Jackson County General Law Blog

Treating bite injuries for infection

Missouri residents who have been bitten by a dog or cat should take immediate action. Even if the bites themselves do not seem very dangerous, they can actually pose quite a health threat in the form of the infections that may follow.

Pet Poison Helpline states that cat bites can be more dangerous than dog bites in terms of infection. This is due to the fact that a cat bite can puncture quite deeply below the surface of the skin, making it difficult or impossible to clean properly at home. The depth of the puncture wound allows bacteria from the cat's mouth to enter the bloodstream and can quickly cause infection in less than 24 hours. They also go on to state that over half of all cat bites will become infected.

What should you know about zero tolerance laws?

In Missouri, there are zero tolerance laws in effect. You may have heard of them in passing, and you may know that they can have a heavy impact on underage drivers. But exactly what purpose do zero tolerance laws truly have, and what impacts could you face if charged with an underage DUI?

FindLaw talks about zero tolerance laws, which are the nationwide laws that govern underage drunk driver are handled. For those who are above the legal age for drinking, a person needs to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of over 0.08 percent in order to be charged with a DUI-related crime. If you are below 21 years of age, on the other hand, there is much less leniency.

How to know if you're sharing a Missouri road with a drunk driver

How often do you drive? Perhaps you're part of a daily commute to and from the workplace. Maybe you shuttle loads of kids around to various social, sports and school activities. Chances are, in addition to your parental or employment obligations, you also get behind wheel to run errands, attend meetings or go out with friends.

Every time you navigate a Missouri roadway, you're at risk for injury by collision. There are definitely issues and situations that greatly and immediately increase your risk. For instance, if you happen to be sharing the road with a drunk driver, your collision-risk level soars through the roof. That's why it's so critical to know how to recognize signs of drunk driving and where to seek support if a problem arises.

August is Back to School Month

The summer seems to have gone by too fast for many Missouri residents. While most children may be upset at the thought of returning to school, at the law office of Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we also understand that the start of the school year is a serious safety issue. You and others may want to consider common traffic problems involving students returning to school.

The National Safety Council has designated August as Back to School Month. You and other drivers might not be accustomed to seeing children walking and riding their bicycles to school or waiting for their buses. The increase in traffic with parents driving their children to school can also create a safety hazard. Therefore, you may want to consider the following tips:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings, including children being near traffic.
  • Realize that children do not always follow traffic rules and may dart into the street.
  • Stop for school buses when the warning lights are flashing or the safety bar is extended, and never drive around a stopped bus.
  • Observe reduced speed limits in school zones.
  • Teach your children the different safety tactics of walking near traffic, crossing the street, riding their bikes and waiting for the school bus.

Limiting divorce stressors through joint custody

Missouri parents will unfortunately invite stress into their family life if they decide to get a divorce. However, this choice may be for the good of everyone in the long run. What matters is how the aftermath is handled, and what decisions are made during the divorce process.

For example, Science Daily has shown that shared custody is more beneficial to children of divorce. Studies have shown that children of joint custody often experience less stress than their counterparts in single parent households. They seem to have less trouble at school, fewer social and behavioral problems, and fewer difficulties adjusting to life after divorce.

How do sole legal and physical custody differ?

As a parent in Missouri who is going through the divorce process, you likely have many questions about custody matters. For example, what is the difference between sole and joint custody? Which is best for you? Today, we will look at sole custody, and the differences between legal and physical custody.

FindLaw first defines sole custody as a situation in which one parent holds the bulk of the responsibility for their child. Though some studies claim joint custody is best for the overall well-being of the child, your situation may not allow for it.

Assessing your relationship when considering divorce

Keeping a relationship strong and resolving serious issues is not an easy task. Of course, many couples are able to recognize when a problem has arisen, how to see the other person's point of view and determine what courses of action could help rectify the situation. Unfortunately, not all issues see such proactive measures.

You may be among the many Missouri residents who have considered divorce at some point throughout your marriage. At first, it may have simply come as a passing thought in the heat of the moment during a fight. More recently, however, it may come across your mind more and more often.

How high do burn classifications go?

Burns are classified according to severity. Generally, people know about first, second and third degree burns, with third degree burns as the worst. However, the burn scale actually goes higher. People are not aware of more severe burn levels because they are not common. Still, this does not mean that a workplace accident or another unexpected calamity in Missouri cannot inflict severe burns that go beyond the third degree.

Heathline explains that burn severity can ascend from third degree burns to fourth degree burns. While third degree burns damage deep skin layers, fourth degree burns can penetrate even deeper to tendons, muscles and nerves. These kinds of burns are usually created from open flames, chemicals, or hot irons, stoves or ovens. Someone may also suffer fourth degree burns caused by fire from a burning building.

What constitutes animal cruelty, and what are the charges?

In Missouri and other states, deliberately and maliciously neglecting, harming or killing an animal is considered a crime. Unless you are lawfully hunting game, you can face serious consequences if your actions result in the death or injury of an animal. The penalties may include fines and prison time.

The Office of the Missouri Attorney General states that animal abuse is considered a misdemeanor in the state. However, you could face felony charges if you had a previous conviction or pled guilty for animal abuse. Those who deliberately torture or mutilate animals can also face felony charges.

What if your child does not want to visit the other parent?

There are many issues that can regularly come up after your divorce, especially if you share custody with your children. It can be difficult for children to split their time between two homes. You and other Missouri residents may wonder how the legal system works if your children say they do not want to visit the other parent.

If your children are facing an extended visit with your ex, such as staying at his or her house for several weeks during the summer, can you simply refuse to send them if they are adamant that they do not want to go? This can be a heartbreaking and difficult situation, but as FindLaw explains, there are serious legal consequences to violating a custody and visitation order. Family law courts state that it is important for children to have a relationship with both parents. Often, children do not want to switch places because they may find spending time with the other parent boring, they may be anxious about new situations or they may be trying to exert their independence by “digging in their heels.”

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Lee's Summit, MO 64063

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