Friday, October 19, 2018

Legal Dangers of Underage Drinking

Just in time for National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (October 19-25), we've dedicated this week's blog to share the dangers of underage drinking. While most colleges have a policy on alcohol on campus, it's sadly easy to find alcohol in the hands of minors on a college campus. Drinking under the age of 21 is illegal but a large number of high school and college students (under 21) still consume alcohol on a consistent basis.  Take a look below to learn about some of the legal consequences of underage drinking and how Gibbons Law Firm can help if you find yourself in a similar situation.



This week is designated to raise awareness of the potential danger alcohol consumption can be for college students. Many programs are available to educate minors of the legal and personal issues that can result from drinking alcohol under the age of 21.

Legal Consequences of Underage Drinking

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years old. Individuals ages 20 and under are breaking the law if they consume alcohol, and as a result, they may be subject to legal consequences. These consequences may include:

Mandatory Community Service
If you are caught drinking under age, it is likely part of your punishment will be in the form of community service of some sort. If this is your first offense, a judge may give you the option to put in a certain amount of hours doing community service. During this time serving the community, you are to be thinking about the decision you made to break the law and how to avoid this type of action in the future. 

Suspension of Driver's License
You can lose your driver's license if you are convicted of underage drinking. The revocation of your license can put a big damper on your social life. As many people rely on personal transportation for a number of reasons. Work, visiting family, going to school, traveling to friends - these are all popular reasons a person may need access to transportation. If you lose your license, you may have to rely on public transportation or friends and family to get you to and from your destination. 

Criminal Fines
You may face hefty fines if you are caught drinking under the age of 21. These fines are not worth underage drinking. A fine can put a big strain on your financial situation. A young person typically does not have a big disposable income and a fine can be detrimental to your lifestyle. 

Jail Time
Another potential punishment for underage drinking is to serve jail time. A criminal charge, like underage drinking, can follow a person around for a lifetime. This type of charge can make it hard to find a job, get insurance, and make major purchases in the future. Avoid being charged with a crime and serving time in jail - the future you will thank you!

If you find yourself faced with a criminal charge - like alcohol consumption under the age of 21 - our criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks will be here help protect your rights. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we work hard to help you avoid unnecessarily harsh consequences for your actions. Contact our Lake of the Ozarks law firm to learn how we can help represent 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, October 11, 2018

The Difference Between a Felony & Misdemeanor

Do you know the difference between a felony & misdemeanor? Felonies are punishable by death or lengthy incarceration while misdemeanors are less serious crimes where the punishment is not as steep as a felony. Being accused of a crime - whether a misdemeanor or felony, is a serious legal issue. If you find yourself in this situation, it's time to seek legal advice. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here for all of your legal needs. From legal counsel to representing your case in court, our criminal defense lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks can help advise.


Felonies

A felony is the most serious classification of crimes according to the American judicial system, and as such, it is reserved for the most heinous acts. Convicted felons may be subject to the maximum punishment allowable by the state in which they are committed. This punishment may include steep fines, multiple years in prison (including a life sentence), and potentially even the death penalty. Examples of felonies may include:


  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Possession and/or distribution of child pornography
  • Embezzlement
  • Grand theft
  • Murder
  • Identity theft
  • Rape (of both adults and minors)
  • Possession and/or distribution of a controlled substance
  • Fraud


Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors could be considered "middle-of-the-road crimes." They are more serious than infractions (which are minor transgressions that typically result in a fine) but less serious than felonies. They are typically punishable by fines and up to one year in the county jail. Examples of misdemeanors may include:

  • Petty Theft
  • Possession of small amounts of marijuana
  • Trespass
  • Disturbance of the peace
  • Illegal gambling


Convictions can impact your life in more ways than you may realize. Even if you are not sentenced to multiple years in prison, your conviction will likely follow you for many years. A criminal history often makes it harder to secure housing, find employment, be accepted into educational institutions, possess a firearm, and even be approved for insurance coverage.

