Articles Posted in Expungements

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Think of the most self-destructive thing you could possibly say or do after a Los Angeles DUI arrest. carol-frances-omeara-DUI.jpg

Keep thinking… because there is almost no way you’re going to be able to beat what 55-year-old Billings, Montana resident, Carol Frances Omeara, allegedly told police officers.

On October 8th, police arrested Omeara for her fourth lifetime DUI, after she called police from her car to tell them that she was “just too damn drunk” to leave her vehicle. According to local reports, Omeara consumed an entire pint of vodka in just 5 hours and then got behind the wheel. When she called officers at around 10:40 PM, they wanted to know whether she had a “medical or mechanical issue,” to which she responded: “No, I’m just too damn drunk.”

Police came to the scene, shortly thereafter, and freed her from her vehicle. They then gave her a breath test. She blew a whopping 0.311% BAC reading. That’s nearly four times the legal limit for driving under the influence in Southern California (or anywhere in the U.S., for that matter).

In fact, Omeara is actually lucky that she didn’t die. At around the 0.30% or 0.40% BAC mark, you can suffer serious medical problems. For instance, you can go into a coma, suffer liver or organ damage, and experience other catastrophic, unwelcome side effects.

Omeara’s cry for help was actually less “crazy” than it seems.

She had been stuck in her car for four hours, right outside her home. (She was just a few feet from her house!) But imagine if she had been stuck in a snowstorm and had lost reception on her cell phone. She could have frozen to death in her car. Alcohol is a natural vasodilator; it releases heat from your body’s core. (That’s why you get a “warm flush” when you have a glass of whiskey on a cold day).

In other words, she could have frozen to death just feet from her own home.

Not that she’s going to have an easy time defending against a 4th DUI, either.

If you’re convicted multiple times for driving under the influence in Los Angeles, you can face substantially increased penalties, such as more jail time, felony charges, a longer license suspension, and other unpleasantries.

To make sense out of your Los Angeles DUI charges and advocate aggressively for your rights, connect today with Mr. Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor. He serves as legal expert for KTLA News, LA Weekly, and other respected publications throughout the Southland and beyond.

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Beverly Hills drug crime stories can get pretty epic. Craig-Robinson-Arrest-drug-crime.jpg

Tinseltown stars portray larger-than-life characters on the screen, but their off-the-screen exploits can be even more astonishing.

Consider the recent saga of actor Craig Robinson, who played Darryl Philbin, the warehouse boss on NBC’s The Office. Robinson — who also starred in this year’s blockbuster summer comedy, This is the End — recently got detained in the Bahamas for possessing drugs, including marijuana and 18 pills of MDMA (a.k.a. ecstasy).

The actor, who had been performing at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas, got stopped just before he boarded a plane heading back to the United States. He admitted that he had brought drugs from the United States and that he hadn’t realized they were illegal in the Bahamas.

The actor could have been imprisoned for four years. But he got off with a fine of $1,000.

Robinson has been featured in a number of drug themed comedies, so perhaps this is a case of “life imitates art.” The Bahamas case is not Robinson’s first brush with the law, either. In 2008, police in Culver City arrested him for possessing methamphetamine and ecstasy. Robinson went through a drug diversion program to get the charges dismissed.

Robinson’s other credits include “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” “Hot Tub Time Machine,” and “Pineapple Express.”

Pineapple Express is actually the story of a drug deal gone epically, comically wrong.

Of course, Beverly Hills drug crime charges are anything but a laughing matter. If you or someone you know has been accused of a similar crime, you could face stringent punishments, even if it’s your first time ever breaking the law in Beverly Hills. For instance, depending on the nature of your crime, you could face mandatory felony charges and face over a year in jail.

Fortunately, you have options at your disposal to construct a sound and ethical Beverly Hills drug crime defense.

Attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group would be happy to provide a free and confidential consultation about your options. Your drug crime defense will depend on a variety of factors, including whether you’ve been arrested before, whether you also distributed and sold drugs, whether you committed other crimes in addition to drug charges, and beyond. Let Attorney Kraut help you make sense of your complex Beverly Hills drug crime defense case.

