Criminal Defense Attorneys

Experienced. Aggressive.
Trial Tested.

If you have been arrested or if a warrant has been issued for your arrest, choosing the right lawyer could be the most important decision you ever make in your life. Do not take chances when your freedom is at stake.

Contact Us now

The Law Office of Tracey L. Rosswurm, LLC

622 South Calhoun Street Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802

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Learn how we can represent you with experience and understanding

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Our Attorneys

Our attorneys understand the stress and hardship associated with having been charged with a crime: your life is put on hold; thoughts of incarceration, employment termination, family problems, personal and professional reputation, community standing, and financial hardship enter your mind. Choosing the right attorney to defend you could be the most important decision you ever make in your life. Attorneys Marcia Linsky, Stephanie Troyer, and Chad Thurston bring an aggressive yet calculated approach to all of their cases. They will provide you with a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your arrest and corresponding charges, and will swiftly course out potential strategies and solutions. You will know immediately that you are in very capable hands.

Marcia L. Linsky

Marcia is a former Allen Superior Court Magistrate and former Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, and divides her practice equally between family law and criminal defense. She received her bachelor's degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and her Juris Doctorate from Indiana University - Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana.

After having been admitted to practice law in 1984, Marcia's career has consisted of prosecuting all levels of felony and misdemeanor cases, as well as having presided over criminal cases for nearly fourteen years as a magistrate. She is knowledgeable, tenacious, and has the unique ability to call upon her experience as having prosecuted, defended, and presided over cases, as she develops a plan of action with the singular goal of obtaining the best possible outcome for yours.

Bar Admissions

• Supreme Court of Indiana
• U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana

Other Affiliations

• Indiana Bar Association
• Allen County Bar Association
• Vice President, Board of Directors, Blue Jacket, Inc.
• Zonta Club of Fort Wayne
• Special Courts Committee
• Criminal Benchbook Committee
• Mayor's Task Force on Domestic Violence
• Drug and Alcohol Consortium of Allen County
• Indiana University Alumni Association - Lifetime Member


• Juris Doctorate, Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana, 1984
• Indiana Judge's Program, Graduate, 2012

Stephanie H. Friel

After working for over twenty years in the correctional field as a counselor, educator, and supervisor, Stephanie entered the practice of law, and now focuses her practice primarily in the areas of criminal defense and elder law. She received her Juris Doctorate from the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2013, graduating magna cum laude.

Stephanie was employed in various capacities with Allen County Community Corrections for over twelve years, last having overseen the clinical staff and day-to-day operations of the clinical and program teams. She is able to leverage her past experience in creating the most effective and creative defense for her clients. Always professional and pragmatic, Stephanie will not hesitate to take your matter to trial, if necessary.

Bar Admissions

• Supreme Court of Indiana

Other Affiliations

• Indiana Bar Association
• Allen County Bar Association
• LCAC - Licensed Indiana Clinical Addiction Counselor
• ICAC II - Indiana Certified Addiction Counselor, Master’s Level
• ICAADC- International Consortium of Alcohol and Drug Counselors
• CADAC IV- Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor
• Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) - Member


• Juris Doctorate, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan, 2013

Chad M. Thurston

Chad M. Thurston is a former Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Sergeant with the Fort Wayne Police Department. Chad practices in criminal defense and family law. While working full-time, Chad obtained his Master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and Juris Doctorate from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

After beginning his career in the criminal justice system in 1993, Chad has worked in confinement, patrol, undercover narcotics, gang, detective bureau, surveillance, emergency services team, Prosecuting Attorney liaison, supervisor, and finally as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. He has also taught numerous criminal justice courses at various colleges and professional organizations. His extensive knowledge, experience, and work ethic allows him to achieve his client’s best interests in both criminal and domestic-related situations.

Bar Admissions

• Supreme Court of Indiana

Other Affiliations

• Indiana Bar Association
• Allen County Bar Association
• Adjunct Faculty - Ivy Tech Community College, Harrison College
• United States Army Veteran - Corporal, Honorable Discharge
• Fort Wayne Police Department - Retired Sergeant


• Juris Doctorate, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan, 2015
• Master of Science, Indiana Wesleyan University

Nicholas Wheeler

Nicholas Wheeler is a family and criminal defense attorney, and brings a nearly ten-year service history in the United States Air Force to his practice. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Purdue University at Fort Wayne. He is also the former owner and founder of Wheeler Law, LLC, and served as a public defender for the Allen County Public Defender’s Office from July, 2016 until December, 2017.

During his period of service as Security Forces Staff Sergeant, he was awarded the Meritorious Unit Award (twice); Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (twice); National Defense Service Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; and Army Commendation Medal. Nick brings a unique and diverse background to his law practice, doubtless to the immense benefit of his clients.

Bar Admissions

• Supreme Court of Indiana

Other Affiliations

• Indiana Bar Association
• Allen County Bar Association
• Indianapolis Bar Association
• Horror Writers Association of America


• Juris Doctorate, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2015

Our Approach

We approach every case with guided aggression: a philosophy of relentless planning, strategizing, and scholarship, combined with an understanding that the most effective defense is often a funciton of calculated timing and laser-like precision. And while every case has its own unique set of facts and circumstances, compartmentalizing the fruits of our labor into an aggressive plan of action in your defense that has been tried, tested, and proven to work, given us the opportunity to provide to you the best chance of obtaining satisfactory results.

Development of a battle plan on your behalf begins to take shape from the very moment we first meet with you. We will listen intently to the background of your situation, and the specific details of your arrest. Every case is planned according to the specific details of the situation. We will never prejudge you, or your case. We will look at the evidence, talk to witnesses, obtain affidavits, speak with the prosecuting attorney's office, and do whatever else is necessary to begin to formulate an aggressive strategy that will enable you to realize the best possible outcome for your specific situation. It is vitally important that you seek the advice of one of our attorneys as soon as possible after you are charged with a crime, or after receiving notice of being investigated. After the charge has been filed, or the citation has been issued, time can often become your worst enemy.

We begin coursing our strategy with a single goal in mind: to create a plan, method, or series of legal maneuvers aimed at damaging the prosecution's case in chief. In any defense case, after looking at the evidence, it is critical to synthesize its merits with its weaknesses, and identify the elements of the case that are open to challenge. There are many cases that are reviewed by our office in which there have been violations of rights, failures of law enforcement to correctly follow procedure, or problems with the lab results or chain of custody of the evidence. Our attorneys will do a painstaking analysis to determine the best options available to defend you against the charges you face. And, with the understanding that charges invariably come with stress and anxiety, we will always be available by telephone to keep you ahead and on top of the status of your case.

A smile. A sigh of relief. Tears of joy. If we are able to get your charges dismissed, conviction expunged, obtain an acquittal, or otherwise provide you with the relief that you seek, we will be proud to share in your moment of celebration and reflection. And while we would never guarantee any result (all attorneys, as you might expect, are ethically prohibited from doing so), we do commit to doing as much as we can to obtain the result that you deserve. Our blueprint for getting results is proven to work: carve out a case and client-specific plan of action; synthesize the evidence and circumstances with the nature of the charge; operate with assertiveness and zeal in negotiating with the prosecution; and take a no-holds-barred approach to cases that go to trial. In our experience and opinion, this approach affords our clients the best opportunity to obtain the results they deserve.

Practice Areas

Our office aggressively represents defendants in Fort Wayne and surrounding cities and communities, including the cities of Huntington, Bluffton, Decatur, Columbia City, Kendallville, Warsaw, Wabash, Auburn, Angola, Albion, LaGrange, Bluffton, Manchester, and New Haven, and the counties of Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Steuben, Noble, Whitley, Huntington, LaGrange, Jay, Blackford, Grant, and Wabash in Indiana. We handle virtually every type of charge and violation, from infractions and traffic tickets to misdemeanors and major felonies. We also handle post-conviction matters, such as sentence modifications, and appeals.

Some of the types of cases we handle include:

Child solicitation Child molestation Burglary Robbery Kidnapping Internet crimes Forgery Theft Check deception Drug crimes Traffic tickets City code violations Sealing conviction records Post-conviction relief Expungement Criminal appeals Synthetic cannabis / K2 / spice charges Domestic battery Assault Methamphetamine charges Driving while suspended Juvenile Defense OWI / DWI / DUI Driver's license problems Habitual traffic violations Alcohol-related offenses Probation violations Gun possession Crimes of violence Resisting arrest Disorderly conduct Criminal recklessness CDL infractions Residental entry Wire fraud Extortion Gambling offenses Probation violation Child pornography Animal abuse Public intoxication Minor possession of alcohol

Frequently Asked Questions

Invariably, those who do not practice law will offer opinions, anecdotes, and "folk wisdom" to those who have been accused of a crime. And while these individuals almost without exception have the best of intentions, it is absolutely imperative that the questions that you need answered are answered properly, by experienced criminal defense attorneys. Attorneys Marcia Linsky , Stephanie Friel, Nicholas Wheeler, and Chad Thurston will answer all of your questions during your free initial consultation. Some of the most common questions we hear are:

Never enter a courtroom for any hearing without an attorney by your side. The matter of bail can be negotiated, and any missteps even in status hearings can have disastrous results. If you go to court without our office fighting for you, the bail set could be outside your ability to pay and you could remain in custody for months or longer. Attorneys Marcia Linsky, Stephanie Friel, Nicholas Wheeler, and Chad Thurston will make every effort to get you released on your own recognizance, or to pursue a bail amount that you or your family can manage.

Ask yourself these questions: does the attorney have experience both as a prosecutor and defense atttorney? Does he or she have a proven court record? Does he or she have experience in both bench and jury trials? Does he or she have experience in selecting juries? Is he or she interested in you, your cause, and is willing to take the time and effort to find a way to defend you? Simply stated, not all attorneys are equal in commitment to their clients. When our office takes on a case, however, we are fully dedicated to finding the best possible route for the defense, and will give your case the focus and attention it deserves. You will always be treated with the utmost respect, and your matter with the utmost discretion. Your freedom is priority number one.

In order to prove that a search is reasonable, police have to prove that a crime is likely to have occurred, and that if a search does take place, they will be very likely to find incriminating evidence. In special circumstances, the police may be able to conduct a search without first obtaining a warrant.

The major difference is the punishments or sentences for each category of offense. Punishment for a felony usually includes more than one year in a state or federal penitentiary or prison, and possibly death. Misdemeanor convictions, on the other hand, usually result in a sentence of less than one year in jail (from a few days to a several months). Sentences for both misdemeanor and felony convictions may include a fine in addition to time in jail or prison.

The penalties in a criminal case depend entirely on the charges and the circumstances of the case. It is possible that if you are convicted, a judge may sentence you to serve time in jail. Other possible penalties include probation, home detention, work release, restitution to the victim, community service, license suspension, loss of certain rights, and a mark on your permanent record. Certain factors can enhance your penalties, as well, which one reason of many to talk to an attorney as early in the process as possible.

Marcia, Chad, Nicholas, and Stephanie will never charge for initial meetings. Whether that meeting is by phone or in person--even in jail--you will not be charged until our firm is retained.

It may be the wisest course for you to go to trial, and it may not, depending on the evidence in your particular case. Some people may admit to us that they did something but still want to make the State prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Some people tell us that they are innocent, but decide to take a plea anyway, to avoid potential felony convictions or sex offender registration that could come from a jury trial. This is a very personal decision that no one can make for you. We encourage each client to talk about this decision with his or her family and loved ones. Knowing that your freedom is the first priority, we will advise you accordingly; but the decision, of course, is ultimately yours to make.

It would be unethical for our office to give you any guarantees. We can give you their most educated assessment based on our level of experience as to your chances to get the result you desire with a jury or on appeal. But we cannot tell you that you will definitely win, just as we cannot tell you that you will definitely lose.