Skip to main content
John Scott Swimmer

John Swimmer’s Answers

410 total


  • How does our adopted daughter prove her Native American heritage?

    Our daughter is 25. She does know the location of her birth mother, but has hit a dead end because her mother was also adopted. Does our daughter need a tribal lawyer who is educated on these issues? Is DNA testing an option and how is that done?

    John’s Answer

    Your daughter would benefit from a tribal lawyer. But should needs to narrow her down what tribes she believes she is a member of to conduct a search.

    See question 
  • Do I need to bring my parents into this? Do I need a lawyer? What do I do?

    About 3 weeks ago I got arrested for possession, paraphernalia and a ODI for Marijuana. Im currently 18 years old and dont know what to do. This is my first thing on my record and I dont know if Ill need a lawyer. Also I was planning on not tellin...

    John’s Answer

    You cannot get a good result without help. You are facing steep penalties and revocation of your driving privileges that may impair your ability to obtain employment.

    See question 
  • Will I owe Oklahoma State Taxes if I won $300,000 gaming but lost over $400,000 and have Win/loss statements to prove losses?

    Also, how does it work with Federal Taxes? I was unemployed at the time as well.

    John’s Answer

    Bad news you cannot deduct your losses under the State Tax laws. However, you can deduct your losses under the Internal Revenue Code or federal law. You should have no federal tax due, but a big State tax bill.

    See question 
  • My friend has a prior marijuana conviction and just got his 2nd offense pss. of thc which is a felony in wisconsin

    he is currently of parole for the 1st marijuana offense, what I am wondering is if they usually convict for the felony or if the chances are higher for a misdameanor plea deal???

    John’s Answer

    Get a criminal lawyer before you do anything else. Depending on what you mean by parole, it is more likely probation will influence the negotiation as well as the amount possessed, and any cooperation.

    See question 
  • Hi I was convicted of misdemeanor retail theft in 2005. Can i get this expunged from my record?

    retail theft occurred at Target store in Madison wi

    John’s Answer

    Probably not. If this is a municipal citation then it cannot be expunged by the nature of the offense under Wisconsin Statutes. Further unless the matter specifically address expungement at sentencing you cannot get it expunged.

    See question 
  • Can the Courts require a parent to register their child with an Indian Tribe?

    I have three children, 14, 11 and 8. My oldest two are registered with a Native American Tribe in Arizona since their father is a member of the tribe. My youngest has not been registered and her father refuses to go to Arizona to get her registere...

    John’s Answer

    I doubt the State Court has jurisdiction on an enrollment issue, and you likely cannot pursue this in tribal court because of sovereign immunity.

    See question 
  • What are the consequences of pleading "Not Guilty" to an underage drinking citation after having visited detox?

    Hi, I am a UW student and this past weekend the cops found me in my res hall among friends drunk. They breathalyzed me, I blew around a 0.2 and was then taken to a detox facility and issued a citation for underage drinking. I am currently 19, and ...

    John’s Answer

    Yes, it is a one-time good offer. This will expunge the offense but you cannot remove the record, even after expungement the record is still on file.

    See question 
  • Is there a Tribal attorney that belongs to AVVO?

    I need to talk to a Tribal Attorney to find out if I have a claim against the Tulalip Resort & Casino.

    John’s Answer

    AVVO allows you to search by practice areas. Try Native Peoples law. Good luck.

    See question 
  • I was offered a 'deal' if I plead not quilty, which would reduce one ticket & throw out the other. Should I accept their deal?

    I was involved in a traffic accident. I was ticketed for no insurance ($124.00) and for improper lane deviation ($98.00) I have been offered a deal if I plead guilty to the improper lane deviation and with proof that I now have proper insurance,...

    John’s Answer

    As a general rule, the accident victim cannot use your tickets as evidence. Subject to some exceptions these tickets are not coming in as evidence. But you should challenge the improper lane deviation. Hire an attorney for best results.

    See question 
  • Charged with 2 municipal ordinance violations for retail theft. The city is willing to only drop one charge. What should I do?

    I am currently a nursing student in clinicals. My lawyer worked with the prosecutor to have one charge dropped but not the other. I fear I will not be able to graduate from school as I still have background checks to pass at other hospitals in ord...

    John’s Answer

    You need to explain your situation to your attorney if you haven't already. See if you can get a deferred prosecution, or take a retail theft panel. It also helps to have restitution for vendor. Often you must disclose arrests on an application, so don't count on dropping a charge to mean that you may avoid disclosing it.

    See question