Articles Posted in Weapon Offenses

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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 Criminal & DUI Lawyers 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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A tragic Southern California DUI crash in Santa Barbara has resulted in the death of 73-year old Liesel Ryden as well as injuries to several other people. Local prosecutors are accusing a 54-year old local businesswoman, Priscilla Susman, of causing the complicated, multi-car accident on Highway 154 near Cold Spring Bridge.dui-on-highway-154.jpg

If you’ve been recently arrested for DUI in Burbank, DUI in Pasadena, Los Angeles DUI, or Glendale DUI – whether you got involved in a big multi-car pileup or simply blew 0.08% or above on a breathalyzer test at a checkpoint – the story of the allegations against Susman may be quite instructive.

According to news reports, the restaurateur, who owns and runs the Paradise Store and Grill, lost control of her sport utility vehicle on September 15th at around 8:20 in the evening. She swung into oncoming traffic, precipitating a series of accidents involving vehicles travelling westbound. All told, four different vehicles got entangled. One woman (the aforementioned 73-year old Liesel Ryden) died. Three people, including Susman, suffered serious injuries. Prosecutors plan to arraign Susman on November 29th on an array of charges, including vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol, two DUI counts, and a special allegation of causing serious bodily injury to multiple people.

Let’s take a break here and review California’s vehicular manslaughter law — a law that both Susman’s prosecutors and her defense attorneys will likely be scrutinizing in the upcoming weeks and months. California law makes numerous subtle distinctions in vehicular death cases that could have profound implications for any sentencing. For instance, if you caused someone’s death while driving with “gross negligence” while DUI, your penalties could be substantially elevated over what they would be for a standard vehicular manslaughter.

If you have been arrested and convicted of Los Angeles DUI in the past, prosecutors may even try to hit you with a charge of DUI murder – which is even more serious and could result in 15 years to life in jail.

To craft an effective defense against charges, you likely need a Southern California DUI attorney to review toxicology reports, police work, and other evidence from the scene of the accident and/or arrest. Without an aggressive counter response to prosecutorial charges, you could face major repercussions – such as longer than necessary jail sentences, high fines and court costs, and a variety of inconveniences, such as long-term loss of your driver’s license and mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device.

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Tiger Woods, the popular champion golfer apparently was involved in a domestic violence incident. Rather then being the violent perpetrator, Mr. Woods was chased from his house by his wife, Elin Nordegren. According to reports, Ms. Nordegren was furious about an affair that Tiger Woods was having a 24-year-old cocktail waitress.

If the stories of her assault were correct, then she could have been charged with domestic violence. Under California law, an assault with a weapon is a strike offense and could lead to four years in prison. Ironically, had Tiger Woods been driving under the influence of alcohol when he crashed into the fire hydrant, he could have been charged with a DUI. However, these facts were never even alleged against the pro-golfer.


Tiger Woods’ wife blasted his mistress in a furious phone call when she found out about their affair. The “other woman” Jaimee Grubbs, is a Los Angeles cocktail waitress. A smart woman, Tiger’s wife called her from a blocked number and when Ms. Grubbs asked who was calling, Mrs. Woods said “you know who this is because you’re fuc*ing my husband.”

As details of the car crash and Tiger Woods’ wife chasing out of the house and threatening him with, of all things, a golf club, Tiger finally admitted that he had cheated on his wife and apologized for what he had done.

Ms. Grubbs is the second person to be allegedly connected to Tiger Woods. Immediately after the 2:00 AM crash of his $50,000 Escalade, the press was reporting his connection with Kalika Moquin, a Vegas nightclub promoter.

According to reports, Tiger Woods complained to friends that his wife had gone ballistic on him and scratched his face just hours before the car crash.

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Former Tennessee quarterback, Steve McNair, who was found this past Saturday shot and killed in his girlfriend’s apartment was determined to be murdered. Also found dead was Sahel Kazemi with one gunshot wound to the head.

From the very beginning, investigators were very quiet about what happened while they were waiting for results from tests completed immediately after the bodies were discovered. This morning, those same investigators announced their conclusion that McNair’s girlfriend murdered the football player and then turned the gun on herself. Top criminal defense attorneys assisted in the investigation
At a news conference, Police Chief Ronal Serpas made the announcement that Kazemi, 20, was extremely depressed over mounting personal problems. Apparently, financial problems and a recent DUI arrest contributed to the stress. But, the final straw was learning that McNair was married.

Police stated that they believe that Kazemi approached McNair while he was asleep on the couch at a rented condominium at 1:45 AM on Saturday. She raised the gun and shot him once in the left temple, then pointed the gun to his chest and shot him two more times. The final shot was to his left temple. Then she shot herself in the head after positioning herself that she would die in his lap.

The evidence pointed to McNair being asleep because it appeared he did not raise his hands to defend himself. Recent advances in forensic testing allows law enforcement to tests for Gun Shot Residue (GRS). The residue is the burnt gun power that is discharged when the gun is fired.

