Articles Posted in Violent Crimes

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You’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime. You’re worried about your future, your relationships and your freedom. Will you have to go to jail? Will your significant other take you back? How can you avoid overly-harsh punishment or refute what you believe are baseless accusations against you?global-domestic-violence-stats-300x300

While analyzing all these worries, it’s easy to feel isolated. The cultural taboo against domestic violence–especially alleged attacks on children–is profound in the United States. And understandably so. Even if you committed a “bad” act in a moment of passion or weakness, you (hopefully!) don’t wish for a more violent world. But obtaining compassion from friends and family–or even basic understanding–in the wake of DV charges can be hard.

You might find it useful to look outside of your situation and take a 20,000 foot view. How do other countries and cultures grapple with the challenges of domestic violence? What do they do (or fail to do) to protect and be sensitive to victims? What safeguards do they have in place (or not) to ensure fair treatment of the accused?

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metoo-los-angeles-300x187By most accounts, 2017 has been a particularly turbulent year. From political upheaval at home to nuclear threats abroad; from devastating hurricanes to fires; from mass shootings to Harvey Weinstein (and dozens more exposed and felled by #metoo); it seems like one headline continues to outdo the next.

Amid all the upheaval, this year has also seen some important news stories about domestic violence, some of which even tie in to recent high-profile stories (for example, the church shooting in Sutherland Springs). Let’s look at a few of the most notable domestic violence news stories for 2017 and see what we can learn from them.

Red Sox Pitcher Steven Wright Arrested for Domestic Violence

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As someone recently accused of domestic violence charges, you’re no doubt acutely aware of the challenges faced by victims. Whether you stand falsely accused of hitting a spouse or partner, or whether you took an action against someone you love that you profoundly regret, it’s important to empathize. After all, finding a resolution to your family crisis—and your criminal case—requires understanding the situation first.falsely-accused-DV-300x221

Unfortunately, those accused of domestic violence—as well as those victimized by violent acts—often look only to the courts to sort things out. Sometimes, sadly, punitive intervention is necessary. But wouldn’t it be better if everyone involved could have their needs met and society provided more (and better) resources to families in trouble?

After all, the end goals we’re all seeking are the same:

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Social media has become an integral part of our lives and our culture. While it has its benefits—it’s fun to stay connected to family and friends—there’s also a downside. Facts get distorted, ugly rumors spread quickly and some unfortunate person’s life can get turned inside out in a matter of hours.losangeles-domestic-violence-charges

So what happens when you get charged with domestic violence? How do you respond if your accuser takes the story public? Your answer may depend on the truth of the charges against you and what impact the social media statements will have on your personal and professional life.

NOTE: Before you respond in any way, speak with a qualified Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor mistakes with respect to how you handle the situation online can have profound implications for your ability to fight the charges.

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Under a pilot program that became law in 2010, those convicted of DUI in Los Angeles County must use an ignition interlock device on any vehicles they drive for at least five months after a DUI arrest. jessica-crane-DUI-manslaughter

Why these draconian rules? Advocates of IID laws are pointing to a recent incident in Miami, Florida, to make the case that tough rules prevent recidivism and save lives.

Jessica Crane, 39, had racked up multiple driving violations before she plowed into a pregnant mother and her two children in Miami in early May. She had also allegedly lost her license 14 times because of failure to pay her fines. According to the Miami Herald, Crane should have been using an ignition interlock device on any vehicle that she drove. But her 2008 Infiniti didn’t have one, so Crane allegedly drove while under the influence and ended up killing an unborn baby. (Her BAC measured 0.22 almost three hours after the crash.)
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We see (and report on) so many disturbing Los Angeles DUI cases. Unfortunately, these events often seem to blend together.soukvilay-barton-dui-manslaughter

Whether you’ve been following this blog for several weeks or many years, you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme: people often make dumb/dangerous decisions to drive DUI and then compound their woes by doing other dumb/dangerous “stuff” after the fact, such as leaving the scene of an accident, spitting in the face of a police officer, etc.

