Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI lawyer

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Imagine how would you feel if you spent a career trying to get drivers suspected of DUI in Los Angeles off the road—only to have your own daughter fall victim to one?Officer-Dan-Shragal-lost-daughter-to-DUI

The online media has been full of stories about Officer Dan Shragal, a 20-year veteran with the Indianapolis Metropolitan police. During his time on the force, Shragal has arrested close to 4,000 drivers suspected of DUI. It’s too bad he couldn’t have stopped at least one more.

Shragal’s daughter, 22-year-old Kirstin Burton, was driving down the road in Dayton, Ohio, with her 14-month-old son Orion on August 22nd.when a pickup truck driven by 32-year-old Walter Bradley slammed into her car. The impact pushed Burton’s car into a tree and killed her outright—emergency personnel pronounced her dead at the scene. It also critically injured her son, who was riding in the back seat of the car. Hospital personnel were uncertain at first if they were going to be able to save him because he had lost so much blood, but his prognosis is now good.

One eyewitness said that Bradley first hit the car of his (the witness’) wife, then hit a taxicab before Burton’s vehicle. Bradley tried to flee the scene, but witnesses chased him down and held him until police arrived. They reported that he was covered in blood.

In a sad irony, Officer Shragal received the call about the crash when he was taking a quick break from his job, which that evening involved working at a DUI checkpoint in Indianapolis.

Shragal said that his daughter’s death has made him more committed than ever to keeping DUI drivers off the road. Fox 59 News quoted him saying, “I don’t want to have another father bury his daughter or his son or children to lose a mom or a dad. It is destructive.”

Officer Shragal’s tragedy is profound, and it vividly illustrates the unimaginable costs of DUI. If you stand accused of DUI, stories like this must make you stop and take notice. Not only do you want to clear your name (if possible), but you also want to get to the root of why you got in trouble in the first place and do whatever it takes to make amends and become a much safer and more conscientious driver.

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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Have you ever nervously watched a Los Angeles DUI driver weaving down the road at high speed? Then you also know the feeling of relief you get if you see that a police officer has pulled that driver over. You’re glad that they have yanked him or her off the road before someone ended up dead or in the hospital. If the vehicle carries passengers, you may wonder how the driver could risk endangering them—especially when those passengers are children.8-is-enough-los-angeles-DUI

Police in Madison County, Indiana, got a jolt when they encountered 26-year-old Jennifer Karkosky on the Saturday evening of Labor Day weekend. Karkosky was not only allegedly driving under the influence–she was also carrying eight children between the ages of three and 12 years old in her blue 2000 GMC Jimmy.

According to Fox 59 News, Karkosky said she and the children had been on their way home from a swimming pool, and she was attempting to turn her vehicle around on the road. Instead, she backed off the road, ending up with the vehicle at a 45 degree angle and its hood in the air. Police officers responding to the scene said Karkosky smelled like alcohol and said she admitted to having three beers earlier in the day. Her blood alcohol content measured at 0.16, double the legal limit.

The passengers in the car included Karkosky’s own two children, three children of friends and three she was trying to adopt. It’s not likely that she’ll get custody anytime soon, if the DUI charges stick. The charges against her include one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with previous convictions against her; eight counts of neglect of a dependent child; and one count of driving on a suspended driver’s license.

Authorities released Karkosky’s two kids and the friends’ children to family members. The Department of Child Services is caring for the remaining three.

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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DUI-related accidents in California resulted in several fatalities in early August. Although police didn’t report any deaths due to DUIs in Los Angeles proper around that time, motorists in other parts of the state weren’t as lucky.Carmen-Venegas-DUI-crash

According to Long Beach Patch, 28-year-old Alvin B. Shaw had a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 when he headed west in the eastbound lanes of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach around 7 a.m. on August 1. He slammed his 2012 Mercedes-Benz into two other vehicles, a 2014 Ford Fusion and a 2010 Nissan pickup. Both Shaw and the Fusion driver ended up in the hospital with critical injuries. But 30-year-old Miguel Gonzalez, the Nissan driver, wasn’t as lucky. Emergency workers pronounced him dead at the scene.

