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

Follow us on...

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

Follow us on...

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

Follow us on...