They were likely citing information from a police report which is public information.
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It is very unlikely that you have a workable defamation claim. They were likely reporting charges, which, like my colleague said, is public information. Speak to a lawyer.
No it doesn't appear you can. They were likely reporting information provided them from a police source which as Mr. Lassen stated is public record.
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The news media would be protecteed as long as their reporting had proper attribution to a source such as a police report or other law enforcement. Most, not all, producers are savy enough to properly source what they report. If they do not there is in fact liability. For example, a judge sued one of the tabloids in Boston and won. Find an experienced first amendment lawyer.
By the way, your first line of defense is to hire a good criminal defense attorney to prevail against the criminal charges.
Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.
Actually, depending on all of the facts, it could go either way. If the newspaper reports that someone was arrested for allegedly doing this or that, then they are reporting the news. If the newspaper states affirmatively that you committed this or that crime and you have not been convicted of the same, then there may be a basis for a defamation action. Of course, "truth" is always a complete defense to a charge of defamation (whether or not you were convicted). YOu need to consult an attorney experienced in defamation where you can speak face to face.