Shaw allegedly was driving on a suspended license, which he had lost because of a previous DUI conviction in 2014. He faces charges of murder and DUI causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense.

On August 10th, 44-year old Carmen Venegas of Fremont, driving an Acura, hit a Toyota Scion that was stopped perpendicular to traffic on Highway 101. According to witnesses, the Scion had hit the center divider of the road before ending up on the second lane from the right facing the shoulder. That’s where the car was when Venegas broadsided it. After screening Venegas at the scene, police booked her on suspicion of DUI felony driving, driving without a license and felony manslaughter. She had two 14-year old boys plus another adult passenger in the car when the accident occurred.

Garrett James Gelrud, 34, caused a head-on collision near Pala on August 5th, killing the driver of the other car. His Chevrolet Suburban crossed the double yellow lines on Old Highway 395 and rammed into a Nissan Versa driven by 62-year-old Juan Corza Gonzalez. Gelrud ran from the scene but police caught up with him. He faces charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury.

Designing and executing an effective defense against DUI charges (even simple ones) is not intuitive. Fortunately, you can trust the seasoned, highly successful Michael Kraut. Call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles with nearly two decades of experience.

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Drivers at risk of a charge of DUI in Los Angeles take note: if you want to avoid police notice, don’t drive a vehicle that looks like it’s been involved in a wreck. Had Jonathan Bruno of Raritan Township, New Jersey, followed that advice he might not be facing some serious criminal charges today.wrecked-car-los-angeles-DUI

According to the Hunterdon County Democrat, Bruno, age 19, had sideswiped a guardrail along Route 202-31 north just before he met Patrolman Anthony Moreno. The officer wasn’t looking for drivers under the influence; he was on the scene because a fallen tree limb had hit some electrical wires.

But the officer couldn’t help noticing Bruno’s car. It had come out the worse for wear in its encounter with the guardrail, with the passenger side damaged and the front tire on that side flat.

It didn’t take Patrolman Moreno long to figure out that Bruno was in no shape to drive, perhaps due to the heroin and syringe that the officer found in the back of his vehicle. Police eventually charged Bruno with possession of those items and with a whole list of other offenses, including careless driving, reckless driving, leaving the scene of a motor-vehicle crash, failure to report a motor-vehicle crash, driving an uninsured vehicle, violating the terms of his probationary driver’s license and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle.

A friend came to pick Bruno up from the police station. Since Bruno isn’t likely to get his driver’s license back soon, he may be relying on such rides in the foreseeable future.

In a similar case, police in Hendersonville, Tennessee, responded to a call about a possibly intoxicated driver sitting at a traffic light. When they spotted 19-year-old Ben Steele’s damaged car, they decided to take a closer look. Steele couldn’t tell them what happened—and couldn’t pass the sobriety tests either—but officers eventually traced the damage back to a mailbox he had hit. Officers charged him with failure to report an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence and underage consumption.

Do you need assistance constructing an appropriate response to a DUI charge? Look to the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers’ Michael Kraut for insight and peace of mind. Mr. Kraut is an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.

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Some people claim that full moons can influence people in strange ways, causing unusual behaviors around the time that they appear. July 2015, with its two full moons (the second is known as a blue moon), saw more than its share of unusual DUI stories from around the country. (No word yet on any weird arrests for DUI in Los Angeles during this time.)blue-moon-los-angeles-DUI

Police in Shelbyville, Tennessee, certainly had their hands full when they arrested Lawrence Howard, Jr., age 52, on a charge of DUI. The reports that Howard kicked and screamed in the back of the patrol car after the officer hauled him inside. When that didn’t get Howard any results, he started yelling that officers had messed up because he was the one keeping ISIS out of Shelbyville. The cops apparently were unalarmed by the warning, presumably because they had previously seen Howard run a stop sign and fail field sobriety tests.

