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Planning a Road Trip? Let FindLaw be Your Legal First-Aid Kit

By Steven Tanner on June 03, 2014 1:17 PM

Planning a road trip this summer? Remember to properly inflate your tires, plan an itinerary, and be prepared for the unexpected.

And just in case your trip takes a legal turn -- whether it's a speeding ticket on a wide-open desert highway or a dog bite at the beach -- FindLaw's State Laws section has you covered in roughly 100 metropolitan areas, both big and small, across the country.

Let's say you live in Columbia, Missouri, which is right smack in the middle of the country, and want to go west to San Francisco with some friends in your vintage convertible Buick. Sounds like a blast, right?

Sure, that's the goal. But remember that all it takes is a burned-out tail light and that ill-advised third beer at lunch to derail the whole adventure. But not knowing how to navigate the legal system in Colorado Springs or Tucson can be downright terrifying if you get into trouble. Let us be your guide; we'll even connect you with a local attorney.

Bon Voyage!

You're packed and ready to go! But before the tires leave the driveway, you'll need to pay those parking tickets. You know Columbia like the back of your hand, but which courthouse should you go to? According to FindLaw, Columbia Municipal Court handles routine traffic and parking tickets. OK, so that's taken care of.

Accidents Happen, but What Now?

Your first stop after hitting the highway is Kansas City, where you ding a shiny new Prius while trying to parallel park your massive ride outside a convenience store. It's not that bad, but you want to do the right thing before pushing off to your next destination. Thankfully, you've learned what to do and who to call after reading Your Kansas City Car Accident: The Basics.

You call the local police and report the incident, in accordance with Missouri state law, because the damage appears to be in excess of $500. Not how you wanted to start this trip, but you're confident you've covered your bases and decide to forge ahead.

Margaritas for Lunch: Bad Idea

You've put so much mileage between you and the Show-Me State, that you're now ready to celebrate. You and your friends stop for tacos and margaritas in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, and then get back on the road without a worry in the world. That is, until you see the flashing red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror. Are you drunk? Uh, oh.

The cop determines that, yes, you are legally intoxicated. You spend the rest of the day in the local jail while your friends go online and read about Your Albuquerque DWI Case: The Basics.

You're not so gung-ho about the trip anymore, but you've come this far -- so you keep going.

Finally, the Sand Beneath Your Toes

You made it! You're finally on the sand at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, watching the surfers and catching a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge through a thin veil of fog. It's so beautiful that you forget the not-so-fun portions of the trip. But just as you lay down on a towel to catch some rays, an aggressive pit bull lunges at you and takes a bite -- just your luck, right?

By now you've consulted way more than you wanted to on this trip, but you're still glad you know where to look for help: San Francisco Dog Bites: The Basics.

So wherever your desires take you this summer, remember to keep FindLaw's local legal guides in your first aid kit.

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