Friday, December 23, 2016

Answers To Common Legal Questions: Criminal Law

Legal matters are complex and confusing. If you are engaged in your first brush with the law, your mind may be spinning with multiple questions about what the future holds. While it is impossible to predict certain aspects, such as whether or not you will receive a criminal conviction, our criminal attorney in Camden County MO may be able to help ease your mind by answering some of the other questions you may have about criminal law.

Question #1: What is the difference between probation and parole?
Answer: In some cases, convicted criminals may receive probation instead of a prison sentence. Instead of being incarcerated, probation allows the person to remain in his community providing that he follows certain guidelines, obeys certain restrictions, and meets regularly with his probation officer. The parameters surrounding parole are similar, but parole applies to individuals who are released from prison early for good behavior instead of individuals who avoid incarceration altogether.

Question #2: What are "white collar" crimes?
Answer: White collar crimes are high-profile, intellectual crimes that may involve a great deal of money and/or financial assets. They are generally nonviolent in nature. Examples of white collar crimes include embezzlement, tax fraud, identity theft, and bank robbery. While some are relatively minor, most white collar crimes are classified as felonies.

Question #3: I have been falsely accused. Do I still need an attorney?
Answer: The short answer is that yes, hiring an attorney may still be beneficial even if you did not actually commit the crime in question. Police officers sometimes make mistakes, and surrounding circumstances may stack up against you to create an incriminating scene. Our team will be here to defend your rights if you have been falsely accused.

Question #4: What is a grand jury?
Answer: Unlike the typical jury most people are familiar with, a grand jury does not have the authority to render an "innocent" or "guilty" verdict. Rather, the grand jury evaluates the evidence presented and determines whether or not the government has enough evidence to continue the criminal proceedings.

Question #5: Do I need an attorney if I've been charged with a DWI?
Answer: The consequences for many traffic violations are relatively minor, and many people choose to address certain traffic law issues without an attorney. However, the consequences of a DWI conviction are serious and may affect your life for years to come. If you are faced with DWI charge, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with a criminal attorney.

Question #6: What is "restitution"?
Answer: Restitution refers to the funds convicted criminals are sometimes required to pay their victims in order to cover the losses they incurred as a result of the crime. Restitution may be ordered to compensate for expenses such as medical bills, property damage, lost income, or funeral expenses.

Contact Gibbons Law Firm For Criminal Representation
If you are facing criminal charges in Camden County MO, we hope you'll consider Gibbons Law Firm. Our criminal defense attorney in Osage Beach has successfully represented criminal cases of all types and would be honored to assist you with your case. For more information about our criminal defense services, visit our website at

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Understanding The Bail System

Do any of the following phrases sound familiar?
  • "His bail has been set at $50,000."
  • "My friend bailed me out of jail." 
  • "The bail has been posted."

If you or your loved ones have ever been arrested, you may be familiar with the bail system and how it works. If you haven't had personal experience with it, chances are you've heard phrases like the ones listed above (if nothing else, in movies or TV shows), but you may not be as familiar with the ins and outs of the bail system. Today, our criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you understand Missouri's bail system and how it may affect you.

Bail System Basics

For illustration purposes, let's pretend that someone named John is arrested. Upon his arrest, the police take John into custody, collect fingerprints and take photographs, and place him in a holding cell. At that point, John's bail will be set at a certain amount. Let's suppose his bail amount is $10,000. If he or a family member is able to provide the $10,000 in the form of cash or a cashier's check, the bail will be "posted" and he will be released from custody under the agreement that he will appear for his court date. If he does appear in court as promised, John will receive his $10,000 back in full. If John's bail is not posted, he will be held in custody until his court date. The court date may be set several months in advance, so this is typically not a favorable option.

Bail Bonds

If neither John nor his family/friends have the money to post his bail, he may seek financial assistance in the form of a bail bond. Bail bond agents provide the money for bail in exchange for a small fee. 10% of the bond's value is a common fee, though the rate may vary. This fee is generally due upfront and is non-refundable. If John is able to secure a bail bond in this manner, the bail bond agent will post the bond and John will be released. If he appears at his court date as promised, the bond agent is not held responsible to the court. If John does not appear in court (colloquially referred to as "jumping bail" or "skipping bail"), the bond agent will be held liable to the court for the bail amount. If this happens, the bond agent may send someone (referred to by laypersons as a "bounty hunter") to find John and bring him to court.

