Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI lawyer

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Los Angeles DUI charges involving celebrities inevitably attract ridiculous amounts of attention from the press and from the lay public – and for understandable reasons.cake-boss-dui-los-angeles

We look up to celebrities, even if they became famous because of bad behavior or brash, outstanding opinions. Celebrity DUI arrests also force us to reflect on our status, since we often pin our hopes, dreams, fears and expectations on famous people with larger than life personalities.

In that light, let’s take a look at the recent DUI arrest of Buddy Valastro, much better known as the “Cake Boss.” According to reports from CBS New York, police arrested Valastro for DUI in Manhattan last Thursday morning, after officers saw him swerve in his yellow 2014 Corvette near 10th Avenue. Police pulled him over and said that Valastro exhibited symptoms typical of DUI, including bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcohol on his breath.

According to an Assistant DA, who is dealing with the case, Valastro told police “you can’t arrest me! I am the Cake Boss!” And he also apparently asked them for lenience: “can you just put me in a cab? I don’t have to be arrested. I am not a bad guy.”

Officers say that he failed a field sobriety test, which likely included tests similar to the ones used here in Southern California, such as walk the line test, finger to the nose test, count backwards by threes test, stand on one leg and balance test, and so forth.

Authorities hit him with two counts of DUI. He later released a statement: “please know that I want to share and explain to you what happened today and I look forward to doing so at a later date.”

In addition to starring on TLC’s “Cake Boss” reality show, Valastro owns bakeries in Los Vegas, Queens, Manhattan and New Jersey. Valastro is due back in court on January 2015; this was his very first offense.

When you read stories like this in the news, you might instantly assume that Valastro was guilty (or likely guilty) because he allegedly failed the field sobriety tests and exhibited so called symptoms of DUI. But as we’ve touched on many times, those tests can lead to false positives. For instance, you can fail sobriety test because you are tired, confused, or just nauseous and sick. Likewise, you can exhibit symptoms of DUI because you are on a ketogenic low carb diet… although it’s probably unlikely that the Cake Boss has been eschewing all carbohydrates.

For help exploring your potential defense options, call Mr. Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group today to schedule a complementary and confidential consultation with an experienced Los Angeles DUI criminal defense lawyer.

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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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LA Weekly regularly keeps tabs on Los Angeles DUI patrols and checkpoints, to the ire of some law enforcement officials and others who worry that publicizing news about checkpoints can have a negative impact on the deterrent.dui-checkpoints-los-angeles

One of the reasons why police establish checkpoints at relatively random locations is to leverage the element of surprise. So critics worry that, when papers like LA Weekly reveal maps of DUI checkpoints, then at-risk drivers might be more likely to “let loose” and drive in a more cavalier and dangerous fashion.

While this fear is understandable, it begs the question: is there any actual evidence that publicizing locations of checkpoints actually does cause harm? Here’s the reality. Journalists might argue that revealing checkpoints does no harm. And some in law enforcement might argue the opposite — that it does endanger the public. But we really don’t have impeccable science to support either position.

In light of that, it’s interesting to note when and how the Los Angeles Police Department and other agencies set up their checkpoints.

On Thursday November 6th, for instance, per the LA Weekly, the LAPD set up saturation patrols in the Olympic Division near Koreatown as well as the Central Division. Pasadena Police, meanwhile, set up a saturation patrol in Pasadena. On Friday, police set up a DUI checkpoint in Panorama City at Roscoe Boulevard and Nobel Avenue. On Saturday, police ran a checkpoint at Vose Street and Sepulveda Boulevard, in Van Nuys. And on Sunday afternoon, police patrolled for DUI drivers in North Hollywood from 5 PM to 1 AM.

Whether police rounded you up at one of these checkpoints, or you found yourself behind bars after causing an accident on the 405 or the 101, or you failed field sobriety tests, such as walk the line or finger the nose, you need powerful insights and an effective advocate to win your freedom. Call the Kraut Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer — a former Deputy District Attorney with nearly two decades of experience.

