Articles Tagged with DUI defense

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Here in California, motorcycles have become a highly popular alternative to driving an automobile. Some people use them for their work commutes because of their fuel efficiency and ability to navigate through heavy traffic. Others use them simply because they are fun to ride. Unfortunately, some people also ride motorcycles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, perhaps assuming they are good to drive, or that the DUI laws don’t apply in the same way to motorcycles as to other vehicles. Many times, the decision to ride under these conditions can be deadly. If you own a motorcycle or are thinking of buying one, let’s discuss what you need to know about motorcycle DUIs in California.

The Same DUI Laws Apply to Motorcycles as to Other Vehicles

Under California Vehicle Code 23152, it is illegal to operate any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law further defines a vehicle as “a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.” Under this definition, a motorcycle is considered a motor vehicle in California, and the DUI laws apply in the exact same manner as driving an automobile. What does this mean for you as a motorcyclist?

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If you get into a car in South Africa, you might be taking your life into your own hands. According to a 2015 report by the World Health Organization (as reported in Forbes), South Africa has the most dangerous roads in the world, with 25.1 accident fatalities per 100,000 people. Furthermore, if someone dies in a vehicle accident in South Africa, there’s a 58 percent chance it was caused by someone driving under the

These statistics are quite ironic considering South Africa has some of the steepest penalties for DUI offenses of anywhere else in the world. A DUI conviction can cost up to $10,000 in fines or 10 years of jail time, according to LifeSafer, and as recently as April, authorities were considering implementing a mandatory two-year prison sentence without bail for any DUI conviction. One possible reason for this dichotomy may be that the laws aren’t consistently enforced. According to a report by Voice of America, only 6 percent of DUI arrests in South Africa result in a conviction, thanks to a combination of backlogs, inefficient processing, bribery and corruption.

South Africa’s driving woes illustrate that America isn’t the only nation where DUI is an issue—although the WHO places the United States at Number 3 on its list of worst nations for DUI fatalities, only two behind South Africa a 31 percent fatality rate. The UK falls in the middle at 16 percent, while the country with the lowest DUI fatality rate (again, ironically), is China—the world’s most populous nation.

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Most drivers today are conscious of the harm they can do by getting behind the wheel after drinking and driving. But what about after texting and driving?text-driving-dui

Text messaging makes a crash 23 times more likely to happen. (Dialing a cell phone increases crash risk by 2.8 times; talking or listening 1.3 times; and reaching for a device 1.4 times.)

While they may not realize how serious the problem is, most people understand that it’s better to avoid texting when they’re behind the wheel. A 2014 survey conducted by AT& revealed that 98 percent of motorists who own cellphones and text regularly are aware of the driving/texting danger, but about 75 percent of them do it anyway.

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When courts find someone guilty of a DUI in Los Angles, the penalties that person faces will depend on whether or not he or she has prior DUI convictions. (It doesn’t matter if some of the DUI convictions occurred in another state; California treats those offenses as if they occurred in state.)House Bill 3146-los-angeles-DUI-Oklahoma

Most states also track DUIs that take place in different jurisdictions within their boundaries. But Oklahoma has provided an out for drivers convicted of DUI in most municipalities. Only two municipal courts in that state are courts of record, which report DUI convictions to the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network. That leaves 350 municipal courts that don’t report to the state. Drivers can rack up an unlimited number of DUIs, and as long as they took place in different municipalities, each would count as a first offense.

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Your Los Angeles DUI shook you up, particularly if it led to an accident and injuries. However, it can be helpful to see your incident in context. To that end, let’s take a brief tour for five unbelievably crazy truck accidents:crazy-truck-accident-dui-los-angeles

1. Semi Sandwich

On a foggy morning in January 2015, Oregon driver Kaleb Whitby ended up in every motorist’s worst nightmare when he was pinned between two semi-trucks on the icy interstate. Whitby explained that he saw the first semi-truck jackknife in front of him on the road, which caused him to plow into the back of the semi and flip his pickup. The driver described hopelessly gripping the steering wheel as the second semi crushed his pickup like a can of soda. Miraculously, Whitby sustained only minor bruising from the accident, while only a dozen of the other people involved sustained injuries.

2. Truck Meets Road Sign

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Perhaps you collected a Los Angeles DUI charge after you drove wildly following an extravagant night out at a night club often frequented by Snoop Lion (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg). Or maybe officers at a checkpoint near Sepulveda stopped you and a friend and charged you both with DUI, after you each blew very high number on your breath test – enough, perhaps, the qualify you for an extreme DUI charge (in excess of 0.15% BAC).snoop-lion

Harsh punishments are not inevitable. An experienced DUI attorney can help turn things around for you in a major way by taking actions along the lines of the following:

1. Challenging the validity of your breath or blood test results.

Breathalyzer and blood tests aim to quantify your degree of intoxication. These tests are sophisticated. But don’t let their seemingly objective nature fool you. Even the most fair, beta-tested breath and blood tests – administrated in good faith by meticulous police officers – can tell a story that’s way off base. A breath test can yield false positives for many reasons:

•    Ketones on your breath, caused by your diet, could register as alcohol;
•    A very deep breath blown into machine may suggest that you have more alcohol in your system than you actually do;
•    The presence of “mouth alcohol” can throw off the reading;
•    Miscalibration or inaccurate recording of test results can also lead to injustice.

