Crime reporting guidelines

Typically, the Summit Daily News will name someone accused of a crime only after they have been formally charged. Suspects will be named before formal charges have been filed in cases of serious alleged crimes like murder, attempted murder, drug distribution, armed robbery, rape, kidnapping or crimes involving a high-profile or elected person.

Juveniles will not be named unless they are certified to stand trial as an adult. In most cases, the victims of sex crimes will not be named unless they publicly identify themselves. In an effort to protect the identity of the victim, the Summit Daily typically will not publish the name of the person accused of a sex crime until they have pleaded or been found guilty.

Every accusation or charge made against a person will be attributed to an arrest record, an affidavit of probable cause, a criminal complaint or a statement from law enforcement. The Summit Daily will attempt to reach out to the person charged with the crime or their lawyer for comment in the story.

When a person is named in a crime story, the Summit Daily commits to following that case through to its disposition and writing a story on the outcome.

Request to update a crime story

The Summit Daily occasionally receives requests to remove names or mug shots from crime stories.

When reviewing those requests, we will rely on the courts and the legal process used to expunge, or clear, records. People who have committed nonviolent crimes and successfully petitioned the courts to permanently delete records of their criminal cases can submit a request for the removal of their name or mug shot from a specific story.

The emphasis of this policy is on victimless crimes. The Summit Daily won’t be removing names from stories about violent crimes, sex crimes or major felony cases that drew community interest.

Requests also will not be considered for elected officials and other notable community leaders or public figures because they are held to a higher standard and should remain accountable for their actions.

Like most policies, this one is not absolute. We still reserve the right to publish or not publish. 

To request to have your name and mug shot removed from a story, fill out this form and allow the editor one week to review your request.