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Norman Legal Blog

What does the law say about loaning your firearms?

Rarely will you find an issue as polarizing as gun ownership and Second Amendment rights. Both sides have legitimate concerns and valid points, but the debate is not likely to be resolved anytime soon.

What is also murky about gun laws is the legality of allowing another person to use or borrow your firearm. Friends often swap rifles and shotguns on hunting trips and let others use pistols to target shoot at the range.

Could using kratom land you in jail?

Several years ago, when the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics attempted to ban the sale and use of the plant-based kratom, users and advocates vociferously defended its legitimate usage. The ban never took effect, and kratom remains legal here in Oklahoma.

That could change in the future, as the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed the substance — a derivative of a plant indigenous to Southeast Asia — and found it to contain opioids. Used for centuries in that region as a natural pain remedy, its close link to regulated opioid drugs could spell doom for legal kratom in the United States.

Should you tell adult children what's in your will?

It is prudent to have a viable estate plan in place to avoid passing unnecessary costs down to your heirs. But should you divulge the details of your will to your adult children during your lifetime?

In most instances, estate-planning professionals suggest that you do. This can be especially helpful if your estate plan doesn't involve equal distribution of the estate among your children. You may have valid reasons for any disparities, but it is better to share them with each of your children now rather than have them learn at the reading of the will.

Could a postnup be in your future?

Not all couples get or need prenuptial agreements. They can certainly be helpful when the romance fades and divorce becomes a possibility. Still, many engaged couples fear jinxing their marriages before they even start.

Sometimes during the course of a marriage, a couple's priorities and circumstances change. They may have acquired, earned or inherited money or other assets that they desire to keep as separate property. Together, they may have built a successful business from the ground up and are wondering what will happen to it if divorce becomes a reality and not an abstract idea.

How can I get out of jail after an arrest?

If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law and wind up arrested, you will most likely need to post bail in order to get out. If the offense is minor and the jail is at capacity, you might get lucky and be able to get released on your own recognizance. This is sometimes abbreviated to "ROR," and means that you sign a document promising that, if released, you will return for all of your court appearances.

But it's never wise to count on that happening. Your best choice is to have your attorney arrange for you to be bailed out, either by a friend or relative or a professional bail bonds agency.

Do not post on social media during a DUI case

Social media becomes more prevalent each and every day. Facebook alone has two billion monthly users, and people create six new profiles every second, according to Brandwatch. 

You may have gotten so used to posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all the time that you post without even thinking. However, when you await a criminal trial, such as one for a DUI, you need to stay off Facebook at all costs. Posting will do more harm than good, and you should make sure you inform your attorney of all active social media accounts you have. 

Tips for navigating the relationships in open adoptions

Congratulations! You are about to become parents through an open adoption. You're excited about the awe-inspiring relationship you will develop with your bundle of love.

But what about the relationship with the birth parents? You may be less enthusiastic about the potential complications that can accompany open adoptions. But fear not, as setting boundaries early and officially (in writing) can allow the relationship to grow organically within the parameters you are comfortable establishing. Below are a few things to keep in mind when entering into an open adoption.

Defense strategies for criminal cases

If you are charged with a crime in Oklahoma, you need to devise a defense strategy immediately. The most effective strategy will naturally depend upon the circumstances and the charge you face.

Regardless of the specifics, there are some common defenses to criminal charges that may fit your particular situation. Carefully consider each one as it applies to your situation.

Norman man faces manslaughter charge in June wreck

A 30-year-old man from Norman remains locked up in the Pittsburg County Jail in McAlester after being arrested for first-degree manslaughter related to a fatal collision back in June. His bond is set at $100,000. However, authorities in McClain County placed a hold against him, as this week a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest. The felony warrant stems from an alleged "false declaration of ownership in pawn," court records indicate.

The District 18 District Attorney filed an amended bill of information in the accident case. The man stands accused of causing an accident by driving his 2014 Chevrolet pickup into a 2008 Chevy pickup on June 18 while he was allegedly under the influence of an intoxicating substance.

Ways to avoid your first or subsequent DUI

Whether you are welcoming the weekend or celebrating a holiday, there is nothing quite like getting together with good company and enjoying some drinks. Unfortunately, your fun night might end in a trip to a jail cell, if you got behind the wheel after having too much to drink. There is no reason you and other Oklahoma residents should not have fun, however. You can still have a good time and include alcohol in your festivities if you are smart about it.

Observe the following tips before and during your night out, and you stand a better chance of getting home safely without a DUI added to your record:

  • Before going out, decide how much you are going to drink and ask someone you trust to be an “accountability buddy” – both of you can remind each other when it is time to cut off the alcohol.
  • Designate someone to be a sober driver or make plans to call a taxi, an Uber or a sober friend for a ride home.
  • Never leave your drink unattended at a bar, restaurant or party, regardless of your gender or how well you know those around you.
  • Do not get into a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking.
  • Avoid getting “blackout drunk.” Besides the inevitable hangover the next day, this type of inebriation can lead to dangerous decisions, impair your judgment and leave you vulnerable to those with bad intentions.
  • If you are underage and your parents have said you can call them for a safe ride without consequences, take them seriously and call if you do not have a sober ride home. The risk of your parents grounding you is not as bad as the risk of police officers arresting you or getting in a drunk driving accident.

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