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Governor Jerry Brown will be going after Pasadena sex crime offenders (and offenders throughout the state) who remove their electronic tracking devices, thanks to a new piece of legislation he just signed in Sacramento. pasadena-sex-crime-gps.jpg

Sponsored by State Senator, Ted Lieu, the legislation forces offenders who remove their GPS devices to be sentenced to 180 days in jail. Lieu explained the rationale for the legislation in a public statement: “when sex offenders know that there are little or no repercussions for cutting off their GPS monitoring devices, it’s time to strengthen the deterrent…Real deterrents for sex offenders drastically reduce the likelihood they will commit another crime.”

In 2006, California voters passed Proposition 83, which allowed authorities to monitor sex offenders with GPS. In the wake of that law’s passage, journalists observed a spike in the number of cases in which offenders cut off their monitoring devices. The original law intended to reduce jail overcrowding — a huge problem in California. But within the first 15 months after penalties were reduced, over 5,000 warrants for tampering with the GPS were served.

Some fugitives included sex offenders, rapists, and murderers.

A Los Angeles Times report said Fidel Tafoya, a repeat offender who cut off his GPS bracelet, recently got rearrested for misdemeanor sexual battery for inappropriate touching at the Fresno State campus library. Reports say that Tafoya had been busted twice before for similar crimes.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and several other groups opposed SB 57 because they feared that the bill would “only add to the existing problem of overcrowding.”

SB 57 is not the only major Pasadena sex crime story in the news.

Several Southern California high school football players recently faced accusations that they sexually assaulted and raped six girls, including one girl under 14-years-old. The 17-year-old players stand accused of two charges of forceful rape (both felonies), lewd acts with a minor under 14, false imprisonment, and other charges.

According to police, the football players began their assault spree in January and continued to attack students over the summer. A spokesman for the District Attorney’s office in Riverside County said that the “all names have been released in this case, because [the football players] have been charged with serious or violent felonies.”

Outside the courtroom in late September, the mother of one of the accused football players got into a confrontation with the parents of the victims. She said: “I know the truth is coming out and his name will be cleared of the things that were wrongly said.” The mom says that the sex was consensual.

If you love someone who has been accused of a sex crime in Pasadena, a defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group can help you understand what you might be up against and develop a battle plan to defend against the charges. Connect with a former Senior Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles today to build a sound and accurate defense to Pasadena lewd conduct or other criminal charges.

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If you were arrested for Pasadena medical fraud recently, you have plenty of company. medicare-fraud-in-los-angeles-defense.jpg

In a massive bust a few months ago, the federal government arrested 89 people in Los Angeles, Houston, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Baton Rouge, Tampa, and Miami. Police grabbed documents, raided businesses, and aggressively pursued alleged wrongdoers. Of the 89 people snagged in the dragnet, 14 were nurses and doctors. Federal officials say that the 89 people collectively stole over $223 million from the taxpayers.

The schemes allegedly conducted were pretty diverse, although regular readers of our Pasadena criminal defense blog won’t be surprised:

• Some people pretended to be doctors to write fake prescriptions. Then they billed the federal government for the meds.
• In another scam, some folks bribed Medicare patients for their identification numbers and then billed the government for services never provided.
• The top suspect purchased a Ferrari and two Lamborghinis with the money he allegedly pilfered.

Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, and Kathleen Sebelius, the head of Health & Human Services, worked with 400 federal agents to plan and execute the crackdown. Over the last four years, the anti-fraud Medicare strike force has arrested over 1,500 people and returned $8 for every dollar spent on investigations.

Despite these successes, Holder expressed doubt about whether the antifraud forces would continue to be funded at the same rate. The Justice Department may lose $1.6 billion due to sequestration. Holder worried to reporters that, “unless Congress adopts a balanced deficit reduction plan and stops the reduction currently slated for 2014, [our] capacity to protect the American people from healthcare fraud … will be further reduced.”

Implications for Pasadena Medicare Fraud Defendants
If you or someone you love got swept up in this dragnet — or if you stand accused of a Pasadena white collar crime, like insurance fraud or healthcare fraud — the team here at the Kraut Law Group is standing by to listen to your story. We can give you the strategic guidance you need to regain a feeling of control. Get in touch with former prosecutor and Harvard Law School educated defense lawyer Kraut and his team today for the insights you need.

