Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Driving Tips for Holiday Travel

It's that time of year again! As the holiday season rolls around, a number of families plan their road trips. Whether you're visiting family or getting away with your loved ones for a vacation, the roadways become busier and busier. With the increase in traffic, it's important to help make the roads a safe place for you and everyone on the road. As your Lake of the Ozarks lawyer, I'd like to remind everyone of a few ways to improve the road conditions with these driving tips below.

Our personal injury lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks is here for you as you travel throughout the holiday season. If you happen to be involved in a collision or other incident, Gibbons Law Firm is one call away! Our law firm can help you sort out an incident that may have occurred while on a road trip with your family, especially if an injury was sustained.


Driving Safety Tips:

Leave Plenty of Room
It's recommended to leave one car length per every ten miles an hour you are traveling. This allows adequate time for you to stop in a hurry if needed. Many incidents that occur on the roadways are due to drivers following too closely. It's important to increase driving distance if there are any other factors in the driving conditions - like fog, rain, or snow.

Put the Phone Down
While it isn't illegal to text and drive if you are over the age of 21, it's strongly advised against. Distracted driving is very dangerous to yourself and others on the road. The road ahead of you can change in a split second, even during the short amount time you look down at your phone. Keep your full attention on the road at all times while operating a motor vehicle.

Designate a Driver
Always designate a driver for you and your group if you choose to partake in adult beverages as the holiday season approaches. It can be fun to get together with old friends and celebrate the upcoming holidays with new acquaintances, but it's important to think ahead and have a way to get home. Even if it means calling a cab, it makes for safer roadways for everyone involved (and helps keep you out of legal trouble).

Rest Well Before Departure
Many times traveling during the holidays lead to leaving early or departing late at night to make it to your destination. Driving drowsy can hinder your ability to make quick reactions to changing conditions on the roadways. Always ensure your driver is well-rested before heading out on a holiday road trip.

Keep an Eye on the Weather
The risk of freezing rain or snow increase as the temperature drops during the holiday season. Even if the forecast is clear when you depart for your destination, be sure to check it on a regular basis to ensure no significant changes have come about. For a pleasant travel experience during the upcoming holidays, try to avoid driving on slick roads.

As your general practice law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks, our entire staff wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season. The safety tips above can help keep you and your family safe this weekend. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a vehicle accident and injured at someone else's fault, a personal injury attorney near Lake Ozark, MO can help you through the process. Contact us today to learn how we can help you defend 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, November 16, 2017

Some Common Terms You May Hear On a Criminal Law Case

Criminal matters can be confusing and scary. If you are in the midst of a criminal case, your head may be spinning with many questions and concerns. Our criminal attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help answer all of your questions. Answering all of your criminal law questions may not be able to predict the outcome of your case, but it can help you get a good idea of what to expect during the process. Take a look below for top questions that are asked during a criminal case at the Lake of the Ozarks.



Term #1: What is a "white collar" crime?

A white collar crime is typically not a violent crime. It is often an intellectual crime that involves a large amount of money. Crimes that are white collar in nature are typically tax fraud, identity theft, and embezzlement.

Term #2: What is a grand jury?

A grand jury does not have the authority to rule guilty or innocent like a typical jury does. This kind of jury will rule whether there is enough evidence available for the government to continue with the proceeding.

Term #3: Do I need an attorney if I was falsely accused?

Even if you know you are innocent, it's the jury or judge that has to make the final decision. An attorney can help gather the right information and present your case in a professional manner. The experience of a legal professional can help deal with last minute changes or evidence that may be presented. A lawyer can help your case in a number of ways.

Term #4: What is "restitution"?

The amount of money that is required for a criminal to pay the other party is known as "restitution". Its purpose is to cover any cost that may have been caused by the crime. Medical bills, lost wages, and property damage are common reasons for restitution to be paid out.

Term #5: Is there a difference between "parole" and "probation"?

