If you've been accused of a crime, you may be wondering what your chances are of being found not guilty. If the crime was reported by the media, members of the public may form strong opinions about you, regardless of your guilt or innocence. Although the court of public opinion has no legal say in the verdict, it can make your fight for justice feel like an uphill climb.
If you're already a convicted felon and are serving time for a previous crime, fighting new charges may seem even more difficult. This is the case of an inmate in eastern Wisconsin's Racine Correctional Institute. Charged with one count of being party to a fraud, he's accused of running a fake university and scamming a fellow inmate out of almost $2,000.
The criminal complaint against the man calls him a career con artist who set up a nonexistent university with fake branches in Green Bay and other cities. He's accused of persuading another inmate to get his mother to send about $1,700 to a post office box in Mobile, Alabama, claiming it was a campus address. Although he's the only person facing charges so far, other people have been implicated in the crime, including a former inmate accused of setting up the post office box and another man accused of creating a fake university website.
The man has been in and out of prison since 1989 for various white collar crimes. Therefore, he'll need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can persuade a judge to look past his previous convictions and be given a fair trial. No criminal defendant should be presumed guilty, no matter how many previous crimes are on his record.
Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette, "Inmate to enter a plea in fake university case," Paul Srubas, Jan. 19, 2011