What to Do if Your Federal Criminal Case Goes Public

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Chicago high-profile criminal case lawyerGetting arrested is embarrassing enough if only one or two people know about it. When the news of your arrest ends up in the local paper - or worse - you will have to start taking important precautions to protect yourself and your family. Depending on the nature of the crime you are charged with, and whether there was any significant local impact, you may face serious backlash that will impact every aspect of your life. You may also feel pressure to speak up publicly in your own defense, but this is rarely a good idea. The first thing you need to do is find a lawyer who is experienced at managing media attention during a high-profile case

What Should I Do if I See My Case in the News?

You might be feeling a strong desire to try to publicly clear your name or explain yourself. This almost never improves the situation, and it is very likely to do the opposite. Always follow your attorney’s specific advice, but some general advice can include: 

  • Do not post - Tweeting, posting a video, or even making a Facebook post to your friends about what happened (or did not happen) should be avoided unless your lawyer tells you otherwise. Your post is very likely to get picked up by the media that initially reported on your case. 
  • Be patient - Unless you are a major celebrity or all over the major news networks, the odds that the media is going to keep covering your story are low. It is more likely that after the initial story is reported, there will be little follow-up. The public has a short attention span, so your case is likely to “blow over.” 
  • Maintain a low profile - Try not to draw attention to yourself for the time being. If you do anything the media is likely to find “interesting,” it will only encourage them to keep covering your case. 
  • No comment - Avoid talking directly to the media. If something needs to be said, let your lawyer say it for you. It is easy for the press to twist your words or use dramatic sound bites to try to make you look guilty even if you are not. 
  • Be safe - If you are facing significant backlash from your community to the point that you feel unsafe, take precautions. If there are angry people gathering by your home, consider staying elsewhere until the situation calms down. Consider getting a door alarm or security cameras.

One of the most important things you can do is to contact a lawyer, sooner rather than later. There are other steps an experienced attorney can take to help protect you. 

Call an Illinois High-Profile Case Attorney

Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney is experienced at defending clients in high-profile public cases. Our experienced Chicago high-profile case lawyers are skilled at minimizing the impact of publicity on a federal case. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation. 



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