Friday, November 25, 2016

Healthcare Directives: An Overview

Even under the best circumstances, certain situations may require family members to make tough decisions about their loved one's end-of-life care. Having an advance healthcare directive in place can help prevent unnecessary stress during this already challenging time. Keep reading to learn more about this important aspect of estate planning, courtesy of the team at O'Donnell Law Center.


What Is A Healthcare Directive?

Simply put, a healthcare directive is an official document outlining how you would like your healthcare to be handled. In the event that you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself or to communicate your wishes to others, this document will guide your named health care agent as he or she makes decisions on your behalf.

What's Included In A Healthcare Directive?

Typically, healthcare directives utilize a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and a Healthcare Declaration / Living Will to identify several elements pertaining to your healthcare, including:
  • What types of treatments / medications you would like to receive and/or withhold
  • What types of life sustaining treatment (if any) you would like to receive
These two categories serve as broad generalizations for the types of information covered in healthcare directives. When drafting a directive, care must be taken to drill down and address many details within these (and other) categories.


What Do I Need?

In order to establish a comprehensive and binding healthcare directive, we suggest consulting with an estate planning attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks.  You will want to make sure the directive is personalized to fit your specific needs, and that it appoints a trusted friend or family member as healthcare agent to act as your representative if you can no longer act for yourself.

This representative (known as your "Healthcare Power of Attorney") will be the one to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, based on the guidelines established in your advance directives. Choosing this individual is an important step. This person needs to be 18 or older, and typically, people choose one of their closest family members to fill this important role - spouse, sibling, parent, adult child, etc. Make sure that the person you select is willing to fulfill the responsibilities the role requires, and that the two of you are able to speak candidly about your wishes.

Contact Us To Establish Your Healthcare Directive

Establishing a healthcare directive is always wise, but it is especially crucial if you are facing a major surgery or have recently been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Our attorney in Osage Beach MO understands the significant stress you are likely facing during this challenging time and will do everything she can to alleviate that stress. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have question about the process: (573) 552-0317.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Is A 'Suspended Imposition Of Sentence' A Viable Option For Your Criminal Case?

In many criminal cases where the defendant is found guilty, the Court orders a sentence to serve as the consequence for the crime committed. Depending on the severity of the crime, the sentence may include a fine, jail/prison time, or a combination thereof. In certain situations, however, the imposition of a sentence may be "suspended," allowing the defendant the opportunity to avoid a fine and confinement. O'Donnell Law Center is here to help you understand this unique situation and how it may be applicable to a criminal case.


What Is Suspended Imposition Of Sentence?

Suspended Imposition of Sentence (often abbreviated as "SIS") is a sentencing option trial courts sometimes use when the defendant is placed on probation. This probationary period may be supervised or unsupervised, depending on the Court's order. As its name suggests, an SIS order "suspends" the sentence while the defendant is on probation. Typically, the sentence remains suspended as long as the defendant follows the rules established by the probation conditions. If the probationer successfully completes the probation, then a conviction and sentence will never be imposed.  However, if the probationer violates the probation agreement, he or she may be brought back before the judge for a probation violation hearing, and if found guilty of violating probation, the Judge may impose a conviction at that time, and will have the full range of sentencing options that he or she would have had prior to the probationary period.

What Are The Advantages Of An SIS Order?


SIS is advantageous because it keeps the conviction off of the criminal record. In addition, an SIS helps keep the matter a bit more private on Missouri case.net, as upon successful completion of probation, the criminal matter is no longer visible to the general public as opposed to being publicly accessible like most criminal convictions are. 

An SIS does not, however, keep the arrest and disposition from being visible to the law enforcement community, the judicial system or criminal background checks.

When Is An SIS Order Used?

Suspended Imposition of Sentence is only used in criminal cases. They can be used in misdemeanor and felony cases. DWI charges are a common example. If you are charged with a DWI, your DWI attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks may be able to negotiate an SIS on your behalf.

An order of probation always accompanies an SIS. Probation often comes with special conditions.  These conditions can include such things as: 
  • Not drinking alcohol.
  • Not patronizing venues that primarily serve alcohol.
  • Taking random urine/blood tests to ensure you are in compliance with your probation agreement.

When considering an SIS, it is important to know the conditions of your probation in advance, and be confident that you can successfully satisfy each and every one of them, as a violation can result in stiff consequences.  There may be alternatives to an SIS and probation that are better suited for your circumstances.

Contact Us For More Information

If you are facing DWI charges at the Lake of the Ozarks, O'Donnell Law Center is here to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact our criminal defense attorney in Osage Beach MO to learn if pursuing a Suspended Imposition of Sentence is a good option for your situation. 


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, November 11, 2016

Things To Know About Criminal Defense

Until they become personally involved in a criminal case, most people tend not to think about criminal defense in much detail. They know crimes happen, people are charged and go to jail, but vague knowledge such as this is not nearly as impactful as being directly involved in a criminal case. When you are facing criminal charges, things get very serious, very quickly.


O'Donnell Law Center hopes that you never have to be involved in a criminal case at the Lake of the Ozarks. Life is unpredictable, however, and sometimes securing criminal representation becomes necessary. Our criminal defense attorney in Osage Beach MO is experienced at defending the rights of the accused. Keep reading to learn some important aspects of criminal defense.

You Have The Right To Remain Silent.
The Miranda Rights refer to your right to remain silent during custodial interrogations. Police officers are required to inform suspects of this right before interrogating them, else they risk having a confession and other evidence suppressed by a judge at a later time. Sometimes it is wise not to make any statements to the police until after you have had a chance to consult with your attorney.

The Trial Process Is Full Of Landmines.
Court proceedings, especially trials, are hard to predict, and a seemingly innocuous statement or piece of evidence could have dramatic consequences on the outcome of your case. It is important to have an attorney that is skilled at investigating and obtaining as much information as possible about your case prior to trial, and who can artfully handle surprises that arise despite those efforts.

You Shouldn't Wait To Contact An Attorney.
Those under police investigation should not assume that they should wait to contact an attorney until after charges have been filed. The pre-charge, police investigation stage is an important part of the over-all criminal defense process, and a criminal defense attorney should be secured early on to provide advice about if and how to interact with law enforcement during this phase, and how to navigate through this phase in a way that facilitates the best chances of a favorable defense outcome later on.

Pleading Guilty Can Have Far-Reaching Effects.
Sometimes people plead guilty to a criminal charge in order to avoid a long and expensive trial, or to avoid a severe punishment that would otherwise be rendered against them. Pleading guilty, however, may have other consequences that should be considered, such as inhibiting the right to own and possess firearms, the right to vote, the loss of a driver's license, etc. In order to understand all of the potential consequences of pleading guilty, discuss your plan to plea guilty with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Contact Our Team For Representation.
If you are facing criminal charges or have reason to believe you may soon be charged, contact O'Donnell Law Center for legal representation. Call us at (573) 552-0317 for more information.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065