Articles Tagged with dui defense lawyer los angeles

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Los Angeles County saw an alarming increase in the number of hit-and-run crashes in 2015, the last year for which statistics are available. According to a report from the NBC4 I-Team, the California Highway Patrol reported that the county experienced more than 28,000 such crashes in 2015. The report also revealed that 50 percent of all crashes in Los Angeles County are hit-and-run. (Compare that to the national figures; the American Automobile Association says that 11 percent of all crashes nationwide are hit-and-run.)hit-and-run-los-angeles-DUI

But California is not alone in the increasing number of hit-and-runs. New York, Florida and North Carolina are among the states also reporting big jumps in the number of crashes where drivers flee the scene.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that hit-and-run drivers kill nearly 1,500 people annually:

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Motorists picked up for DUI in Los Angeles often face additional charges of speeding and/or reckless driving. While they may exceed the speed limits by 10, 20, or even 30 miles per hour, few reach the speeds achieved by DUI drivers in Lyndonville, Vermont, and Kershaw County, South Carolina.speedingDUILosAngeles

Kershaw County deputies picked up 28-year-old John Edward Hannah over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and charged him with DUI for the second time in five months. He allegedly attracted their attention by traveling 115 miles per hour on Interstate 20. Hannah perhaps confused the Interstate with a raceway; at the time of his arrest last June, he was also speeding along on I-20. He was a little slower that time, however, moving “only” at 114 mph.

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Imagine someone charged with DUI in Los Angeles arriving in a courtroom and pleading not guilty. Not because he didn’t commit the crime, but because he was too intoxicated to really understand what was going on at the time of the arrest and to consent to a test measuring blood alcohol content.

Georgia Supreme Court building in downtown Atlanta. Photo by Jason R. Bennitt/Daily Report (5/14/2012).

Georgia Supreme Court building in downtown Atlanta. Photo by Jason R. Bennitt/Daily Report (5/14/2012).

It’s happening in Georgia, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in that state that has created a loophole in the state’s DUI law.

A report on website said that DUI attorneys have been using this argument in court ever since John Williams won an appeal of a ruling in his DUI case before the state’s highest court. Lance Tyler, who represented Williams, said that his client could not have given his consent “knowingly and intelligently” for voluntary blood tests, since he was too intoxicated to understand what was happening and the implications of BAC testing.

The Supreme Court ruled in Williams’ favor in March 2012 and asked the trial judge to reconsider his decision not to suppress the BAC evidence. The judge, Gwinett State Court Judge Joseph Iannazzone, not only threw out the BAC evidence in Williams’ case but also excluded it as evidence in the cases of five other drivers.

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A driver convicted three times of a DUI in Los Angeles would probably lose his/her license for some period of time. But taking someone’s license away doesn’t always stop his or her from driving, especially if that driver refuses to learn from past mistakes.
Police in Baltimore, Maryland, had to search five days for 38-year-old Wayne Anthony Green, who allegedly killed a 16-month old boy during a police chase. Baltimore County officers started pursuing Green when he hit a police car parked at the scene of a pedestrian fatality. Green didn’t stop, and the county police followed him into Baltimore City, where the driver slammed into a Volvo, which in turn struck the child, Jeremiah Darrin Perry, who was sitting in his stroller. Jeremiah died that night at a nearby hospital.Wayne-Anthony-Green-DUI

Green received minor injuries in the accident, and officers took him to the hospital for treatment. He recovered enough by the next morning for doctors to discharge him from the hospital, before police had a chance to charge him in the accident. Green left the state, and it took police five days to find him.

Jeremiah’s grieving family members questioned why authorities hadn’t charged Green immediately. Prosecutors said they didn’t want Green arrested on lesser charges right away, since they feared that laws against double jeopardy would allow him to walk on the more serious charges. By the time they gave the okay for officers to arrest him, Green had gone into hiding. Police finally caught up with him a few days later in North Carolina.

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What would you do if someone you cared for insisted on getting behind the wheel after a few too many drinks? Would you call the police and risk their arrest for a DUI in Los Angeles? Would you ignore the situation and simply hope that no one would get hurt?
A 28-year-old woman in Senoi, Georgia, faced that situation in September. In a move that the local police chief called “an act of courage,” the woman got in touch with police and asked for help.dodgen-dui-arrest

According to the story on the Fox5 Atlanta website, Donna Dodgen was driving her daughter and 10-year-old granddaughter when the trio stopped at a local convenience store. The daughter went in to the store and asked the clerk to call police because her mother had been drinking and wasn’t in any condition to drive. (The daughter couldn’t drive herself, because she had previously been in a car accident in which she suffered a head injury.) She told the clerk she was worried about her daughter’s safety and her own. (It’s not clear why she and her daughter didn’t simply get out of the car and refuse to go any further.)