If you've been accused of a crime, it's time to secure legal representation. For an experienced lawyer on your side, contact Gibbons Law Firm today. We look forward to helping represent your side of the case. Don't forget, your first consultation with our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks is 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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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Top 7 Reasons to Consider a Prenup

Are you recently engaged or thinking of popping the question in the near future? While this is an exciting time, it's important to plan ahead for your future together. As you and your soon-to-be spouse prepare for your big day, you can easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning. As an experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how important it is to think beyond your wedding day. Signing a prenuptial agreement may seem like a tough subject to bring up but it's an important discussion that needs to take place before the big day is here. If you are wanting your spouse to sign a prenup, bring it up right away. Be upfront about your feelings and don't wait until the last minute to spring the news on your future spouse. If you're debating signing a prenuptial agreement, take a look below for some of the clear reasons why you should!

Reason #1 - The rate of divorce.

Almost half of all marriages end in a divorce. This fact is astonishing to many and can make you nervous for the future. While you're entering into a marriage, you don't plan on getting a divorce - it can still happen. Feelings change, people change, and situations change in which you may not feel like you once did and wish to lead separate lives.

Reason #2 - Significant financial difference.

If one of you make a significantly higher income, it's a good idea to protect your assets with a prenup. Whether it's a high paying position at work or a wealthy family, you and your future spouse should sign documentation to decide what will happen in the future, if there is a problem with the marriage.

Reason #3 - Previous divorces or children. 

If you have a history of divorce, you know how hard the process is. Also if you or your spouse have children from outside the marriage, it's a good idea to have a plan as to what will happen if the marriage doesn't work out. Try outline a plan ahead of time, should the marriage dissolve. This can help alleviate a big headache down the road if you have already worked out an agreement.

Reason #4 - Business ownership. 

If you or your significant other owns a business, a prenuptial agreement can help protect that venture, should the marriage end. If the business owner has partners, they may insist on a prenup being signed to help better protect the business. While getting married is an important life decision, you still need to look out for your business and other assets in the process.

Reason #5 - Unpredictable Future

The future is unknown. While no one plans on getting a divorce while they enter into a new marriage, the truth is that it does happen. Since there is no way to predict the future, it's best to legally protect yourself and your assets with a prenup before saying "I do".

Reason #6 - Make things easier down the road. 

Signing a prenuptial agreement can help create a plan as to what happens to the assets of each individual in the marriage. This can come in very handy if the marriage does end. This plan can easily be executed and creates a less-stressful divorce process if it comes down to that.

Reason #7 - Plan to stop working. 

If you or your spouse plan to stop working once you get married, a prenuptial agreement is a good idea. It can help protect the asssets of both parties. Whether you both decide it's best for one of you to stay home with the kids or are in a good financial position to have one income, it's important to sign an agreement to help protect the income and exisiting assets of everyone involved.

Now that you know some of the reasons why you should sign a prenup before you get married, you're ready to have that discussion with your soon-to-be spouse. Establishing a prenuptial agreement near the Lake of the Ozarks is in no way planning on getting a divorce before you even get married - it's an important document to help protect you and your future spouse's assets and plan for the unpredictable future. If you're wanting a prenup drafted, contact Gibbons Law Firm today. Our Lake of the Ozarks attorney can easily assist in your prenuptial agreement and ensure all the legal aspects are documented accurately.

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, September 27, 2018

Ways Sexual Harassment Can Impact Your Business

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a real epidemic. As this issue sweeps across the nation, it should be top of mind as a business owner. Have you ever thought how a sexual harassment case could impact your daily work life? If you aren't thinking about this, it may be time to do so. As your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how damaging a case like this can be for your business morale. Take a look below to check out the various ways an issue like this can impact your business life.


Lower Company Morale 

If a sexual harassment incident occurs, it can put a damper on the morale around your office. Employees may feel like the work environment isn't a safe place. This can lead to distracted workers, therefore a loss of productivity. A person who experiences a sexual harassment advance may let others know about the occurrence and the un-safe feeling may spread throughout your company.