The police charged Howard not only with DUI but also with running a stop sign, disorderly conduct, refusing a blood test, and failing to have proof of insurance.

In West Windsor, Pennsylvania, meanwhile, a golfer who had probably spent too much time at the 19th hole decided to take his golf cart out for a drive. Geoffrey Kleid, age 43, apparently didn’t like the fact that a golf course ranger who saw him driving erratically tried to make him stop the cart. Instead of coming to a halt, he veered onto Village Road West where he struck a car.
Police charged Kleid not only with DUI but also with reckless driving, careless driving and failure to stop or yield.

Do you or a family member need insight from a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney? Contact Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers to set up your free consultation.

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Drivers arrested for a Los Angeles DUI won’t win any medals for good conduct. But they do open themselves up to strong condemnation when they put their children at risk by loading them into a vehicle and then driving under the influence. Unfortunately, newspapers throughout the U.S. report this kind of incident almost every day.child-endangerment-while-dui

For instance, the Daily Press in Talequah, Oklahoma, reported that Lucy Danielle Sanders, age 27, buckled her 21-month-old son into his car seat but left one of his arms dangling out of the harness. She drove off, but police picked her up after she allegedly crossed the white line on a local bypass. Sanders not only failed the field sobriety test; she couldn’t complete it, because she couldn’t keep her balance, according to reports. The charges the cops filed against her included driving under the influence of drugs, child endangerment and failing to properly restrain a child.

At least Sanders made an attempt to secure her child in the car. When police stopped Joseph Ramos in South Windsor, Connecticut, a few days later, his young child allegedly was asleep in the back seat without even a seat belt buckled around him for protection. Police stopped Ramos, age 41, for a traffic violation. But then officers noticed that he appeared to be driving under the influence. Ramos failed a road sobriety test, and officers carted him off to jail, where they charged him with DUI, risk of injury to a minor, failure to wear a seat belt and failure to secure a child.

There’s no word on what happened to the kids in either case, but hopefully they made it home safely in the custody of a sober driver.

Do you need assistance constructing an appropriate response to a DUI charge? Look to the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers’ Michael Kraut for insight and peace of mind. Mr. Kraut is an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.

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Police officers patrolling Los Angeles County highways found little to celebrate over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. From Friday, July 3rd at 6 p.m. through midnight July 6th, they made 229 arrests for DUI in Los Angeles County and dealt with the aftermath of accidents that killed two people. During that same time period, the California Highway Patrol reported that its officers made 930 DUI arrests throughout the state, while twenty-six people were killed in vehicle collisions.4th-july-los-angeles-dui

One deadly accident not included in this total occurred in the early morning hours of July 3rd in Lompoc. TV Station KSBY reported that 29-year-old Manuel Santos let his Toyota Corolla drift off the road, where it hit a culvert, a boulder and then a power pole. But that didn’t stop the car. It spun out of control and went back onto the highway where a Toyota Avalon smashed into it. The two people in that car went to the hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash killed 22-year-old Jesenia Liborio, a passenger in Santos’ car, and injured an eight-year-old girl sitting in the back seat without a seatbelt. Santos suffered major injuries and went to the hospital. Police later determined Santos had been driving under the influence, and charged him with felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges.

In another incident on July 4th, Mary Jane Plante drover her Toyota Tundra truck across the center divider on Highway 74 near Pinyon Pines. She struck a 1999 Nissan Maxima, injuring the 64-year-old driver so badly that he later died. Plante ran from her vehicle and spent the night on the run. It didn’t do her any good. Police picked her up the next day, arresting her on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, hit and run and gross vehicular manslaughter.

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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Although California sees more than its fair share of celebrities arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, the latest high-profile case actually took place in the Land of Enchantment. (That’s New Mexico, in case you’re not up on state nicknames).sam-shepard-mugshot-dui

Actor/playwright Sam Shepard had been out to dinner on Monday, May 25th, and he was attempting to drive home when a concerned security guard spotted him and called the cops. It seems that Shepard was driving erratically, trying to get his blue Toyota Tacoma moving out of a parking lot without releasing the emergency brake.

