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Improving Auto Safety: “Crash” vs. “Accident”

Published on Oct 5, 2016 at 11:58 am in Car Accidents.

In my last blog I used the phrases “automobile crash” and “automobile accident” when writing about safety on Missouri roadways.  Before I could write about why I used both terms I received a few questions from very observant readers about why I didn’t just say “automobile accident” (thanks for paying attention!).  Hopefully, the following explains why I think we should use “crash” instead of “accident” when it comes to describing a majority of traffic fatalities and traffic injuries involving an automobile.

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, “crash” and “accident” are defined this way:

Crash:  To hit something hard enough to cause serious damage or destruction;

Accident:  A sudden event (such as a crash) that is not planned or intended and that causes damage or injury;

An accident is an event or incident that is unplanned, unforeseen, or unintended.  Everyone (including myself) nearly always refers to automobile crashes or collisions as “automobile accidents”.  When I think of an “automobile accident”, I immediately think that it was something that was unplanned or unintended.  In other words, someone made a mistake or couldn’t have done anything to avoid hitting another car (or person). 

What Can Be Done About Missouri Car Accidents?

Published on Sep 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm in Car Accidents.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT), there was an 11.4 increase in automobile fatalities on Missouri roads in 2015.[1]   As of the writing of this entry, there are currently 591 reported vehicle fatalities in Missouri, which is already 18 more automobile accident and automobile crash fatalities than there were at this point in 2015.[2]  As of two weeks into September, 2016, we were already at 26 automobile accident and automobile crash fatalities. 

When you consider that there were 15 fatalities for ALL of September, 2015, the numbers show that we are clearly seeing a sharp rise in automobile fatalities on Missouri roadways.  These numbers have to stop climbing and we all must do more to prevent needless car accident and car crashes on Missouri roadways.  To start this process, though, we must understand the causes of automobile fatalities and raise awareness about safety steps we can all take to make our roadways safer.

4 Surprising Things About Getting a DWI in Missouri

Published on Sep 15, 2016 at 10:00 am in Criminal Defense.

As a resident of Missouri, getting a DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence) conviction can negatively affect your life in many ways. At worst, you can serve jail time and have your license permanently taken away. In lesser cases, you may just have to pay a fee and/or face some length of probation time.

The severity of your punishment will depend on many factors including the nature of the conviction, your conviction history, and more. When it comes to knowing how severe your particular consequences may be, it can be difficult to predict how a case may go. First, it helps to know all of the facts. Here are 4 things you may not know about getting a DWI in the state of Missouri:

You Don’t Have to Submit to Breathalyzer Tests

Contrary to what the police officer may lead you to believe, you have a right to say “no” to any type of tests you’re asked to take when you get pulled over. This includes any breathalyzer tests, whether at the scene or at the station. Refusing to take these tests may impact your case, but depending on the nature of your case and any previous convictions, it may be better to refuse than take the test.  Again, this all depends on the facts of your specific case and every situation is different.

Can You Be Convicted for Trespassing in Your Home?

Published on Sep 7, 2016 at 8:37 pm in Case Info.

The answer to this question may surprise you. According to the Missouri Court of Appeals regarding State v. Hill, ED103396, yes, you can be convicted for trespassing—even if you are in your own home.

Frederick Hill III was residing in a mobile home which he owned with his girlfriend, Mary Vinson. In December of 2013, Ms. Vinson was granted an ex parte order of protection against Hill.  According to the order, Hill was ordered to not enter or stay upon the premises of his girlfriend’s residence, workplace, or school. The Order of Protection specifically listed the mobile home’s address as Ms. Vinson’s home address.

On the same day the order was issued, a Pike county deputy served and read the order on Hill at the mobile home. Hill was unaware that Ms. Vinson had obtained the order of protection and refused to leave, saying that he had not done anything wrong. After a standoff occurred between Hill and several officers who responded to the scene, Hill eventually relented and agreed to leave. Hill was then arrested for violating the order because he refused to leave the mobile home after the deputy read him the order. Hill was later convicted for a class B misdemeanor of trespass in the first degree.

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