A police officer watched Dodgen leave the parking lot and sit at a green light for 30 seconds without moving. Before too long, he caught up with Dodgen and asked for her driver’s license. Dodgen allegedly kept trying to give him her credit card instead.
Then the officer gave Dodgen a sobriety test, which she reportedly failed. She also smelled of alcohol, according to police. They charged her with DUI, endangering a child under age 14, weaving on the roadway and driving under the minimum speed.

The daughter (who remained unidentified in the news story) told police that her mother had been driving erratically before the convenience store stop, unable to remain in the her lane and attracting the ire of drivers, who honked to signal their displeasure.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.

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A felony Los Angeles DUI hit and run resulted in the recent death of a young woman in West Covina, horrifying the community and motivating a public cry for justice.Raymond-Alvarado-DUI

On December 30, a man named Raymond Alvarado fled from the scene of a crash after slamming into a small car, injuring both the driver and passenger. That passenger, Sherry Yu, ultimately died from her injuries

Police later arrested Alvarado and charged him with a battery of counts, including DUI causing injury, driving with a BAC level higher than .08 causing injury, a felony hit and run causing injury, and driving without a valid driver’s license. He pled not guilty to all charges. If convicted on all accounts, he faces up to 11 years in state prison.

Based on a superficial read of the evidence, Alvarado might be facing an uphill battle. Assuming he did could the crash, what if he had stayed and called for an ambulance? Would the extra time have saved Yu’s life? This is the kind of question he might have to answer in court.

It is never advisable to leave the scene of a crime. In California, any hit and run while under the influence is considered aggravated DUI, and the crime can be harshly prosecuted. If you get a DUI while driving without a valid license or driving while speeding, you could also face aggravated DUI charges. Depending on the circumstances, your extra sentencing could range from community service and rehabilitation to prison time and fines.

If you committed a hit and run while possibly DUI, seek qualified legal advice quickly. A Los Angeles DUI attorney like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers can help you achieve a solid outcome. Mr. Kraut spent nearly 15 years working as a prosecutor in similar cases, and his deep network within the Los Angeles criminal defense community – as well as his knowledge and skill — can help protect your rights and give you clarity about your options.

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Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys were heartbroken upon learning of the tragic story of Jacqueline Rivera and her 11-old daughter, Aailiyah. Both died after being rear-ended at a Fresno, California intersection on November 22, 2014. The man charged with the DUI that allegedly caused their deaths, Rafael Arce Pedroza, could face life in prison.DUI-manslaughter-charge

Prosecutors don’t have all the necessary details yet, but an AB30 report explains Pedroza allegedly has a DUI conviction in San Diego. He has also faced assault charges in Los Angeles.

For the alleged killing of Jacqueline Rivera and Aailiyah, Pedroza faces charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol. On their own, these charges would be Pedroza’s second DUI offense. However, the charge of gross vehicular manslaughter carries a much harsher penalty than a normal second Los Angeles DUI offense.

Pedroza’s prosecutors now also allege that he fled the scene of the accident that killed Ms. Rivera and her daughter. Bystanders tried to help the Riveras escape their burning SUV, but Pedroza ran from the scene and was later apprehended. Legal analyst Tony Capozzi explains, “If [police] can tie the person they found under the bed to this accident… that’s going to be told to the jury [as] an indication of his guilt.”

The deaths of Jacqueline and Aailiyah Rivera could have been prevented, and surely many people are anxious to see justice. Yet the exact sentencing will depend upon what prosecutors charge Pedroza as well as the strength of the evidence in the case. Many people don’t know all the differences among DUI manslaughter, DUI manslaughter with gross negligence, and DUI murder. Knowledge of these terms can provide potential DUI defendants with the power to fight wrongful convictions if they occur. The attorneys at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers define them here:

DUI Manslaughter: This occurs when the driver was under the influence of alcohol but was not “extremely negligent.” This can also apply to cases involving traffic violations or any case in which the driver did not “take reasonable care to prevent injury or death.”

DUI Manslaughter with Gross Negligence: This is the charge brought against Rafael Pedroza. It refers to cases in which the driver was DUI and drove “in [a] reckless manner that is significantly more than ordinary negligence.” A judge can sentence the defendant up to ten years in prison for each person killed.

DUI Murder: Also called Watson murder, this occurs when a DUI driver is cited with gross negligence and committed with malice aforethought or vicious will.

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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drive-into-pond-DUISome Los Angeles DUI arrests are very subtle and not at all obvious.

Police may stop a driver who’s following all the traffic laws and driving at the speed limit for having an out-of-date license plate, for instance. After this stop, the person may raise police suspicions by lacking coordination or answering officer questions incoherently. Over time, thanks to field sobriety tests and breath tests, the authorities suspect DUI.

But sometimes, the signs are far less subtle!

Consider an October 14 story reported out of Virginia — a local man faces DUI and driving without a license charges after local authorities discovered his vehicle submerged in a pond in the town of Lansdowne, VA. Fortunately, no one got hurt in the incident, although the driver, 46-year-old Arturo Romero, had at first feared that a family member had been trapped inside the sinking car.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Virginia, a woman faces more serious charges of driving DUI with her 3-year-old daughter in the vehicle… and then fleeing the scene of an accident. Authorities arrested 26-year-old Rachael Brand for DUI and child neglect, connecting her with a hit and run accident on I-95. When police pulled her over, they allegedly noticed that her airbags had been deployed, suggesting that she had been in a recent wreck.

