Is it legal for a newspaper to print information of a criminal offense, using the name of a person who has not been charged nor has had a court date.

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Is it legal for a newspaper to print information of a criminal offense, using the name of a person who has not been charged nor has had a court date.

Asked on May 22, 2009 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I don't understand.  Was the person arrested for the criminal offense? If so, it is most likely newsworthy and is perfectly okay to be printed.   It is not defamatory as long as the article doesn't state the person has been charged when the person hasn't been charged yet. 


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