Bride and groom feel exploited by police

March 21, 2009 6:41:08 AM PDT
A bride was caught on camera just hours after her wedding, sitting in a court room in her wedding gown. She was taken in for public intoxication after her new husband was arrested for DWI. Now, the couple says they were treated unfairly. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The groom admits there are a million what ifs, starting with what if someone had given him a ride to his hotel instead of driving himself? That decision is history though.

On probation for his DWI conviction, they are upset about being made an example of.

If the only picture we ever saw of Billy and Jade Puckett's wedding night was a posed picture at the altar, they'd be thrilled. Unfortunately for them we've seen mug shots and pictures of Jade under arrest in her wedding dress.

"What I do not deserve was to have my face being exploited and career exploited for the promotion of law enforcement," said Jade.

The two were among 34 people picked up last weekend in a Bay Area DWI sweep. However, no one else was wearing a wedding dress and Jade made headlines for which her lawyer now blames Precinct 8 Constables.

"Would you have even known about her if the Constables didn't bring a reporter in there to take her picture? That's where it went wrong," said Joe Gutheinz, the Pucketts' lawyer.

In her complaint to Precinct 8, Jade wrote, "We are not now complaining about the stop, I am complaining about the lack of professionalism of our law enforcement community and the fact that they chose to hype this arrest by embarrassing me and my family."

"They exploited my wife," said Billy.

Maybe more than anything this was simply a rude introduction to the criminal justice system for a young couple never before in trouble. Getting arrested and going to jail is simply not a nice thing to do on your wedding night.

"When people get arrested for the first time having no experience with the criminal justice system, it's just frightening," said DWI lawyer Doug Murphy.

Murphy is not involved in this case, but he understands the couple's embarrassment. He hears it a lot from arrested clients and in most cases the publicity, when there is publicity, isn't illegal, it's just tough to handle.

"I don't necessarily think it's helpful," said Murphy.

Aside from her attire not all that unusual, for the most part, courts are open to news photographers and mug shots are public by law. In the jail that night, deputies tell us they moved her to a more private cell.

"We knew in the attire that she was in, that there would be some comments so we wanted to try to get her out of that situation," said Major Fred Brown.

The couple doesn't think so. In addition to the complaint about her picture being taken, the Pucketts tell us male deputies repeatedly looked in on her as a form of show and tell. The jail says deputies were checking on the young woman at the request of her parents.

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