When you are arrested for a crime, the last thing you need is to have your case tried in the “Court of Public Opinion”. But with high profile case that is just what happens sometimes. When an incident is given a lot of media attention, it is not long before people take to social media and voice their opinions. This dual method of having your story splashed across the TV and on the screen of anyone with an internet connection can cause serious problems for your defense. When the public has already made a decision about a highly publicized case, it is hard for a defendant to get a fair shake.
A good example of this type of problem is the case of Adacia Chambers, the 25 year old woman arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and crashing her car into a crowd at Oklahoma State University’s Homecoming parade. The public backlash against Ms. Chambers is so severe, that she risks these three ways the media can hurt her case:
- A fair trial in Stillwater, Oklahoma is unlikely. A smart move in this circumstance is to ask for a change in the venue where the trial will take place (if in fact the case is resolved by trial rather than negotiation).
- Public perception of Ms. Chambers is so low that finding a potential juror without a preconceived idea as to her guilt or innocence will be near impossible.
- Media reports and opinion on social media can be taken as true, even before all of the evidence is presented. This means any person who does sit in judgment of Ms. Chambers is likely to listen to the news or troll the internet to learn what happened rather than giving the evidence presented in Court the weight it deserves.
The initial reports were that Ms. Chambers may have been on drugs or drunk when driving. If so, she will face charges of DUI as well as heightened charges now brought against her for the deaths of 4 people at the parade. This type of case takes special care and investigation in order to develop an effective defense. If you have been charged with a DUI or other crime, call one of our DUI attorneys for help. We can keep media impact to a minimum while aggressively defending you.
If you have questions about how the media impacts a criminal case, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.