phelps has more gold medals than any one out of the 100 billion people who have ever walked the face of the Earth… and he also has not one but two DUIs under his belt.

According to Baltimore police, Phelps had been driving 84 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone on I-395 in his 2014 Land Rover. Police stopped him near the toll plaza of the Fort McHenry Tunnel at around 1:40 AM and charged him with driving under the influence. The swimmer allegedly behaved in a gentlemanly fashion and cooperated with the officer. He then almost immediately took to Twitter to apologize to his fans and to the world for what happened. He wrote a series of three tweets: “(1/3) Earlier this morning, I was arrested and charged with DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lane lines. (2/3) I understand the severity of my actions and take full responsibility. (3/3) I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.”

The 29-year-old champion – who has 18 gold medals in his possession – may soon find himself struggling with corporate sponsors.

The New York Daily News quoted Dean Crutchfield, a brand consultant, about Phelps’ brushes with the law and what they might mean. Crutchfield said, “the difference between a rut and a grave is the depth – and Phelps is digging deep.” He also said “I hope Michael has saved a lot of money because… he is about to have his income curtailed and future sponsorships blocked.”

On the flip side, the Daily News quoted Darren Marshall, a top VP at a major Chicago sports marketing film, who said “Phelps won’t lose sponsors due to this.” Of course, while the financial implications of a DUI could be pretty severe for anyone – including a sports celebrity – the legal implications could be even more severe.

If you’re convicted multiple times for DUI in Los Angeles, you can face extra penalties, such as increased jail time, longer probation, steeper fines and fees, and the possibility that prosecutors may try to elevate what would ordinarily be a DUI misdemeanor to a felony charge (if you’ve had 3-plus DUIs within the last 10 years).

For help understanding what you can do to protect your rights and freedom after a DUI, contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers for a free and confidential consultation with a former high level Los Angeles city prosecutor.

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When a Los Angeles DUI attorney takes on a new client, one of the most common concerns for this individual is how his or her arrest (and potential conviction) will impact their public reputation. For Senator Ben Hueso of San Diego, this will likely be a topic of conversation as he seeks legal defense for his recent DUI arrest.ben-hueso-dui-arrest

Senator Hueso’s arrest occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, August 22, when an officer discovered him driving down a one-way street in the opposite direction. Although he noticed his error and made a quick U-turn to correct his direction, police pulled him over. When Hueso displayed signs of intoxication, the officer placed him under arrest.

Senator Hueso’s pending DUI charges highlight the many ways driving under the influence can go from bad to worse. Although drivers may believe they can make it home without incident, impaired judgment and motor function – combined with circumstances beyond their control – make venturing out after drinking a risky proposition.

In the state of California, DUI can bring misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on prior convictions and the severity of the offense. Penalties such as fines, jail time, and license suspensions are perpetuated when other circumstances intervene, such as:

•    Traffic violations. Running a stop sign or red light – or, in Senator Hueso’s case, driving in the wrong direction – draws attention to a DUI driver and adds to potential citations and sanctions.

•    Collisions. When a DUI driver hits another car or structure, the resulting injuries, death, or property damage often become his or her responsibility.

•    Public reputation. An individual arrested for or convicted of DUI frequently suffers diminished respect among the public; in some cases, a DUI conviction can lead to job loss.

If you currently face Los Angeles DUI charges with additional complications such as these, your need for a qualified DUI attorney is vital. Contact Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today to begin your defense.

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The Los Angeles DUI defense community is buzzing with news that the National Football League (NFL) may be revising its rules regarding how professional football players should be punished after being caught for DUI.NFL-DUI-rules

Why does the defense community at large care? What are the proposed rule changes, and what do they aim to accomplish?

Let’s address the nitty-gritty first and then talk in more general terms about why these proposed changes could have profound ramifications not just for football players and other athletes but for DUI defendants in general.

