Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI lawyer

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Los-Angeles-DUI-Defense-Attorney-25-300x200When you get pulled over by police and asked to perform a field sobriety test, the issue of DUI becomes very real to you and affects you directly. However, sometimes it helps to put the topic in a greater context. How has DUI enforcement changed over the years? How does drug DUI now come into play with the legalization of pot in California and other states? Are the current laws and technologies doing a good job in deterring people from making a mistake? If not, what can we do better?

To explore these questions, let’s take a look at some the most significant DUI stories from the past decade—not just high profile cases like celebrity arrests, but stories that help paint a picture of different aspects of the issue—to see what we can learn from them. We’ll start with a recent news story that actually discusses an eye-opening trend over the past decade.

1. DUI Convictions Drop, DUI Dismissals on the Rise

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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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When you have the right app, your cell phone can be a handy tool in helping you avoid a DUI charge.9-4-17-DUI-los-angeles-apps-300x169

• Planning a night out with friends? There are apps that will help you estimate your blood alcohol content and provide a rough estimate of your BAC based on how many drinks you’ve had.

• Are you sure that you’ve consumed too much to get behind the wheel? Download a few apps that can help you snag a ride home so you don’t have to drive.

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Usually police officers have a fairly easy time identifying the person to arrest for an accident involving a DUI in Los Angeles. But what if they arrive on the scene of the crash several minutes after it occurred? All they can do then is take the word of the driver (and any passengers) about who was behind the wheel.Shelby County Tennessee-DUI

In Shelby County, Tennessee, police arrested 24-year-old Elisabeth Blackwood on September 28th for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to yield the right of way. The crash resulted in the death of a motorcyclist and the hospitalization of his wife.

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When drivers suspect they’ve had a few drinks too many, one of the best things they can do is park their vehicles and get them off the road. But when they’re at risk for a DUI in Los Angeles–or any other jurisdiction, for that matter—they should be careful to determine whether or not their parking spot is a good one.Amtrak Auto Train Number 52-DUI-accident

Hung Tran, 54, didn’t do a very good job in selecting the place to park his vehicle. He left it on the train tracks near Hanahan, South Carolina around the time that the Amtrak Auto Train Number 52 was heading to that same spot. Tran did manage to get out of his vehicle before the train hit, but the impact caused a large crash (heard by nearby neighbors) and delayed travel along the tracks for three hours. Fortunately, no one on the train suffered injuries.

When police gave Tran a breathalyzer exam, they measured his blood alcohol content at .15 percent—almost twice the legal limit. He now faces DUI charges.

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A driver might be very happy when a judge reduces a charge of DUI in Los Angeles to a lesser charge, like wet reckless. But getting intoxicated and driving down a busy main street is not a good way to celebrate. Just ask 18-year-old Lucas Brandenberg of Knoxville, Tennessee. He’d likely be in less trouble today if he had found a quieter and less dangerous way to express his satisfaction with the outcome of his court case.knoxville-DUI

On Thursday, June 14th, Brandenberg appeared in a court in Knox County, where Judge Scott Shipplett accepted a plea deal that reduced a DUI charge against him to reckless driving. (Another judge, Stephen Mathers, had initially rejected the plea deal, but Brandenburg’s case ended up in Shipset’s courtroom.)

Around 2 a.m. on the morning of Friday, June 15th, police responded to calls about a pickup truck driving through Knoxville with two occupants throwing beer cans out the window. Officers tried to intercept the truck, but it blew through a red light and then led them on a chase through another town. The officers eventually found the vehicle abandoned and Brandenburg hiding in a nearby shed. (They never caught the vehicle’s second occupant.) But the police did discover several illegal and prescription drugs as well as illegal drug paraphernalia in the truck.

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Some Los Angeles DUI drivers manage to evade police officers who try to stop them. Others collide with other cars but continue on their way missing a fender or a front headline. But when a DUI driver smashes into someone’s home, that encounter is usually enough to halt the progress–one way or another.DUI-los-angeles-Car-hits-building

•    In Chesterfield, Virginia, 29-year-old Edward Reid rammed several cars on the evening of Saturday, May 28th, before he hit a house on Sherwood Forest Drive. Although the collision stopped the car, it did not prevent Reid from taking off. Police caught up with the errant driver and charged him not only with DUI but also with hit and run and a misdemeanor drug possession charge.

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Vehicles driven by motorists suspected of Los Angeles DUI often end up in unseemly places — smashed against light posts or walls or discarded, broken in the wrong traffic lane. But such drivers sometimes come to a halt only when they run up against something much bigger… like the side of a house!car-crash-house-los-angeles-DUI

Let’s take a look at recent examples.

