When someone is facing a DUI or other criminal charge they often ask how to minimize the publicity about their case or how to keep their case out of the paper. Generally, there are two points where a criminal case could be in the news: at the beginning when the events occur and at the end when the court case resolves.
There are several factors that could lead to a DUI or other criminal charge being newsworthy. Recently, a Spokane resident was charged with a traffic violation after crashing his car into a house. That case was reported in the newspaper because the pictures were sensational and the cost of repairing the property damage was shocking. Sometimes local celebrities, business owners or a law enforcement officer will be accused of a crime. The TV news and local papers will likely post about these incidents because the public will be drawn to the name of the person accused or the nature of their employment. Sensational facts will lead to more extensive reporting.
At the end of a criminal court case, including a DUI, the newspaper may report the case in their records section. Spokane’s main newspaper, the Spokesman Review, provides some guidance as to when they will publish a conviction for a misdemeanor, like a DUI or Reckless Driving. As a general rule the Spokesman publishes convictions from the Spokane County District Court and Spokane Municipal Court when a judge imposes a fine of $500 or more or when a judge orders someone to serve one or more days in jail. When this occurs the paper will publish the name of the person, the charge they’ve been convicted of and the sentence the judge has ordered. If your criminal case resolves with a sentence where the judge orders less than a $500 fine and no jail time, then it is unlikely your name will appear in the newspaper.
If you have further concerns regarding your privacy or other matters related to your criminal charges, check with the criminal defense attorneys at Cooney Law Offices to see what they can do for you. We can help.