Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI lawyer

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The LAPD may have cracked down on motorists who were partying a little too freely on March 17th, but there were no Los Angeles DUI arrests that were quite as news-making as the chase near Annapolis, Maryland. It involved three other cars, a vehicle fire and a police helicopter.st-paddy-dui-los-angeles-arrest

According to the Annapolis Patch, police officers spotted Marvis Montrell Pollock’s 2008 Honda Accord as it was approaching the DUI checkpoint they had set up to catch people celebrating the holiday with too many drinks. After almost hitting the checkpoint, Pollock swerved onto a nearby highway, quickly pursued by a marked police car. When the officers caught up, Pollock took off again, leading them on a 15-minute chase through an area that included a community college. To avoid causing injuries in a high-speed chase, the police cars eventually dropped back, letting a police helicopter follow the car from overhead.

Pollock didn’t come to a stop, however, until he smashed into three cars waiting at a red light near the U.S. Naval Academy’s football stadium. It was then that his Accord burst into flames.

To top it off, the 34-year-old Pollock didn’t even have a driver’s license.

Unlike some people who have overindulged during the holiday, Pollock should have little trouble remembering the events of this St. Patrick’s Day. He’ll have an arrest record to remember it by. Police have filed multiple charges against him, including driving under the influence (of drugs, not alcohol); four counts of assault (since there were a total of four people in the cars he hit); and fleeing from police.

Do you need help defending against a serious charge? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group immediately.

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Late last year, a grand jury in Arapahoe County, Colorado, indicted Denny Lovem on several charges related to a DUI incident. That kind of judicial action wouldn’t normally attract a great deal of attention unless the accused was a politician or a celebrity, but this story received extensive coverage in the state. The reason for Lovem’s notoriety? The 57-year-old has been arrested 20 times on DUI charges but has never been faced felony charges because of the provisions of Colorado’s DUI law. (It’s not like that in California, where anyone arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the state could face be looking at felony charges if the DUI incident results in someone’s death or injury.)george-brauchler

A local district attorney in Colorado, George Brauchler, expressed his frustration with the Colorado statutes, which don’t allow judges to sentence repeat DUI offenders to more than a year in jail. So Brauchler sought more prison time for Lovem in a different way. He asked the grand jury to indict Lovem on nine charges, including attempted first degree assault and attempted manslaughter.

Lovem was first charged with driving under the influence in 1983. In the latest incident, the habitual offender allegedly hit a car and then drove off without stopping. When police caught up with him, he admitted that he probably shouldn’t have been driving.
The attention surrounding Lovem’s arrest may have helped accomplish what frustrated prosecutors like Brauchler have been unable to do. A bill making some third DUI offenses and all fourth DUI offenses a felony is currently making its way through the Colorado House of Representatives. Anyone convicted could face up to seven years in prison. The bill appears to have a greater chance of success thanks to testimony presented to a legislative committee by families of DUI victims.

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 Law Group today for a complimentary consultation.

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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 DailyLeader.com, 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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The cases handled by a Los Angeles DUI attorney can be unusual, but other areas of the country have their fair share of stories that make you think, “What could that driver have been thinking?”  Here are a few recent examples:secret-service-dui

•    Maryland media reported in February on the arrest of a school bus driver for DUI. What made this story really unusual—and a little scary—is that the driver was driving erratically on the busy Baltimore Beltway, on her way to pick up children for a field trip to Washington D.C.  Police pulled the driver over after receiving several frantic 911 calls from motorists who observed the bus swerving all over the road. Officers found four empty, full or partially full containers of alcohol and beer when they searched the bus.

•    Where do Secret Service agents go when they’ve had a little too much to drink? The Washington Post reported in March that four senior agents, including one who helps guard the President, decided to head back to the White House after partying a little too much. Unfortunately for them, they ended up driving a government car into a security barricade at the President’s home. Fortunately for them, the security supervisor that night ordered subordinates to let them go without testing them for BAC.

