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.

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.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-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. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.