Bail Bond "Loans"

If John is unable to pay for his bond agent's fee upfront, he may have one other alternative. Bond agents may offer a loan (complete with interest and other charges) to cover the bond amount. Typically, bond loans require some form of collateral or a trustworthy "signer." Collateral may be in the form of a deed to a car or home. A signer is someone who agrees to reimburse the bail bond agent if John defaults on the agreement. Often, bond agents will only accept someone as a signer if he/she has good credit or substantial financial assets.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorney For Representation

Bail amounts vary drastically; they may be as low as $500, or they may be as high as $250,000 or greater. Typically, the more serious the crime, the higher the bail amount may be. If you are arrested, we strongly encourage you to seek representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. Your attorney can offer much-needed counsel to help you determine how best to proceed.

For more information about our criminal defense services in central Missouri, schedule your free initial consultation by calling (573) 348-2211.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Your Responsibilities During A Personal Injury Suit

When you have been injured as the result of someone else's negligence, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries, expenses, and associated pain and suffering with the assistance of a Lake of the Ozarks personal injury lawyer. As your legal team, it will be our job to defend your rights and fight for you to receive the maximum compensation you deserve. As the client, you will also have several responsibilities along the way. Keep reading to learn more about your role in a personal injury case.

Keep Lines Of Communication Open

The single most important responsibility you will have during a personal injury case is to communicate with your attorney frequently and promptly. Many aspects of personal injury (and other) cases are time-sensitive; though it may seem trivial, returning your attorney's missed call one or two days after the fact could in fact seriously hurt your chances at getting the compensation you need. In order to position yourself for success, it is essential that you respond to your attorney's communication promptly.

Be Honest With Your Attorney

In addition to communicating with our team frequently, we expect you to be completely honest about the circumstances surrounding your case and your experiences following your accident and injury. In order to have the greatest chance of winning your case, we need to know everything about it. Don't make the mistake of angling your story so as to improve your chances of victory - once you explain the entire situation to us, we can work together to develop a strategy for moving forward.

Seek Medical Attention

If you sustained serious injuries and are in need of medical attention, it is essential that you take the time to get the care that you need. Your health and physical well-being is of the utmost importance. You have to get the care you need before you will be able to dedicate the time and attention required to pursue a successful personal injury case.

Stay On Top Of Your Medical Expenses

While the goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to enable you to get financial compensation that will help you cover your medical bills, being in the middle of a personal injury suit does not free you from the responsibility of paying your medical bills in the meantime. You will be compensated if your case is won, but until then it is your responsibility to stay on top of your expenses.

Contact Gibbons Law Firm For Personal Injury Representation

If you have been injured through no fault of your own and are looking for financial representation, schedule your free initial consultation with our personal injury attorney in Osage Beach MO. We have experience representing a wide variety of personal injury cases, including car accidents, boating accidents, work-related injuries, premises liability cases, wrongful death, defective products, and more. 

For more information about our personal injury services at the Lake of the Ozarks, visit our website or call our firm at (573) 348-2211. We look forward to serving you.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Traffic Safety Tips For Holiday Travel

Families and friends travel all across the country to spend time with one another during the holidays. The day before Thanksgiving through New Year's Day account for more traffic on our roadways than any other time of year. Unfortunately, this increased traffic also make these days some of the most dangerous as well as the busiest. Drunk driving incidents tend to increase around the holidays as well (especially when Christmas and New Year's fall on weekends, like they will this year).

If you will be traveling at all over the next few weeks, our personal injury attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers with these common sense safety reminders.

Driving Safety Tips

Give other drivers plenty of room.
Since there are more cars on the road this time of year than any other, it is especially important to maintain safe driving distances between yourself and the cars around you. The faster your car is traveling, the longer it will take for you to slow down, stop, or turn. Avoid tailgating the cars in front of you, and stay alert for nearby drivers who may be turning or merging.