•    Then there was the Zamboni driver who was smoothing the rink at the Fargo, North Dakota, South Sports Arena for an ice hockey game between the Davies High School and Williston High School girls’ teams. The driver apparently had a difficult time keeping the machine in a straight line; after observing him at work, concerned spectators called police who arrested him for allegedly driving under the influence. The driver has pleaded not guilty, so it will be up to the courts to decide if a DUI charge applies when a vehicle is moving on ice.

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 Law Group 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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While we see a fair number of Los Angeles DUI arrests today, the city doesn’t hold the distinction of being the home of the first-ever arrest for DUI driving.First-DUI-in-history

That dubious honor goes to London, where a taxicab driver, George Smith, slammed his cab into a building back in 1897. Smith didn’t contest the charge, and when he pleaded guilty, police fined him 25 shillings. (It’s hard to get an equivalent in today’s U.S. dollars, but one online expert puts it at about $17.50.)

Depending on the source you believe, either New York or Massachusetts passed the first laws in the U.S. against driving under the influence, around 1910. But those laws did not actually define what constituted DUI driving. It took another 25 years – until 1938 — before a joint committee of the American Medical Association and the National Safety Council set that limit at 0.15% blood alcohol content. Those BAC limits have been dramatically reduced since that time.

Even as late as 1980, not all states had adopted laws banning DUI. In January 1985, Los Angeles Times reporter J. Michael Kennedy wrote that “drinking and driving is legal in 26 states, according to statistics provided by the National Safety Council. Drivers and passengers can drink as they roll down the road in Maine and Mississippi, Vermont and Wyoming, so long as they are not legally drunk.” He also cited Texas, Florida and Maryland as states that had no laws against driving while drinking.

Californian Cindy Lightner, who lost her daughter to a DUI driver, helped change that with the founding of Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) in the early 1980s. Since that time, the organization has successfully lobbied for tougher DUI laws throughout the U.S. Today, the Golden State has strict standards; even a first offender can get up to six months in jail, pay a hefty fine and lose his or her license for up to 10 months.

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

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Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys have been fascinated by a compelling story out of Florida. Warren Redlich, a DUI attorney in Boca Raton, started a trend that’s attracted crazy amounts of media attention. He provides fliers for individuals to use when they pull up to DUI checkpoints. Many videos on YouTube are proving that his method works. Drivers who present the necessary information drive beyond the checkpoints without the usual interrogation.no-searches-DUI

The signs read: “I remain silent. No searches. I want my lawyer.” State specific statutes regarding DUI laws follow those words. Drivers leave their car windows rolled up and display their fliers and necessary identification until police motion them forward in the line.

Redlich believes the method will prevent innocent individuals from being wrongly arrested. Police departments believe in the constitutionality of DUI checkpoints and procedures, citing a Supreme Court ruling from 1990. Redlich does not recommend using the flier technique in states other than Florida and New York without first consulting an attorney admitted in that state.

The controversial method highlights the tendency of people to form preconceived notions based on stereotypes of DUI lawyers and their clients. A common misconception holds that DUI lawyers work towards reducing sentencing and case dismissals at any cost. Similarly, people assume that an arrest indicates the presence of enough evidence for a conviction.

In reality, people only hear about extreme and high-profile cases. These depictions of the DUI space skew the public’s understanding of the process. DUI defense attorneys have a responsibility to protect the rights of every individual who faces charges. Their duty calls for impartiality to help clients present the most accurate and fair case in court.

Innocent individuals face public scrutiny from the moment of arrest. Local media reports only reflect the names and information from the police department. This information sometimes builds a case against individuals before the prosecution starts and carries on long after exoneration has been granted.

The uphill battle for the innocent makes the need for solutions like Redlich’s fliers understandable and justified. However, the Los Angeles DUI community does not recommend using fliers to gain passage through DUI checkpoints without consulting an attorney.

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

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When the police recently stopped you at a checkpoint or pulled you over on the freeway, you probably didn’t need a Los Angeles DUI attorney on hand to tell you to avoid saying obviously incriminating or stupid comments, such as “I only had 8 beers” or “my buddy left me at the bar — what was I supposed to do, walk home?”new-years-eve-2015-DUI

Not everyone shares your restraint and wisdom.

