Aggressively Defending My Clients Since 1990


On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2016 | Firm News

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies)

Paul Ksicinski has your back when you feel the world is against you and you are charged with a crime.

Being an experienced criminal defense attorney having helped people just like you when they have been wrongfully charged, I know that the criminal system is hammer rather than a fine tuned instrument that society uses, sometimes unjustly, against people.  Unfortunately, many times the hammer falls even though you are innocent.

For instance, I have  previously written how politicians will seek to exploit your faceless fear of the criminal system here, how the juvenile system may be creating criminals here and explained how antics of school clowns are being criminalized here, how the war on drugs has been used as a tactic to marginalize and imprison minorities here and here, how years out of a person’s life are lost when innocence is demonstrated after conviction was discussed here (since 1989, in Wisconsin there has been 43 exonerations amounting to an average year lost of 6.81: with 293 years total.), and finally I have written how even if you are innocent you may have to sit in jail until your trial here.

Recently I have been contacted by a number of people who have been contacted by people with no criminal record but who are now charged with a crime and the prosecutor wants to throw “the book at them” due to their record.  People who have no criminal record should be considered one thing: innocent.  It is like being pregnant:   either you are or you aren’t, there is no inbetween.  It is fundamentally unfair and a misrepresentation to say that someone has “a record” when the person has not been convicted.

Think about it.  What is really being said is that because you are innocent of these things in the past we must find you guilty of something now.  That is the logic written about by Kafka in his novel, The Trial.  In the book, Josef K is arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader.  One of the more famous quotes from the novel is “[I]t’s in the nature of this judicial system that one is condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.”

Is that the logic of a society that is supposed to believe one is innocent until proven guilty?  An arrest record is vastly different than a conviction record.  An arrest record is defined as information that a person has been questioned, apprehended, taken into custody or detention, held for investigation, arrested, charged with, any felony, misdemeanor or other offense by any law enforcement or military authority.  Wis. Stat. Sec. 111.32 ( 1 ).  So an arrest record may include the fact that you were once questioned by the police as a witness and not even involved in any way in the possible offense!  Contrast this with a conviction record which is defined as including, but is not limited to, information indicating that an individual has been convicted of any felony, misdemeanor or other offense, has been adjudicated delinquent, has been less than honorably discharged, or has been placed on probation, fined, imprisoned, placed on extended supervision or paroled pursuant to any law enforcement or military authority.  Wis. Stat. Sec. 111.32 ( 3 ).  So unlike an arrest record, a conviction record requires a conviction or adjudication followed by a punishment imposed in accord with the law.

That fundamental difference of innocence and conviction simply cannot be dismissed or treated as insignificant.   Take a look here at the miscarriages of justice when the presumption of innocence is not respected.