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December 2015 Archives

Gray divorce may pose financial challenges in Missouri

The process of getting divorced poses unique challenges for every couple. However when that split comes after decades of marriage, those challenges may make the divorce more difficult for one party compared to the other. A gray divorce is the term used for couples who have been married for 30 or more years, and the trend is rising in Missouri and across the United States.

Drunk driving cases are not always what they seem

Circumstances can often mask a situation, even for trained investigators. A terrible crash on Interstate 70, a head-on collision between two vehicles. One driver killed, the other, a woman, left in a very strange condition. She was unconscious, but paramedics claimed she smelled of alcohol. And she was not wearing any pants.

Passenger suffers serious injuries when car rolls over

In some single-vehicle car accidents in Missouri, those who suffer the worst injuries are passengers. Drivers may be held accountable for losses sustained by passengers in car accidents. Many civil lawsuits arise from serious injuries suffered by passengers of negligent drivers.

Justice Department will require crime lab accreditation by 2020

The Justice Department has announced that it will eventually require the crime labs that it contracts with to be accredited. While this is encouraging, a review of the way in which crime labs are accredited and the quality of forensic evidence that is used by courts suggests we have a long way to go before many of the problems in this area are solved.

Understanding the facts about property division in Missouri

When a divorce unfolds, the process known as property division begins. While an equitable split is the ultimate goal, this is easier said than done for most people going through a divorce and the property division process in Missouri. There are certain steps to take, and all parties must consider their individual needs and wants, which will all naturally vary depending on the individuals involved.

Driver's alleged negligence causes serious injuries to Fulton man

Car accidents happen on Missouri roads every day, and every motorist is at risk. Even the most careful drivers are sometimes involved in car accidents that are caused by the negligence of others. Car accidents often cause life-changing injuries, not to mention the medical expenses and other traumas that are typically experienced.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear DUI refusal cases

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision from 2013 in Missouri v. McNeely appears to stand for the proposition that if the police have the ability to obtain a search warrant for a blood test after a driver has been stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, they must obtain that warrant.

Missouri parents can avoid child custody mistakes during divorce

Custody agreements between divorcing parents can be difficult to decipher and life circumstances can mean that changes need to be made well after an agreement is reached. While a child custody agreement is in the works, Missouri parents may want to avoid a few common mistakes that can make the process harder on everyone. The avoidance of these mistakes or missteps early in the process can offset disputes or difficulties down the road.

Pedestrian accidents: 2 hit-and-run drivers cause teen's death

A Missouri family will likely always associate this time of the year with the sad death of their 13-year-old daughter. The teenager died when she was struck by two vehicles in Poplar Bluff last week. As sometimes occurs in pedestrian accidents, the drivers left the scene of the accident without stopping to check on the victim.

Is it a real crime or merely fantasy?

Most crimes have specific elements that a prosecutor must prove in order to convict someone accused of that crime. These elements can range from simple to complex. The first-degree assault in Missouri described as, "A person commits the offense of assault in the first degree if he or she attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person."

Holidays pose challenges to child custody in Missouri

The holiday season is chaotic and hurried enough. When there are issues related to disputes or disagreements regarding child custody, Missouri parents may need to seek outside legal help. While parenting plans are usually explicit and detailed when it comes to holiday breaks and custody arrangements, these plans may not work year after year and may need to be revisited and renegotiated.

2015 fatal motor vehicle accidents show significant increase

Over the past decade, deaths on Missouri roads have been declining steadily. However, against all expectations, 2015 records show a significant increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents. The 5-year goal of the Missouri Blueprint to Save More Lives had been to reduce fatal crashes to below 700 by 2016. This initiative is now being revisited because the 2015 number of lives lost on Missouri roads as of Dec. 1 already exceeds that number by as many as 80 deaths.

A life sentence with a plea bargain?

Plea bargains are an inescapable fact of life within the criminal justice system. Most criminal cases in Missouri and throughout the nation are disposed of with a plea agreement. If every case went to trial, the state would need to hire dozens, if not hundreds, of additional judges and prosecutors to handle the workload.

Know the financial facts before filing for divorce in Missouri

Divorce is more than an emotional decision to dissolve a marriage. It is also a financial decision, even when the divorce is amicable or has been in the works for some time. Before filing for divorce and during the entire process, Missouri residents will want to focus on how finances can be impacted and what actions they should take to protect themselves.

Silex mayor killed in one of Thanksgiving weekend car accidents

At this time of the year, the Missouri roads are likely more hazardous than usual. With the high levels of traffic on the roadways during the holidays, it is not uncommon to see reports about car accidents that resulted in fatalities. In the aftermath of Thanksgiving weekend, a Lincoln County family has to pick up the pieces and adjust to the fact that a beloved family member will never return.