3 Reasons Your Criminal Defense Attorney May Seek to Change Your Trial Venue

Posted on: 25 March 2015

If you have been accused of a crime, then your defense lawyer will do everything in his or her power to get help you. This may include, for example, filing a change of venue motion so that you can be tried in another court. Here are three reasons why your lawyer may submit such a motion.

Pre-trial Publicity

There are many cases where a case may attract intense publicity. For example, it may involve a public figure, a prominent person, or it may just be unusual. Unfortunately, you may be disadvantaged during trial if your case has attracted high publicity. Pre-trial publicity may be detrimental to your fair trial in different ways such as:

  • Cumulative effect of negative information—if you are constantly portrayed negatively in interviews, newspapers, online and television newscasts, then the jury may also have a negative view of you.
  • Memory distortion—the jurors' memories may be clouded to the point where they can't differentiate what they heard during the trial and what they heard outside the courtroom.

Improper Venue

Your lawyer may also seek to move the trial to another location if he or she is convinced that the current one isn't the right one to handle your case. For example, if the crime you are alleged to have committed occurred on a military base, then you should be tried in a federal court or a court that is both state and federal in nature. This is because crimes committed in federal jurisdictions are federal crimes that must be heard in federal courts. In such a case, it would be improper to try you in a state court.

Interest of Justice

There are also cases where your trial may be moved to a different venue to serve the interests of justice. According to the interest of justice principle, legal proceedings should be performed in fair and equitable manner for all the parties involved. For example, witnesses should not have to spend unnecessarily huge amounts of money to give their testimony. Factors such as travel costs, location of evidence, judicial expenditures may necessitate the transfers of a case from one venue to another.

These are all good grounds for submitting a change of venue motion, but they don't guarantee the success of the motion. This is because it is the judge's discretion to deny or acquiesce to your request. You still need a skilled law firm like Scott L. Kramer Law Office to assist you with such a motion, which is very serious and may have a major impact in your trial.