Will Your Westchester County Arrest Appear in Newspapers or Online?
Among the first things our clients fear when they get arrested is whether their arrest will show up in newspapers or online. A significant reason for publishing arrests is to justify the number of taxpayer dollars that are often allocated to local law enforcement agencies. As expected, less serious crimes get less media exposure while more serious crimes tend to get the most exposure, even making national and international news headlines in some cases.
Unfortunately, articles about local arrests, known as “police blotters,” tend to grab the attention of hundreds and thousands of residents in cities, towns, and villages. These residents can include friends, families, neighbors, employers, landlords, coworkers, educators, and more.
As a result, arrestees could suffer a whirlwind of personal and professional consequences, such as losing their job, housing, loans, professional licenses/certifications, and more. With this in mind, our lawyers understand why clients go to great lengths to keep their charges out of the public eye and explain what “really happened.” However, these efforts may only make matters worse.
Removing a Police Blotter from the Internet
People often wonder what they can do to keep their criminal cases out of the newspapers and off the internet. As such, our clients frequently ask us, “Can you get a police blotter removed from the internet?” The answer is typically “no.”
This is because arrest records are public information, and the First Amendment of the US Constitution allows the press to publish these public records. Despite this legal right, arrestees may take matters into their own hands by calling media outlets to demand that their arrest not be published. Doing this may only result in higher scrutiny from the media.
Should I Call the Media Outlets to Tell My Side of the Story?
Absolutely not! Any good defense attorney will advise their client AGAINST speaking to the media. The only possible exception to this rule is if the lawyer is present and/or has discussed potential statements or comments to the media in advance.
While attorneys can make statements to the media on behalf of their clients, they are typically general statements about innocence or the legal process altogether. Defense lawyers rarely discuss their legal strategy with the media and never discuss confidential information without the client’s consent, as that is highly unethical.
Will the Media Publish My Acquittal or ‘Not Guilty’ Finding?
It depends. If the case had previously been published by the media and/or it is of a serious nature, the media may publish a follow-up article on your acquittal or ‘not guilty’ finding. In some instances, your defense attorney could issue their own press release about the outcome of your case.
Disclosing Criminal Arrests to Employers
Will employers find out about arrests? Do you have to tell your employer about your arrest?
Again, the answer to both questions is “it depends.” Some employers require their employees to disclose arrests as a condition of employment while others do not. An accused who has a professional license may also be required to disclose their arrest. Since this is a very specific matter, you should talk to your lawyer for personalized legal advice.
Qualities to Look for in a Defense Lawyer
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is a decision that can make or break your case, so you must choose wisely. This is especially true when you are trying to remove your arrest record from public view. But what should you consider when hiring your attorney? To make the process easier, our attorneys lists some key factors for consideration below:
- Reputation: You want your lawyer to have an outstanding reputation in the criminal courts and have a strong working relationship with the local prosecutor’s office.
- Experience: You want your attorney to have extensive experience in your local jurisdiction as well as defending the specific charges you’re facing, such as theft, violent crimes, DUI, etc.
- Honesty: Honesty is the best policy, especially within attorney-client relationships. Your attorney should be straightforward with you at all times, providing discovery related to your case and never sugarcoating the facts.
- Responsiveness: Your lawyer should be available to return your telephone calls and address any questions and concerns you may have.
- Personal attention: Dedication and commitment drive personalized service. Your lawyer should not only understand your charges and invest all the right resources into your case but also understand who you are as a person. From there, they can provide individualized legal service catered to your specific case, which is a good sign that you have the right attorney in your corner.
Our lawyers at Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP are former Westchester County prosecutors who have worked in the Local and County Courts of Westchester County for over 21 years handling thousands of cases, from the simple arrests to the most serious felonies, including murder. In addition, attorneys Andrew Proto and David Sachs are published authors in criminal defense, DWI defense, and drug crime defense.
They have been awarded for their work and maintain an outstanding reputation in Westchester County. As such, some of their clients include lawyers, doctors, teachers, accountants, stockbrokers, and politicians, to name a few. With these impressive qualities in mind, it is in your best interests to put our team of proven lawyers in your corner. We have what it takes.
Please reach out online or at (914) 840-5104 to schedule your free initial consultation!