Parole is when a criminal is released early from prison on good behavior but is still being monitored closely. Probation is when a criminal is allowed to remain in the public community and to be under strict rules and regulations, instead of being sentenced to prison.

Did we answer your burning criminal law questions? If not, contact our Lake of the Ozarks law office today. We can schedule a consultation to discuss your case and help answer any other questions you may have. Gibbons Law Firm looks forward to helping you through this stressful and confusing process. Don't forget your first consultation with us 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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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What You Need to Prepare for Your Estate Plan

A plan made in advance naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die is known as an estate plan. This type of document can relieve a lot of stress on your family and help to avoid your assets from going to someone you do not wish to have them. A legal professional can help solidify your estate plan to ensure your assets are squared away. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm has provided a list of some information you should have on hand, before preparing your estate plan.


Financial Statements

Any financial statements from your investments and bank accounts should be brought with you to plan your estate. These documents can help show where your financial assets are located. It's also a good idea to have an idea of who you intend to take over ownership of these financial accounts in mind.

List of Assets & Liabilities

Like your financial statements, assets and liability information should be brought to the meeting, as well. You can also decide who will take over these responsibilities upon your passing. This list can be helpful when dividing up assets and liabilities to pass on.

Life Insurance Policies

As you are planning your estate, any life insurance policy information is helpful. Bring your policies along with you in order to accurately assign someone to take ownership.

Who You Intend to Leave Estate With

Updated addresses and other contact information for the individual(s) you intend to leave your estate is needed. This can make the transfer of your assets much easier after you pass. The exact name and addresses for individuals or institutions that you plan to name in your will are necessary.

Information for Guardianship

If you have children under the age of 18, it's important to have specific individuals named to take over guardianship of your children. If you can, it's also a good idea to select an alternative guardian. When children are involved, it's best to have someone named as the guardian to avoid a child going into government care.

Inheritance Disbursement

For beneficiaries who are minors or young adults, it can be helpful to line out the distribution of the trust. This can reduce the chance of a younger heir getting carried away with an excess of money or assets. You can set up your estate to pay out in smaller amounts over time versus a large lump sum or you can put off the disbursement until your child has reached a more mature age of your choosing.

No matter what your age, it's important to have an estate plan in place. This document can help show exactly who you intend to take over ownership of each of your assets. It's a nice gesture for your friends and family to have this documentation in place before you pass. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we can help handle all of your needs for an estate plan. Contact our law office at the Lake of the Ozarks to schedule your consultation today!


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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No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Questions to Consider When Planning for Your Child’s Future

The future is full of unknowns which can make it hard to prepare for. Even though many parents do not like to think about the “what ifs”, it is important to the well-being of your child to do so. If something should happen to you and/or your spouse, you will want your child to be protected. There are steps to ensure your child has everything that you have intended for them to receive. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm can help establish a plan in order to protect your child, should something unfortunate happen to you. While these topics are not easy to think about, remember it’s best to be prepared.


Who will care for my child?

If you have someone in mind to care for your child if something should happen to you, it’s important to get that information legally documented. This can help ensure that your child will be with who you intended to help raise them and have guardianship over them. Whether it’s a relative or a close friend, your child should be cared for by the person you wish to do so. If both legal parents pass away, a court will decide who should care for the child or children in question, if there is no specific indication in a will.

How will this person pay for my child’s expenses?

Another factor that goes into deciding who will care for your child is how will they financially support your little one. Taking on the care of a child can impact the financial situation of the caregiver. From added food expense to the cost associated with school activities, you will have to factor these types of expenses into your decision. You can designate a certain amount of your assets to be distributed to the individuals who will gain guardianship of your child. You can also specify that any money that is distributed be used for the sole purpose of raising your child, to avoid it going toward another cause.


Where will they live?

If you want your child to keep up with his or her normal routine, you can specify where you would like your child to be raised. Whether you intend for the caretaker to move into your home to offer a familiar environment for your children or you want to specify that your child attends the same school, it’s important to note any special requirements that would like to take place.