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After two trials and well over a week of deliberations, music producer Phil Spector was convicted of second degree murder in the Los Angeles shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson. Spector, 69, was immediately remanded into custody by Judge Larry Paul Fidler.

The producer was quiet as usual when he arrived in court. As the verdict was read he looked straight ahead and did not show any emotion. The six-man, six-woman jury began deliberating on March 26, 2009, after a 5 month trial. This was the second trial for Spector whose first trial ended in a hung jury. Alan Jackson, the prosecutor, tried both cases. The facts presented in both cases was primarily the same. This time the jury seemed to take the evidence of Phil Spector’s quirky behavior of pointing guns at the heads of woman who he dated, but refused to sleep with him, as evidence of his implied malice.

As soon as the shooting occurred back in 2003, Spector immediately hired his pre-filing Los Angeles defense attorney. The reason to do so is that a Southern California criminal defense attorney can make the difference between the police immediately gathering all of the evidence and destroying the crime scene, and a representative of the accused being able to begin the process of preparing a strong and capable defense.


Spector was convicted of second degree murder. The crime carries the a penalty of 15 years to life in prison. In order to prove this crime the prosecution must prove that at the time he shot Ms. Clarkson, he knew the dangers of his actions and then proceeded to handle the gun in a manner that was careless as to human life. The standard of proof is very high. The prosecution must prove this crime beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the highest standard there is in any court.

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After two years of investigation, rapper T.I. plead guilty and was sentenced to just over one year in prison. T.I., whose given name is Clifford Harris, was charged with three felony counts after he was arrested as he received machine guns equipped with silencers.

Originally, he pleaded not guilty. When his attorneys informed him that he could face 10 years in prison for each count, he changed his mind. He plead in October but sentencing was continued to this past Friday, March 27, 2009. During the several months between conviction and sentencing, TI has performed over 1000 hours of community service and completed his reality series.

He will soon turn himself in to prison the face the sentence that he agrees to take. It is important that if a person is arrested or charged with a weapons charge, that a top notch Los Angeles and Southern California weapons defense attorney is contacted right away. Waiting until the charges have been filed or until the first court date can be too late gather evidence to convince the prosecution not to file criminal charges.

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As we see the beginning of a new President and Vice President for the United States, we will most likely see a new beginning for criminal prosecutions for Los Angeles DUIs and Southern California criminal law.

Already the new administration has claimed that there will be a clamp down on crime. The local administrations have also claimed that they will vigorously prosecute even minor offenses. It will not matter if you are arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, a Long Beach crime, a San Fernando robbery, or a Pasadena DUI, the police will be trying to enforce the law to the fullest. For that reason, it is important to hire a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who has the experience and knowledge to defend you.

The new emphasis on punishment for minor offenses is going to put regular citizens in a bad position. In the past, judges and prosecutors understood that there is a clear difference between people who are law abiding but who make a mistake, and those who a repeat offenders. Now, even minor offenses are going to punished more severely.

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A man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire at his relative’s house in Los Angeles suburb of Covina killing 9 people and then shooting himself after going to the house at almost midnight. The shooter then set fire to the scene starting a Los Angeles arson and then fled the scene, traveling 40 miles to Sylmar, California and then killed himself. Had the gunman lived, he could have been charged with a Los Angeles murder. In fact, he could have faced capital murder charges, also called murder with special circumstances. In California, a person that commits murder in the commission of a Los Angeles arson crime, could be charged with the death penalty. In addition, the special circumstances of the multiple murders also could lead to the death penalty. These crimes are defended by a Los Angeles homicide crime defense attorney.

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I want to wish everyone in the Los Angeles and Southern California area who reads or is redirected to this Los Angeles and Southern California Criminal Defense Blog a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. This blog is now six months old and I am pleased that it seems to have helped so many people. I have received many comments from people around the area that they have been helped by the information here.

In an attempt to wrap it up for the year I want to make sure that people are safe for this holiday season. I also want those people people who get into a Los Angeles DUI that if they should be stopped by the police in at a Southern California DUI checkpoint, or by Los Angeles law enforcement, that a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney is available 24/7 to assist if you or a loved one.

Because Southern California DUIs are taken so seriously, you need to know your rights and responsibilities. Remember you do not need to take the Los Angeles Law Enforcement PAS test in the field. If you are stopped by the police make sure to be polite. If they ask you to take the Los Angeles field sobriety tests you must comply. But if they ask or demand that you take a PAS test you are allowed to refuse. It is the recommendation of this Los Angeles DUI defense attorney to refuse this test. It can only be used against you. If you blow a significant BAC then you will be arrested. If you are taken to the police station you will be offered a choice of the breath or blood test. The choice is yours. But try to delay the test as long as possible. The law requires that the blood test must be taken with a specific time. If it is not done within the allotted time then the results will be thrown out in court.

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