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Why change venue in a criminal case?

Learn the benefits of changing venue in a criminal case from experienced defense attorney Christina Williams. Based in Wyoming, Christina is an expert in criminal law and can guide you through the process of changing location to give you the best possible outcome for your case. Trust in her expertise and contact her today for a consultation.

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Transcript

Speaker 1
00;00;00;07 – 00;00;01;14
Hi, everyone. Sometimes my clients ask me, ‘I don’t think I can get a fair trial here, can we move it somewhere else?’ This is Christina Williams with Just Criminal Law.
Speaker 2
00;00;11;09 – 00;00;12;22
And this is David Mann, legal storytelling specialist. Yeah, that wopuld be a question, I suppose, if you thought you couldn’t get a fair trial because people had a maybe preconceived notion about your guilt. Is that what you mean?
Speaker 1
00;00;22;27 – 00;00;25;27
Right. Especially in these days of social media where the news is really covered on all of the social media outlets. And so, a lot of times, people feel like everybody in the community knows everything about their case and, you know, they might be getting negative feedback from the Facebook lawyers. And so they really feel like, you know, everybody in the whole community feels the same way. And so they really get intimidated and really want to know if they can go somewhere where their case isn’t known; where social media hasn’t covered it.
Speaker 2
00;00;59;08 – 00;00;59;17
Okay. And I’m going to guess that the defendant, him or herself, can’t just say to the judge, ‘Hey, I don’t like this community, can we move it somewhere else?’ It can’t be as simple as that.
Speaker 1
00;01;11;29 – 00;01;14;19
No, it’s really difficult to change venue. That’s what it’s called. And you actually need to start the trial and start picking a jury and have the potential jurors tell the lawyers, you know, ‘I know about this case and I’ve already made up my mind. I can’t base my decision only on what I hear in court. I can’t be fair and I can’t be impartial.’ And so, if your entire jury panel is telling the judge and the attorneys this, then the judge will look at changing venue. But that’s very rare. And really, it’s only happened one time since I started practicing law here in Wyoming.
Speaker 2
00;01;54;04 – 00;01;56;06
I remember when you and I first worked on one of the first cases. We worked on it, and it involved this. I think there were two defendants and the case was just in the news a lot. And, you know, things happened. I remember thinking about this, ‘People are going to come into this jury pool and already have seen the whole story.’ So, you know, how are we going to deal with that? Tell me about what happened with that case.
Speaker 1
00;02;19;08 – 00;02;19;23
Sure. So, you know, the people that were being prosecuted really got a lot of feedback on their story from social media. And they felt like everybody in the whole community knew what was going on. And so, you know, the attorneys started the selection of the jurt and found out there really were most of the panel
who didn’t know a lot about the case. And of those that did know about the case, the represented to the court that they hadn’t made up their mind on whether or not not the defendants were guilty and that they could be fair and impartial and listen to the facts as they were presented in court and then make their decision. So that case, even though it was highly publicized, it was still tried here in Campbell County.
Speaker 2
00;03;11;21 – 00;03;12;09
Hmm. Wow. So really, I mean, it’s sort of reasonable to assume that if a case is in the press all the time, that everybody has seen it and everybody has an opinion. But what you’re saying is that when you really ask people the question, when they’re really put to it in the jury selection, they’re going to honestly say, ‘You know what, I can actually put my feelings or thoughts about this aside.’ And is that how it played out then? We got a fair verdict in that?
Speaker 1
00;03;37;17 – 00;03;40;17
So my client, we ended up reaching a very good plea agreement and we didn’t have to go to trial. But the other defendant did go to trial and did get convicted. So, you know, it’s hard to know. It’s hard to say because the jury trials are, you know, they have all these moving parts and you never really know what’s going on inside a juror’s mind. So whether or not all that social media coverage influenced the jury or not, we’ll never know. But that’s where your attorney needs to have experience and really help you make a decision on whether or not to try to reach a plea agreement or go to trial.
Speaker 2
00;04;18;01 – 00;04;19;11
And you are an attorney with that kind of experience. So how might someone get ahold of you?
Speaker 1
00;04;22;24 – 00;04;23;07
Sure. We’ll include a link in the description where they can call, text, or chat with a member of my team, anytime, day or night. Here at Just Criminal Law, we know you only get one shot at justice. So make yours count!

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When you are facing criminal charges, timing is everything. The first step is to contact Just Criminal Law for your personalized case review and strategy session with our dedicated client care specialist. Call our office in Gillette, Wyoming, at (307) 686-6556.

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