Don't drink and drive.
Everyone knows the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Warnings signs are posted all around, countless organizations work tirelessly to spread the word, and police officers work diligently to keep intoxicated drivers off our streets. Yet despite all of these efforts, alcohol impairment accounts for nearly one third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States (source: CDC). Don't become a part of this statistic; don't drink and drive.

Don't text while driving.
Texting and driving is incredibly dangerous. Despite the staggering statistics and serious warnings drivers are exposed to every day, an alarming number of drivers cannot resist the temptation to check their phones when they get a notification or to send quick texts to family or friends while they are behind the wheel. Don't endanger yourself or other drivers by texting and driving - either ask a passenger to type your message for you, or wait until you have arrived at your destination.

Only drive when you are well rested.
Fatigued drivers put themselves and those around them at great risk. Statistically, sleep-deprived drivers are just as likely (and sometimes even more likely) than drunk drivers to be in an accident. Some argue that drowsy driving poses an even greater risk than distracted driving or drunk driving, since even people who would never drive while intoxicated or texting may still drive when they are sleepy.

Auto Safety Reminders

Check your tire pressure.
If your tires are not properly inflated, you may not get adequate traction on the roads. Keep in mind that fluctuating temperatures can cause your tire pressure to change rapidly, so it's important to check it frequently.

Check your fluid levels.
Engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, and wiper fluid are just a few examples of the fluids your car needs to run safely. While it's always important to make sure these levels are properly maintained, it is especially important to double-check them before embarking on a big road trip.

Get a checkup before a big road trip.
The last thing anybody wants is for their car to break down and leave them stranded on the side of the road. If you will be traveling frequently or covering long distances over the holidays, it may be wise to get your vehicle inspected by a trustworthy mechanic before you depart. This will allow you time to make any necessary repairs before they become a major problem.

Contact Gibbons Law Firm For Personal Injury Representation

On behalf of everyone at our general practice law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks, we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. We sincerely hope that you enjoy all of your holiday celebrations and travel to all of your destinations without incident. If you suffer an injury at the hands of another individual, however, our personal injury team in Osage Beach MO will be here to defend your rights and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Answers To Common Legal Questions: Personal Injury

People are injured every single day. Some injuries are self-inflicted, some are not the fault of any specific person, and some are inflicted at the hands other individuals. Though individuals are sometimes known to deliberately cause harm to others, many of these injuries are purely accidental. Even when they are unintentional, however, they can still cause steep medical bills and the need for extensive treatment.

Our personal injury attorney in Osage Beach MO is here to help you seek compensation for injuries you sustain due to someone else's negligence. In an effort to help you understand this aspect of our services a bit better, we have dedicated this week's blog to answering some of the personal injury questions we are commonly asked.

Question #1: My Insurance Company Told Me I Don't Need To Hire An Attorney. Are They Correct?
Answer: Though it is true that some situations may not require an attorney's assistance, you may not want to take your insurance company's opinion at face value. Remember that your insurance company is out to make a profit, so ensuring that you receive the highest possible payout for your case will not be their primary goal. Some insurance companies may try to dissuade you from hiring an attorney so that you will accept a lower settlement.

Question #2: How Can I Know If I Have A Valid Case?
Answer: If you think you will be able to prove that your injuries were caused (or significantly worsened) by someone else's action or inaction, you most likely have the grounds for a valid personal injury case. Our injury attorney in Camden County MO will work with you to determine the best method for moving forward.

Question #3: I Was Injured By A Driver Who Doesn't Have Insurance. How Can I Get Compensation?
Answer: Though American motorists are legally required to purchase insurance policies for the vehicles they drive, an alarming number of motorists do not have adequate insurance coverage. If you are injured by one of these motorists, you should be able to seek compensation from your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist policy. You may also be able to use this policy to seek compensation when the identity of the offending driver is unknown.

Question #4: How Much Is My Case Worth?
Answer: This is typically the most pressing question on the minds of anyone considering a personal injury lawsuit, but unfortunately it is one that is impossible to answer until an attorney has carefully evaluated your situation. Personal injury damages account for multiple things, such as past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and associated pain and suffering. Your settlement will reflect the financial value of these factors.

