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Should You Plead Guilty to Avoid a Trial?

If you are facing criminal charges and a jail sentence, then you are likely concerned about your legal options and whether you can lower your sentence.  A plea is a criminal defendant’s formal response to the court to the charge they are accused of committing. By entering a plea of guilty, you are telling the court they do not contest a criminal charge. On the other hand, by answering not guilty, you completely deny guilt for the crime, and you agree to a trial.  The plea bargaining process often allows criminal defendants to reduce their sentences and avoid going to trial by...

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How to Prepare for Your Defense Attorney Consultation

If you are facing allegations of criminal misconduct in the St. Louis area, you should retain an experienced lawyer to represent you as soon as you can. There are literally thousands of lawyers in the state that will take your case – so how do you choose the right one? Fortunately, many criminal defense lawyers offer free case evaluations so that both you and the attorney can determine whether you will be a good fit. To schedule a consultation with a highly experienced St. Louis criminal defense attorney, call our office today.   Step 1: Schedule Your Consultation.   One of the most important...

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What Considerations Does a Jury Have to Make When Considering the Death Penalty?

While most states have capital punishment, the use of the death penalty has become rarer and rarer. Overall, the use of the death penalty has declined across the country. In fact, in 2017, under 40 death penalty sentences were invoked compared to 300 annually in the 1990s. That said, if you are facing criminal charges that could result in capital punishment, it’s imperative that you retain a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. Missouri and the Death Penalty Missouri is a death penalty state. The downward death penalty trend is reflected in data on Missouri death penalty rates...

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General Checklist for Car Accident Victims

Suffering injuries in a preventable accident can be a difficult and confusing experience. Fortunately, there are certain steps that you can take to protect your legal rights and maximize the chances of getting the compensation you deserve. The most important of these is to call a St. Louis personal injury attorney at Bruntrager & Billings as soon as you can.   Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident In Missouri, drivers are legally obligated to remain at the scene of a car accident that results in a personal injury, death, or damage to another's property, such as a wrecked car. Failure to...

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Can the Police Search Your Cell Phone Without Your Consent?

Interactions with the police can be stressful and confusing, especially when you are unaware of a police officer’s limitations under the law. For example, if you have been arrested and the police are searching for the contents of your cell phone, you may be wondering if they can freely do so without your consent. As is often the case in legal questions, the answer is that it depends. The best way to protect your rights after an arrest or search or seizure of your property is to contact a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can.   The Basics of...

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The Crucial Role of Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal defense attorneys play a crucial role in U.S. criminal justice system by ensuring their clients facing criminal charges have their legal rights protected. In fact, criminal defense attorneys owe a legal duty to their clients to advocate on their behalf in an effective and zealous manner. The American Bar Association provides that this ethical duty extends in all cases where a criminal prosecution may reasonably result. For example, this duty applies if a person is under investigation or being prosecuted for an alleged criminal act or simply needing legal advice regarding a potential, current or previous criminal matter or...

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3 Surprisingly Serious Injuries You Can Sustain in a Slip and Fall Accident

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Slip and fall accidents are surprisingly common accidents that are also surprisingly dangerous. In fact, there are several very serious injuries that are closely associated with these frightening accidents. If a property owner’s negligence causes you to be injured in a slip and fall accident, you should speak to an experienced St. Louis slip and fall lawyer as soon as you can. The Statistics The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) shares several enlightening statistics that help to identify exactly how dangerous slip and fall accidents are, including: Falls are the leading cause of visits to the emergency room, and a full 12...

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How to Handle a Denied Car Accident Claim

You’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence, and the situation is difficult enough. If the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, however, proceeds to deny your claim, the matter is that much more dire. While it is unfortunate that the insurance company is putting you through this additional anxiety on top of everything else, it is important to understand that the law – and not the insurance company itself – will ultimately decide how your car accident claim will be resolved (if the insurance company refuses to engage in fair negotiations). If you find yourself in the difficult position of having your...

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Using a Living Trust to Avoid Probate

The administration of one’s estate is rarely an easy process. There are ways to make it easier, though, and using a living trust to avoid probate may help you and your loved ones avoid several common headaches. Why Avoid the Probate Process? Probate is the court-led review of a decedent’s will or wishes to determine how assets should be divided amongst heirs. In addition, probate typically involves an accounting of assets, payment of debts, and other matters. In general, it’s a good idea to avoid probate as much as possible because: Probate can add additional costs to the estate administration process Probate...

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What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Actually Do?

If you have recently been hurt in a preventable accident, you may be wondering whether you need an attorney – especially if the other party or their insurance company has made a settlement offer. In most cases, it is highly advisable to retain an attorney, as it can even the playing field between you and an insurance company that handles injury claims every day. Below we discuss some of the things that personal injury lawyers do when representing injured victims. To discuss your case with a personal injury attorney in St. Louis, call our office today. Evaluate your claim The first step...

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