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John M. Eccher
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John Eccher’s Answers

133 total


  • Do I need to find another lawyer?

    I was in a auto accident the other person was at fault they ran from the scene but left the car running with the keys and all. I didn't have insurance but they did. My lawyer says its nothing he can do because they are claiming it was stolen. But ...

    John’s Answer

    We've handled cases before with issues of liability that no other attorneys would take. As an example, we represented a driver who, according to the police report and at least three witnesses, ran a red light and t-boned another vehicle. Our client swore that she had a green, not red, light. Ultimately, we obtained a six-figure settlement on her behalf. Long story short, just because there seems to be an issue of liability doesn't mean that it's not a case worth pursuing. As a hypothetical example in your case, your ability to identify the driver who ran from the vehicle, based on personal observation, might be a basis for pursuing such claim. Regardless, don't be discouraged from consulting with another experienced personal injury attorney who might have a different assessment of the viability of the case. Be aware, though, that many attorneys might be hesitant to take such a case where there are not substantial damages so as to warrant the risk taken on by pursuing it on a contingency basis. Good luck to you.

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  • Charged worth DUI on private property after no fault accident.

    I was backed into by a comercial truck driver at a gas station after dinner in MO. The police arrived after a 1/2 hour and told me that I was on private property and they could only oversee the exchange of information. While running my informati...

    John’s Answer

    I've handled countless similar cases. All you can do now is hire the best DWI defense lawyer you can afford. Do so immediately though, as the clock is ticking to challenge the suspension of your license.

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  • What's the best plan of action to avoid losing your license for a year after refusing a breathalyzer?

    I just received a DUI in St. Louis and refused to take a breathalyzer. What's the best plan of action from here to avoid losing my license for a year?

    John’s Answer

    There are a number of things going on with your case.

    First, the Department of Revenue is seeking a one-year revocation of your driving privileges for refusing a chemical test. In order to challenge this suspension, you must file a Petition in the appropriate circuit court. Upon doing so, you would likely be entitled to a Stay Order, whereby the suspension would be "stayed," or not yet effective, until the case is decided. In that case, the DOR would have the burden of establishing that (1) you were driving, (2) the officer had probable cause to arrest you, and (3) you refused a chemical test, under Missouri law. If so, you would be subject to said one-year suspension, though you should be eligible for restricted driving privileges (to, from, and for work, school, and SATOP) after three months, provided you have SR-22 insurance and an ignition-interlock device installed on your car. Following reinstatement at the end of the full year, which requires SATOP completion, maintenance of SR-22, and a $45.00 reinstatement fee, you would be able to drive with no restrictions, though you'd be required to maintain SR-22 for two years.

    With regard to the criminal case, again assuming this is a first offense DWI, as above, it is likely that the prosecutor will agree to let you plead guilty to DWI but suspend the imposition of any sentence, thereby avoiding a conviction and the DWI being placed on your driving record.

    In the St. Louis area, many first-offense cases are eligible for a "confession deal," whereby you would plead guilty to the DWI, pursuant to the prosecutor's recommendation, complete community service, pay money to the County, and in return, be allowed to win your case involving the DOR, thereby effectively eliminating any suspension of your license.

    With so many different moving parts, differences in jurisdictions, other fact-specific considerations, etc., it's imperative that you contact a DWI defense lawyer immediately. While you have 30 days from the date you received your notice of suspension (temporary driving permit after refusing the chemical test) to file the PFR, your license will be suspended automatically upon the termination of the 15-day permit, absent a Stay Order obtained after the filing of a PFR.

    I'm hopeful that this information is of help to you, and I'm more than happy to answer any other questions you may have.

    John M. Eccher, DWI Defense Attorney
    Hollingshead, Paulus & Eccher
    (314) 480-5474
    j.eccher@hpelaw.com

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  • I need a personal injury lawyer who is aggressive, honest and straightforward in KCMO. Truck driver totaled my vehicle.

    Immediately went to emergency room (hospital). Suffered injuries to left hand, neck, shoulder, lower back, both knees. Had a lawyer, but terminated legal services. Just want a personal injury lawyer who is willing to fight for me and my rights, an...

