Articles Tagged with DUI in Los Angeles

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Local TV and newspapers frequently report on DUIs in Los Angeles or other incidents where motorists smash into homes, restaurants or other buildings. It’s usually an accidental encounter. But when Cheri Tenney ran her vehicle into her home, it appeared to be very deliberate.Cheri-Tenney-dui

Tenney, who lives in Seminole, Florida, may have been doing a little too much celebrating of the Fourth of July holiday before she arrived home in the early evening. Her first attempt to drive her 2005 GMC Envoy into her garage didn’t end well. She hit the wall and then tried to back out. When Tenney wasn’t successful with that maneuver, she gave up and went into her home.
But she didn’t remain there long. According to police reports, Tenney got into her car again around 10 p.m. (clearing the garage this time) and then sat in her driveway revving the engine. Then she simply put the Envoy in gear and rammed it through her front window, coming out the back window.

Most people would have had enough at this point. Not Tenney. She put the car in reverse and slammed through the home again, this time moving from back window to front window. She brought the vehicle to a stop on the front lawn and left it parked there when she returned to the house.

By this time worried neighbors had alerted police. The police report doesn’t give any details on what happened once the officers entered the home, except to say that Tenney was only half dressed. She must have assaulted one of the cops, however, because they charged her with battery on a police officer as well as DUI once they got her to the police station.

Talk about creating your own fireworks for the Fourth!

How should you respond to your recent and disarming charges? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer (and ex-prosecutor) with nearly two decades of relevant legal experience.

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A blood alcohol content reading of .08 or higher is enough to get you charged with a DUI in Los Angeles. You face the same penalties whether or not your BAC is .09 or .16.super-DUI-los-angeles

But that’s not the case in Michigan. The Great Lake State has what’s commonly referred to as the “super-drunk” law that applies to DUI arrests. Anyone who’s driving with a BAC of .17 or higher may face more severe consequences if arrested, even if it’s a first-time offense. One off-duty Michigan cop is discovering just how seriously the state takes such incidents.

Jamie Dubay, 39, is a 14-year veteran of the Sterling Heights Police Department. It was 1:30 in the morning of April 22 and Dubay was off duty when his 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck left the road, hit several sections of a privacy fence and then ended up against a tree. An ambulance transported Dubay to the hospital, which admitted him for non-life threatening injuries.

The Macomb County Sheriff’s office, which took over investigation of the case from the Sterling Heights Police Department, charged Dubay with operating a vehicle with a high blood alcohol content. Although this is a misdemeanor charge, Dubay could face higher penalties than because his BAC was .27–more than three times the legal limit.

Of course, those are not the only consequences that Dubay may suffer. The Sterling Heights Police Department has suspended him, and he faces an internal investigation to determine how/if he has violated department policies and discipline.
Locating a seasoned and qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer is a critical part of the process of reclaiming your life, your time and your peace of mind. Call ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut for a free consultation right now.

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Most people accused of a DUI in Los Angeles would make a point of making a good impression when their cases comes up for trial. That would include, of course, coming to court sober. Ignore that basic rule, and you could find yourself in even more trouble.Patricia-Rotter-DUI

Just ask Patricia Rotter. According to ABC 7 in Denver, Rotter came to court for her DUI trial noticeably under the influence—and then ducked out during recess to drive to the liquor store. But her unsteady trip to buy booze did not go unnoticed. A sharp-eyed, off-duty deputy observed Rotter’s condition in court and then spotted her again when she was behind the wheel of her blue Toyota sedan. She was swerving all over the road.

The deputy called in the local cops, who followed Rotter and watched her narrowly avoid hitting a curb. She was also going 56 mph in a 36 mph traffic zone. The officers flashed their lights and eventually got Rotter to pull over. Although she refused to take a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test, she did take a field sobriety test. Not too surprisingly, she didn’t pass.

It’s doubtful that Rotter made it back to the courtroom in time for her trial, since she was down at the police station. The police booked her this time for DUI, speeding, unsafe lane change and failure to yield. Rotter had previous DUI arrests in both 2013 and 2014. Maybe when she goes on trial for these newest charges, she’ll remember to show up sober.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

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There are a few things that drivers should never do before or during their time behind the wheel. One is imbibing to excess; others include tweeting or texting while they’re on the road. (Anyone charged with a DUI in Los Angeles could suffer some additional legal problems if they’re also texting at the same time.) In the last few years, two women in Florida learned there can be deadly consequences from this behavior.Kayla-Mendoza-DUI

Kayla Maria Mendoza, 22, will be spending 24 years in jail as a result of a 2013 head-on collision in which she killed two young women, Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio. Shortly after tweeting “2 drunk 2 care,” Mendoza headed her Hyundai Sonata the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway in Coral Springs, eventually slamming into the Toyota Camry driven by Ferrante.

Mendoza, whose blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, had been drinking two large margaritas before she got behind the wheel. She was also drinking illegally, being under 21 at the time.