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Major breaking Los Angeles drug crime news… losangelesdrumcrimedefense.jpg

A law enforcement crack down, code named “Operation Smokin’ Aces,” has led to the indictment of 129 people linked to the Mexican mafia. These alleged gang members have been charged with drug and weapon charges, conspiracy, racketeering, murder, and extortion – just to name a few crimes.

According to an AP report about the bust: “The Mexican Mafia sought and received payments from gangs in Orange County in exchange for freely committing crimes in primarily Latino neighborhoods… those who refused were put on lists that often resulted in violent retribution.”

Los Angeles is renowned (in a bad way) for its major gang activity.

Over 45 gangs are active in the city, and many of these gangs have been around for decades. Police estimate that they have over 45,000 members. This decade alone, there have been 16,398 verified violent gang crimes in L.A., including nearly 500 murders, over 7,000 felony assaults, nearly 100 rapes, and over 5,500 robberies.

People who stand accused of drug crimes in Southern California face a series of challenging tasks. If you or loved one has been involved with a gang, you might be afraid of reprisals, both inside and outside of jail. At the same time, you also want to minimize your punishments and maximum your chances of rehabilitating your life, getting clean, and contributing positively to society. In that context, how can you construct an ethical, impassioned, and effective defense, especially if you’re fearful both for your life and safety?

To understand your options, get in touch with the experienced, aggressive, and successful Los Angeles drug crime attorneys at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut and his team handle sensitive, complex matters, and they can help you meet your complex legal challenges.

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The crime of lewd conduct in Burbank is a serious offense. Your penalties can include jail time, probation and a lifetime “sex offender” label, which can make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to find good work, secure loans and lead a normal life.miley_cyrus_terry-richardson-los-angeles-lewd-conduct.jpg

In that context, consider the case of Director Terry Richardson, a 48-year-old fashion auteur — the creative visionary behind Miley Cyrus’s recent much-buzzed-about video, Wrecking Ball. The Hannah Montana icon is featured licking a hammer in a very sexually provocative way – and the video also shows the former child star weeping. It’s quite a disturbing juxtaposition.

But did Richardson cross the line? Should he have put images of Miley Cyrus wearing a sexy white tank top and appearing to lick his face (while in her underwear) on the web? While few people have suggested that Richardson did anything outright illegal in the making of the Wrecking Ball video, the director has come under fire, repeatedly, throughout his career for creating skeevy material and for acting badly behind the scenes.

Rie Rasmussen, a Danish filmmaker, told the New York Post that he warned Richardson “What you do is completely degrading to women.” A former 19-year-old model, Jamie Peck, disclosed some very disturbing allegations against Richardson: “I’m not sure how he maneuvered me over to the couch, but at some point, he strongly suggested I touch his terrifying penis.”

Richardson has defended himself in the press against such allegations – including one allegation that he once did a fashion shoot while totally naked and waving his penis around.

So what are the implications, if any, for your Southern California sex crime or Burbank lewd conduct defense?

First of all, appreciate the following. Richardson may stand accused of doing nasty things on his shoots. But no one has outright accused him of a crime, such as trying to sleep with an underage girl. That line may seem fine. But once you cross it, you can be subjected to serious criminal penalties.

Stuff that many people would consider “creepy” — such as, perhaps, a 48-year-old man dating a 19-year-old woman — may not be illegal. But the law is a law. The law sets boundaries. If you break those boundaries – or if you stand accused of breaking those boundaries – prosecutors will take your situation very seriously.

To that end, consider getting in touch with an experienced, accredited, very respected Burbank lewd conduct defense lawyer, like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut is a former city prosecutor (Senior Deputy District Attorney) with excellent contacts and a track record for getting great results in complex cases.

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Whether you’re just being investigated for healthcare fraud in Los Angeles, or whether police already raided your facility and booked you under some very scary sounding charges, you’re feeling out of control and out of the loop.southern-california-health-care-fraud-laws.jpg

What crimes, exactly, might prosecutors charge you with? And what can you do about your impending serious legal battle?