A really distressing case out of Riverside presents a dramatic, deeply disturbing portrait of what can “go wrong” during a DUI. According to witnesses, 37-year-old Soukvilay Barton had been fighting with family members at her Riverside home on the 14000 block of Bush Avenue last Friday evening. In a fog of anger, Ms. Barton hopped into her BMW convertible and attempted to leave the home. Her father, 69-year-old Bounmy Rajsombath, did not want her to get in the car, because she had been drinking. He ran to the driveway to stop her from backing out of the garage, but she did so anyway and struck her father. Barton immediately stopped the car as soon as she realized she injured her dad and collapsed sobbing. Emergency workers rushed Rajsombath to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police arrested Barton, meanwhile, for DUI and escorted her to the Riverside Police’s Magnolia Station. Reports suggest that she could face enhanced charges, such as DUI manslaughter, in connection with the death of her father.

According to sergeant Dan Reeves, who investigated the tragedy, Rajsombath spent his final moments pleading with his daughter not to drive DUI, before she hit and killed him. The situation speaks to the often forgotten fact that DUIs can tear families asunder, sometimes literally. Obviously, this young woman did not want to hurt or kill her father, but a single bad decision or momentary lapse of reason can lead to lifetimes of agony and remorse, both for the offender (and for the offender’s family) and for the victim (and the victim’s family).

Depending on the nature of a DUI manslaughter, prosecutors can ask for enhanced charges, such as “gross negligence” – a special kind of negligence beyond standard carelessness – that can lead to extra jail time and more penalties.

For help understanding how to deal with your case, call an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group today for sympathetic and sound assistance.
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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (and if so, lucky you), you’ve been bombarded by breaking news in the Jodi Arais trial. The verdict is in: the woman who killed her boyfriend in 2008 after a day of sex — shooting him in the face, stabbing him 27 times, and finally slitting his throat from ear to ear — was found guilty by an Arizona jury of first degree murder.jodi-arias-murder-los-angeles-defense-attorney.jpg

It’s a case that’s fascinated tabloid-obsessed housewives and hardened Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys alike. And Ms. Arias now faces life behind bars… and possibly even the death penalty.

A Wild Affair

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Whether you were arrested in a Manhattan Beach bathroom on lewd conduct charges or charged with some other sex crime in Los Angeles, you nevertheless still think of yourself as a pretty decent guy (or girl) who made a misjudgment. los-angeles-sex-crime-teacher.jpg

You almost certainly resent being categorized among other more serious sex offenders. To that end, you want to do everything possible, legally speaking, to prevent the “sex offender” label from following you around forever, a la the scarlet letter A on Hester Prinne’s chest.

That drive makes sense. After all, consider this Southern California lewd conduct case (that’s equal parts sad and disturbing) as an object lesson.

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If you’re charged and convicted of a sex crime or lewd conduct in Los Angeles, not only can you face jail time and penalties, but you can also be forever “tarred and feathered” with the sex offender label.los-angeles-sex-crime-defense-law-help.jpg

That said, not all lewd conduct charges are equal – not by a long shot. Some cases — like the case of the recently widely publicized case of the Southland teacher who abused a whole classroom of elementary school children for months — are horrendous in their implications. But other lewd conduct cases — like those of the 19 men busted in a sting at a Manhattan Beach restroom users (which we blogged about a few months ago) — are not in the same league, much less the same ballpark.

And still other cases are just really sad and disappointing.

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On Tuesday, a shocking “not guilty” verdict was handed down in the “Trial of the Century” murder trial of Casey Anthony, stunning the Los Angeles violent criminal defense community along with the rest of the world.Casey-Anthony-verdict.jpg

In case you have been living in a cable news vacuum (in which case, good for you), here’s a quick recap. In 2008, the defendant, Casey Anthony, allegedly killed her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, and then went out partying right afterwards.

Motivated by the particularly grisly inhuman-ness of the alleged crime, prosecutors sought to convict Ms. Anthony on a capital murder charge. This could have resulted in her execution, had she been convicted. But the jury found her not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter (although she was convicted for several lesser offenses).

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