Earlier that year, in August 2013, 22-year-old Mila Dago, drowning her sorrows after breaking up with her boyfriend, ran a red light in Miami and crashed into a truck. The collision killed Dago’s friend and passenger, Irina Reinoso. A police investigation revealed that shortly before the accident, Dago had texted her former boyfriend with messages such as “Driving drunk woo… I’ll be dead thanks to you.”

Like Mendoza, Dago’s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit. Dago is facing charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and DUI with damage to a person.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.

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Anyone charged with a Los Angeles DUI hopes that the charges get thrown out of court and that they’ll go free without any repercussions to their jobs and their lives. That doesn’t happen as often as defendants would desire, but here are two cases from other states that demonstrate that DUI defendants sometimes do have their wishes come true.P-J-Williams-DUI

According to the WRBC 3 TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a judge dismissed DUI charges against a local man whose blood tests revealed that he had no alcohol and no drugs in his system. Steven Harris said he explained to an officer that cancer treatments when he was a young child had affected his balance, which was why had difficulty passing a field sobriety test. Harris agreed to blood tests, but when the first results came back negative the state chose to conduct further tests. When those tests showed that Harris was clean, a judge finally threw out the charges against him.

Harris said he had missed several job opportunities because of the false DUI charge against him.

Meanwhile, in Florida, state officials dismissed charges against Florida State cornerback P. J. Williams, anticipated to be a top pick in the NFL draft. The Florida state’s attorney’s office decided not to pursue charges against Williams for an incident that had occurred on the night of April 3rd. Prosecutor said that the video of the arrest didn’t corroborate the arresting officer’s story, since the angle of the camera blocked the views of the field sobriety test.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.

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When someone’s convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles for the third or fourth time, the penalties can be steep and include up to 16 months in state prison. If a death resulted from that DUI, the punishment for the offender can rise to five years in jail.Thomas-Gallagher-Jr-DUI

But California’s DUI punishments are very light compared to those imposed by a Pennsylvania judge on a man convicted of DUI in his courtroom. Thomas Gallagher Jr., age 29, will be spending 20-50 years in prison after killing 18-year old Meredith Demko in an accident last July. The crash also injured one of the two passengers in Demo’s car, although the injuries were not life-threatening.

Gallagher was speeding and weaving through traffic on the afternoon of July 8th when he rammed his Volkswagen Jetta into Demko’s Toyota Prius. At the time of the accident, Gallagher was driving on a suspended license due to a previous DUI conviction. His blood alcohol content was measured at .26—nearly triple the legal limit—and he admitted consuming vodka before he took to the road. Just in case that didn’t impair his driving skills sufficiently, Gallagher was using heroin at the time as well.

The sentence of 20 to 50 years in jail was the result of a deal with the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office. Gallagher pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, DUI and related counts in return for a prison sentence that the local press is calling the longest ever ordered in the county for a DUI fatality.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

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Brookhaven, Mississippi, may not be a trendsetter in many areas, but when it comes to enforcing laws against DUI drivers, the town is taking an unusual step—hiring a police officer whose main responsibility will be traffic and DUI enforcement. If other jurisdictions throughout the country copy that action, more Californians could end up requiring the services of a Los Angeles DUI attorney.police-officer-los-angeles-DUI

An article on, which serves southwest Mississippi, reports that the Brookhaven Police Department is hoping for state aid—specifically a grant from the Mississippi Office of Public Safety—to fund the new position. The BPD Commander, David Johnson, said the department was concerned because of the increasing number of DUI fatalities in the area. The BPD made 28 arrests for DUI in all of 2014, and so far in 2015 it has flagged five motorists for DUI.

There have also been 172 traffic accidents this year.

Other police departments are using special training to boost the number of DUI arrests in their jurisdictions. In Windmere, Florida, a wealthy suburb of Orlando, the police department increased the number of people charged with DUI by almost 500 percent in 2014. They collared 59 DUI drivers that year, compared to only 10 in 2013.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Windmere Police Chief David Ogden instituted new training for police officers on DUI protocols. The officers have learned how to follow procedures that help establish probable cause for such arrests. The department has also hosted the National Highway Safety Administration’s three-day course on DUI enforcement.

Officers aren’t the only ones getting specialized training. In Riverside County, California, a specially-trained DUI Vertical Prosecution Team handles such cases from arrest through prosecution. This program, funded by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, underscores the importance of having specially trained and experienced attorneys representing defendants in DUI cases.

Locating a seasoned and qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer is a critical part of the process of reclaiming your life, your time and your peace of mind. Call ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut for a free consultation right now.

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Many people think about Los Angeles DUI accidents or incidents in a monolithic fashion. In other words, a DUI is a DUI.winnebago-los-angeles-DUI

However, as anyone who has dealt hands on with these types of cases can tell you, DUIs are incredibly diverse. For instance, some incidents involve people who are just on the cusp – who have never committed even a traffic violation before. Others involve serial recidivists who clearly engaged in reckless, negligent or outright stupid behavior who have hurt people.

In other words there is a huge range.