As we discussed in our recent post on the terrifying field trip DUI bus ride in Utah, driving under the influence with kids in the car is just not okay. California law severely punishes people who engage in this type of behavior with more jail time and steep fines and fees. A parent who drives with a child in the car can lose parental rights. A parent going through divorce who drives with a child in a car can lose custody or visitation rights.

For help defending against your complex charges, call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today to set up a free and confidential consultation with former prosecutor Michael Kraut.

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You’ve already retained an attorney for a DUI in Los Angeles charge, and you’re hoping that your first few uncomfortable experiences with the attorney (or his or her law firm) were just a hiccup.Red-Flag-DUI-lawyer-los-angeles

But you’re not so sure.

No lawyer is perfect. Your case might just be very hard to manage. That is, the police may have such compelling evidence against you that your best-case prognosis would still be pretty grim. For instance, maybe you hit another car and then later tested to have a BAC of 0.20% – two and half times the CA DUI limit. In addition to the DUI, you also have a hit and run charge and a charge of resisting arrest. So if you expect that your charges will be dismissed entirely, your goals may be too aggressive for any lawyer to meet.

On the other hand, the following 3 “red flags” might indicate that something is wrong with the relationship with your lawyer and that something needs to change:

1. The law firm is super, super slow getting back to you.

Every time you call the office, you speak to a different person who needs to be reminded about the particulars of your matter from the ground up.

2. You just “get a bad vibe” every time when you talk to your attorney.

You can’t exactly put your finger on what’s wrong. But our intuitions are often able to pick up on information that our conscious minds miss. As the expression says, “trust your gut.” If you sense something is odd, try to articulate what’s wrong by writing it down.

3. You’ve spoken to another Los Angeles DUI lawyer about your situation, and he or she has been appalled by what your current attorney is doing.

If you want a second opinion, please connect with Harvard Law School educated Los Angeles DUI lawyer, Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut is an ex-prosecutor – he achieved a level of Senior Deputy District Attorney before changing career directions and representing criminal defendants.

One of the reasons why so many defendants like working with Mr. Kraut is that he is an excellent communicator. He answers his clients’ questions, when they need help. He customizes the defense experience, and he’s passionately devoted to helping his clients achieve not just excellent results but also peace of mind. Free yourself from the frustration and uncertainty: get a second opinion from the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers.

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Your Los Angeles DUI arrest might have been your single lowest moment since you moved out to Los Angeles to study at UCSC or UCLA or try to “break in” to the film and television industry. And you’ve had a lot of challenging moments!Reticular-Activating-System-Los-Angeles-DUI

Fortunately, you survived the incident. But maybe you hurt yourself or someone else. Or maybe you simply got in so much trouble that your entire career out here (or educational opportunity) has been threatened.

You want to know: will there be any light at the end of the tunnel? Will you be able to move beyond this difficult period in your life and gain stability? Or will you wind up a Los Angeles DUI recidivist and get gobsmacked with penalties, such as a long California driver’s license suspension, months of jail time, and a felony charge permanently etched into your record?

Our memories and past experiences deeply and unconsciously inform our life trajectories. If you were bullied as a kid, for instance, and you suffered social problems at school, the psychological residue of those traumas decades ago can live on and cause you to act out in bizarre or potentially dangerous and self-destructive ways.

When you look at your personal history in a certain light, you can easily fall into a fit of doom and gloom. What’s past is just prologue – or is it?

To answer our question, we really need to look at neuroscience research. Some of the most promising scientific inquires have focused on a region of the bran known as the Reticular Activating System or RAS, which helps you control your focus. The brain receives far too much input on a day-to-day (and moment-to-moment) basis to process, so it intuitively filters out what “you” become conscious of, so you can make effective decisions.

If you are driving, for instance, your RAS will help you focus on the key sensory observations you need to steer your vehicle safely and obscure unnecessary data. For a great example of how powerful the RAS is, go for a walk out in the park. Concentrate on the color green as you walk: focus on green, green, green. Then close your eyes and try to think of all the red objects that you saw. Odds are, you won’t have seen many, if any, because your RAS was telling your brain to look for green stuff.

Likewise, if you have in your mind this conscious or unconscious belief that your Los Angeles DUI is just the beginning of (or punctuation of) a downward spiral in your life, your RAS is going to pull up information that’s going to make that story sound correct and lead you to feel like your life is hopeless or going nowhere.

How to change your story – Step 1

Often, even if we want to, we have a very difficult time to changing our internal stories, even with great conscious effort. Fortunately, other people can assist. Look to a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers to help you and send your life back on an upward trajectory. Mr. Kraut is a former prosecutor with immense practical experience with DUI cases just like yours.
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