Open Your Business to Lawsuit

Prompt action is required on behalf of the business owner or supervisor if you learn of a sexual harassment situation. It's important to have a conversation with all involved parties to set the tone for action that will be taken if the harassment continues. Ensure you have an open door policy for employees to report inappropriate behavior in the workplace. If you do have an employee experience sexual harassment in the workplace, legal advice can help you work through the situation to better protect your business. 

Lose Dedicated Workers

If an employee is harassed at work, they may start to dislike their job and/or work environment. Many times harassment goes unreported, therefore the behavior does not change. This can create a hostile work environment which is damaging for employees. An employee may be more apt to leave the company if they are being sexually harassed while working. You can easily lose a hard worker if they are uncomfortable when they come to work.

Tips for Handling Sexual Harassment Claims:


  • Have an open door policy for employees to report any harassment they experience.
  • Provide regular training on sexual harassment and go over the punishment for such action. 
  • Take swift action if a sexual harassment case is reported. 
  • Set the precedent if you have a report of sexual harassment in the workplace. 


Now that you know HOW your business may be impacted by a sexual harassment claim, you're ready to make changes in your daily work life to avoid this issue. If you discover a sexual harassment case has occurred at your business, ensure you take the right legal actions in a timely manner. Contact Gibbons Law Firm to learn how you can take swift action to help protect your business. Remember, your first consultation with our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is 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, September 21, 2018

Lake of the Ozarks Airshow

The Lake of the Ozarks Airshow is coming up! This family-friendly annual event brings spectators from all around. Don't miss out on the action when you visit the airshow this weekend - September 22nd from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. As your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how fun it is to get out and enjoy local events and that's why we've provided some information about this family-friendly event below.


All About the Lake of the Ozarks Airshow:

The Lake of the Ozarks Airshow is scheduled for September 22nd. This event will be packed with non-stop action. Exciting entertainment will be available all day at the airshow. The lineup for this event is going to be thrilling - you won't want to miss a thing! Be sure to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs to enjoy the show!

Airshow Schedule of Events:

8:00 am - 10:00 am:  Veterans Breakfast (Veterans $5/ Adult & Children $6)

10:00 am - 3:00 pm:  Vendor Booths, Static Displays & Kid’s Zone ($2 per child)

10:30 am: Opening Ceremony
- National Anthem
- Main Street Music Hall
- LOZ Dance
-Present Colors

10:45 am:  Air Show Starts
- KC Flight Wakes Up The Lake
- Ribbon Cutting - Brian Correll
- Planes vs. Cars:
* Bob Richards & Hulett Chevrolet-Buick-GMC
* Jeff Shetterly Races Kenny Carroll
- Ping Pong Ball Drop One
- Bob Richards Solo Act
- Lunch with RC Planes
- Brian Correll - Pitts Aerobatics
- Lee Crouch Stearman Solo Act
- John Fester T-6 Passes with Vince Hill
- Bob Bull Fly Over
- Ping Pong Ball Drop Two
- Jeff Shetterly
- Team Vortex
- Kenny Carroll Race Vs Team Vortex

3:00 pm:  Show Concludes

8:00 pm: Get the Led Out at Ozark Amphitheater
Doors open at 7:00 pm

Click here for more information about the Lake of the Ozarks Airshow!

Now that you know all about the Lake of the Ozarks Airshow, you're ready to come out and enjoy this event with your friends and family. As you are taking in all the fun, you may have a few legal burdens weighing on your mind. Don't let legal issues get in the way of living your life. Contact our Lake of the Ozarks law firm to help ease your mind. We can help give you legal options and walk you through the processes you will need to go through. Don't forget your first consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is 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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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Factors that Impact the Cost of a Divorce

Divorce is not only an emotionally strenuous time, it can be hard on your budget too. As your experienced divorce lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know the divorce process is impacted by a number of factors. While no two divorces are the same, we can offer some advice on what can drive up the cost of getting a divorce. Take a look below to learn what factors impact the cost AND what you can do to keep these expenses at bay.


