Anyone who watches crime procedural movies or keeps up on the news has likely heard the terms “jurisdiction” and “venue.” They may even have seen them used interchangeably but in fact they are very different terms. Keep reading to learn more about them and how they might affect your criminal case. Then contact Law Offices of Patrick S. Aguirre at 800-572-1252 for a free legal consultation.
The Definitions of Venue and Jurisdiction
On the surface, the differences are simple: The venue refers to the district or county where the case will be decided. Jurisdiction is a related concept but much broader. It refers to who has the legal authority to hear a particular case. Venue involves the specific location where the case will be heard. For example, it may be that the state of California has jurisdiction – i.e., the legal right to hear the case – and the venue for said case is held within San Diego.
How Uncertain Venues Are Handled
Many cases involve obvious venues but that is not always the case. Remember that the venue is the county or district in which the crime occurred – but what if there were several counties involved? For example, if a person is charged with forgery and the forgery happened in numerous places, what is the appropriate venue?
In that case, the government will consider the nature of the offense, what elements of the crime took place in each location, and where the effects of the crime in question occurred. In most cases, the government can try crimes in any count in which part of the crime occurred. If a crime occurred near or on a border, then it can likely be tried in either county.
Online Crimes Are Unique
In instances of online crimes, the venue can be the place form which the defendant committed the crime or the place at which its effects were felt. For example, if a person was sending threatening messages, they could be tired in the county in which they sent the message, or the county in which the victim was when they received the message.
Accomplices and Accessories Can Be Tired in Different Venues
In most cases, an accomplice is going to be tried in the county in which they committed the crime. However, accessories before the fact, and accessories after the fact, can be tired in the county they were in when they provided aid or assistance.
If you are being tried for a crime, or believe that you soon will, the venue could make all the difference. Your criminal defense attorney can assess the options and advise you on what your rights are. Contact Law Offices of Patrick S. Aguirre at 800-572-1252 now for a free legal consultation.