To wit, on January 1st, police pulled over New Jersey resident Daniel Pratts for nearly running into a police vehicle. When the cops approached the car, they allegedly smelled alcohol on Pratts’ breath. They say that he failed field sobriety tests, prompting his arrest. Pratts refused the breathalyzer and then reportedly made an astonishing statement to an officer: “It’s New Year’s Eve, everyone drives drunk.”

Okay, that’s not smart. But what IS the right strategy? What should you do if you’re pulled over, and you believe you might be intoxicated or buzzed?

Even though it’s hard, try to stay calm. Excessive anxiety about a possible DUI could just incite unhelpful behaviors or lead to dumb comments that can make the situation worse. Avoid exhibiting anger toward the officer. Stay silent as much as possible.

Refusing a breathalyzer may provide enough probable cause for an arrest, and that information can be used against you in court. In many states, including California, refusing a chemical test can likely result in license suspension. It’s important to note that you can refuse a breathalyzer without jeopardizing your license if you inform the officer that you will take a blood or other test at the station, which will be more reliable.

When you are released, the first thing you should do is contact a qualified attorney, who could potentially reduce the charges to reckless driving or fight for exoneration of all charges.

First-offense DUI cases that don’t involve recklessness or result in injuries are fairly common, although each case has its own important subtleties. Call a Los Angeles DUI lawyer with the Kraut Law Group today for a free consultation about your challenges.

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You want to avoid “becoming a statistic” and getting arrested for DUI in Los Angeles on December  31st/January 1st. To that end, let’s review a few critical tips.2015-new-years-eve-dui-los-angeles

New Year’s Eve is a unique holiday in that it is both festive and relaxing. After the hustle and bustle of Christmas, people appreciate the opportunity to simultaneously enjoy a final holiday party and calmly consider their goals for a new year. However, the “last holiday party” feel of New Year’s Eve also leads to an increased number of people who drive under the influence. Today, the Kraut Law Group will share ten tips to help drivers avoid a DUI this season.

1. Limit Drinks

If a party will have an open bar, drivers should determine exactly what kind of drinks they want and how many constitute a personal limit. Someone who prefers wine should probably stop at a glass or two. Drivers who prefer whiskey or vodka shots may have a tougher time stopping, so they should be mindful of the exact count they’ve imbibed.

2. Call a Cab (Or Uber Or Lyft)

Public transportation saves many people from DUI accidents and convictions. Drivers should save the number of a local cab company in their phones or attend parties close to bus or subway stations.

3. Strength in Numbers

Don’t go to a party or activity alone. Bring along at least one friend and determine a designated driver for the entire group.

4. Nosh and Nibble

Despite New Year’s resolutions about weight loss, New Year’s Eve is one time it’s okay to snack. Party snacks fill the stomach, making less room for alcohol. Try to nosh on items like meats or dark chocolate, which will satiate appetite faster.

5. Make a Plan

Party hosts should plan at least a few structured activities, such as games or dancing. This cuts down on alcohol consumption and helps people focus on more than available drinks.

6. Avoid Salt

Salt makes partygoers thirsty, so they drink more. In the same vein . . .

7. Offer Alternative Drinks

These can include “mocktails,” sodas, punch, or plain water. Water is particularly helpful for guests who are thirsty from those salty snacks if you decide to offer them.

8. Set Some Rules

Let guests know in advance that there will be no outside alcohol. If someone tries to bring in an extra bottle or some shots, have him or her leave it at the door.

9. Make Reservations

For long-distance parties, arrange for hotel rooms. That way, no one drives home intoxicated and everyone gets adequate rest.

10. Make It an Early Night

People are less likely to drink at early hours, such as between 5 and 8 p.m. Set parties for these hours and make it clear that cleanup begins at a certain time. Serving dinner and keeping the bar closed until after dessert may also help.

