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 Lee’s Summit Man Pleads Guilty to Making Fake Driver’s Licenses

September 25th, 2017

According to the Lee’s Summit Tribune, 27 year old Tracy Ford pled guilty to having over 2,300 copies of counterfeit Missouri driver’s licenses and counterfeit hardware.
If you have been charged with a crime, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at


Plea Agreements

September 23rd, 2017

Here is some basic information from the Missouri Bar regarding plea agreements:

What is a Plea Agreement? Sometimes the prosecutor and your lawyer negotiate an agreement to settle your case without a trial. If you agree to plead guilty to a certain charge, then in return the prosecutor agrees to recommend a specified punishment to the judge, which can either be a specific sentence or a recommendation for probation. Your lawyer will advise you whether it is a good idea to agree to the terms of the plea agreement and plead guilty, or whether you should refuse and go ahead with the trial.

Does the Judge Have To Accept The Plea Agreement? NO! The final decision on punishment is up to the judge. However, if the judge refuses to accept the plea agreement, the judge must allow you to withdraw your plea of guilty, and you still have the right to a trial.

Can You Answer “Not Guilty” Even If You Are Guilty? Yes. You are entering a plea, not giving testimony. Under the law, you are presumed to be innocent until you are proven guilty. Furthermore, you have the right to have your case decided by a trial. You may have a trial only if you plead “not guilty.” Your lawyer will advise you about whether you should plead “guilty” or “not guilty,” but the final decision is up to you.

Miranda Rights

September 22nd, 2017

Here are a few tips, courtesy of the Missouri Bar, regarding your Miranda Rights:

What Are Your “Miranda” Rights? The name “Miranda” comes from a case decided by the United States Supreme Court. The Court’s decision requires the police to advise you of certain rights before they ask you any questions. This is sometimes referred to as the “Miranda warning” and will go something like this: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to talk to an attorney and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”

What Does “Waive Your Rights” Mean? To voluntarily choose to give them up. For example, you may decide not to talk with a lawyer before answering questions. You may decide to answer questions and talk with the police. You may decide to write out or record a statement. You may decide to allow the police to search your home. You may decide to submit to certain tests. Any of these decisions waive your rights. You are never required to waive your rights. If you choose not to waive your rights, the fact that you did so cannot be used against you in court.

Bankruptcies More Successful with Counsel

September 21st, 2017

According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that was filed with an attorney has an approximate 51% chance of being completed successfully.  However, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that was filed without an attorney has an approximate 2% chance of being completed successfully.

If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy and would like some help, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

What to do if you get arrested

September 21st, 2017

Here are a few tips from the Missouri Bar regarding if you get arrested:

When Can You Be Arrested? • If a police officer has a warrant for your arrest. • If a police officer believes that you have violated the law. • If a police officer sees you violate, or try to violate, the law.

What Can The Police Do To You If You Are Arrested? • Search your body and clothing. • Search your belongings. • Search your car if you are in it when the police stop you. • Fingerprint you. • Put you in a lineup.
You have the right to refuse any of the following requests unless the police have a court order: • Answer questions. • Ask you to sign or write out or record a statement. • Ask you to provide a sample of your handwriting. • Ask you to consent to having a sample taken of your breath, blood, semen or hair. • Ask you to consent to a search of your home or other property you own.

Criminal Words to Know

September 20th, 2017

Courtesy of the Missouri Bar, here are a few legal words and their definitions regarding criminal law that you should be familiar with:

Bond – A promise to appear in court, which often includes a guarantee of money, and which is required for a person who has been arrested to get out of jail while waiting for a trial (sometimes called bail or a bail bond).
Charge – The formal statement that details what the arrested person is accused of doing. A charge may be brought: by an information, which is a sworn statement filed in court by a prosecutor; or by an indictment, which is filed by a grand jury.
Defendant – The person who is accused of committing a crime.
Evidence – Anything that can be used in court to show what is true and what is not.
Information and Indictment – The two types of documents that may be used to state the charge or charges against the defendant.
Guilty – Found, by either a judge or jury, to have committed the crime charged.
Grand Jury – Twelve citizens chosen from the community who hear evidence presented by the prosecutor and then decide whether the person arrested should be held for a trial. Grand jury meetings are held in private and are not open to the public or to a potential defendant.
(Petit) Jury – Twelve citizens chosen from the community who are asked questions to determine if they can be fair, who hear the evidence in a trial and decide what is true and whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
Not Guilty – The verdict required if the prosecution does not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Preliminary Hearing – A court proceeding where a judge hears evidence to decide if the person arrested should be held for trial. This is an alternative to a grand jury.
Probation – An alternative to time in prison or jail. Conditions can be set by the judge, and may be supervised by a probation officer. Violation of conditions may result in revocation of probation and imposition of time in prison or jail.
Prosecutor – The lawyer for the government, either state or federal.
Sentence – The length of time in prison, in jail or on probation that is ordered by the judge. In some cases, the sentence is set by the jury. For some crimes, the sentence can be a fine instead of time in jail.
Voir Dire – The process of questioning potential jurors to determine if they can be fair.
Waive – To voluntarily give up a right.judgeeee

A Happy Little Tree

September 20th, 2017

bob ross

Bob Ross was fond of painting happy little trees to improve his landscapes, and if you own a home office or your own business property you might want to plant your own happy little tree to improve your landscaping. In Langer v. Commissioner, a sole proprietor who had a qualifying home office was allowed to deduct the costs of landscaping that coincided with his business use of the property. This particularly generous court also allowed a portion of the cost for lawn care and driveway repairs.

If you have a business and need help with your taxes, give our office a call at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Your Parenting Plan Must Address Holidays

September 19th, 2017

parenting plan

Missouri law requires that every parenting plan address holidays and other special occasions.  If your parenting plan does not address holidays, your parenting plan is in violation of Missouri law and may need to be redone.

If you need assistance with a parenting plan, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

Extreme Home Makeover

September 13th, 2017

extreme home makeover

Many investment and tax advisers will tell you that your home can be an important source of tax benefits for things like the mortgage interest deduction or the home office deduction, but those individuals probably didn’t have the scheme that the lawyers working for the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition came up with. They found a little used rule that states: that the value of tenant improvements are not include-able in gross income and that rent payments are not taxable if your home is used for rental purposes less than 15 days per year. The producer paid their “rent” in this case by providing the family with new furniture and appliances.

This rule, as much as production budgets and any other considerations, probably dictated the show’s rapid demolition and construction timeline. As part of the show the home was “rented” from the lucky family and then “improved” by the show’s construction team. However, many tax experts who have looked at this have said that it is probably not a reasonable position, mostly because the changes go well beyond what would be considered reasonable tenant improvements. Luckily for the participants in the show, the consequences if an IRS victory would probably result in a very sympathetic looking family being assessed tens of thousands in taxes, a PR disaster, Which may be why we haven’t seen a case on it.

If you are having tax trouble, give us a call at 816-254-4949 or visit our website at

Household Debt Hits a Record High

September 12th, 2017

house debt

According to the Federal Reserve Bank, household debt has hit a new record high and credit card delinquencies are on the rise. The amount of household debt has reached $12.84 trillion. In 2008, the amount of household debt was $13 trillion.

If you believe you have an overwhelming amount of debt, feel free to contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at

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