How will my child gain access to my assets?

In your will, you can narrow down when and how your children will receive your assets. Many times, guardians will be given a portion of the assets in order to help with expenses of raising the child. On other occasions, all assets may not be distributed until the child is of legal age – 18 years old. You can specify exactly how your child will gain access to your financial assets.

Most parents have a natural instinct to protect their children and Gibbons Law Firm can help you do just that! With a plan in place for the future, you can rest assured that your children are taken care of and your wishes will be fulfilled. If you don’t have a will in place should something happen to you or your spouse, it’s time to take action. Contact our attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks to start preparing your family for the unknown future. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your future wishes, give us a call today!

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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Monday, October 23, 2017

5 Tips to Make a Divorce Less Stressful

Divorce is one of the most challenging and stressful processes an individual can go through. No matter what your reason for the end of a marriage may be, it's a tough decision to make for your family. With strong emotions involved throughout the entire process, you may feel overwhelmed with the stress of divorce. As your Lake of the Ozarks divorce attorney, I know how difficult of time this is for you and your entire family. That's why I've dedicated this week's blog to focus on ways to make the divorce process less stressful for all involved.


1. Disclose All Assets

Assets will be evaluated during the divorce process in order to divide them amongst the spouses. Do not attempt to hide any assets that your husband or wife may not know about. If the court discovers such items have been covered up, the process will start over and you may be reprimanded for not disclosing all of your assets upfront.

2. Cooperate Through the Process

To help reduce the stress level for everyone involved, try to cooperate with the court and with your spouse as you part ways. This makes life a little easier on both of you through this major life change. Especially if you have children involved in the process, it's best to lead by example and be as flexible as possible throughout the divorce.


3. Be There For Your Kids

Continue to be involved in your children's lives, even if you are no longer living under the same roof. It can help show your kids how much you care and that you will always be there to support them, even if you and your spouse are no longer together. Put your kids first and remember they are going through a challenging time, just like you are.

4. Keep Life Changes to a Minimum

Divorce is a major life change in itself. Try not to add to many changes into your life at the same time. It can make the process drag on longer than needed and make it even more stressful on yourself. While it's hard to predict when changes will come about, try to avoid them if possible or put them off until after the divorce process is finalized.

5. Ask Questions if Something is Unclear

Your divorce attorney is there for you throughout the entire process. Don't hesitate to ask questions about a certain protocol or why something is happening. A professional legal advisor will be able to help walk you through the process and thoroughly explain why this step is needed to reach the end goal of being divorced. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - that is why you hired a professional who has done this before!

An experienced divorce lawyer near Lake of the Ozarks can help you through the entire process. From filing to division of assets to custody arrangements, Gibbons Law Firm can help you navigate through the stressful and emotional divorce process. If you are in the middle of a divorce or are planning to file soon, contact our Lake of the Ozarks law firm to schedule a consultation today. With us, your first consultation 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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Monday, October 16, 2017

Tips for a Safe Halloween

Halloween is an exciting time of year for both children and adults. There are a few dangers that present themselves this time of year, even though it appears to be all fun and games. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm wants to help keep your family safe this Halloween. It's important to strive for a safe environment during the holiday.  Take a look below for some safety tips to consider while you are out and about or at home on this upcoming holiday.


Walking Around the Neighborhood

-Always discuss safety when crossing roadways. It's a good idea to stay with your children to ensure they are following smart pedestrian etiquette, instead of letting them roam around the neighborhood unsupervised.

-Consider incorporating a glow-in-the-dark or reflective strip on their costume. This can help increase their visibility to drivers.

-Have an adult check all candy gathered, before a child consumes it. If there are any puncture holes or opened wrappers, it's bests to throw those pieces out.

- Remind your children to only go up to someone’s front door, never enter the home (unless it is someone you know and trust).

