Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C.
Call Today | Free Consultation
Practice Areas

Madison Criminal Law Blog

The most common criminal charges on Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner and many students at colleges and universities around the country are planning parties and brainstorming potential ideas for costumes. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for example, there is usually a huge party night on Halloween.

While Halloween night is definitely a time for festivity, it is important for college students to be cautious as well. Here is some information about the most common criminal charges on Halloween night.

Bail Wars: Getting You Out of Jail

Cash bail is being abused in Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin attorneys at Nicholson, Gansner & Otis are fighting back.

"Bail" is defined in the Wisconsin statutes as "monetary conditions of release."

It is commonplace in Wisconsin for a court to impose thousands of dollars of cash bail in cases where a defendant is charged with a serious crime.  This means that a defendant who has been charged--but not convicted--of a serious crime must post thousands of dollars to be released from jail, or sit in jail as he (or she) awaits trial.  

Put Down The Metaphorical Pitchforks: Thoughts on the Stanford Swimmer Sexual Assault Case

Let me start with a disclaimer: I believe that "rape culture" is a real and dangerous thing. I believe that "no means no" and that when initiating sexual contact an affirmative "yes" ought to be required, despite the awkwardness such requests might present. I have "taken back the night" in multiple demonstrations over the years, and I sure as shit think that it is a very low bar, indeed, to suggest that a person be conscious when another party initiates sexual contact and/or intercourse. This is an obvious point, but an important one--simply put, I do not condone sexual assault. Before I went to law school, I worked in Victim's Rights at a DV shelter that also had a crisis line for survivors of both sexual assault and domestic violence. One of the things that motivated me to attend law school was a desire to be able to more actively participate in victim advocacy, because being in court with my clients without the ability to speak up for them was so frustrating. If you had asked me 15 years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea that I would ever be a defense attorney instead of a prosecutor. Despite that, I have spent the past decade defending individuals accused of crimes. My case load is not comprised of the casual college-student pot smokers I envisioned representing, but rather is largely composed of sex crimes, crimes of domestic violence, child abuse, and homicide.

When It Isn't a Good Deal

In this economy, most of us are on the lookout for a good deal. Websites like Craigslist are a go-to for a lot of people when they need something-furniture, electronics, used cars-and don't want to purchase these items from a retailer. These websites put sellers directly in touch with individuals, which usually means that you can purchase an item cheaper than you could in a retail store. However, whether it is from a website, or the proverbial "guy", there is such a thing as too good of a deal, and that can have consequences.

Cheaters Beware?

Infidelity is always a touchy subject. Often times when a client brings up the issue of cheating, it is in reference to a divorce action. However we have also had at least one call about it in reference to its criminal penalties. Did you know that in the state of Wisconsin adultery is not only a crime, but it is actually a felony?

Criminal Prosecution and Witness Credibility

When a crime is being prosecuted, there inevitably are witnesses involved. This may include people involved in a crime, or who witnessed certain actions, and in some cases this people who were involved in other aspects such as a doctor who treated injuries, or a police officer who helped investigate aspects of the case. Despite the dramatic depiction of people storming into a courtroom, witnesses only appear at trial or at evidentiary hearings. Each side is required to disclose its witnesses prior to trial, giving the prosecution and the defense the opportunity to prepare for what witnesses may or may not say when taking the witness stand.

Credibility and Sexual Assault Cases in Wisconsin

Credibility of a Victim In A Sexual Assault Case

Our law firm, Nicholson & Gansner, hasan emphasis in defending people in Wisconsin against criminal charges of sexual assault of all types, both against adults and children. On television and in the movies, these cases are always portrayed as clear cut situations, typically with ample amounts of forensic evidence. Real life, however, is quite different. Many cases of sexual assault involve delayed reporting or delayed disclosure, that is, the victim does not make any allegations of assault until sometime later (sometimes years later), when it would be impossible to collect any physical evidence. Many people incorrectly assume that an individual making claims of sexual assault would not be enough to have charges brought against them. This type of case is sometimes referred to as a "he said, she said" case, meaning that the case largely comes down to the credibility of the alleged victim and the defendant.

Pre-Trial Release: Bond and Bail 101 in Wisconsin

What is bond or bail? What is cash bail?

As Wisconsin criminal defense and trial attorneys, people contact us all the time with questions about bail or bond, terms which are used almost interchangeably in Wisconsin. The judge set cash bail too high and they can't post the amount. They want to get out of jail, naturally. What can be done? Or they are out of jail but the judge ordered conditions of release ("bond conditions") that are disrupting their lives. What can be done?

Bail Conditions and No-Contact Orders

No-Contact Order

A no-contact order is a common condition of bond in Wisconsin criminal cases. It forbids contact of any kind between a defendant and another individual. Usually a no-contact order will apply to the alleged victim of the case, often in cases charged as one of domestic violence or abuse, but it could also be a witness or family members of an alleged victim or witness. People sometimes mistakenly refer to no-contact bail conditions as restraining orders, but-although in some instances they may have similar effects-they are legally distinct.

Member of The national trial lawyers - Top 100 Trial lawyers Top 40 Under 40 NACDL 1958 - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers State Bar of Wisconsin Dane County Bar Association WACDL - Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 10 Best 2015 Client Satisfaction | 10 Best Law Firms American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Criminal Defence Super Lawyers