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 Law Group 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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Our Los Angeles DUI blog has reported on dozens (hundreds?) of celebrity DUI arrests over the years, but each new story offers us an attempt to explain critical laws and concepts to defendants and their families.xzibit-DUI-los-angeles

Our aim is not necessarily to discuss and promote these stories salaciously but rather to start a more productive conversation to make our community safer and to prevent the core problems that drive people to drink and/or use drugs and get behind the wheel.

Over the weekend, Alvin Nathaniel Joiner, more famously known as Xzibit, found himself behind bars only hours after tying the knot. The Pimp My Ride host allegedly had been speeding in Laguna Beach just after midnight on Sunday when authorities stopped him. Jason Kraveetz of the Long Beach Police told ABC News “another office caught up to [Xzibit’s] vehicle and made a traffic stop… the officer contacted the driver and smelled alcohol. They started a driving under the influence investigation which ended with the arrest of Alvin Nathaniel Joiner.”

Police arrested the 40-year-old rapper on a single misdemeanor DUI count.

Just prior to the arrest, Xzibit had posted a montage of pictures from the wedding to his social media profiles and wrote: “I had to do a LOT growing up and over time came the maturity I needed to be able to make a commitment stronger than anything that I have done in my life outside to being a father to my two beautiful sons.”

Most people think that DUIs happen during or after “dark times” in life. For instance, you lose your job, get dropped by your agent, etc., and the pain of that rejection provokes you to drink and get behind the wheel. However, emotionally stimulating events of almost any type – including very happy events, like marriage or child birth — can also lead to arrests. For instance, if you sell a script or win the lottery, you might go out and carouse with friends… and then lose your judgment, get behind the wheel and so forth.

Whether you made a terrible mistake and caused injury to yourself or someone else or you wound up unfairly arrested on a misdemeanor DUI charge per California Vehicle Code Section 23152, the team here at the Kraut Law Group can help you. Call an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney (and former city prosecutor) now for insight and strategic assistance.

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At what point should the law say “enough is enough” when it comes to Los Angeles DUI arrests or convictions?16-los-angeles-dui

Obviously, almost any person – no matter how vigilant or careful – can make a misstep or can find himself or herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. If police arrest you once or twice or maybe even three times, you can potentially chock up your problems to bad luck or a lack of impulse control.

But what happens if police arrest you five or ten or even 16 times?

First off, California DUI law is structured to preclude such a terrible eventuality. For every subsequent conviction, within ten years, your penalties get increasingly stringent. Even after just one misdemeanor DUI – in which you hurt nobody and break no other traffic rules – you could still get several days’ worth of jail time, substantial fines and fees, forced alcohol school, license suspension and intense probation terms. Subsequent arrests and convictions can lead to major escalations in punishments. For instance, if you are arrested three times within 10 years, prosecutors can automatically ask for a felony charge for what ordinarily would have been a misdemeanor – meaning that you might spend a year or more behind bars for what ordinarily might have only netted you a few days or even hours in jail.

In that context, let’s check out what happened to a Colorado man, Danny Lovern, a 57-year-old who recently netted his 16th DUI conviction.

According to local reports, a grand jury in Arapahoe County just indicted Lovern not only on DUI but also on eight other charges, including attempted manslaughter and first degree assault. A local District Attorney, George Brauchler, put the situation into context “by the time someone achieves five, ten, fifteen DUI convictions, they have reached a rarefied air that puts them in 1% of the population… and this is no longer a matter of “hey should we send him to jail for a year? Let him get out and then pour themselves back into the car to drive recklessly through our community?” We are not going to do that anymore… We are going to take a more aggressive approach to this, and treat it for what it is.”

Unlike California, Colorado does not treat multiple DUIs as felonies. Only four other states in the Union are like that.

If you stand accused of a recidivist DUI in California, you do need to be concerned about a potential felony count.

Fortunately, you are not without resources. The team here at Los Angeles’s Kraut Law Group can assist. Mr. Michael Kraut is a highly qualified Los Angeles DUI criminal defense attorney with nearly 20 years of experience as a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer.

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