An astute defense attorney can challenge your test results.

2. Negotiating with prosecutors.

Perhaps you actually did drive DUI. You made a big mistake, and you’re willing admit it. You’d just like to minimize your punishments and maximize your chances for successful rehabilitation. A seasoned lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors to make this happen.

3. Challenging the license suspension.

Most defendants worry a lot about potential jail time but don’t give enough thought to the inconvenience of license suspension. It’s hard to get around L.A. if you have to take public transportation everywhere. A license suspension can indirectly get you fired from your job and choke off friendships. An informed, prepared attorney can help you fight the license suspension, so you can keep driving (safely).

Turn to Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers for help now constructing and moving forward with your Los Angeles DUI defense.

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A recent San Diego story presents a complicated issue for those affected by Los Angeles DUI laws. Melissa Tennent, daughter of Arthur Jacobs, recently became distraught when she discovered the woman responsible for her father’s death had left prison three years and eleven months early.dui-manslaughter-los-angeles

Julianne Thompson, 25, struck and killed Jacobs on July 27, 2011, while driving under the influence in Carlsbad. After hitting Jacobs, Thompson abandoned her vehicle and hid in nearby bushes before police located and arrested her. She pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and intoxicated hit-and-run charges. Upon receiving a guilty verdict, Thompson began serving a six-year sentence in prison.

However, Tennent recently ran into Thompson in a local grocery store – just two years after Thompson was sent to prison. Although she expressed dismay over this unexpected encounter, early releases for such offenses happen fairly often in the state.

Currently, California law does not classify the hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges for which Thompson was convicted as “serious” or “violent” offenses, which means displaying good behavior – as Thompson did – typically reduces the length of a prisoner’s sentence.

Gross vehicular manslaughter, while a lesser charge than vehicular homicide or second-degree murder, still represents a serious offense under California law. The penalty for DUI driving that kills another individual can lead to prison sentences of up to ten years, to say nothing of the devastation it causes to the victims’ families.

Thompson has legally served her time and now has the opportunity to rebuild her life, but the repercussions of her actions will stay with her for many years to come.

DUI driving that causes the death or injury of another individual is a tragedy for everyone involved. Those facing such charges should not do it alone. With the help of a Los Angeles DUI attorney, such as Michael Kraut, you can present a legal defense that addresses all the circumstances surrounding your accident. Contact the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today to discuss your case.
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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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Authorities arrested 34-year-old Eric Paul Ivanoff for driving under the influence in Southern California, after he caused an awful accident last Friday evening in Orange County.ivanoff-dui

Police in the community of Cypress had set up a checkpoint, which had been operating for just 30 minutes, when Ivanoff’s vehicle smashed into several cars waiting in line. The force of the collision injured three people badly enough that they had to be hospitalized. (All were listed in stable condition, as of this posting).

But then Ivanoff made the situation worse – much worse – by hopping on his vehicle and fleeing the scene. Authorities found him shortly after and arrested him. Allegedly, he resisted arrest and even injured one of the officers who pursued him. Cypress Police reported that “three victims were transported to a local hospital, two of whom were transported to a trauma center with moderate injuries.”

After booking Ivanoff on charges of hit and run, DUI, resisting arrest, and resisting arrest with violence, authorities set his bail at $100,000.

Obviously, the whole story is scary and sad for many reasons. The situation illustrates, dramatically, how DUI defendants can make their situation much, much worse, even after getting caught or stopped by the police.

As Ivanoff approached the checkpoint, he might have been self-conscious. Perhaps he had consumed several drinks before getting behind the wheel. So he might have anticipated that police would have arrested him. Getting busted at a checkpoint is obviously no fun, and a misdemeanor DUI charge can lead to several days in jail, the loss of your California driver’s license, mandatory alcohol school, tough probation terms, spikes on your car insurance rates, and other indirect problems.

However, since he hit and hurt other people, he likely will now be charged per California Vehicle Code Section 23153 (the injury DUI law). This means that he could face over a year behind bars for each person he hurt while driving DUI.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, he (allegedly) got out of his car, fled the scene, and then attacked an officer. Each one of those mistakes, on its own, could complicate his defense tremendously. Hit and run is a serious crime, as is resisting arrest, as is resisting arrest and then hitting an officer.

Fortunately, no one died in the accident, but it holds important object lessons.

If you or someone you love faces complex Los Angeles DUI charges, call the effective and thorough legal team here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers for a confidential case consultation.
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