Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI defense attorney

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How do officers working for Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) determine whether they should stop someone for a DUI? LAPD-DRE-training-overview

All LAPD officers receive substantial training that helps them understand what to look for when patrolling L.A.’s freeways and surface streets for dangerous drivers—and drivers who might be under the influence. Police officers are human, however, so they can forget what they learned (or just ignore proper procedure) and make errors during the arrest process itself.

LAPD officers’ DUI training has changed considerably over the decades, according to the department’s website. Back in the 1970s, police departments in most jurisdictions, including Los Angeles, had no standards-based roadside sobriety tests to help them determine and document whether or not a person was driving while under the influence of alcohol. So different states (and different officers) developed their own versions of the sobriety tests.

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Since the penalties can be so severe, drivers convicted of causing death or injuries in crashes involving a DUI in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions usually seek out every avenue of appeal. Many of their arguments center around the way that police and other personnel collect, store and handle the blood samples used to determine blood alcohol content.john-goodman-appeal-DUI

In mid-October, the Florida Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by John Goodman of his conviction on DUI manslaughter. According to the Florida Sun Sentinel, Goodman is arguing (through his lawyers) that the state’s rules for collecting and analyzing blood are inadequate and that they violate the rights of drivers charged with DUI.

The Goodman case is attracting a great deal of attention in Florida because the defendant is a millionaire known for founding the Wellington polo club. He’s currently serving a 16-year sentence in the death of Scott Patrick Wilson, age 23. Goodman’s Bentley slammed into Wilson’s Hyundai, sending the vehicle into a canal. Wilson drowned in his vehicle.
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People tend to have pretty strong opinions when they hear about particularly horrendous accidents involving Los Angeles DUI drivers. It’s no different in Denver, where an e-letter on the Denver Post website complains about the light sentence meted out to a woman who killed another motorist in a DUI accident back last April.april-wilson-dui

April Wilson, 36, had a blood alcohol content of more than .21 when she killed 27-year-old Nathan Real, who was riding his motorcycle on the opposite side of the road. Wilson was allegedly traveling more than 60 mph in a 30 mph zone when she crossed over three lanes of traffic and slammed into Real. The collision sent Real’s cycle into a concrete trash can; he ended up on the ground, fatally injured.

According to a story in the Post, Wilson had been drinking at a bar near the crash site and had promised the bartender that she wouldn’t drive home. While facts presented in the media suggest that Wilson might have been responsible for the accident, she wasn’t the only one reportedly intoxicated that night. Police said that Real was ALSO driving under the influence.

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Could ride-sharing apps like Uber make a significant dent in the number of fatal accidents related to DUI in Los Angeles? Two students at Temple University are saying they already are.uberx-dui-accident-prevention

Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal wrote a paper investigating how the entry of Uber influences the rate of alcohol-related motor vehicle homicides. Their findings—shared in a paper called “Show Me the Way to Go Home: An Empirical Investigation of Ride Sharing and Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Homicide”–show a significant drop in the rate of DUI homicides between 2011 (when Uber entered the California market in San Francisco) and 2013.

According to The Daily Signal website, the study states that “the entrance of UberX results in a 3.6 percent–5.6 percent decrease in the rate of motor vehicle homicides per quarter in the state of California.” The authors extrapolated this data to a national level: “With more than 13 thousand deaths occurring nationally each year due to alcohol-related car crashes at a cost of 37 billion dollars, results indicate that a complete implementation of UberX would create a public welfare net of over 1.3 billion dollars to American taxpayers and save roughly 500 lives annually.”

Uber X is the least expensive level of the Uber service. Greenwood and Wattal say that the affordability of the service (as opposed to more expensive taxis or higher levels of Uber service) is keeping the DUI homicide rate down.

The Daily Signal story noted that police made only two DUI arrests in San Francisco over the 2015 New Year’s Eve holiday period, the lowest number since 2009. But those numbers didn’t hold up all over the state. According to an article last January in the Los Angeles Times, the California Highway Patrol made 219 DUI arrests in Los Angeles County during the New Year’s Eve holiday, up from 104 in 2014. Across the state CHP made 1,072 DUI arrests during the holiday in 2015 compared with 457 in 2014.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers 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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On Saturday, 18-year-old Billy Unger, star of the show Lab Rats on the Disney Channel, was pulled over in Malibu on PCH for driving under the influence in Los Angeles.billy-unger-dui

Police say that he took a breathalyzer test and blew a 0.08%. That BAC would be over the limit for an adult — in other words, if a 40-year old blew a 0.08% on his breath test, he would face an array of disturbing penalties, including jail time, a one year license suspension, spiked insurance rates, probation, alcohol school and fines and fees.

But when a minor (under the age of 21) consumes alcohol and then gets behind the wheel, he can get in trouble for having an even LOWER BAC level. In fact, underage drivers cannot drive with a BAC level of more than 0.01% — that’s hardly any alcohol at all. This makes sense, since people who are under 21 are not legally allowed to drink.

If you’re a young driver booked for DUI, your consequences can range widely, depending on what happened, and what your BAC level tested to be. If it was really low — like 0.01% — you can face a license suspension, but you won’t necessarily go to jail and have a misdemeanor on your record.

If your BAC level is higher (e.g. 0.05% to 0.08%), the penalties can be enhanced and more diverse.

Other ways to increase your punishments include:

•    You left the scene of an accident (committed a hit-and-run).
•    You hurt someone while driving DUI, which can subject you to punishments per California’s Felony Injury DUI law – CVC 23153;
•    You had been arrested in the past for DUI or have an extensive criminal record;
•    You resisted arrest or behaved in a dangerous or obnoxious way towards police officers;
•    You committed other driving infractions, such as speeding, reckless driving, driving without a driver’s license, etc.

Unger fortunately did not hurt anybody during the incident, and he was released shortly after his arrest. Per TMZ, he joins a long line of Disney stars who have wrestled with drug and alcohol problems. These stars include Orlando Brown, Zac Efron, J.T. Austin and of course Lindsay Lohan.

If you have questions about how to deal with your charges, contact a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers immediately to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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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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