The vast majority of Southern California healthcare crimes are charged according to Insurance Code Section 1871.4. Many cases also include a charge per Penal Code Section 550. That section covers when people make false insurance claims to collect or deny insurance benefits. If you used a false statement to make an insurance claim, prosecutors might also slam you with a charge per Penal Code Section 118, which deals with perjury.

If you’re a doctor, chiropractor or dentist who committed Southern California healthcare fraud, you may also face charges per Labor Code Section 3700. This misdemeanor has to do with falsely representing an employee’s workers’ compensation coverage.

Doctor Fraud in Los Angeles

If you’re a caregiver who practices medicine (or any therapy) in Southern California, you’re well aware that insurance companies are paying less and less for services. So many doctors “push the envelope” with their billing – either by billing more than they should or by making up services never provided. You can read in the news about the million and one variations on this kind of scheme. But the law takes them all very seriously. Not only can you risk a major jail sentence, but the California Medical Board may also strip you of your license.

If federal or CA investigators have already collected patient records and other vital paperwork from your office – or you have other urgent questions concerning your rights, responsibilities, potential punishments, possible defenses, etc – please get in touch with an experienced Southern California Medicare fraud defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group now for sound, effective guidance regarding your legal options.

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Reporters have called it “one of the largest single crackdowns on organized crime in L.A. County history” — on August 6th, local authorizes from multiple agencies cracked down on the Los Angeles drug crime trade created by the Mexican Mafia prison gang. Mexican-Mafia.jpg

The raid collected almost $20 million in methamphetamines (600 pounds’ worth!) and led to the arrest of eight people – alleged members of the Mexican Mafia or “La Familia.” Police nabbed a cache of firearms and handguns. According to reports, the gang members had been coordinating a drug running operation known mysteriously as “The Project.” The idea was that members would supply meth all over Southern California in exchange for protection in jail and safety on the streets.

U.S. Attorney André Birotte, Jr. summarized what happened: “our joint efforts have helped disrupt a plot that could have flooded literally our neighborhoods with tons of methamphetamines and other narcotics… we have put an end to an alignment of criminal organizations that would have been unprecedented.”

In related news, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) indicted 31 gang members with charges such as aiding and abetting, drug offences, conspiracy, beyond – all 31 people face life behind bars without chance of parole.

A large scale bust on the Mexican mafia in Los Angeles County is not without precedent. Back in 2007, authorities arrested and charged 100 alleged gang members, five of whom got sentenced to life in jail without parole.

Putting Your Los Angeles Drug Crime Charges in Perspective
If you were arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell, conspiracy, or even a basket of drug charges, you know that the law takes these cases very seriously. Among the punishments you could face include: jail time, fines and fees, the loss of your license, probation terms, and beyond. You may also face multiple counts, which means that your punishments could stack up on each other.

Executing a Sound Los Angeles Criminal Defense Strategy

Crafting a good defense is non-intuitive work.

Ideally, you want to find an attorney who has real world, practical knowledge working on both sides of the law – as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney – with a demonstrated record of success in each capacity.

Attorney Michael Kraut with the Kraut Law Group has those unique qualifications. He served for 14 plus years as a high level prosecutor (rising to the level of Senior Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles), and has since built a thriving, successful criminal defense firm, the Kraut Law Group. Connect with Mr. Kraut and his team today to schedule a free, confidential consultation about your defense options.

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Do you face Los Angeles drug charges, such as illegal possession, distribution, or conspiracy? jenelle-evans-los-angeles-drug-crime.jpg

If so, you can probably relate to the plights of two female reality starts: Tulisa Contostavlos (former X Factor judge) and Jenelle Evans, (star of the reality show, Teen Mom).

Tulisa — who won fame as a singer (“We Are Young”) — got busted in June for providing an undercover reporter with a Class A drug. Mike GLC, a fellow musician, was arrested with her.