When the police caught up with Shepard, they found he had bloodshot eyes and smelled like alcohol. Although Shepard insisted he had only had two tequilas to drink, he allegedly didn’t do well on the field sobriety test. He also refused to take a breathalyzer test, which could result in him losing his license for a year if he’s convicted. Shepard spent the night in jail and the next day pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated DUI.

This isn’t Shepard’s first run-in with the law over drinking and driving. In 2009, Illinois cops picked him up for speeding and DUI driving. After pleading guilty in that case, he received a sentence of 24 months’ probation and 100 hours of community service.
Shepard won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Chuck Yeager in the 1983 movie The Right Stuff. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child. Maybe he’ll find some dramatic inspiration—writing or acting–in his latest run-in with the law.

Respond strategically to your arrest and charges by calling a former Senior Deputy D.A. and highly successful Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today for a complimentary consultation.

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GPS is usually a pretty handy tool for people to have when they’re driving—especially if they’ve imbibed enough alcohol to get them arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles. It’s a lot easier to have a device calling out the directions than to read them on a map when your brain is a little fuzzy.DUI-GPS

But there are times when GPS is less than helpful. Just ask Richard Schnee and Ardean Marie Smith about their experience in Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania.

Schnee, age 41, and Smith, age 44, are both out-of-towners who were trying to reach the Hilton Garden Inn in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Both were driving their own cars, with Schnee following Smith, who had supposedly programmed her GPS with the hotel address.

No one quite knows how Smith ended up leading Schnee to the Upper Dublin police station—and into an area that was restricted to cops only. The officers who challenged them soon realized that there was something more going on than an incorrect GSP route; they smelled alcohol on both drivers. Schnee and Smith failed the field sobriety test and ended up spending some time in the police station—charged with DUI—instead of at the hotel.

Upper Dublin police officers said they didn’t know why the pair had ended up at their station, but they were glad that it was so easy to get the pair of them off the road. One cop tweeted a photo with the caption: “GSP tells two DUI suspects to drive to police sally port. Same GPS tells @Upperdublinpd to lock them up. #OneSmartGPS!”

To respond effectively to your charges, call a qualified Los Angeles DUI lawyer with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.

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Getting pulled over for a DUI in Los Angeles is nothing to smile about. Neither is causing an accident in which someone is killed. Twenty-five-year-old Michael J. Vanwanger of Coons Rapid, Minnesota, who posted a smiley face on Facebook after his involvement in a fatal accident, may spend some of his time behind bars regretting his lighthearted comment.smiley-face-DUI-charge

Vanwanger had already sideswiped another car when he plowed into a vehicle driven by 16-year-old Jason McCarthy of Brooklyn Center last summer. Cross-country runner and guitarist McCarthy was waiting in a left turn lane when Vanwanger’s car, speeding at 62 miles per hour, smashed into him from behind. The teen lingered a week in the hospital before succumbing to his injuries.
Police at the scene said that Vanwanger, who was slightly injured in the accident, smelled of alcohol. They conducted a blood alcohol content test after taking him to the hospital.

According to the Star Tribune, Vanwanger made a very bad situation even worse by posting the day after the accident a photo of his wrecked car on Facebook with the caption “That’s her front end after I got done with her lol.” It was followed by a smiley face. Another post said that he was “all good” after sleeping a day in the hospital.

At the time of the accident, Vanwagner was driving on a suspended license and was on probation after a conviction for making terroristic threats.

Vanwanger said that when he made the comments he didn’t realize that anyone was hurt. He eventually pled guilty to felony criminal vehicular homicide. A county judge recently sentenced him to nine years in prison, considerably more time than the six and a half years called for under state sentencing guidelines.

Do you need help defending against a drug or DUI charge? Michael Kraut of Los Angeles’s Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers is a trustworthy, highly qualified former prosecutor. Call a Los Angeles DUI attorney today to strategize for your defense seriously.

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