Rule 3.6 of the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct limits what a prosecutor in a criminal case may say to the news media outside the courtroom. These limitations exist to make sure that a defendant has a fair trial and is not subjected to unfair pretrial publicity.
(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter. A statement is likely to have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding when it refers to a civil matter triable to a jury, a criminal matter, or any other proceeding that could result in incarceration, and the statement relates to:
(1) the character, credibility, reputation, or criminal record of a party, of a suspect in a criminal investigation or of a witness, or the identity of a witness, or the expected testimony of a party or witness;
(2) in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration, the
possibility of a plea of guilty to the offense or the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by a defendant or suspect, or that person’s refusal or failure to make a statement;
(3) the performance or results of any examination or test, or the refusal or failure of a person to submit to an examination or test, or the identity or nature ofphysical evidence expected to be presented;
(4)any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of a defendant or suspect in a
criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration;
(5)information that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is likely to be inadmissible as evidence in a trial and that would, if disclosed, create a substantialrisk of prejudicing an impartial trial; or
(6) the fact that a defendant has been ch arged with a crime, unless there is included therein a statement explaining that the charge is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter may state without elaboration:
(1) the nature of the claim, offense, or defense involved;
(2) information contained in a
(3) that an investigation of a matter is in progress;
(4) the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;
(5) a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;
(6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest; and
(7) in a criminal case, also:
(i) the identity, residence, occupation, and family status of the accused;
(ii) if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in apprehension of that person;
(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest; and
(iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the investigation.