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and NFL are striving to change the substance abuse policy for the league. Right now, first time DUI offenders automatically get fined two game checks. The NFL wants to throw a one game suspension into the mix. The NFL and NFLPA also want to revise the rules about the human growth hormone (HDH) testing process. Both groups agree that HDH testing should be done, but they can’t figure out who should arbitrate any decisions – an independent arbitrator or Roger Goodell, the NFL’s top dog.

The policy changes seem subtle. However, they can teach us several important lessons:

1.    DUI policy is always in flux.

The rules governing when and how DUI drivers should be punished are constantly changing, both in the NFL and in state legislatures. To that end, do not attempt to construct a defense by yourself; rather, work with an experienced attorney who understands the latest and most important legal changes.

2.    The conventional wisdom almost always favors punitive approaches for dealing with DUI.

One of the key ideas behind the NFL’s proposed policy change is that, by threatening players with even more penalties for driving DUI (i.e. a suspension, rather than just a fine), the league hopes to curb DUI behavior. However, this assumption may or may not be true. Some research, for instance, suggests that ratcheting up punishment in such a fashion does not deter recidivism.

3.    DUI behavior is a social phenomenon.

Human beings are deeply influenced — at unconscious or subconscious levels — by how their friends and peers behave. If you play in the NFL, for instance, and you see a lot of your friends or colleagues drive under the influence, you might be more likely to get arrested yourself for that crime. This is not a conscious choice – we just tend to mimic people who we think are similar to us. To that end, if you have been hanging out with a crowd that’s prone to partying and breaking the law, think about getting new friends.

For help understanding your charges and formulating an effective Los Angeles DUI defense, call attorney Michael Kraut today at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

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This Los Angeles DUI blog, like many other media outlets, is fascinated by ironic DUI arrests.drunk-as-sht-dui-los-angeles

Most people don’t actually know what the word “ironic” means (looking at you, Alanis!), but it defines a situation with a paradoxical discrepancy. For instance, if you are listening to somber, dreary music while an adorable, colorful children’s TV show plays on the screen, THAT is ironic.

Also ironic: trying to plead innocence, after the police pull you over for driving under the influence while you’re wearing a T-shirt with the words “Drunk As Sh**” in enormous bold letters.

Yet that’s exactly what happened to 21-year-old Ross McMakin of Oregon over the weekend.

On Sunday morning, authorities say that McMakin drove his Ford Ranger pickup truck onto the curb and smashed into a parked car. His ex-girlfriend then tried to grab the keys, but he allegedly choked her and drove off by himself. Police were notified at around 3:30 in the morning, and they stopped him.

Per the Corvallis Gazette-Times, McMakin’s BAC level was over twice the legal limit (in Southern California, as in Oregon, that number is 0.08% BAC). He allegedly told police that his “girlfriend didn’t know how to drive stick shift,” so that was why he was driving. He faces a rouge’s gallery of intense charges, including harassment, strangulation, reckless endangerment, and DUI driving.

He also faces instantly infamy, thanks to his T-shirt — that he wore in his mug shot — which read “Drunk As Sh**.”

McMakin obviously is hoping his ironic arrest will fade and be forgotten. Unfortunately, the internet has a memory like an elephant – if you are arrested for DUI wearing an ironic T-shirt – that picture will unfortunately likely live forever in infamy, since it has a “viral element” to it.

On the other hand, someone like McMakin can seek to fight some or all of his charges. One option – which may or may not be available for the 21-year-old – is to seek something called expungement. Basically, if you plead no contest to a DUI (or guilty), in some cases, the court can later allow you to dismiss your case and remove it from the record. Obviously, this won’t help with the public humiliation factor, but it can help you when it comes to applying for a job or insurance. Plus, if you ever get arrested again for a crime like DUI (or something else), the expungement will prevent the court from “seeing” what you did in the past.

For help managing the aftermath of your arrest, call a Los Angeles DUI criminal defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers immediately for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
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