Ponca City Personal Injury Law Blog

Divorce mediation: What you should know

Oklahoma couples who are going through a divorce often want to benefit from advantages of mediation. These advantages include the fact that mediation is often faster, less expensive and far less stressful than litigating a divorce in court. Mediation can also help speed up the process of out-of-court settlement negotiations.

Although couples are often open to the prospect of mediating their divorces, they usually don't know what to expect when entering the mediation process. Let's take a look at some common questions in this regard.

One last stand: Work with your ex to finalize the divorce

Most people are ready to move on when they think that their divorce is over. The last thing that many people want to do is to have to deal with their ex in the time between filing and finalization.

What many people don't realize is that if they can work with their ex for a little bit longer, they might be able to reach the finalization of the divorce faster. If both parties can come to an agreement about all matters related to the divorce, there isn't any need wait for a divorce trial.

DUI consequences involve more than just fines or jail

In order to reduce the risks associated with intoxicated drivers, Oklahoma has implemented severe penalties for those charged with driving while under the influence (DUI) offenses. Repeat offenders, especially, face harsh consequences, even if no one got hurt as a result of the alleged drunk driving. The higher your blood alcohol content (BAC), the stiffer the potential penalties for driving. A third offense in a ten-year period, even with a low BAC, could result in up to seven years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines and the loss of your license for three years after incarceration.

Even first time offenders, who could avoid jail time, face loss of their license for six months and a fine of as much as $1,000. When you're facing a DUI charge, your first instinct may be to either talk with law enforcement to explain your situation or simply plead guilty to get over with the process. Talking to law enforcement without an attorney is almost always a mistake. You could be providing a statement that is later used to convict you. Similarly, pleading guilty could result in serious consequences. Judges aren't always lenient at sentencing just because you plead guilty.

Drug possession charges: How did yours happen?

If you willfully have illegally controlled substances on your person -- or on your property -- it could be a violation of state and federal law. The term "willfully" in this context, basically means that you had the drugs in your possession knowingly and on purpose.

Common drugs that are illegal to possess include methamphetamine, marijuana, LSD, heroin and cocaine. Other drugs that are illegal include pharmaceutical drugs that you have without a prescription and designer drugs or "club drugs."

Fight drug charges to protect your child’s future

Here in northern Oklahoma, drug charges are no laughing matter. Both legally and socially, if your child faces drug charges, they face many doors potentially closing in the future. As a parent, you have the right to determine how to aid or care for your child, and the independent spirit that flourishes here in Sooner country often entails tough love.

However, parenting style has no bearing on the harsh severity of Oklahoma drug crime sentences, and if your child recently received charges, he or she may see one's entire life evaporate because of a foolish error.

What should you think about before filing for divorce?

Before you file for divorce, you need to make sure that you are prepared for the process. While some people don't have the ability to do this because they are blindsided by a spouse filing for a divorce, you can take a bit of time to make a plan.

There are laws that are specific to Oklahoma that you must consider. Even though you likely know the answers to these questions already, it doesn't hurt to brush up on the specifics before you file your petition.

Teaching teenagers to avoid driving distractions

When teaching a teen to drive in Oklahoma (or any other state, for that matter) there's obviously a certain amount of personal safety risk involved. However, since every motorist is obligated to adhere to all traffic regulations, and act with caution to keep everyone as safe as possible, if every driver fulfills his or her duty, that risk should be very low. Certain situations (and people) cause the risk to soar; distracted drivers rank high among roadway dangers.

You've probably glanced left or right on the highway before, only to notice another motorist in your vicinity gabbing away on a cell phone -- in moving traffic! In fact, statistics show more than 600,000 drivers throughout the nation use cell phones while driving. In 2015, nearly 3,500 people died and almost 4,000 others suffered injuries in motor vehicle collisions caused by distracted drivers.

Social Security disability: Did you have a heart attack?

No one expects to suffer a heart attack. That's why they're called "attacks." They come to us at the most inopportune moments in our lives, often when we're already dealing with an enormous amount of worry and stress. Just when you think you can't handle any more difficulty, it hits.

Was your heart attack a message from your body that enough is enough? Was it the result of a congenital defect and there's nothing you could have done to prevent it? Your doctor might be able to answer these questions, but there's one important question your doctor won't be able to help you with: Where are you going to get the money to pay for your medical care and time spent unable to work?

Older drivers have higher risk of injuries in a car accident

As a senior citizen, driving is a great way for you to stay independent and mobile. Since 1999, the number of licensed older drivers has increased by about 50 percent, possibly due to the high number of Baby Boomers on the road. Regrettably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 16 seniors are killed and 648 are injured every day on average. The CDC reports that the higher rate is not due to the number of crashes, but due to an increased risk of medical complications because an older driver has health problems which exacerbate injuries in an accident.

Understanding car accidents and brain injury

Car accidents represent one of the most common sources of injury and accidental death in the United States, and every state has a diverse collection of laws designed to help make sure that when an accident occurs, those who are not at fault have access to the resources they need to ensure they get on their feet again. Typically, this is because those who are at fault are held accountable, at least through insurance companies. Even in "no fault" insurance states, extreme negligence and other factors can provide victims with a chance at restitution.