Oklahoma Oil and Gas Law Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions about Mineral Rights

Knock. Knock. Who is there? Mineral rights owner. Mineral rights owner who?! Learning that you may not be the owner of the minerals located on your property can be quite the shock. On the other hand, learning that you could profit from the minerals located on your property, can be an even bigger surprise. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that Oklahoma residents have about mineral rights:

What are “mineral rights?”

Attorneys often refer to property rights as a bundle of sticks, because these rights can be separated. For example, a person who only has mineral rights to a particular piece of property does not own the land, but rather has the right to extract and use the minerals located below the surface of the land.

What types of minerals can be included by the term?

When people refer to “mineral” the minerals they usually are referring to are not silver or gold—at least not in Oklahoma. The most minerals commonly sought after in the area are natural gas, oil, and coal. However, sometimes, a contract can simply refer to “all the minerals” which would give the owner rights to all minerals located below the surface. Although usually, the contract will specify which particular minerals are allowed to be extracted. In some cases, a contract for mineral rights can also include surface rights, which would allow the owner to excavate materials such as clay or gravel.

How are mineral rights conveyed?

Mineral rights are conveyed when the owner conveys those rights separate from the rights of the land. Mineral right conveyance can happen in one of three main ways. First, a property owner can sell the mineral rights while retaining ownership of the land. Alternatively, second, the property owner can retain the mineral rights while selling the land. The third way is that the property owner could convey the mineral rights to one person and the land to another person.

How can I tell if I own the mineral rights to my property?

In many parts of the country, when a person purchases a piece of property he or she receives all the rights to the land.  Once the mineral rights are separated from the land, it can be a challenge to determine in later transactions, if the mineral rights are included. This is because the deed will not specify that the mineral rights are not included. It can come as a surprise to a landowner to find out years after they have purchased the property to discover that someone else owns the mineral rights—and is ready to extract the minerals.

What should I do the owner of the minerals contacts me?

If you are contacted by someone claiming to have rights to the minerals on the land you own— it is important to seek the counsel of attorney well-versed in the area of mineral rights as soon as possible. First, the attorney will make certain that the person claiming to have mineral rights to your property, in fact, does. It is possible that the person may have once had rights, but those rights may have expired or been transferred to someone else.

If you are a property owner who has been contacted by an oil or gas company with regards to leasing or selling mineral rights, it is important that you speak with an attorney first. Only experienced Oklahoma Oil and Gas Law Attorneys can help protect your property rights. The attorneys at The Handley Law Center have helped numerous clients negotiate fair leases that take into account their clients’ specific needs. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our skilled oil and gas law attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924. You can trust our attorneys to provide you with excellent and cost-effective representation!



Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys Answer Questions About Probation

Even if you have not personally had an encounter with the criminal justice system, you are most likely still familiar with the term “probation.” Flip on the television and a character on a crime-drama show is being sentenced to probation, or on the evening news, the top story may be that a well-known individual has been sent to jail for violating the terms of his or her probation. However, if you have been charged with a crime, you will want to take the time to understand probation and how it may be a possibility for you. While your attorney will discuss probation with you in detail, here are some answers to some basic probation related questions:

What is probation?

When a criminal defendant pleads guilty or has been found guilty of a crime, probation allows the person to serve their sentence at home, rather than in jail or prison. A defendant who is placed on probation is usually assigned a probation officer that makes sure the terms and conditions of the defendant’s probation are followed.

What is meant by “terms and conditions” of probation?

Terms and conditions of probation are just another way of saying the rules that a defendant on probation must follow. Typical rules that a defendant may have to follow are based on the crime. For example, a person on probation for a drug charge may have conditions that include: abstaining from drug and alcohol use, obtaining drug treatment or other counseling, not picking up any new criminal charges, complying with law enforcement, not associating with known criminals, and submitting to random drug testing.

What is a deferred versus suspended sentence?

Probation is usually given in one of two scenarios. The first scenario is when the defendant pleads guilty to the crime, but the judge orders that the sentenced be “deferred.” With a deferred sentence, if probation is completed, the charge is dismissed. The second scenario is a suspended sentence, is different in that the person is convicted of a crime, but does not have to serve jail or prison time if he or she completes probation.

What can happen if I violate the terms of my probation?

What happens when a person violates any of the terms of his or her probation depends on the specific violation. If the violation was a criminal offense, then the person might face separate criminal charges. For example, if a person on a first-time drug offense, and is arrested for selling drugs, then he or she would not only be in violation of his or her probation—that requires him or her to abstain from drug and alcohol possession/use—but also be charged with a new drug offense. If however, that same person tests positive for drugs and/or alcohol during a random drug test, then or she could face revocation of probation or spend time in jail.

If you have are serving probation on either a suspended or deferred sentence and have been accused of violating the terms of that probation, it is important that you seek the immediate advice of counsel. Only a seasoned Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney can review the accusations against you and keep you from losing your probation. Do not make the mistake of waiting too long or choosing to represent yourself. At The Handley Law Center, our team of skilled Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys will fight to keep you out of jail. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924. You can trust The Handley Law Center to provide you with aggressive representation.

