Involuntary, warrantless, blood tests may be unconstitutional!

 The Austin American Statesman did a good job with their article on what a new Supreme Court case may mean to DWIs.  

 

Involuntary, warrantless, blood tests may be unconstitutional after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in MISSOURI v. MCNEELY

 

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that involuntary blood draws from drunken driving suspects can be unconstitutional. But the court offered little guidance on when they might be allowed, leaving the fate of pending cases in doubt.

 

The court’s ruling said officers can only take blood samples without a warrant in “exigent circumstances,” but did not define the term, and lower courts must now refine the ruling on a case-by-case basis.

 

It will be interesting to see what will happen to all our pending DWI cases in which our client’s blood was drawn without consent or a search warrant. With these cases, blood was taken based on Texas statutes which had previously allowed officers to demand blood without a warrant.  These include accidents in which there was a death or serious injury; when children were in the vehicle; when the person had has two or more drunken driving convictions; or when the suspect has a single previous conviction for intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter or drunken driving with a child passenger, among others. As you can see, these, for the most part, are felony DWI charges.

 

You can bet we are going to challenge all of these statutory blood draws.  If we can get the blood result suppressed by the Judge, we have moved the case a long way towards getting the result we, and out clients want.  The McNeely case may end up being a very good tool in fighting “blood test” DWIs.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Bobby Brown Los Angeles DUI Redux — My Prerogative to Wear an Ankle Bracelet?

Driving DUI in Los Angeles just doesn’t pay. And celebrity musician, Bobby Brown, would probably be the first to tell you why.bobby-brown-dui-in-los-angeles.jpg

After pleading no contest to October 2012 charges in February, Brown finally received his sentence: 55 days behind bars and an electronic surveillance ankle bracelet. Although Brown only served 8 hours in “real time” behind bars – due to prison overcrowding and other factors – he will still need to spend 18 months in alcohol treatment program and go to AA meetings three times a week.

As we reported when his arrest happened, 2012 was a very rough year for Brown. Not only was he arrested twice for driving under the influence in the Valley – once on March 26th, when CHP officer saw him chatting on a cell phone while driving (also a no-no) and once on October 24th – but he also lost his ex-wife Whitney Houston, AND he endured less than thrilled reviews of his first big music project in many years.

All that said, time does heal wounds. It’s spring time now — a time for rebirth and positive reckoning.

Even if you really screwed up and injured yourself while driving under the influence in Los Angeles – and/or committed other illegal acts, such as hit and run, resisting arrest, etcetera, DUI — you can reboot your life. You can leverage the experience of the arrest/accident to become a better human being, more insightful about yourself, and even a better driver.

Of course, DUI defense can get complicated, particularly if your case is challenging. If you hurt someone while driving DUI, for instance, you could be facing felony charges per California Vehicle Code Section 23153(a) or 23153(b). Likewise, if this was your second or third arrest, prosecutors might be far less lenient on you. You may face steeper fines, greater problems with your insurance, a longer license suspension, more time in alcohol school, and beyond.

To get a handle on what you need to do, get in touch with a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer at the Kraut Law Group.

What sets attorney Kraut apart from the crowd?

First of all, he is a former high level prosecutor – he served as a Senior Deputy District Attorney. That means he understands prosecutors on a very deep level.

Secondly, he has great relationships with many people in the Los Angeles legal and police community, and he also has a Harvard Law School background and deep sense of compassion and service.

He genuinely cares both about protecting his clients and serving the community.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Police Blotter: DWI, CDS and Underage Possession of Alcohol Arrests in Kenilworth, Montclair and Middletown

With one of the most densely populated states in the Union, New Jersey sees more than its fair share of drunken driving, drug DUI and underage DWI arrests every week. Most of the people who are stopped by a state patrolman, municipal cop or county police officer are understandably nervous over the episode, especially if it is their first traffic stop or if they are accused of driving while intoxicated. One thing that anyone caught in this type of a scenario is not to give up hope and remember that it is not a foregone conclusion that a DWI charge will automatically result in a drunk driving conviction and related penalties.

When choosing any attorney to help you defend yourself against a charge of driving under the influence, it is important to keep in mind that dozens of people face similar charges every week in this state. At the law offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our experienced trial lawyers know DWI law and understand how state or local prosecutors approach these types of traffic offenses.

If there is one thing very common to those individuals accused of drunken driving, it would be the doubt as to whether or not it is worth the time, effort and cost of fighting a DWI summons, drug DUI charge, breath test refusal accusation or other alcohol or drug-related traffic offense. To this we must say, that there are numerous good reasons to take your case to court.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off