Articles Posted in Violent Crimes

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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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What makes a story about driving under the influence in Long Beach noteworthy? A quick search on Google news reveals that the most popular Burbank DUI, Pasadena DUI, Glendale DUI, and Los Angeles DUI stories involve celebrities, scary or grisly cases, or people doing stunt-like acts while DUI, such as driving lawnmowers, jet skis, or electric unicycles.teen-long-beach-dui.jpg

Sometimes, the ages of the participants – as well as their dramatic situations – influence newsworthiness. For instance, last week, police arrested 20-year-old Andrew Magill of Arona, Pennsylvania for driving under the influence, after his 16-year-old wife leapt from his car. Early reports did not specify why the 16-year-old leapt from the vehicle at Central Highway and Buttermilk Hollow Road at 6:15 A.M. last Tuesday. But the fall resulted in a potentially serious head injury and a DUI charge for her husband. Apparently, police are not expected to file domestic dispute charges.

This near tragedy (or, possibly, semi-tragedy) clearly illustrates that there is a fine, almost minuscule line between conventional Long Beach DUI — which is generally charged as a misdemeanor pursuant to CVC 23152 (a) or 22152 (b) — and Long Beach injury DUI, which would be charged according to CVC 23153 (a) or 23153 (b).

If all those letters and numbers confused you, we are talking about the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor – between a mild sentence and more than a year behind bars!

Even if you have the world’s best Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, your challenges become exponentially greater if you have to fight a felony count (or multiple felony counts) instead of just a simple misdemeanor.

This isn’t to say that all hope is lost. Indeed, Long Beach’s Kraut Law Group (444 West Ocean, Suite 800 Long Beach, California 90802 Phone: (562) 531-7454) can provide immediate, strategic assistance developing and moving your defense forward. Mr. Kraut is often called upon to analyze Long Beach DUI news stories for KTLA News, the New York Times, Fox News, and other major media sources. He served for nearly a decade-and-a-half as a prosecutor for the city before “switching sides” to represent defendants.

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The crime of driving under the influence in Glendale – in and of itself – is enormous and consequential, even if you don’t cause damage to life or limb and you cooperate fully with authorities – and even if you were just barely over the limit. MIGUEL-CABRERA-DUI.jpg

But evidence mounting against Miguel Cabrera – an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers – suggests that the major leaguer, who was arrested back in February on DUI charges, may be in a lot more trouble than anyone previously knew.

As this blog and other media outlets reported, Cabrera got arrested on February 16th in a florid scene that probably would have been newsworthy even if he hadn’t been a major league baseball player. If you have been pulled over in a relatively pedestrian Burbank DUI, Glendale DUI, Los Angeles DUI, or Pasadena DUI matter, you may be shocked to learn how crazy Cabrera’s arrest was.

He apparently drank a whisky bottle in front of the officer who arrested him, asked the police to “kill me” and confessed to having threatened to blow up a steakhouse.

Turns out, all those things pale in comparison with what Cabrera might have done.

Last week, the Florida State’s Attorney’s Office released evidence that suggests that Cabrera nearly ran two different Wal-Mart trucks off the road in his Range Rover. The truckers were forced to “take evasive action… in order not to hit [Cabrera’s] sport utility vehicle head on.”

Cabrera allegedly caused one tractor trailer to dodge him and another to actually drive all the way onto the grass to avoid a collision.

More information about what actually happened will no doubt trickle in, once the June 10 hearing arrives. Had Cabrera collided head first with either of the trucks, chances are, this would be a story about Los Angeles DUI manslaughter.

When SUVs and truck collide on the highways head on at high speeds, even advanced safety measures like ABS and airbags can be rendered essentially useless. Glendale DUI vehicular manslaughter charges can lead to punishments such as lengthy jail sentences, fines and fees, alcohol school, strict probation, and essentially the end of a baseball career (or any career).

An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney (one example: Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group – located in Glendale at 450 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 600, Glendale, California 91203 Phone: (818) 507-9123) can help you make sense of the charges pending against you and act in a timely, appropriate and proactive way to manage the charges. Connect today with this Harvard Law School educated attorney to go over your case and start plotting the most appropriate legal response.

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Last Friday, 53-year-old Jeffrey David Kirby of Costa Mesa was sentenced for felony vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence in Southern California. In March 2009, Kirby lost control of his 2004 Ferrari and smashed into Charles David Lewis, a famous mixed martial arts entrepreneur and founder of the closing line TapouT.jeffrey-david-kirby-DUI-murder.jpg

Lewis had been driving so fast that his sports car ripped in half upon smashing into a light pole.

Although most arrests for DUI in Burbank, DUI in Pasadena, Glendale DUI and Los Angeles DUI are far less “drama filled” and headline grabbing, Kirby’s actions both before, during, and after the crash read like he showed persistently poor judgment.

First of all, consider the fact that Kirby had a DUI conviction back in 2002. After getting that conviction, Kirby was given a warning called the Watson Advisement — this is a formal way of reminding you that driving under the influence can be lethal. If, after receiving this advisement, you then go out and commit a DUI injury or kill someone while DUI, your penalties can be ratcheted up significantly. You could even face a Pasadena DUI murder charge in extreme cases.

Second, consider that Kirby fled the accident scene after he rammed into Lewis. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in and of itself – a so-called “hit and run” – and it could be charged and punished separately.

Finally, according to prosecutors, Kirby had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over twice the Southern California legal limit of 0.08% a full two hours after the accident. In certain cases, if you have an extremely high BAC level, prosecutors can ask for additional charges, such as bigger fines and longer time in jail.

In Kirby’s case, he escaped a DUI murder charge, but he did get convicted under the California Vehicle Manslaughter Law and got a nine-year prison sentence for the DUI death.

In a typical Pasadena DUI vehicular manslaughter, prosecutors will check out police reports and reports from other agencies to figure out how to charge the defendant.

A qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who has experience in homicide cases can probe the accident by interviewing experts, reconstructing the scene of the accident, reviewing toxicology reports and poring over relevant documents or witness statements to help you build a creditable and powerful defense.

Connect with Pasadena DUI defense attorney Michael Kraut for an immediate and free consultation. The Pasadena branch of the Kraut Law Group is located at 790 East Colorado Boulevard, 9th floor, Pasadena, California 91101 Phone: (626) 345-1899. Not only does Attorney Kraut have a spectacular record at jury trials and a wealth of experience as a former prosecutor (14+ years working for the city prosecuting DUI cases) which he leverages to help his defense clients, but he also understands applicable law both in theory and practice. He has delivered best results for clients even in complicated and highly technical cases.
he defendant.

A qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who has experience in homicide cases can probe the accident by interviewing experts, reconstructing the scene of the accident, reviewing toxicology reports and poring over relevant documents or witness statements to help you build a creditable and powerful defense.

Connect with Pasadena DUI defense attorney Michael Kraut for an immediate and free consultation. The Pasadena branch of the Kraut Law Group is located at 790 East Colorado Boulevard, 9th floor, Pasadena, California 91101 Phone: (626) 345-1899. Not only does Attorney Kraut have a spectacular record at jury trials and a wealth of experience as a former prosecutor (14+ years working for the city prosecuting DUI cases) which he leverages to help his defense clients, but he also understands applicable law both in theory and practice. He has delivered best results for clients even in complicated and highly technical cases.

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