The question is: how can you tell whether your particular DUI situation will be a severe and complicated one or a relatively simple one?

One way to distinguish between these two outcomes is to look at the number of cars involved in a particular accident.

To that end, let’s take a look at a nasty accident in Coronado that involved seven (7!) vehicles. According to local authorities, a 52-year-old man in a Winnebago hit seven different vehicles on Orange Avenue last Thursday night. Police arrived on the scene near Bank of America around 7:30 pm, near to where one of the hit and run crashes occurred. Six other vehicles were hit on the 900 block of Northbound Orange. Sergeant Shawn O’Neill of the Coronado Police said police arrested the driver five blocks from the scene. Even though the Winnebago did hit a taxi with people in it and pushed a car onto the sidewalk, miraculously, no one got hurt.

The police said the only occupants of the Winnebago were a 52-year-old man and a dog.

Obviously, such an accident can lead to a complicated insurance situation. For instance, this accident will almost certainly generate tremendous insurance paperwork.

What can you do if you caused a multi-car crash and police arrested you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or prescription medications?

The first step is to contact a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut has nearly two decades of experience working as both a prosecutor and defense attorney; he can help you understand your rights and options and develop a strategy that makes sense to achieve your outcomes.

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Whether you’ve already found a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, or are you still interviewing prospective firms and weighing your options, you recognize the dire nature of the legal challenges you face. To structure an effective relationship, follow these 4 tips.los-angeles-DUI-dos-donts

1. Be an obsessive note taker.

The “little things” often prove crucial in DUI defense cases. For instance: did the arresting officer say or do something that the court might construe to be Unconstitutional or otherwise over the line? Were you on a special diet or taking any medications that could have thrown off your breathalyzer test readings?

Collect all potentially relevant evidence — even facts that you might not even recognize as important. This note-taking can make the difference between an acceptable outcome and a miserable one. When you document your experience and conversations regarding your DUI, you can give your attorney that much more potential ammunition to use on your behalf.

2. Ask questions and make sure you understand everything you need to do (and NOT do).

Your attorney is on your side. He or she understands that you might be in a distraught state of mind or that you may need to hear certain important instructions more than once. That’s fine. Just speak up for your needs; make sure you understand the exact tactics and strategies that your attorney lays out for you.

3. Avoid lying or “airbrushing the truth.”

First of all, what you tell your attorney will be held in confidence. So you can feel safe and secure. Second of all, if you hold information back from your attorney — out of guilt, embarrassment or mistrust — and the prosecution discovers your secret, the other side could torpedo your defense and leave you in a very bad position. Your attorney needs to have a full and deep appreciation for what you did, why you did it, and how.

4. Avoid waiting to retain a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer.

As the clock ticks, the prosecution may be busily preparing to hammer you with draconian charges. Attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group knows this, because he served as a prosecutor (Senior Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles) for nearly 15 years. Look to Mr. Kraut and his experienced, decisive team to help you navigate your defense.

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As you’ve been contemplating your recent arrest for DUI in Los Angeles, you’ve probably been focusing on your own emotions and situation.quote-sun-tzu-los-angeles-dui-defense

Perhaps an officer pulled you over on Wilshire “unfairly,” after he noticed that one of your taillights was out. Or perhaps you caused a minor accident on La Brea and then failed field sobriety tests and blew a 0.09% BAC on a breathalyzer test. Almost certainly, you’ve been preoccupied with concerns about what’s going to happen to you, your family, your driver’s license, your freedom, your career, your relationships, etc.

Such a preoccupation is totally understandable. Punishments for even a relatively trivial DUI conviction — one involving no injuries or property damage or additional charges or previous criminal history – can include:

•    Substantial time behind bars;
•    Mandatory installation of a device called an IID, which makes it impossible for you to drive your car unless you blow a sober breath into a machine;
•    Tough probation terms;
•    Fines, court fees and attorneys fees;
•    A lengthy suspension of your California drivers’ license.

In your rush to contemplate your defense, you probably haven’t thinking about the motivation of the people on the other side of your case — law enforcement agents, judges and prosecutors.

Why should you bother considering your case from their point of view?

The ancient strategy manual, Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” explained the following idea, a concept that’s as elegant today as it likely was 3,000 years ago:

•    If you don’t know yourself, and you don’t know the enemy, you are doomed to lose every battle;
•    If you know yourself, but you do not know the enemy, you will win one battle for every battle you lose;
•    If you know yourself AND you know the enemy superlatively well, you will win every battle.

You need to appreciate the motives and strategies of prosecutors and law enforcement. What do your prosecutors want? What does the judge want? What do other stakeholders in the situation want? You must answer these questions to construct a great defense.

That may sound like an intimating proposition. Fortunately, you do need to do this intelligence work on your own. Michael Kraut, an experienced former prosecutor — who worked for nearly a decade and half as a Senior Deputy District Attorney — can help you prepare and execute your Los Angeles DUI defense. Find out more about Mr. Kraut and his philosophy online, or call or email to schedule a free consultation.

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