In the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, a 21-year-old woman hit a home on Hintz Road around 3:30 in the morning of Saturday, October 10th. Police officers, who charged the driver with DUI, said the accident caused significant damage to the home. They even had to call in building inspectors to determine whether or not the house would collapse when the vehicle was removed. Fortunately, the car/home collision didn’t harm the three people in the building. The driver suffered only minor injuries.

A 20-year-old in Douglas County, Colorado, meanwhile, had allegedly been racing on his street, when he hit a pine tree and flew into the home of a neighbor. Gunner Bolstad had been carrying two passengers, when his car crashed through the bedroom window of 70-year-old Cliff Turner. The grandfather, thrown from his bed, suffered only slight injuries. His visiting 13-year-old grandson, also sleeping in the room, wasn’t hurt but did get a fright when the crash impact launched his bed across the room. Police arrested Bolstad on charges of DUI, reckless driving, careless driving resulting in injury, four counts of reckless endangerment and third-degree assault.

Lastly, Jason Crooks didn’t actually hit a home in Moorhead, North Dakota, but he allegedly caused an accident that resulted in a vehicle/house collision. Crooks, later charged with DUI, had reportedly been speeding when he hit another car making a U-turn. That driver got out of her car but forgot to put it in park; it continued to move until it hit the home and its gas meter. No one was hurt, but the utility company had to rush to the scene to repair the gas leak.

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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Even if your life has been turned upside down by a Los Angeles DUI arrest, you probably have been paying at least some attention to the political news. In this post, we’ll explore 3 lessons about DUI defense courtesy of the bizarre, eyeball grabbing GOP nomination bid of real estate tycoon, Donald Trump.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23:  Donald Trump listens at the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony at Old Post Office on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 23: Donald Trump listens at the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony at Old Post Office on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

The billionaire magnate’s controversial campaign has been fueled in part by Trump’s attention getting gambits, high profile virtual catfights with celebrities and candidates and general atmosphere of anger and distresses among voters. So what can this candidacy teach us about something so seemingly afield?

1. Don’t be afraid to fight back.

It’s easy to make the argument that Trump “fights back” way too hard and against targets who absolutely don’t deserve his opprobrium and that he does so in a highly offensive fashion. But as a general rule, many defendants in DUI cases act too passively in the face of charges. Just because a police officer says that you did such and such at a checkpoint, or just because a breathalyzer clocked you at over the California’s Vehicle Code Section 23152 limit of 0.08% BAC doesn’t mean defenses aren’t available and that you can’t challenge evidence or testimony.

2. Keep a flexible stance and change your strategy, if need be.

Say what you will about him – Trump has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to circumstances. He changed his policy platforms and persona to resonate with a certain specific slice of the GOP electorate. Likewise, your DUI defense does not have to be set in stone. It’s important for you and your attorney to evolve it based on the realities of new evidence, new testimony or new strategic options.

3. Listen to your audience.

Many pundits have accused Trump of bloviating and speaking his mind, irrespective of consequences. But astute observers have noticed that he pays close attention to his audience – the people he is trying to reach. Likewise, as a DUI defendant, you want to pay close attention to stakeholders in your case, including your attorney, the judge and your alcohol counselor.

To develop an effective, evidence-based defense to your Los Angeles DUI charges, call Harvard Law School educated attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today for a free consultation.

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Police officers insist that it’s a matter of public safety when they’re setting up checkpoints for DUI in Los Angeles, New York, Miami or any other city. But do all motorists get treated the same when it comes to screening for excessive alcohol consumption?
A report in the Chicago Tribune says that the Chicago Police Department sets up DUI checkpoints almost exclusively in African American and Latino sections of the city. Police stopped motorists at 14 such sites between March and September 2015; nine were in police districts serving a majority black population, four in Latino areas and only one in a majority white district.Los-Angeles-DUI-checkpoint-defense

The paper cites examples of this disparity, noting the Grand Crossing District, which is mostly black, had the fewest alcohol-related accidents in the city while the predominantly white Jefferson Park District has the third highest number of such crashes. But authorities skipped Jefferson Park for a DUI checkpoint and scheduled one for Grand Crossing.

A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said that police use crash and citation data to choose the DUI checkpoint locations and that their goal is to safeguard the people of Chicago. But when the Tribune analyzed police data earlier this year it found no clear indication of correlation between a high number of DUI checkpoints and fewer alcohol-related crashes. But the data did show that during the last five years police set up 84 percent of 152 sobriety checkpoints in minority neighborhoods.
The chair of Chicago City Council’s Black Caucus has called for hearings on how police select the sobriety checkpoint locations.
Meanwhile, people who don’t want to go through any DUI checkpoints at all can play it safe by driving only in Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin or Wyoming. Those nine states have all banned DUI checkpoints.

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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