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Cynthia Johnson Vermeulen

Cynthia Vermeulen’s Answers

17 total


  • Will I really be charged with a gross misdemeanor for accidentally serving a minor alcohol?

    I was involved in a sting opporation at my place of employment & ended up serving a 20yo. He came in, sat at a table & ordered. I asked for his ID & he presented me one. It was his under 21 ID so I asked for his papers, but was confused because it...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    Providing alcohol to a minor is a gross misdemeanor charge. Under the circumstances, it appears you attempted in good faith to verify the age of the minor prior to serving him. I feel that these types of charges should be challenged, because the defense of entrapment may apply and because you made an honest mistake and shouldn't have to pay for it with having a criminal conviction.

    You will likely receive a ticket or formal typed complaint form in the mail, providing a court date for you to appear. It would be a very good idea for you to consult with and hire an experienced, competent criminal defense attorney to discuss this situation. It is extremely important that you do this before you speak with law enforcement any further.

    Most attorneys provide a free initial phone consultation to discuss your case.

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  • I have 50% legal custody of my son~the daycare will not provide these without a subponea? Is that against the law?

    I have 50% legal custody of my son. I went to the daycare my child attends and asked for a copy of his attendance records. I was denied access as the daycare director informed me that she did not feel "comfortable" providing me these records unl...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    If you have a Judgment and Decree from your dissolution which awarded you joint legal custody, you have the right to access to your son's daycare records without the necessity of a subpoena or other document. Often, agencies will request a subpoena in order to provide this documentation, but it is not necessary. Minnesota law makes clear that you are entilted to access to all pertinent records regarding your child. This should also apply to records outside the State of Minnesota.

    If records are subpoenaed, the appropriate form is a subpoena duces tecum. It should be a civil form which you may obtain through the court administrator's office. You should consult with and hire an experienced, competent family lawyer to assist you in this process. An attorney should be willing to advise you on this issue and assist you with obtaining these records.

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  • I am a married woman whom just had a baby 4 months ago. My husband signing the bc and now another man whom raped me is sueing

    Can he do this. Doesnt being married make my husband the legal father? My husband doesnt know I was raped, but he has been there every step of the way with the baby. This other man wants dna testing and paternal rights can this creep do this to...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    Any child conceived or born during marriage is legally considered to be a child of the marriage under MN law. Your husband is the presumed father of the child. Since you indicate you were raped by another man, you should report this to law enforcement, even though it occurred several months to a year ago. This will provide documentation of this assault which may be relevant if this man pursues legal action for paternity, custody and/or parenting time. It is a difficult situation you are in, where your husband is unaware you were raped and you may be unsure he is the father of your child.

    A man who believes he may be the father of a child can initiate an action to establish his paternity. Therefore, if this individual serves and files a court action against you, this information will likely become known to your husband.

    While this situation is complicated, it is advisable for you to seek experienced, competent legal representation from an attorney who has handled similar cases. Your attorney will be able to advise you and represent you in resolving this legal dilemma.

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  • What will be my charges for small amount of marijuana and possession of paraphanalia?

    I am 16 and i have never been in trouble with the police before, I was charged with a small amount and parphanalia after I was in a car accident, no one else was involved in the accident. I am really wondering what will happen in court, all of it...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    Because you are under the age of 18, you are considered a juvenile under Minnesota law. This means that you do not face jail time or fines for most offenses. Instead, the juvenile court system is designed to help and, if necessary, rehabilitate juvenile offenders to prevent them from reoffending. The policy behind this is to try to help young people realize their mistakes and change their behavior before it's too late: when they are an adult and face adult penalties such as jail and prison. While there are juveniles who get "sent up" into correctional institutions for juveniles or are certified as adults, this only occurs in cases where there are extremely serious offenses or chronic repeat offenders.

    Your charges will be considered juvenile petty offenses, assuming you have no prior involvement with the court system, as you stated. This means that the court can impose consequences such as payment of court costs, performing community service and other such requirements. The court has the authority to require you to complete a chemical evaluation. In many counties, you may well have to submit to a UA.

    You are entitled to challenge the charges on your own or with the assistance of an attorney. Because of the level of the charges, you are probably not going to receive a court-appointed public defender. This means you would have to hire an attorney, or your parents could hire one for you. Your attorney can review the police reports, meet with you and advise you about your options for challenging the search issue and any other potential issues.

    You should consider contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss this case and their requirements for representation.

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  • A few weeks back I was in a friends car with a open bottle in my purse..

    A few weeks back I was in a friends car who was driving and got pulled over. The driver was not drinking although I happened to have a open bottle in my purse. I know that is against the law although I was intoxicated. I dont know if it was a "bet...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    A passenger's liability for an open bottle charge depends on whether the open bottle was in his or her possession. Possession can be actual possession (such as in your hands or in your purse on your lap) or constructive possession (such as in the area of the vehicle within your control). Regardless of your possession of the open bottle in your purse, if you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, he or she should seek to negotiate a favorable resolution of this case for you which will not go on your record. The fact that you are in a treatment program will be a positive factor in this process. Handling this case on your own will likely yield a much less favorable outcome.

