Defending a High-Profile Case

 Posted on October 08, 2021 in Federal Crimes

chicago defense lawyerBeing charged with any serious federal crime is bound to be an intensely stressful experience. If your case garners media attention, the experience can become not only even more stressful, but riskier legally. Press attention can influence the outcome of a case, so its power is not to be underestimated. There are special considerations in defending a high-profile case that not every lawyer has the experience needed to manage well. You will need to ensure that you are represented by a defense attorney who is prepared to represent you both in the courtroom and to the public. 

Ways an Attorney Can Protect You in a High-Profile Case

“Trial by Media” has the potential to become a serious problem for some defendants. It is often to the media’s advantage to “convict” someone accused of a crime, well before the case actually goes to trial - it makes for more exciting news. However, the media often does not paint a complete or accurate picture of the events leading to an arrest. If not managed correctly, a negative public view can lead to unfair treatment of a defendant during trial. There are a few ways a lawyer might try to mitigate problems caused by an unfair “trial by media.” 

  • Venue Change - Local media outlets near where the crime allegedly occurred may influence public opinion so heavily that it becomes impossible for a defendant to get a fair jury trial in the area. A venue change can help reduce the impact of bias on the outcome of the case. 

  • Gag Orders - An attorney may be able to convince a court that certain evidence or facts need to be kept out of the press and not publicized. Gag orders can also be used to restrain certain key people from speaking publicly about their involvement in the trial.

  • Sequestering a Jury - This is somewhat of an extreme option, kept for only the most high-profile cases. A jury is sequestered when coverage of the trial is so prolific as to be unavoidable by most people and is likely to bias the jurors. Sequestered juries are confined, usually in a hotel, and are not allowed access to media for the duration of the trial. 

Your attorney may also want to address the press directly himself, but will likely advise you to avoid speaking to the press. It is important to follow the advice of your attorney in any high-profile case. Media attention to a federal criminal case needs to be carefully managed by an experienced attorney. 

Call a Cook County High-Profile Federal Case Attorney

If you find yourself facing federal charges and negative press attention at the same time, you need an experienced Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney for High-Profile Cases to protect your reputation and legal interests. Call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel at 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.




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