When facing criminal charges in California, you may feel confident that the structure of the criminal justice system will help to ultimately exonerate you. However, the potential of that happening depends largely on the fair adjudication of your case.
Many factors may influence the likelihood of that happening. Include in these may be the notoriety of your case along with the media coverage of it. Like many of those that come to see us here at Mark Fredrick Attorney at Law, you may worry that overexposure of your case could prejudice potential jurors in the area where the matter in question occurred. This may prompt you to seek a change of venue.
Qualifications for a change of venue
You indeed have the right to request a change of venue. Yet for court officials to actually consider it, Section 1033 of the California Penal Code states that there must be a reasonable likelihood of you not receiving a fair trial. Reasons like excessive media coverage mentioned earlier may contribute to this likelihood, as can the cultural makeup of the community.
Conversely, prosecutors and court authorities might also seek a change of venue in your case. A prosecutor may fear your reputation and/or ties in your community might contribute to jury bias. Court officials might also look to move your proceedings if (after substantial effort) finding a fully qualified jury proves difficult.
Subsequent returns to the original jurisdiction
Yet simply because the court grants an initial change of venue request in your case does not mean that the matter cannot return to its original jurisdiction. If, for example, the court believes that the conditions warranting the change of venue no longer exist, it may order the case back to the original jurisdiction.
You can find more information on managing your criminal case throughout our site.