Defense Attorneys

Competency in the “Slender Man” Stabbing Case

Recently the 12-year-old Wisconsin girl, accused of organizing the “slender man” stabbing was found fit to stand trial. She is accused on carrying out a stabbing of a friend based on directions from a fictional urban myth character, “Slender Man.”

The idea of a 12-year-old girl standing trial as an adult seems unorthodox at best. This case highlights many competency issues and how complicated competency can be when dealing with minors. Attorney Benjamin Van Severen highlights some of the major questions surrounds the “slender man” stabbing case:

“There are a number of competing issues here.  First, you have to wonder if the girl is mentally stable without even considering the criminal proceedings.  She talks of unicorns and imaginary creatures so that is one major concern.  The second issue is the fact that she’s 12 years old.  Can she really assist her attorneys in her defense or even understand the gravity of the crime she is charged with?  Third, even if she’s fit to stand trial, is there going to be some form of insanity defense?  Ultimately, just because this doctor declared her fit to stand trial, I don’t think this will be the last time competency becomes an issue in this case.”


Charged with a 1st DUI?


Theodore Perlick Molinari of Birdsall Law Offices explains the details of being charged with a 1st offense DUI or OWI. Birdsall Law Offices can defend against State of Wisconsin and Federal Criminal charges. Birdsall Law Offices Specializes in Criminal Defense and DUI & OWI Defense. Call us today to find out what we can do to defend your case. We have over 25 years of experience in taking difficult cases of all kinds to trial. We are very experienced trial attorneys and we will always work hard to get the best results possible. Unlike other attorneys, we are not scared to go to trial. We have extensive success in criminal defense case that go to trial. We have specific experience in:

-Drug Trafficking
-Drug Possession
-Sex Crimes
-Internet Crimes
-Computer Crimes
-Federal Crimes
-Drunk Driving
-White Collar Crime
-Violent & Domestic Crimes

Call us today for a free consultation

It appears that it has gotten pretty difficult to find jurors that have not heard of the Michael Jackson situation.

It appears that it has gotten pretty difficult to find jurors that have not heard of the Michael Jackson situation. In the high profile trial of Michael Jackson’s former doctor Conrad Murray, the search for jurors looks like it will require sifting through hundreds of people to find a suitable jury.

John Birdsall’s legal guide explaining preliminary hearings

I have a preliminary hearing tomorrow. What should I do?

Written by: 

Attorney licensed in Wisconsin

Contributor Level 4

Never, Ever, Try to Represent Yourself

Without a strategic and effective legal argument, it will be extremely difficult to defend yourself and your rights against the charges being filed against you. If you are forced by circumstances to go to court without legal counsel, ask the court for an adjournment so that you can get an attorney.

Seek and Enlist the Services of a Lawyer

Seek the services of a lawyer who is experienced in criminal law and has a record of success. While no lawyer can ever guarantee a specific outcome (and beware of one who does), an experienced attorney can mount legal defenses and constitutional challenges that you simply would not think of or know to apply. This will give you a much better chance of winning your case.

Know the Purpose of the Preliminary Hearing

At the preliminary hearing, the judge determines whether or not there is probable cause that a felony has been committed. If there’s not probable cause, the case is dismissed. If there is, however, a trial is set. Cases are rarely dismissed at this stage, but the defense can use the preliminary hearing to find holes in the prosecution’s case and to lock in witness testimony in preparation for the trial. At the preliminary hearing, the District Attorney may add additional charges and may attempt to “remand” the defendant back into custody, even if the defendant is currently out on bail.

Theodore Perlick Molinari explaining how to respond to police questioning:

How to Respond to Police Questioning

Applies to Wisconsin

Written by: 

Attorney licensed in Wisconsin

Contributor Level 5


If the officers tell you that you are under arrest, do not fight. This will only add to your problems. Simply go with them and follow their instructions. You do not want to make them upset and hurt your chances of a better outcome.

Do Not Answer Questions

Officers will want to perform an initial investigation on scene. You have nothing to gain by telling them anything. Your words will be changed around and used against you. Even if you have not been cuffed, you still should not answer questions without an attorney present.

Assert Your Right to Remain Silent and Your Right to an Attorney

This step requires little explanation. The Constitution guarantees you both of these rights, so use them. Officers will promise the moon to you, but they will only deliver large periods of confinement.

John Birdsall’s legal guide on what to do if a loved one was arrested

I or a loved one was just arrested. What should I do?

Written by: 

Attorney licensed in Wisconsin

Contributor Level 4

Obtain a Copy of the Criminal Complaint

Find out what charge is being brought against you, and get a copy of the criminal complaint. You can get this from the court file at the clerk’s office since these are public documents. This will give you a brief summary of the charges against you and who the witnesses are.

Determine the Nature of the Charge

Ask if the charge is for a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony will require you to be held in police custody until you appear in court, while a misdemeanor usually allows for immediate bond. Also, find out when your next court date is and, if possible, which judge will be presiding over your case.

Get Help

Seek legal help immediately, taking care to find an attorney who is experienced in criminal law.

Keep Quiet

Do not speak to anyone except your attorney, as everything you say can and will be used against you. This includes cellmates, lovers, friends, parents, siblings, and neighbors. By talking with anyone besides your lawyer, you risk turning them into potential witnesses, which will complicate the case.