Driving to a Halloween Activity

-Keep your eyes peeled for children heading out to trick-or-treat. Often times, kids can get distracted by the excitement of Halloween and forget to look both ways before crossing a road.

-Park in a well-lit spot once you get to your Halloween gathering. Whether going to a trunk-or-treat event or a local Halloween get together, try to find a parking spot where you are comfortable getting you and your family out of the vehicle.

-If you are headed to an adult Halloween party, ensure you restricted your alcohol intake or have a designated driver lined up beforehand. There's no reason to drive under the influence and risk your life, as well as others on the roads.

Passing Out Candy at Home

-Create a safe place for children and their families to come trick-or-treat. Try to clear your walkway to ensure there are no tripping hazards present. If you are decorating your front stairs or entryway for the holiday, consider safety as you do so. You don't want someone to trip and fall while on your property.

-Purchase candy that comes pre-wrapped. This can help ensure you have not tampered with any candy, as parents sort through their children's loot at the end of the night!

-Illuminate your property well as children and adults will be making their way to your front stairs. It's important to protect yourself from someone getting hurt on your property, due to a dark walkway.

Don't forget to prepare for a safe night, no matter if you plan to spend time out trick-or-treating or at home passing out candy. If you do find yourself involved in an accident, don't hesitate to seek legal representation. It's important to know your options - no matter what kind of involvement you may have in a legal situation. Gibbons Law Firm is here for all of your legal needs near the Lake of the Ozarks. Simply give us a call at 573-348-2211 to schedule your initial consultation - remember your first one is always free! We truly hope you have a SAFE and Happy Halloween!

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, October 11, 2017

How the Bail System Works

"The bail has been posted", "My brother bailed me out of jail", and "The bail has been set at $10,000" are all phrases we have likely heard. Most of us are exposed to statements regarding bail, whether it be in real-life or on your favorite television show. Many people know that bail is the temporary release of someone awaiting trial for a crime in which they were arrested, but there is much more to the bail system than that.


As your criminal defense lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, our law firm knows how important it is to know the ins and outs of the bail system. Even if you don’t plan on needing this knowledge, you never know when a friend or family member will call you for bail. Take a look below to learn more about the Missouri bail system and how it may affect you.

The Basics:

After the police take someone into custody, they will be fingerprinted and photographed and then held in a cell. A bond amount is then set for the individual. This amount can vary from $500 to $500,000, depending on the severity of the crime. In order for the individual to get released, a friend or family member must bring in cash or a cashier's check in the amount the bond is set. This amount is to ensure to individual being accused will show up to court, where the money will be refunded. The individual may have to stay in holding until the court date, if no one can provide the funds needed for bail. See the point about bail bonds for other options when it comes to paying bail.

All About Bail Bonds:

When the individual nor friends or family members are able to pay the bail amount and it is not reasonable to stay in jail until the trial (which can be schedule months out), another alternative is available. A bail bond agent can provide the funds needed to cover bail, for a small fee - usually 10% of the bail amount. The individual is free to go until his or her court date, once the bail is posted by the agent. The bond agent is held responsible to the court to ensure the individual attends his or her court date. If they do not show up, the agent is now held liable to the court for the full bail amount. A "bounty hunter" may be hired by the bond agent to locate the individual and ensure he or she does not miss their court date.

Earlier we discussed the bond bail amount is usually 10% of the total bond amount. There is another alternative for an individual who cannot afford that amount - a bond loan. The bond agent may negotiate another form of payment of collateral to be taken out against the person in need of being bailed out of jail. This payment may come in the form of a car or home deed or a "signer" who promises to repay the amount, if the individual is unable to do so. Many bond agents will accept an individual with good credit and/or financial backing to be a "signer" for the person who is needing bailed out.

If you are arrested, it's important to know your options. A professional lawyer near the Lake of the Ozarks is available for you to seek representation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the entire process - starting with bail. Contact Gibbons Law Firm as soon as possible when our services are needed. Don't forget, your first consultation 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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