Question #5: How Much Will It Cost To Hire An Attorney?
Answer: Next to the financial payout they are likely to receive, the cost of an attorney is typically the most important question on the minds of anyone considering pursuing a lawsuit. The answer to this question will vary depending on the attorney you hire. At Gibbons Law Firm, we represent that majority of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That is, we won't charge our clients anything unless we win their case. At that point, our fee will be an affordable percentage of the payout amount.

More Questions About Personal Injury? Contact Gibbons Law Firm.
If you have been injured at the hands of another, our personal injury attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks will be here to defend your rights and fight for you to receive the best settlement possible. For more information about our personal injury services, visit our website.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

8 Safety Reminders for Black Friday

How do you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving? If you're like most Americans, you probably have a big family dinner planned for Thursday, followed by an exciting night, morning, and/or day where you take advantage of the unbeatable sales offered by retailers all across the country.

Black Friday is without a doubt the biggest shopping event of the year. Retailers make a grand event of slashing prices, and shoppers often stand in line for hours to ensure they get first pick of the stores' best deals. Going shopping on Black Friday can be a great way to get ahead on your Christmas shopping and save money at the same time, but unfortunately, it can also be rather dangerous. Our Lake of the Ozarks personal injury attorney is here to help you stay safe by dedicating this week's blog to some quick reminders for anyone participating in Black Friday shopping. If you are planning on going shopping this Friday, take a moment to familiarize yourself with these simple but important safety tips.

Black Friday Safety Reminders

1. Drive Slowly
Don't let the rush for a good deal cause you to drive recklessly on the street or in parking lots. There will likely be multiple cars out and about - be sure to travel slowly enough that you have time to react to the other drivers on the road.

2. Don't Drink & Drive
You should never drink and drive no matter what day of the year it is, but it is especially critical on Black Friday. You will likely encounter a great deal of traffic, and you may be driving late at night and/or very early in the morning. You will need to be able to be extremely attentive and focused when on the roads.

3. Secure Children Safely In Car Seats & Wear Your Seat Belt
Even if you are only driving across a large parking lot to get from one store to another, take the time to secure your children safely in their car seats and fasten your seat belt before putting your car in drive. Multiple accidents happen in parking lots every year on Black Friday.

4. Use The Buddy System
Try to avoid going Black Friday shopping alone. Stay safe by traveling with your family or a group of friends - or one other person at a minimum. Hopefully you will enjoy your night/day without incident, but it's wise to have someone watching your back just in case.

5. Keep Your Car Locked At All Times
Store parking lots will be packed with vehicles that have been filled with the items shoppers have purchased. For a petty thief, this vast display of unguarded vehicles may be a treasure trove that becomes too tempting to pass up. Protect your items by keeping your car locked at all times. Your high-dollar items may be safest in the trunk (rather than the backseat).

6. Make A Backup Plan With Your Kids
If you will be shopping with children, make a plan you can fall back on in case of emergencies. Designate a central meeting place at every store you visit so that you both know where to go if you get separated. Also, make sure your child has your cell phone number memorized and/or written on a piece of paper that they can keep in his pocket.

7. Be Courteous To Others
In their quest to secure the best deals, some shoppers become downright dangerous. They may rush to grab items as soon as they become available, paying little to no attention to the people around them. Remember, a good deal is never as important as the physical well-being of those around you. Don't let your impulses overpower common sense and courtesy.

8. If You Are Injured, Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Hopefully, you will enjoy a fun-filled shopping event without incident. If you do suffer an injury, don't hesitate to seek medical attention. Some physical injuries can become more severe if they are left unattended for too long.

If your injury is the result of another person's negligence, our personal injury attorney in Camden County MO may be able to help you secure financial compensation for your medical bills and associated pain and suffering. Contact us at (573) 348-2211 to schedule your free consultation.

Happy Thanksgiving from Gibbons Law Firm!

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Felonies vs Misdemeanors: What's the Difference?

Felonies and misdemeanors are classifications used to identify types of crimes. Felonies are serious offenses that are punishable by death or imprisonment for a term in excess of one year and up to life in prison. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, but they may still be subject to steep consequences. In today's blog, Gibbons Law Firm is here to help you understand the distinction between these two classifications.