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  • I unwittingly took too much of a prescription med for anxiety, bumped someone's car while parking and was arrested.

    The person whose car I bumped didn't ask for my insurance information when I asked what she wanted me to do, but likely called the police. I was completely honest about the amount and name of the med I took. After 10 days now, I have yet to see ...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    There are numerous possible explanations for the lack of charges and lack of information about the situation, due to the recency of the accident. In these types of circumstances, it is not unusual for there to be significant delays. The statute of limitations which is the deadline for these types of charges is several years. Therefore, you may not know for awhile what the status of this situation is. The best way to handle this situation is to consult with and hire an experienced attorney who can provide you advice and can inquire about the status of your case in a diplomatic manner.

    You may choose to initiate contact with the police about the incident, however, it would be in your best interests not to do so until you consult an attorney.

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  • My son has to travel to Nevada for a child custody suit. Can a Mn attorney make sure all the correct paperwork is filed?

    This is a complicated suit. The mother kidnapped the child and took her to Mexico. Came back to Nevada and has run my son out of money and he is representing himself. He just received a phone call from the court administator syiny he needs spec...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    Your son needs a licensed Nevada attorney to represent him and advise him on this complex custody case. There are numerous aspects to this case which he which he needs legal advice as soon as possible. He may check with the Nevada Bar Association for a list of lawyers in the neighboring counties in Nevada. There may also be a volunteer attorney program in Nevada through which he can obtain advice and possible representation. He needs to actively pursue this now.

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  • I need a lawyer to assist me in drafting a motion to improve my parenting time that is willing to do it without a retainer.

    My goal is to simply ask the court for more parenting time because my daughter was 1 when we agreed to the original order and she is now in first grade. I would employ the attorney to draft the motion, submit the paperwork, and withdrawl allowi...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    Your need to modify your parenting time schedule due to your daughter's increased age, as well as changes in her activities, development, activities and many other aspects of her life can best be accomplished by hiring an experienced attorney to assist you. Your previous parenting agreement may require that you engage in mediation with the other parent before you return to court. If this is the case, your attorney can arrange mediation and assist with this process. If an agreement is reached, your attorney can draft an agreement and proposed order for the court's approval. If you and the other parent can constructively communicate with each other, you can reach agreement on your own, but your attorney will still need to prepare the agreement and proposed order for the court to approve. In the event that a motion will need to be filed, your attorney will draft the appropriate motion documents for your review and approval, file them with the court and appear on your behalf. After the hearing, there may be the necessity to draft a proposed order for the court or submit supplemental affidavits to the court, depending on the circumstances.

    While you are seeking to hire an attorney for only the limited purpose of preparing documents and submitting them to the court, then withdrwawing from the case, this is not what most attorneys would agree to do. You may find attorneys who will provide specific servivces for you, however, such as drafting legal documents which you would file with the court. This is referred to as "unbundled services" and you may find these attorneys in an online search. It is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney about your case before making a decision on how to proceed.

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  • Can I prevent my husband from taking our son to his home country?

    For years we've been planning for my husband to take our 9yr old to visit his country. This year however has been troubling for us and I'm thinking of filing for divorce. He is planning this trip for this December but is unaware of my intentions. ...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    The question you ask about taking a child out of the U.S.,for a visit with his father's family which may turn long-term, can have many different answers. While you want your child to spend quality time with his extended family abroad whom he has not yet met, there is always the risk that it will be very hard to obtain his return if his father refuses to cooperate. This is especially difficult in light of the marital difficulties you are currently experiencing. Weighing the decision about whether or not to file for divorce adds to the complexity of the situation.

    In order to properly respond to your concern, you need an individualized analysis of the unique circumstances with an experienced family attorney whom you hire. Your attorney should be able to advise you about the laws governing the situation and discuss the issues of your child's safety and security. In addition, your attorney should discuss the various scenarios which may occur and the options you may or may not have. In addition, your attorney should be able to advise you whether it is a good idea to start a divorce now or whether you should wait until after the trip. There are numerous considerations in this situation, including which country is involved and the cooperative nature of the country's relationship wtih the U.S., as well as other factors.

    Your first step should be to contact and hire a competent family attorney with experience working with international child custody issues.

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  • Do I have any chance of getting this expunged? (I would prefer MN attorneys to answer please!)

    I was charged with 3 felony counts of theft. This was my first offense and the prosecutor agreed to prosecute 1 felony case, theft over $500. I was sentenced 11/2007 under a stay of imposition. I did 45 days of EHM, 10 days of STS, and 3 yrs of...

    Cynthia’s Answer

    In order to properly answer your question, an attorney would need to see the record of conviction. In addition, there is no indication that you would automatically qualify for expungement under Minnesota law, and it would be far too soon to seek this remedy under the inherent authority of the court. As to the question of answer job applications out of state, I suggest you confer wtih an attorney in that state to obtain their advice.

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