Thursday, February 15, 2018

Theft, Robbery, Burglary - They Aren't The Same!

Theft, robbery, & burglary...these three terms are often confused or misunderstood. While they are all convictable crimes, they are different by definition. As your trusted lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, our law firm wants to help you stay informed, should you experience one of the above crimes. Take a look below to learn more about theft, robbery, and burglary!

Theft

Theft is known as the act of taking something that belongs to someone else with the intent of depriving them of it. Stealing is another way to define theft. Theft can happen almost anywhere. A home, from a purse out and about, from an employee at a business - there are many opportunities for someone to steal.

Robbery

Robbery is defined as unlawfully taking property from a person or place using force or threats. An example of robbery is when a criminal comes into a convenience store and holds the cashier at gunpoint until they give them money from the drawer or safe. The criminal is taking the money from the gas station while threatening the employee with the gun.

Burglary

Defined as entry into a building or property with intent to commit a crime - such as theft. It can still be considered burglary if the criminal does not break into the property. If the person easily enters the building - without breaking a window or door to do so, it is still defined as burglary.

Have you or someone you know been a victim of one of the crimes listed above? It's important to know your rights and seek damages for what you have been deprived of. Often times, a criminal convicted of theft, robbery, or burglary are sentenced to time in jail and/or repayment of the valuables taken without consent. If you have fell victim to a similar crime, you deserve to have your belongings replaced or compensated, in the least. Call our lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks today!

Have you been accused of one of the above crimes? It's important to have legal representation to help you through the entire process. You are innocent until proven guilty, in the eyes of the law. A criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help to ensure your rights are respected.

Now that you know the difference between these three crimes, you can feel more confident should you be a target in one of these occurrences. Instead of being overwhelmed by the legal jargon, you can easily distinguish between these three crime types. If you are a victim of theft, robbery, or burglary, our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here for you! We can help discuss your legal options and see how you want to move forward with your case. Give Gibbons Law Firm a call to set up your first FREE consultation.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Dangers of Drinking and Driving

With Lake of the Ozarks Mardi Gras Pub Crawl right around the corner, it's important to keep the legal dangers of drinking and driving top of mind. As you go out for the evening, remember it is best to designate a driver or take a cab. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we want you to have a good time AND stay safe. Our attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks has provided some of the side effects that drinking can have if you try to operate a vehicle.


Delayed Reaction Time

Alcohol can inhibit the time it takes for you to react to a situation. If you are operating a vehicle, you may not have the same reaction time as you would sober. If someone in front of you stops abruptly, you may not be able to get your vehicle stopped in time. If a deer jumps out in the road, you will likely not be able to react in a timely manner to avoid the animal. Swerving may be your instinct and this can lead to overcorrecting or travel off the road.

Lack of Coordination

Your coordination may be impaired when driving under the influence of alcohol. It may make it difficult to navigate the roadway safely. Staying between the lines can be difficult for someone who has been drinking. Coordination is a vital part of safely operating a vehicle.

Blurred Vision

Road lights, signs, and other car's headlights can all blur together if you have been drinking. Many times a drunk driver will subconsciously drive toward a light that catches their eye. This can lead to a very dangerous situation on the road, especially with oncoming traffic.

Impaired Judgement

When drinking, your judgment may be impaired. This is not a good attribute of a driver. Your judgment of traffic and other situations on the roadway may be hindered if you have alcohol in your system. It's best to have a ride home lined up before you even head out for the Mardi Gras festivities.

If you are pulled over for drinking and driving, you will likely get a DWI charge. The legal ramifications of such a charge can have a lasting impact on your entire life. A revoked license, jail time, a hefty fine, and educational courses are all punishments you may be sentenced to if you drink and drive. Help keep the roadways safer and stay off them if you have been drinking. A taxi is much less expensive than a DUI conviction!

Now that you know the dangers of drinking and driving, you can be prepared before you go out for Mardi Gras Pub Crawl. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm wants you to stay safe as you enjoy this annual event in the area. If you do end up with legal trouble on your hands, give Gibbons Law Firm a call. We always offer a free initial consultation with our experienced lawyer. Remember to stay safe and designate a driver if you are out drinking!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Test Your Legal Knowledge

Being in the legal business, we get asked a lot of questions! As your lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we pride ourselves on offering sound legal advice for our clients. While legal situations can often be tense, we've decided to have a little bit of fun in this week's blog! Take a look below and test your legal knowledge by answering these questions before you read the answers.



Question #1: How can your employment be impacted by a criminal conviction?
Answer: Many employers will require a background check for all applicants. If an employer sees your criminal history, they may be less likely to call you for an interview or offer you a job. It's best to be upfront about your conviction when trying to land a job.

Question #2: What is a Homestudy in the adoption process?
Answer: Your adoption agency will send a representative to conduct a homestudy. During this process, they will ensure your home and your family are ready for the potential new addition to your family. This is typically an ongoing process that takes place over time.

Question #3: Can a business be sued for not taking action after a sexual harassment situation has taken place?
Answer: If nothing is done about sexual harassment in the workplace, the victim may have grounds to sue the employer. It's best to take action quickly if you are informed about sexual harassment at your business.

