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Las Vegas Criminal Defense

Is a Change of Venue Worth Considering?


When facing criminal charges, a change of venue may be appropriate in some circumstances.  What are those situations, what are the benefits of venue change? Is it something worth considering in your criminal case?

When is a Change of Venue Request Appropriate?

There are limited reasons for which a change of venue may be requested. Clearly, if the charges were filed in the wrong court originally, there will be a venue change. There are other reasons for a change, as well, if such a change is in the interest of justice. Ultimately every defendant deserves a fair and impartial trial, and venue sometimes has an impact on that:

  • If the defense believes it will be impossible to seat an impartial jury because the case has been publicized locally and there is strong public sentiment about it. In particular, if there has been frequent, significant coverage related to the event in question, it may have an undue influence on prospective jurors.
  • If the political climate in an area is categorically against a particular defendant, (for being of a particular race or being LGBTQ, for example), it’s possible a change of venue might be granted.
  • If the judge appears to be prejudiced or if a qualified judge is not available;
  • If the location of the court is considerably inconvenient for the non-party witnesses involved such that it would interfere with providing an unbiased and timely trial.

The Beadles Case

While not a criminal case, the Beadles case demonstrates one situation in which justice would be better served with a change of venue. Beadles claimed that Nevada law, as well as his own rights, were violated when his complaints about the Washoe County election procedures were not addressed to his satisfaction. He believes problems led to errors in voter rolls and outright alterations in votes. A change of venue was requested, and granted, because Beadles felt there was no way he could receive an impartial trial in Washoe County. The five point test considering community size, pretrial publicity, gravity and nature of the case, status of individuals in the case, and overtones of a political nature led the judge to approve the change.

Advocating for You

At Lobo Law our experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys will do everything possible to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. That requires attention to details and hard work before the trial ever occurs.  In some cases, a change of venue is one piece of the puzzle in getting a positive result.  To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our Las Vegas office today.

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