When I was a kid, I had an 8 track (check your history books, young'uns, it was our version of an MP3) of Steve Martin's "Comedy is Not Pretty". There was a bit on there about using ignorance as an excuse for breaking the law, in which Steve uses every possible excuse for committing varying crimes. The premise of the bit, though, was that ignorance of the law is not really an acceptable excuse for breaking it.
Now we have comedy playing out in real life in Kalifornia, with State Senator Ron Calderon appearing handcuffed, in court, to plead "not guilty" to charges of accepting over 100,000 dollars worth of bribes. Below is a quote from the Honorable Mr. Calderon's attorney:
"Every single action they describe my client as having taken was done with innocent intent and no knowledge that there was anything illegal about any of these acts," Kopp said in a telephone interview.
There you have it folks. He just didn't know that accepting 100k worth of kickbacks for some hospital thing was against the law. Cut this poor fucker some slack wouldja?