Oklahoma Divorce Attorneys Discuss the Emotional Stages of Divorce

Anger is often the emotion most commonly associated with divorce. People tend to think of divorce as two angry spouses, fighting over everything from household furniture to child custody. While anger to some degree is an emotion often experienced at some point during a “typical divorce” it is not the only emotion individual’s experience. In fact, experts tend to think that divorcing individuals experience various stages of emotions, very similar to the stages of grief after having lost a loved one.

If you are considering divorcing or just received notice from your spouse that he or she wants a divorce, knowing about these stages of emotions can help normalize the process. A divorce often causes people to think that they are losing their minds because the process can often be emotionally overwhelming. It can be nice to know that you are not alone, especially if you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster. You will want to keep in mind that just like no two people are alike, the same can be said about divorce. While you may not experience all of the stages or spend much time in each particular stage, your spouse may have a completely different emotional experience. The following are the basic emotional stages of divorce and what people often feel in each stage:

Denial: Realizing that your marriage is over, or that your spouse wants to end your marriage, can be a tough pill to swallow. You may be tempted to try to save the marriage in any way possible, fearful of what lies ahead. Sometimes people just feel as if they are in shock, numb to any feelings.

Anger: Once it sinks in that the divorce is truly happening, the pain of the situation sets in, and people often become angry—angry at themselves, angry at the world, and of course, angry at their spouse. If you find yourself becoming angry at your minor children or feel totally consumed by anger, this is often a good time to speak with a professional who can help you work through these emotions.

Bargaining: In this stage the pain often causes a person to want to take control of the situation and make it better. Often this can cause a person to want to “bargain” with their spouse to change or to work to save the marriage.

Letting Go/Sadness: During this stage, a person finally admits there is nothing he or she can do to save the marriage and “lets go.” For some people, this can lead to sadness and even depression. If you begin to experience depression or suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek medical help right away.

Acceptance: At this stage a people stop feeling the desire to rehash the past and instead, the focus is on what the future holds. Although there may be times when the person is a bit scared or apprehensive at the unknown, the overall feeling is more confident and able to move on.

If you are contemplating filing for divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced Oklahoma Family Law Attorney. Only a skilled Oklahoma Family Law Attorney can answer your questions and review your legal options with you. At The Handley Law Center, our compassionate attorneys understand the complexity of a divorce and the emotional toll the process can have on a person. You can trust the attorneys at The Handley Law Center to guide you through every step. To schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned family law attorneys contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924.

Oklahoma Injury Attorneys Discuss Catastrophic Injuries

It is well-known that car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are a common cause of injuries. Auto accident related injuries can vary in degree from very minor, like cuts and scrapes, to severe/ deadly, and of course, everything in between. The most severe injuries, if not life-ending in nature are often life-altering. Unlike broken bones and ribs that while painful will eventually heal, severe or “catastrophic” injuries impact a person for the rest of his or her life. Typically, for an injury to be considered catastrophic it is severe enough in nature to impact a person life in at least one of the following ways:

  • Results in physical deformity.
  • Causes a physical or mental disability.
  • Unable to return to his or her previous occupation or any job at all.
  • Experiences ongoing chronic pain.
  • Requires living in a nursing or assisted living facility or 24-hour assistance.
  • Necessitates long-term medical attention and/or therapy.
  • Impacts the person’s overall quality of life.

While, car crashes are a large source of catastrophic injuries, they are not the only cause. Any accident that results in serious harm or death can be considered a catastrophic event. Occurrences such as slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, construction accidents, and even medical malpractice incidents can also result in catastrophic injuries. The types of injuries that are usually considered to be catastrophic in nature include:

  • Amputation of a limb
  • Back or spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis
  • Neck injury
  • Severe or traumatic brain injury
  • Loss of an eye or ear
  • Serious and/or extensive burns
  • Depression, anxiety, PTSD

It is important to keep in mind that the first thing a person should do after being involved in a serious accident is to seek immediate and comprehensive medical attention. Attend rehabilitation or speak with a counselor. Focus on getting the care you need to help you get back to the way you were before the accident happened. After that, you or a family member will want to seek out the advice of an experienced Oklahoma injury attorney. Look for someone who has handled numerous catastrophic injury cases and has a proven track record. Do not hire just any attorney, because he or she will not be fully capable of doing what is necessary to protect an injury victim’s rights. Catastrophic injury cases are often complex, and the stakes are high.

If the accident was the fault of another, a victim can try to hold the wrongdoer accountable for all expenses related to his or her injuries, including already incurred expenses and future losses and expenses. Put another way; the accident cannot be the victim’s complete fault. Rather, the accident needs to be the result of the wrongdoing of another, such as drunk driving, a defective product, and/or negligence of another, such as doctor error. If the victim dies from his or her injuries, the family has the right to file a wrongful death case.

Compensation for a catastrophic injury case can include pain and suffering, medical bills, medication, long-term care, therapy, and rehabilitation. Catastrophic injury cases are often complex, so only trust an attorney who has a reputation for successfully handling these types of cases.

If you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injuries after being involved in an accident, you might be entitled to receive compensation. At The Handley Law Center, our team of seasoned Oklahoma Injury Attorneys can review your case and give you a determination of what your case may be worth. Trust only a skilled Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney to evaluate your case. To learn how The Handley Law Center can help you, contact our office today at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation.