FRAMED (When Innocent People Take the Fall)

People who are framed for crimes they didn’t commit often spend years in prison if the truth is not revealed and accepted in a court of law.

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Taking the Fall for a Crime

Unfortunately, innocent individuals are sometimes framed by police or others for crimes they did not commit, most often for drug crimes or violent offenses. In most cases, police officers who are investigating a crime scene follow the evidence when making an arrest on a likely suspect. Although police investigators do make mistakes, there are sometimes other people involved in the crime or the criminal investigation who manipulate, tamper with, or falsify evidence. When this occurs and evidence points to a specific person, police officers are more likely to arrest and charge that person, even if he is the wrong suspect and an innocent person.

There are numerous reports across the country about innocent people framed for crimes they didn’t commit. Some of them have spent years in prison, even though they were innocent:

In Texas, a man was framed for the murder of a Dallas police officer. In 1977, he was convicted of the crime and sentenced to die. He served 12 years in prison before the Supreme Court gave him a stay of execution, just three days before his scheduled execution. Ten years later, another man confessed to the murder and the convicted man was freed.

In Minnesota, lawyer Matt Kostolnik was framed for child pornography distribution and death threats against Joe Biden and other public officials sent from his email account. Although he swore he was innocent, a federal investigation was launched. Kostolnik hired a forensic computer scientist who discovered that his email account had been hacked. The real suspect turned out to be a neighbor with a grudge. He was arrested and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Over the years, there have been many reports of innocent people framed or wrongly convicted of criminal offenses. Once arrested for a crime, it can be difficult to prove innocence. Police officers are expected to conduct themselves honestly and professionally. When a suspect has prior arrests or criminal convictions, it can be tough to convince a jury that the person was framed by planted or mishandled evidence.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.