Case Complexity

There are quite a few factors that can make a divorce complex. The most common factor is children. If you and your spouse have kids together, deciding the custody arrangement can take time and effort. Another factor that can increase the complexity of your case is if one of the spouses own a business. Complex community property is another factor that can impact the cost of a divorce. It can take energy to decide who is getting what when it comes to community property.

Length of Time

The main factor of the cost of a divorce is the amount of time each step takes. Your lawyer and your spouses' lawyer will both work on your case and likely charge by the hour. The amount of paperwork to compile and filter through will add to the amount of time required. If you don't get back with your lawyer in a timely fashion, it's another way your budget may increase. The amount of time required to prepare for your divorce can impact the total cost.

Conflict Level

If you and your spouse go back and forth trying to come to a settlement, it can draw out the process. Coming to a conclusion before you get into the heat of things can be beneficial for your divorce budget. It's best to be understanding and work with your lawyer and/or your spouse to get through the process with a low level of conflict.

While getting a divorce can impact your entire life, you can limit the financial impact of the process. By knowing WHAT causes a divorce bill to increase, you and your spouse can work together to keep the cost down. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, contact our Lake of the Ozarks lawyer today. Your first consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is free. Give us a call today to learn how we can help you through the divorce process.

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, September 5, 2018

Tips to Protect Your Small Business From a Workers Compensation Claim

Owning a small business takes a lot of time and energy. As a business owner, you are likely looking for ways to reduce the chance of being involved in legal litigation. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we understand your time and energy is best spent focusing on your business at hand. That's why we've dedicated this week's blog to showcasing a few ways you can help reduce the chance of your business being involved in a workers compensation lawsuit.


Properly Train Employees

When a new employee comes to work for your business, ensure they have the proper training on every aspect of the job they will be doing. The right training can help reduce the chance of an employee being involved in an accident at work. Take the time to explain why each protocol is in place to help your new employees better understand the dangerous potential of the job.

Clearly Mark Dangerous Areas

Use caution tape on the floor to mark hazardous areas in your business. If certain places are reserved for only approved personnel, mark these areas clearly to help eliminate any confusion. Also, be sure to use any signage to let employees and customers know about a potentially hazardous situation. If you have just mopped, make sure you have a wet floor sign marking the area!

Perform Regular Safety Checks

The daily tasks you and your employees perform can quickly become routine. Always have a constant eye out for a potential hazard that may present itself for your employees. Supervisors should perform safety checks on a regular basis to ensure all potentially dangerous situations are accounted for and well known.

Continually Educate About Employee Safety

It's a good idea to do regular training on workplace safety for your employees. This can help keep safety protocol top of mind as your workers complete their daily tasks. Even if your employees have the safety protocol down, it's important to perform a refresher course every now and then.

Ensure Employees Use Proper Safety Procedures

There are a number of safety procedures in place for all lines of work. Whether it's wearing the proper harness for employees on a boom truck or wearing a hard hat on a construction site, it's important that your employees practice proper safety procedures on a daily basis. Keep an eye out for employees and ensure they use the right safety protocol each and every day.

Establish an Open Door Policy

Employees should be encouraged to report any dangerous or potentially dangerous situations in the workplace. Your workers are doing the tasks on a daily basis and may notice a situation that may be a hazard before anyone else. Let your employees know you are open to hearing about potential dangers AND ideas of how to overcome these situations.

As your experienced business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how important it is for a business owner to be able to put their energy toward running the business. By helping to avoid legal issues, you can use your time and energy doing what you love. If you do have a workers compensation claim against your business, it's important to have a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks on your side. Contact our Lake of the Ozarks attorney TODAY to learn how we can help you navigate the legal landscape that is often involved with owning a business.

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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