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The aftermath of Los Angeles DUI accidents can be quite traumatic and confusing. DUI suspects can make errors or engage in dumb behaviors that can put people (and police officers) at risk of injury and lead to criminal charges. Police officers and other responders can also make errors and misjudgments, which can complicate the situation.christopher-anderson-DUI-los-angeles

One dramatic and very sad story out of Highland Park, Illinois, illustrates the complexities that often accompany DUI arrests. According to local news sources, a man from Waukegan died at a local hospital after police officers shot him. Here’s how the scenario reportedly unfolded. An alleged DUI accident on Illinois Route 94 attracted the attention of Illinois State Police, who found two injured passengers, Christopher Anderson, 27-year-old, and his 9-year-old daughter, Alaysia. Later that morning, hospital staff called police officers to respond to a very aggressive patient, who allegedly brandished a handgun, demanding to see his daughter. Police responded by shooting Anderson fatally.

The incident stoked alarm from some members of the community. The local paper quoted community activist Ralph Peterson, who asked: “how could a 27-year-old whose daughter is seeking medical attention end up dead?” Of course, if the man, indeed, had pulled a gun on hospital workers in an aggressive manner, the police obviously had a right to respond and protect themselves as well as any nurses, doctors and patients in harm’s way.

Stories like this remind us of how important it is to collect quality evidence. Did the police err or engage in misjudgments? Were the breathalyzer test and field sobriety tests and other assessments used by authorities fair and accurate?

To solve the puzzle of your criminal defense, trust an experienced, highly qualified Los Angeles DUI criminal defense attorney, like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut spent over 14 years working as a prosecutor, and he has the knowledge and relationships you need to build an effective defense.

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hello-kitty-DUIAs Halloween approaches, spooky Los Angeles DUI stories are bound to start hitting the presses.

Sure enough, two ridiculous and sad tales just popped over the past week. The first involved 26-year-old Catherine Butler, a Rochester, New York woman who earned internet notoriety after police arrested her twice in the span of just three hours for driving under the influence.

Police originally stopped her at around 2 in the morning after noticing that her car didn’t have its headlights on. Per WHEC in Rochester, officers took Butler to the police station for her mugshot and subsequently released her. Less than three hours later, at 4:57 a.m., police allegedly spotted Butler swerving all over the road and arrested her again. By this time, she had cleaned up her zombie makeup. So her second mugshot was normal. But according to authorities, her blood alcohol concentration tested above the 0.08% limit for DUI both times. (The NY limit is identical to the one here in Los Angeles, as defined by California Vehicle Code Section 23152.)

Meanwhile, up in Maine, police arrested non other than Hello Kitty herself for DUI.

Authorities said that 37-year-old Carrie Gipson of Westbrook, Maine had been driving in the wrong lane while wearing a Hello Kitty costume. Police say she refused to take a breathalyzer test. They took her to Cumberland County jail, where she posed for a mugshot in her Hello Kitty costume (sans the giant Hello Kitty head).

Whether you’re in costume or out of costume, authorities do not take DUIs lightly. Nor do they tolerate multiple arrests lightly. In fact, if you are convicted three times for DUI within a 10-year span (never mind a three-hour span), prosecutors can charge what normally would be a misdemeanor as a felony, meaning that you could spend over a year behind bars for a crime that ordinarily would only put you behind bars for a few hours or few days. In addition, a felony conviction can strip you of your right to vote, leave you with a permanent criminal record, and subject you to far more intense prosecutions if you’re ever arrested again for other crimes.

An experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group can help you understand the extent and scope of your troubles and help you develop an intelligent, effective plan to get your life back on track. Attorney Kraut is an ex-prosecutor (Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles) with excellent relationships with judges, prosecutors and police in the area.

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LeVeon-Bell-DUIIf you’re facing DUI charges in Los Angeles, you may begin experiencing negative consequences before the court even hears your case. Consider, for instance, the challenges that confront Pittsburgh Steeler, Le’Veon Bell, who may face a two-game suspension and other sanctions from the league and from his club, as the result of a recent DUI arrest.

Authorities arrested Bell for DUI in August. After police pulled him over, he allegedly admitted to having smoked marijuana earlier in the day and to possessing a bag of the substance. He also allegedly claimed that he was unaware of the law prohibiting driving under the influence of marijuana, claiming he wasn’t “high” enough for the drug to have impaired his driving.