    John’s Answer

    While results are one thing, communication is an entirely different issue, and great results can be mitigated in an injury victim's mind when communication with their client, and resulting concerns of care for the case, is unsatisfactory. For just that reason, my office always places communication with and updates to a client at the forefront of our legal practice, especially in personal injuries, as an example. My colleagues are correct - avvo.com is a great source of information when searching for legal counsel. Consider rankings, client reviews, and attorney endorsements, in addition to other factors, in considering the best lawyer for you.

    John M. Eccher, Partner
    Hollingshead, Paulus & Eccher
    Kansas City and St. Louis

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  • My 18 yr old son recieved his 1st dwi. Don't know what to to

    He was not involved in wreck but also recieved ticket for failure to maintain lane. Bac was twice over limit. Don't know if he needs a lawyer

    John’s Answer

    Coming from a Missouri DWI lawyer, yes, you need to hire a lawyer for your son, for a number of reasons, and I recommend you hire the best that can be afforded because the potential negative impact of this first DWI could end up lasting a lifetime.

    Contrary to what many defendants are told, including by some lawyers, a plea of guilty or finding of guilt, whether resulting in a conviction or not, will NOT be expunged or "fall off his record" once a period of probation ends or he turns 21. Rather, unless expunged after a minimum of 10 years with no subsequent alcohol-related driving issues, that DWI will hang around for good, typically resulting in more severe punishment for future DWIs, including potential enhancements to felonies.

    Additionally, just because his BAC was twice the legal limit, obtaining a favorable result in the criminal and/or the DOR case(s) isn't out of the question. I've beat DWIs and won DOR cases with far higher BACs than twice the legal limit. You just need to make sure that you hire a lawyer that focuses his or her practice in this specific area of law.

    With regard to time, remember, as Mr. Fry stated, that you need to hire a lawyer within 15 days of the date that your son received his Notice of Suspension (or "15-day temporary driving permit"), as failure to request a hearing to challenge the suspension within 15 days will waive any challenge to that suspension. As any good DWI lawyer can tell you, that administrative hearing is a crucial first step in obtaining the best results possible in both cases.

    Finally, don't limit yourself to considering just a local attorney. Rather, consider the best lawyer you can find and afford. I, for example, don't hesitate to consider a case in other parts of the state, though distance is a consideration for attorney fees, and I know of many other great attorneys, both here in St. Louis and elsewhere in the state, who practice statewide.

    I hope this information is helpful, and good luck to you.

    John M. Eccher
    Hollingshead, Paulus & Eccher
    (314) 480-5474
    j.eccher@hpelaw.com

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  • If charged with a DUI 3, how important is it to hire a lawyer local to where you were arrested?

    Is being local and knowing the prosecuting attorneys and the court critical in this type of case?

    John’s Answer

    My opinion has always been that, when dealing with an offense as serious as even a first-offense DWI, let alone a potential felony DWI, as in this case, the best option is to hire the best attorney you can find that you can afford to represent you in that jurisdiction. As an example, I've been brought out of St. Louis to represent clients charged with DWI throughout the State.

    Where I have a different opinion is often in the handling of simple traffic tickets, where the significantly-higher cost of an attorney located elsewhere is often unlikely to render a greater chance at a better result than a less-expensive local attorney.

    For your third-offense DWI, higher the best DWI defense lawyer that you can afford, regardless of location. This is an incredibly serious charge that has serious ramifications now and in the future.

    Good luck.

    John M. Eccher, Partner
    Hollingshead, Paulus & Eccher

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  • Not getting paid for overtime hours is illegal, correct?

    I work for an hourly pay at a slightly above minimum wage job. My boss changes the hours I work to delete the overtime hours worked. I didn't think this was legal but our hospital is in a financial crisis. Does this matter?

    John’s Answer

    I recommend contacting an experienced employment lawyer anywhere here in MO to discuss your options, which could include a claim for your unpaid overtime. Our firm has successfully pursued similar claims in the past, and in doing so, we've found that employers often simply don't know the law as it pertains to the rights of its employees.