Per the Sun, a British newspaper, the 25 year-old Tulisa was caught on camera hooking up an undercover journalist with a purported drug dealer at London’s Dorchester Hotel. The deal was reportedly worth 820 pounds. Tulisa has tried to duck out of the limelight. But Mike GLC vocally denied being a drug dealer and claimed that all the negative attention from the case was “ruining [his] life.”

Meanwhile, back across The Pond, Teen Mom star Jenelle Evans returned to jail after she failed a drug test. Evans got hit with an intense array of charges, including assault and heroin possession. Her sentence: 18 months of unsupervised probation.

The star of Teen Mom 2 — which apparently is now in jeopardy of being cancelled by MTV — has been through the ringer, legally speaking. In May, she failed to show up at a court hearing pursuant to charges that she had cyber-stalked an ex-boyfriend. She had to pay a $1,000 bond and turn herself in.

She later claimed on her blog that she made a simple scheduling mistake. She wrote: “at 9 AM I get a text from my lawyer telling me “make sure your [sic] at court at 9.30 AM.” As soon as I see that text, my heart dropped out of my a**! I responded with, “Do I have to be there?” Because sometimes I don’t have to be there… he responded with “they’re holding the case open until you get here.”

But she didn’t make it in time and wound up with a “failure to appear” charge.

Do You Face Los Angeles Drug Crime Charges?

Whether you got booked for selling marijuana in Burbank, or you face a more complicated set of charges, you can leverage a variety of defenses. To learn about your Los Angeles drug crime defense options – to develop a strategy to move beyond the arrest and get your life back – talk to Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut now.

Mr. Kraut is a highly reputable, resourceful, and aggressive attorney who has lots of personal connections in the Southern California legal community.

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You just got a Burbank DUI. Maybe it was your first. Perhaps it was your second. Hopefully (fingers crossed) it wasn’t your third or fourth. But odds are, you’re at least still in the single digits.16-dui-burbank.jpg

What happens if someone gets 16 DUIs within a lifetime? What should the appropriate punishment be?

Surprise, surprise, this horrendous situation has happened more than one time in history. The courts have found very different ways of punishing the situation.

Consider first the case of James Steven Corley, a resident of Conroe, Alabama, who was stopped by a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy on August 28th, after an officer saw the 52-year-old weaving in and out of traffic – while driving with a broken taillight, no less.

The officer pulled Corley over, and then a second deputy put him through the paces of a field sobriety test. (Burbank field sobriety tests typically include roadside “quizzes” such as: touch your finger to nose while keeping your eyes closed; count backwards from 100 by 3s; stand on one leg; walk the painted line, etc.)

Corley failed the FST, but his BAC level was somewhere between 0.05% and 0.1% — for reference, the limit for Burbank DUI, per CVC Section 23152, is 0.08%. So he wasn’t “that” under the influence, if he was at all. However, there was some additional “stuff” going on. First of all, he had taken prescription medication, which amplified his incapacity. Secondly, he had just allegedly assaulted and burglarized his girlfriend, and he was running away from her.

In any event, the court had enough of Corley and whacked him with a 99-year prison sentence for his 16th DUI.

Meanwhile, 60-year-old Robert Groethe recently racked up his 16th conviction (his first happened way back in 1977). Stunningly, 11 of 16 of his convictions were felonies. In June 2012, he smashed into a car near a casino in Rapid City, South Dakota. Tests revealed that he had a BAC level over thrice the legal limit, and he destroyed nearly $3,000 worth of property. Stunningly, however, due to quirks of South Dakota law, Groethe got away with just a two year jail sentence with a chance of parole in less than a year.

That’s barely over the maximum penalty for a first time misdemeanor DUI in Burbank, and it could even be more lenient than first time DUI with injury.

This “tale of two 16 DUI stories” isn’t to suggest that one punishment is more appropriate than the other. Rather, it highlights how fluid DUI defense can be. Your punishments – and future – can hinge on an enormously diverse set of factors, including whether this is your first or second time DUI; whether you hurt anyone; and how effective your Burbank DUI attorney is at building a case on your behalf.

Look to the very experienced and highly ethical team here at the Kraut Law Group to help put together your defense. Attorney Kraut is a respected ex-prosecutor who has helped many people just like you with their Burbank DUI defenses.

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