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St. Louis Legal Blog

Thorough criminal defense needed for drug charges

Law enforcement in Missouri generally does its best to keep citizens safe. However, this doesn't mean that officers are above reproach. Many cases seem cut and dried when looking at purported evidence, but when legal professionals take a closer look, there is often more to the story. This makes a comprehensive criminal defense a necessity. This could be the case in the recent arrest of a Missouri man whom authorities have charged with multiple felonies.

Police say that the man was arrested after a traffic stop last month. Officers allege that the man was driving without a light on his license plate and without registration. When the man was pulled over, an officer claimed that he saw a glass pipe in the lap of the accused. The officer claimed that when he searched the accused, after removing him from the vehicle, he found the accused had 61 grams of methamphetamine on his person. The officer also alleged that the accused put the meth back into his pants after the officer had placed the drugs on the hood of the patrol car and resumed searching the accused.

Gun play can result in need for criminal defense

How often as children did people play cops and robbers, or act out John Wayne scenes from movies? Toy guns were prolific when baby boomers were children and not considered an issue in Missouri. A toy gun for Christmas was at the top of many wish lists. This is illustrated in the very popular movie "A Christmas Story," where all Randy wants for Christmas is a BB gun. Sadly, childhood games have morphed into a different reality as so many households have guns, and accidental shootings have become an issue and their outcomes often necessitate a criminal defense.

A common safety practice is not to have guns loaded, or to keep them safely locked up. In a recent incident in Fulton, one of these precautions may not have been followed. A woman and her boyfriend were watching a movie, and her boyfriend reportedly suggested they play out one of the scenes that involved a gun. The woman allegedly fired the gun, replaying a scene, and her boyfriend was fatally injured.

Driving while drunk in Missouri? The penalties are harsh

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense, and Missouri has specific laws that dictate how you can be penalized if convicted. There are numerous types of alcohol actions, such as those for drug or alcohol-test refusals, administrative alcohol arrests and alcohol- and drug-related convictions.

The thing you should be most concerned about is the number of convictions on your record. To start with, if this is your first arrest for a DWI, that puts you in a better position than if it is your fourth or fifth. On a first offense, you will lose your license for 90 days on a suspension. However, you may be able to qualify for Restricted Driving Privilege licensing, which allows you to drive to certain places or during certain times.

Workers' compensation benefits are payable regardless of fault

Work-related accidents in Missouri and nationwide that involve an element of fatigue as the cause of the accident are a serious problem. About 13 percent of workplace injuries are attributable to fatigue or sleep problems, according to the National Safety Council. The NSC is seriously committed to confronting the problem and has published an extensive report on the subject of an employer's development of an effective risk management system for dealing with fatigue. Although work-related accidents must be compensated by workers' compensation insurance benefits regardless of fault, the dangers to workers of this widespread problem are severe enough to warrant a close look at potential preventive measures.

Part of the problem is that many workers may view fatigue as a necessary evil and deride its importance due to the prevailing workplace culture. The direct result of this attitude is the occurrence of worker injuries and deaths that could have been prevented. Transparency with respect to the existence of fatigue in the workplace must be a mainstay of any program that intends to seriously confront the problem. Workers must feel free to discuss their problems regarding uncontrollable tiredness or sleep-related events.

Family law attorneys know the red flags that show hidden assets

Attorneys in Missouri and other states who handle divorce cases have come to know the warning flags that may indicate extra income that a spouse is hiding from the other. This is often accomplished by studying the income tax returns that are filed by the parties. There are details on these forms that a spouse may not want the other to see; however, with a sharp eye the other side will be able to pick up some hidden "treasures" from the tax filings. In family law procedure regarding a divorce proceeding, each side has the benefit of discovery and will have the other party's records to study. 

Therefore, there will be many clues that an experienced family law attorney or a retained accountant will pick up from those records. The dishonest spouse may have a practice of pouring money into various funnels such as health savings accounts or retirement accounts. When these are withheld by the employer, the individual may be able to create an excess cushion that will be beneficial in future years and that lead to paying lower support or alimony payments. The practice can be discovered by closely examining the other spouse's pay stubs.

Woman pronounced dead after industrial accident

While all jobs in Missouri and across the country have risks, anytime a person works at a job involving heavy equipment or product, the risk of injury may be even higher. Unfortunately, victims of an accident -- including surviving family members in the event of a fatality -- are often left wondering how they will cope with the fallout of an industrial accident. In fact, a family in another state may be experiencing this after a woman was reportedly killed while at work.

The incident happened during the early morning hours of a day in late January. According to reports, the 31-year-old woman was an employee of Republic Services. There were reportedly three one-ton bales of recycled material stacked on top of one another. Unfortunately, the stack is said to have destabilized, causing two to fall.

Distraction: a common reason for personal injury incidents

Distracted driving is a serious safety concern for those in Missouri and across the country. Many people choose to engage in distracting behaviors while driving, consequently putting everyone else on the road at risk for a personal injury incident. Whether it is talking on the phone, texting, eating or doing anything other than driving, all types of distracted driving are dangerous and preventable.

Despite the fact that the number of distraction-related accidents in Missouri has been on the rise, there have been few attempts to pass measures and laws to curtail the dangerous behavior. In fact, since 2014, the number of these types of accidents has risen 35 percent. However, there are a few proposed measures lawmakers are considering in this current session that could increase penalties for distracted driving.

Bias in court: Fighting biases against fathers

In today's world, there should be no bias against fathers in court. Remember, men often do just as much parenting as women. In some cases, fathers are staying at home with their children while their wives work. Often, both men and women work to support their children, alternating who provides care.

In the past, courts have looked at cases of divorce and decided that the best interests of the child would be to remain with the mother. That's not always fair or right. Beyond serious circumstances involving abuse or manipulation, there are times when a father is a more suitable parent to have primary custody.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos working toward family law solutions

While not every Missouri couple who files for divorce have assets worth $137 billion, each couple's circumstances are unique, and every spouse is entitled to negotiate a settlement that protects his or her financial interests. Some say the higher the net worth, the easier the negotiation, simply because there is more money to go around. Others say that fact can complicate family law matters, especially if financial issues get dragged into highly charged emotional fights. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, Inc., has reportedly been able to devise an amicable settlement in parting from his wife, MacKenzie, which will apparently make her one of the world's wealthiest women.

The Bezos say they want to end their marriage as friends. Perhaps this type of goal is key toward non-contentious negotiations. If both spouses agree to peacefully resolve property division, child custody and other divorce-related issues, they may be able to settle their cases without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom.

Workers' compensation covers musculoskeletal injuries

Workers in Missouri who earn their incomes in administrative positions are at risk of suffering musculoskeletal disorders. Although these injuries can cause long-term health problems, office workers might find comfort in knowing that the state-regulated workers' compensation system has their backs. The disorders that frequently form part of benefits claims include lower back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, muscle strains and tendinitis. Muscles, blood vessels, nerves, tendons and ligaments are affected by these conditions.

Some workers are fortunate to be in ergonomically friendly environments in which the jobs fit the workers. Others are likely exposed to common risk factors that include repetition that has them performing the same motions for hours on end. These involve clicking a mouse, typing, using calculators and more. Keeping the body in a static position for long periods, such as holding the head in one position while looking at a computer screen, can lead to muscle tension and circulation problems.

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Affordable Legal Services of Thomas Sandifer
225 S. Meramec Ave. Suite 925
Clayton, MO 63105

Phone: 314-492-6955
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