Question #4: Who is responsible for regular wear and tear in a rental property?
Answer: The landlord is to handle all typical wear that may happen in their rental home. Significant damage caused by the tenant should be repaired by the tenant.

Question #5: What is an easy way to reduce the number of workers compensation claims for my business?
Answer: Routine employee training can help to make sure all of your employees know how to safely conduct their duties. If a new piece of equipment is added to your business, ensure everyone knows the new safety protocol that is required for the new machine.

Question #6: How do I make sure no one else uses my business name?
Answer: Once you have double checked that your name is not used by anyone else, you can trademark your name. This can help give you rights to the name and deter other businesses from using it.

Questions #7: How can I make the divorce process less stressful on my kids?
Answer: It's encouraged to keep communication lines open with your spouse as you navigate the divorce process. Try to keep the conversation as positive as possible, especially when your children may overhear.

Question #8: Do I need an attorney if I was falsely accused of a crime?
Answer: An attorney can help gather the right information to present your case in a professional manner. Even if you know you are innocent, the judge or jury has the final say about your case.

Question #9: What does a bail bondsman do?
Answer: A bond agent can provide the funds needed to cover your bail to get out of jail, for a small fee. Once an agent has posted your bond, they are now responsible for ensuring you make it back for your court date.

Now that you've taken the legal quiz, you hopefully have learned a little more about the legal world. Do you have a question that wasn't answered? Gibbons Law Firm would be honored to help you with your legal situation. Contact us today to help answer your legal questions. Remember, your first consultation with our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is always free! We look forward to answering your legal questions and hearing about your case!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

How a Criminal Conviction Can Impact Your Future

Have you or someone you know been convicted of a crime? Legal ramifications can have a major impact on your life. The time served for a crime may not be the only factors you will face in the future. Here at our Lake of the Ozarks law firm, we can help prepare you for the ways a criminal conviction may impact your life. Take a look below for some of the things you may need to know about, should you find yourself being convicted of a crime.


Employment 

After serving time for a conviction it can be difficult to find employment. Many applications will require you to disclose your criminal record. This may lead to difficulties landing a job. Often times, someone with a criminal history does not get a job or even a call for an interview. Employers will typically run a background check on potential employees. It's best to be honest about your history, even though it can be a tough subject to discuss with a future employer. Trust is an important part of hiring someone and you can start to establish trust if you are upfront about your past.

Further Education

When your sentence is complete, you may be looking for a fresh start. If you are considering continuing your education, it may be difficult to get accepted to a college. Many educational facilities will run a background check on their potential students. This may have a negative impact on your search for further education. Just like with an employer, it's best to let the admissions office know about your criminal history upfront. This can help you get ahead of the hurdles versus letting it come up as a surprise.

Housing 

Finding a home may seem like a simple task in the past.... but now that you have a criminal record it can pose an issue. Many landlords run background checks on their tenants and are less likely to accept a renter who has a criminal history. It can be hard to find a place to rent when you have a record. Buying a home can also be a struggle. A mortgage lender will need to see a reliable income in order to secure a home loan. This can be hard to prove, especially if you are having issues landing a job due to your criminal record.

Now that you know some of the ways a conviction can impact your future, you are more educated about some of the events that may occur in your life. As your criminal attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we can help you through the entire legal process. If you are in need of legal representation, contact Gibbons Law Firm today. Remember, your first consultation with our law firm is free. We look forward to representing your case!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Step-By-Step Guide to Legally Adopt a Child

Adoption is a unique way to grow your family without giving birth to a child. A number of couples will look into adoption for various reasons. Whether they are unable to get pregnant or simply want to help a child who does not have a family, adoption is an important resource for many. While adopting may be an easy decision, the process is not as simple as it may seem. Your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help guide you through the adoption process. Take a look below to learn more about the important steps needed to legally adopt a child.


Educate Yourself

The first step to a successful adoption is to educate yourself about the process. There are a number of adoption resources available to help with this process. Your trusted adoption attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is a great source of information about your unique adoption process. Don't be scared to ask questions and learn all you can about the process you are starting.

Choose an Agency

An agency helps to place children in their new homes. It's important to seek information from various agencies to decide which one will work best for you and your family. Also, know what legal coverage the agency you select will take care of and what you will need to hire an attorney to complete.

Conduct a Homestudy 

A homestudy will be performed by a representative from the agency you select. This is an ongoing relationship to help prepare yourself for the rest of the adoption process and parenting. Ensuring your family and home are ready for a child is the point of this step of adopting.

Start the Search

Once you have completed the homestudy process, it's time to search for your new child. Your agency will help find a child who needs a home that fits your requirements. This part of the process may take a bit of time, so be patient! Once a child has been selected, you and other potential parents may all be considered. The child's social worker will decide which family is the best fit for the child.

Meet a Child

Once you have been selected, you will get to meet the child. Several meetings may be set up before the process is finalized. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know said child and learn how he or she will fit into your family.

