Missouri is located in the Mid-Western United States. Unofficially dubbed the "Show Me State," Missourians are known for their stalwart, conservative, nonincredulous characters. The land that makes up Missouri was previously owned by the French, and acquired from them through the Louisiana Purchase.

The state is divided into 114 counties, with St. Louis and Jackson Counties being the most populous. Missouri is one of the biggest producers of alcohol and tobacco in the United States.

Missouri is often regarded as a state "bellwether" in U.S. politics. A bellwether is a leader, or an indicator of future trends. The state has a longer run of supporting the winning presidential candidate than any other state, having voted with the majority in every election since 1904 with only two exceptions. One of those exceptions was during the 2008 election, when the state voted for John McCain and the nation elected Barrack Obama.

Alcohol Laws
Missouri maintains some of the most permissive alcohol laws in the U.S. In most states, there are laws prohibiting minor consumption of alcohol, but not in this state. Missouri law allows parents to serve alcohol to their children. State laws also protect individuals from being civilly or criminally charged for public intoxication.

Although the state is permissive regarding alcohol consumption, Missouri has strict laws designed to protect its citizens from the dangers of driving under the influence. The consequences of such actions are determined by how many previous offenses the individual has on their record. Charges may be elevated when certain aggravating factors are present, even on a first conviction.

Aggravating factors include driving over the speed limit, driving with a minor in the vehicle and/or having a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit of .08 percent. Consequences for DUI conviction include imprisonment, probation, suspension of driver's license, vehicle impounding, substance abuse treatment/education and fines.

Some states allow its citizens to have their records cleared of past criminal offenses if they meet certain criteria. In Missouri, it is difficult to get an expungement, even if the offense was a misdemeanor. When expungement is an option, it is important to know that this will not completely make the record disappear. It may surface again if you apply to be in the U.S. military or if you run for public office.

Bankruptcy Laws
In 2005, a Federal Bankruptcy Act was passed that created new regulations regarding Bankruptcy. The new law was intended to limit the abuse of the bankruptcy system by clarifying who qualifies and by requiring that those meeting the qualifications to have their expenses, income and debt compared to others in Missouri.

Depending on where they fall into the mean of the state, they will be eligible for either Chapter Seven or Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy. Chapter Seven eliminates debt in about three months through the liquidation of personal property. Chapter Thirteen eliminates debt in a maximum of five years through a personal, monthly payment plan.

Missouri Jails