    John M. Eccher | Partner | Hollingshead, Paulus & Eccher
    7911 Forsyth Boulevard | Suite 300 | Saint Louis, Missouri 63105
    Phone: (314) 480-5474 | Fax: (314) 594-0825
    j.eccher@HPElaw.com | www.HPElaw.com

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  • I file a charge of discrimination on Jun.12, 2014 and 4 days later I receive a Notice of Rights to sue. What does that mean?

    EEOC was not able to make a determination if the employer discriminated or not. That is fast if the EEOC is able to complete a investigation in 4 days? It seems like they did not have time to do the work to interview? Does that mean I have no case...

    John’s Answer

    A right-to-sue letter is simply a prerequisite to pursuing a legal claim for discrimination. I recommend contacting an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to review the merits of your claim. That lawyer, not the EEOC, will give you a better idea of how the facts of your situation fit within the law. Good luck to you.

    John M. Eccher | Partner | Hollingshead, Paulus & Eccher
    8640 N. Green Hills Rd. | Ste. 42 | Kansas City, Missouri 64154
    Phone: (866) 586-8258 | Fax: (816) 741-8889
    info@triallawyersmo.com | www.triallawyersmo.com

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  • In Missouri if you didn't have insurance can you still file a medical and property claim against the "at fault driver?"

    My two yr old son and I were going eastbound on a high traffic 2 lane road. I signaled to move over to the turning lane to make a left. As soon as I am in the turning lane the next thing I remember is seeing the front end of my car practically in ...

    John’s Answer

    I highly recommend contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The at-fault driver's insurance company denying liability is not a surprise. That insurer know that, without your own lawyer, your chances of obtaining fair compensation and justice are greatly, greatly minimized, if not wholly eliminated, all things considered.

    Additionally, just because the insurer has denied liability does not mean that the claim is without merit or unwinnable. As an example, not long ago, I represented a young driver who believed that she had a green light when she drove through an intersection and was involved in a serious accident with a driver traveling across the same intersection. According to at least three witnesses and, subsequently, the police report, my client had a red light. As a result, several other attorneys declined to represent her in a personal injury claim. I, on the other hand, believed that my client did have a green light and the other driver actually had a red light and was at fault. Eventually, the other driver settled our claim against the other driver for $125,000.00.

    In sum, do your research and hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to pursue justice. Good luck to you.

    John M. Eccher | Partner | Hollingshead, Paulus & Eccher
    8640 N. Green Hills Rd. | Ste. 42 | Kansas City, Missouri 64154
    Phone: (866) 586-8258 | Fax: (816) 741-8889
    info@triallawyersmo.com | www.triallawyersmo.com

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  • Where do I start first?

    My boss, the owner of the company I work for and long time family friend, has been sexually harassing me since I started working for me. I can't stand it anymore. I have evidence on audio and video of the things he has said to me. It's getting w...

    John’s Answer

    I think an important starting point is contacting an employment discrimination lawyer as soon as possible. The biggest mistake I often see victims with potential claims make is trying to play lawyer themselves. A free consultation with an experienced lawyer will help advise you on the law as it pertains to your potential claim and guide you on the steps necessary to protect your interests. One good thing you've done, according to your post, is collecting evidence of your boss' wrongdoings through recordings. All too often, this type of claim comes down to a he-said/she-said battle. Where you have evidence to support your claim, it can oftentimes lend to your credibility. In our most recent employment trial , which resulted in a $7,500,000 jury award, the "smoking gun," if you will, was a mock "Wanted" poster both given and e-mailed to our client, though we were then able to uncover plenty of other damning evidence along the way. That poster was the starting point though. In sum, and answering your question, "Where do I start??" the answer is: Contact an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the matter. Keep in mind that, for this type of claim, you needn't limit yourself to a local attorney. As an example, our firm, like many others, are more than happy to help victims of employment wrongdoings statewide. Your search should be based on quality of representation and comfort with the lawyer. Good luck to you.

    John M. Eccher | Partner | Hollingshead, Paulus & Eccher
    7911 Forsyth Boulevard | Suite 300 | Saint Louis, Missouri 63105
    Phone: (314) 480-5474 | Fax: (314) 594-0825
    info@triallawyersmo.com | www.triallawyersmo.com

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