Receive Placement

Once placement has been processed, the child will come live with you in your home. The child's social worker will still be involved in the process. They will make frequent visits to your home and have various meetings with the child. During this time, you can file an intent to legally adopt your child.

Finalize the Adoption

A judge will be able to legally finalize your child's adoption. At this point, you are the legal guardian of the child. You will receive the legal paperwork showing you as the parents to your child when the adoption is finalized.

Live With Your New Family

Once the legal steps have been taken, the work does not end. Adoption is an ongoing educational process. You can continue to learn about parenting your adoptive child. Take this time to enjoy your hard work and spend time with your new family!

Now that you've learned the legal steps to adopt a child, you are ready to start working toward your goal. When it comes to legally adopting a kid, contact our Lake of the Ozarks adoption attorney today. We can help you work through the hectic legal side of your upcoming adoption. Give Gibbons Law Firm a call to schedule your FREE initial consultation.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Dangers of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is a major epidemic sweeping the nation. It's important to know how to handle a situation, should one arise within your business. Often times, an employee may feel like they cannot share their experience with a manager or owner for fear of retaliation or a stigma that may follow such allegations. As a business owner at the Lake of the Ozarks, it's vital to the safety of all employees that you have a strict sexual harassment policy. Ensure all employees are aware of the consequences of such actions and do repeated training on the topic to keep it top of mind for your employees. As your knowledgeable attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we want to help protect your business from the potential threat of sexual harassment. If you don't take action against the potential for sexual harassment in advance, you may suffer from one or more of the consequences below.


Loss of Employee

If an employee is uncomfortable due to sexual harassment in the workplace, they may choose to leave the business. As a business owner, you may not even be aware of the situation that causes them to end their employment with you. Losing an employee is costly for a business. Time training a new employee and experience lost from a former employee all take time to recover from. Don't suffer an unnecessary loss of an employee due to a sexual harassment situation in the workplace in which they were not comfortable reporting.

Low Morale

An employee may stick it out with your business even if they do experience sexual harassment at work. This can cause low morale and a negative attitude (which can spread like wildfire). It's important to keep the morale up at your company to help employees feel comfortable and thrive in a positive environment.

Distracted Employees

If an employee has been in a sexual harassment situation at work, they may be distracted. Whether they are always keeping an eye out for the person who harassed them or can't stop thinking about the native situation, they may lose focus of the work at hand. Production may suffer if an employee is distracted due to a sexual harassment occurrence.

Potential Lawsuit

If nothing is done about a sexual harassment situation, the victim may have grounds to sue the employer. If you do know about a harassment that has taken place at work, it's important to act quickly. Gather all the information possible and make a decision off of the facts. Also document all conversations well to help protect your business.

Now that you've learned just a few of the potential dangers of sexual harassment in the workplace, you can prepare your staff if a situation should arise. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here to help if you do have a sexual harassment situation in your workplace. Whether you are the victim seeking representation or you are the business owner trying to protect your venture, our sexual harassment attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help represent your case. Give Gibbons Law Firm a call today and don't forget that your first consultation with us is always free!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Friday, January 5, 2018

5 Interesting Facts for Tenants & Landlords

Owning a rental property has the opportunity to create a steady income. This is a popular way to increase the amount of money that comes in every month. If you currently own a rental property or are thinking about getting into the business, there are important legal facts that go hand-in-hand. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here for all of your landlord needs. From contracts to evictions, Gibbons Law Firm can assist you. Take a look below to learn a little more about tenant evictions and how they can legally be accomplished.



Fact #1:
A landlord may not evict a tenant without a court order. Once the eviction process is started, a tenant will receive notice that an eviction lawsuit has been filed.

Fact #2:
Landlords are allowed to remove abandoned personal items once they have given notice and complied with these requirements.

Fact #3:
A landlord can double the amount of rent if the tenant allows another person to take over the premises without permission from the landlord.

Fact #4:
The number of occupants can be limited to two per bedroom (with the exception of a baby born during the lease period) by the landlord.

Fact #5:
The landlord is responsible for regular wear and tear, as well as damage caused by natural forces like the weather. A tenant is responsible for making repairs that are caused by their own negligence.

While many landlord-tenant relationships are successful, it does not always end up in a positive situation. Disputes do occur in the renting process.  Sometimes a dispute can be avoided if both parties are aware of their rights and duties. A brief recap can be found below:


Tenant:

Pay rent on time.

Use reasonable care and not damage property.

Properly dispose of garbage.

Refrain from taking on additional occupants or subleasing without the landlord’s written permission.

Landlord:

Make property habitable before tenants move in.

Make and pay for repairs due to ordinary wear and tear.

Refrain from turning off a tenant’s water, electricity or gas.

Provide written a notice to tenants when ownership of the property is transferred to a new landlord.

Not unlawfully discriminate.

The best way to avoid an issue in the future is for both parties to document all communication and agreements well. 

Now that you know a little more about tenant and landlord rights, you can be prepared as a landlord. If you plan to rent your property or already do, our tenant-landlord lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks can help represent you. Whether you need to put together a solid lease agreement for future tenants or need to take legal action, Gibbons Law Firm is here for you!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.




Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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