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

It is important to realize that certain acts may be moved from a misdemeanor to a felony classification depending on their severity.


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

Secure Quality Representation When Facing Criminal Charges

Convictions can impact your life in more ways that 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. 

When facing criminal accusations, securing top-notch criminal defense is essential. Our criminal defense attorney in Osage Beach MO has experience defending against a vast array of criminal allegations. If you are facing charges, we urge you to contact Gibbons Law Firm to discuss your options. Remember, your initial consultation at our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Identifying Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is one of the biggest challenges our workforce faces. It is a problem that affects everyone, from business owners to HR managers to employees. It ruins a company's culture faster than almost anything else. Its negative impacts are not just personnel-based - it can also have legal consequences that can affect the entire company.

In order to protect your interests as a business owner and employer, it is essential that you be on the lookout for sexual harassment and to quickly reprimand any behavior that begins to blur lines. As an employee, it is equally important that you remain alert - if you feel that you are at risk of being sexually harassed, it is important that you seek help before the problem has a chance to get out of control. In order to help both employers and employees in these endeavors, our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is dedicating this week's blog to identifying sexual harassment in the workplace. 

About Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment occurs in a variety of different situations and takes on several different forms. It is illegal and punishable by law. It is important to recognize that while certain stereotypes abound, sexual harassment is not limited to certain people or certain situations. Women as well as men and younger people as well as older people are equally capable of committing sexual harassment. As a general rule, you can avoid sexual harassment allegations by keeping your workplace devoid of all things of a sexual nature. Even joking conversations have no place in a business setting - someone who is offended by the nature of the joke may be able to press charges even if the joke was originally intended to be innocent.

Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Specifically, federal law recognizes two primary forms of sexual harassment in the workplace: Hostile Work Environment and Quid Pro Quo. 
  • A Hostile Work Environment is created when an individual (or group of individuals) are made to feel uncomfortable in their workplace. While it certainly can include actual sexual advances, it does not have to involve anything physical. Hostile Work Environment also refers to sexual and/or offensive jokes, conversations, pictures, or objects.
  • Quid Pro Quo describes a "tit for tat" situation wherein decisions regarding hiring, promoting, or firing individuals becomes contingent upon their willingness to perform sexual favors or submit to sexual advances.

Though they are illegal, both of these types of sexual harassment are unfortunately relatively common in today's workplace. 

Identifying Sexual Harassment

As we discussed earlier, sexual harassment can take on a variety of different forms. Here are some examples of some of the ways it commonly manifests:
  • Using inappropriate terms or pet names to refer to a coworker or employee.
  • Giving an unwanted shoulder or neck massage.
  • Touching someone inappropriately (brushing up against them, placing a hand on their shoulder/back, etc).
  • Discussing sex or sexual acts.
  • Kissing, hugging, pinching, or grabbing an employee or coworker.
  • Speaking provocatively or insultingly about someone's clothing, weight, or appearance.
  • Making inappropriate sexual noises (whistling, cat-calling, etc).
  • Requesting sexual favors.
  • Inquiring about someone's sexual history.
  • Displaying photographs or objects of a sexual nature.
  • Threatening to fire someone if they refuse sexual advances.

If you notice any of these signs or behaviors, talk to your supervisor, HR manager, or attorney right away.

Our Law Firm Is Here To Help

If you are involved in a sexual harassment situation, you may require the assistance of an attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you are facing sexual harassment allegations, our legal team can defend you. If you are the victim of sexual harassment or assault, we can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. For more information about our legal services in Mid-Missouri, call Gibbons Law Firm at (573) 348-2211.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Answers To Common Legal Questions: Family Law

Most people are more emotionally invested in family law cases than cases of any other nature, and for good reason. As their name implies, family law cases deal directly with people's families. If you are preparing for or already in the midst of a family law case, you probably have several questions. Our family attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help ease your concerns by providing answers to some common questions about family law cases.