The NFL’s new substance abuse policy imposes a mandatory suspension on players arrested for DUI. The suspension occurs only after a player has failed to resolve the matter within the league’s stated “grace period.” Under this policy, Bell must resolve his DUI charge before November 1 to prevent a suspension from going into effect. However, he may receive a one-game suspension for marijuana possession, regardless of the outcome of the DUI case.

Bell’s Legal Woes — Just the Most Recent among NFL Players

Bell is certainly not the only NFL player who has experienced a run-in with the law in recent months. High-profile cases in which the NFL has suspended or banned players include:

•    Ray Rice. After video footage emerged of running back Rice punching his wife in an elevator, corporate sponsors and fans alike expressed outrage and disbelief. Prior to the release of the footage, the NFL had only punished Rice with a 2 game suspension. After the revelation, however, the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely, and the Ravens terminated him.

•    Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota Viking running back faces allegations that he abused his 4 year old son by hitting him with a tree branch. The Vikings responded to the horrifying news by deactivating the player until he resolves his legal issues.

An arrest for DUI can be a serious legal matter that can have profound personal and professional consequences. A Los Angeles DUI attorney can help you defend against such charges and return to work as soon as possible. Contact the Kraut Law Group today to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.

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Chris-Nunez-DUIGetting arrested for DUI in Los Angeles often comes with additional complications. Although a DUI charge alone can be bad enough, police often identify more than one infraction when apprehending suspects. Such was the case with the September 20 arrest of “Ink Master” judge Chris Nunez in Florida.

Authorities pulled Nunez over after the tattoo artist and TV star ran a stop sign. When police allegedly observed signs suggesting that he had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol behind the wheel, they arrested him.

In addition to the DUI charges, Nunez will likely face a citation for running a stop sign, a traffic violation for which drivers can receive a $125 fine.

Complicating Factors in DUI Arrests

A DUI arrest can create diverse and annoying challenges for any driver, including the threat of fines, fees, jail time, license suspension, probation, and high insurance rates. However, several circumstances can exacerbate the severity and consequences of a DUI, including:

1.    Additional traffic violations. If you break traffic laws (e.g. driving the wrong way, speeding, or making illegal passes) while under the influence, prosecutors can ask the court for higher fines and other penalties.

2.    Resisting arrest. Drivers who interfere with arrest or resist an officer making an arrest can face misdemeanor charges in California.

3.    Prior offenses. The severity of DUI charges – and the resulting sanctions – increases with each DUI arrest.

4.    Injuries. Per CVC 23153, California law automatically subjects DUI drivers whose actions harm others to felony charges. If you cause severe injuries, you can wind up going to prison for several years.

5.    Fatalities. If an alcohol- or drug-related crash leads to the death of an individual, the responsible party could spend from several years to life in prison, depending on whether the court finds him or her guilty of manslaughter or homicide.

The easiest way to avoid such escalated charges is to avoid driving under the influence altogether. However, if you already face a DUI charge that has been complicated by accompanying citations, misdemeanors, or felonies, a Los Angeles DUI attorney with knowledge and experience can help you create a compelling and strategic defense. Contact the Kraut Law Group today to discuss your legal options.

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A Los Angeles DUI conviction carries severe implications, even with a “typical” first misdemeanor offense. However, “extreme” DUIs can be perpetuated when you engage in highly reckless behaviors or repeat offenses; or when you face charges like DUI manslaughter or murder.14-dui-arrests

A 19-year-old Sonoma County DUI suspect represents an example of an escalated DUI case. On September 15, police arrested Isaac Elvira after clocking him at 117 MPH on Highway 101. When officers opened the driver-side door of his Mercedes, the underage driver literally fell out of the car. He now faces DUI, concealed weapon, driving without a license, and speeding charges.

In Montana, 63-year-old Edwin Cuch received his 14th DUI conviction after a 12-person jury deliberated for 20 minutes. Cuch presented a defense highlighting his efforts to overcome significant hardships. The judge imposed a 3-year prison sentence, shorter than the 5-year maximum for repeat DUI offenses.

