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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 111468
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I was arrested on New Years eve of last year of a firearm,

Customer Question

I was arrested on New Years eve of last year for possession of a firearm, controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. The next day fox16 put a news article out saying I was behind bars and gave the wrong location of arrest and wrong city officer that arrested me. I was never behind bars, I was taken to the station then released, didn't even have to bail out. later at court all charges were dropped except the paraphernalia and I am now in the process of getting the charges all expunged. Is it possible to get the article taken down if things weren't true or charges were dropped?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If they received the information from the police and they reported incorrect information you can send them a demand letter asking them to remove or correct the information. If they refuse to do either, then you have a legal right to sue for libel (defamation) and the common law tort of false light for making a false publication portraying you falsely in the community.

So you have the right to demand a correction or removal and if they refuse, then you can sue them for damages.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How would I go about asking them to remove the information? And if they refuse or ignore it entirely how would I approach the next step
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You do so by a letter to them informing them of the truth, attaching proof and inform them the article is false and portrays you in a false light to the public and is defamatory and if it is not corrected you will purse legal action against them. If they refuse, then your next step is using a local attorney and filing suit against them as I said above.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is the fact that it says I was behind bars when I was just taken to the station and released, and also that it has a street and area that is wrong enough to back up a libel suit?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

If the article is incorrect and portrays your story falsely, it can indeed be grounds for a suit, yes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you're saying that even if it gives the correct charges I was arrested for but gives wrong location and said I was behind bars when I wasn't then it is definitely a case for libel?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

They could be a case for libel. In law there is no such thing as "definitely a case," but based on what you are saying, there is a possible case if the evidence shows the newspaper knew at the time they posted this that the information was false, which is what I said above.

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