Question #1: Do I Have To Have A "Cause" For Divorce?
Answer: Missouri is a no-fault divorce state, which means that couples do not have to have a specific reason for filing for divorce. All that is required is for at least one spouse to testify that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" or that there are "irreconcilable differences" between spouses.

Question #2: What Can I Do If My Spouse Refuses To Pay Child Support?
Answer: If the court has ordered your spouse to pay child support, you can seek legal recourse through your attorney for missed payments. Do not retaliate directly by attempting to withhold visitation rights, as this type of action may be subject to legal consequences of its own.

Question #3: Do I Have To Get An Attorney To Get Divorced?
Answer: When it comes to whether or not you will work with an attorney, you always have the right to make your own choice. However, we encourage you to consult with a family attorney in Camden County MO before moving forward with your divorce. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed in order to protect both your and your children's interests.

Question #4: How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced?
Answer: Because every divorce is different, it's impossible to provide a straight and simple answer to this question. As a general rule of thumb, the quicker you and your spouse can come to agreements, the shorter your divorce process will be.

Question #5: Will My Spouse And I Get To Decide How Child Custody Is Divided?
Answer: If you and your spouse can come to an agreeable compromise regarding division of custody, the court may respect your decision. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the court will be required to make arrangements on your behalf. This will be done with the child's best interests in mind; your and your spouse's differing opinions may have little weight in the final decision.

Question #6: Can I Get Child Support Even If I Was Never Married To The Child's Other Parent?Answer: Typically, yes. The individuals who are legally recognized to be a child's parent are generally both required to provide financial assistance if possible. If you were never married, you may be required to order a paternity test in order to legally identify the father. Once this has been achieved, you should be able to seek child support.

More Questions? Contact Gibbons Law Firm.

If you have further questions about family law at the Lake of the Ozarks, the team at Gibbons Law Firm would be happy to extend our services. We can be reached online at or by phone at (573) 348-2211. Your initial consultation is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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

Thursday, October 27, 2016

6 Scary Halloween Statistics

Halloween is one the most highly anticipated holidays among both children and adults. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous. A wide variety of dangers await children (and adults) on Halloween night. In order to keep your family safe, it is important to be realistic about the risks you face. Our personal injury attorney in Osage Beach MO is here to help you keep your family safe this Halloween.

Halloween Statistics
  1. 75% of parents admit to having fears about Halloween, but only 25% of parents talk to their children about Halloween safety every year.*
  2. Child pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed by a car on Halloween night.*
  3. 12% of children ages 5 and under are allowed to trick-or-treat without adult supervision.*
  4. Only 18% of parents use reflective tape on their children's costumes to make them more visible.*
  5. Most major brands of Halloween face paint contain detectable amounts of lead.**
  6. Drunk driving incidents skyrocket on Halloween. In 2015, over half of all driving fatalities that occurred on Halloween night involved a driver with blood alcohol content above 0.08%.***
* Source:
** Source:
*** Source:

Halloween Dangers

Many of the classic Halloween pastimes can pose significant risks for young children. As examples, children can get hurt by...
  • Cutting themselves while carving pumpkins.
  • Tripping and falling as a result of poorly fitting costumes.
  • Burning themselves with the candles in jack o'lanterns.
  • Injuring themselves with sharp costume props.

Keep your children safe by supervising their Halloween activities at all times. 

Halloween Propaganda

Fortunately for parents, some highly publicized Halloween dangers actually pose very little risk to children. For example, many people talk about increased incidences of child molestation and kidnapping on Halloween night, but crime rates show us that these crime are no more likely to occur around Halloween than they are at any other time of the year. People also talk about households passing out Halloween candy that has been randomly laced with drugs or poison, but there are no reports of this actually happening. (There are reports of children consuming candy that is laced with drugs, but this typically happens when children get their hands on candy that was intended to be kept in an adult's private stash.)

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney For Representation

We sincerely hope you and your family stay safe this Halloween. Unfortunately, life is impossible to predict, and sometimes even the best precautions cannot prevent accidents from happening. If you or a loved one suffers an injury at the hands of another this Halloween, our personal injury lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks will be here to defend your rights. Visit our website for more information about our personal injury representation in central Missouri.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
4075 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 300
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2211

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