In the state of California, extreme DUIs – such as those involving multiple offenses or convictions – come with higher penalties. These include:

•    Higher classifications of charges. Although a first DUI offense often represents a misdemeanor, courts may classify a fourth or higher DUI as a felony.

•    Longer jail time. While a first DUI with no additional citations carries a maximum sentence of 6 months, subsequent offenses can result in several years of prison.

•    Longer license suspensions. With each DUI offense, the length of license suspension increases by one year. Additional behaviors – such as speeding or reckless driving – carry additional suspension time.

No two Los Angeles DUI cases are the same. However, when additional exacerbating circumstances increase the number of charges or the severity of potential penalties, obtaining legal assistance becomes more important than ever. Contact the Kraut Law Group today to learn how we can help you achieve a fair and positive result in your extreme DUI case. Attorney Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles — a well respected ex-prosecutor who understands the prosecutorial mindset.

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When a Los Angeles DUI attorney takes on a new client, one of the most common concerns for this individual is how his or her arrest (and potential conviction) will impact their public reputation. For Senator Ben Hueso of San Diego, this will likely be a topic of conversation as he seeks legal defense for his recent DUI arrest.ben-hueso-dui-arrest

Senator Hueso’s arrest occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, August 22, when an officer discovered him driving down a one-way street in the opposite direction. Although he noticed his error and made a quick U-turn to correct his direction, police pulled him over. When Hueso displayed signs of intoxication, the officer placed him under arrest.

Senator Hueso’s pending DUI charges highlight the many ways driving under the influence can go from bad to worse. Although drivers may believe they can make it home without incident, impaired judgment and motor function – combined with circumstances beyond their control – make venturing out after drinking a risky proposition.

In the state of California, DUI can bring misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on prior convictions and the severity of the offense. Penalties such as fines, jail time, and license suspensions are perpetuated when other circumstances intervene, such as:

•    Traffic violations. Running a stop sign or red light – or, in Senator Hueso’s case, driving in the wrong direction – draws attention to a DUI driver and adds to potential citations and sanctions.

•    Collisions. When a DUI driver hits another car or structure, the resulting injuries, death, or property damage often become his or her responsibility.

•    Public reputation. An individual arrested for or convicted of DUI frequently suffers diminished respect among the public; in some cases, a DUI conviction can lead to job loss.

If you currently face Los Angeles DUI charges with additional complications such as these, your need for a qualified DUI attorney is vital. Contact Kraut Law Group today to begin your defense.

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A recent San Diego story presents a complicated issue for those affected by Los Angeles DUI laws. Melissa Tennent, daughter of Arthur Jacobs, recently became distraught when she discovered the woman responsible for her father’s death had left prison three years and eleven months early.dui-manslaughter-los-angeles

Julianne Thompson, 25, struck and killed Jacobs on July 27, 2011, while driving under the influence in Carlsbad. After hitting Jacobs, Thompson abandoned her vehicle and hid in nearby bushes before police located and arrested her. She pled guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and intoxicated hit-and-run charges. Upon receiving a guilty verdict, Thompson began serving a six-year sentence in prison.

However, Tennent recently ran into Thompson in a local grocery store – just two years after Thompson was sent to prison. Although she expressed dismay over this unexpected encounter, early releases for such offenses happen fairly often in the state.

Currently, California law does not classify the hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges for which Thompson was convicted as “serious” or “violent” offenses, which means displaying good behavior – as Thompson did – typically reduces the length of a prisoner’s sentence.

Gross vehicular manslaughter, while a lesser charge than vehicular homicide or second-degree murder, still represents a serious offense under California law. The penalty for DUI driving that kills another individual can lead to prison sentences of up to ten years, to say nothing of the devastation it causes to the victims’ families.

Thompson has legally served her time and now has the opportunity to rebuild her life, but the repercussions of her actions will stay with her for many years to come.

DUI driving that causes the death or injury of another individual is a tragedy for everyone involved. Those facing such charges should not do it alone. With the help of a Los Angeles DUI attorney, such as Michael Kraut, you can present a legal defense that addresses all the circumstances surrounding your accident. Contact the Kraut Law Group today to discuss your case.
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