New York residents who read or hear about criminal arrests may need to be reminded at times that every defendant is given the chance to defend themselves against the charges levied against them. This way, if they are ever arrested themselves, they may take some assurance that they too will be given this right. It can be hard to focus on this when media reports may appear to position things in a way that all but seems to convict someone immediately after being arrested.

The case involving a man who is accused of hitting multiple pedestrians in Times Square recently provides a good example of this. Stories focus on the man’s previous brushes with the law in both the military world and the civilian world. Points are made to highlight his alleged death threats against both military and civillian law enforcement officers.

The defendant is also said to have beat up a cab driver five years ago. Finally, other reports indicate that just shortly before the incident in New York City the man was arrested for an incident involving a weapon and some type of threat. No other details are known about that case. In the midst of these things, it is also reported that family members indicate the defendant may have experienced mental health problems and these may have played a role in his actions. 

A defense is the right of every person charged with a crime and talking with a lawyer might be a good way to learn about how to approach that defense.

Source: New York Daily News, “Crazed Times Square driver says he set out to “kill them all” after plowing through 21 pedestrians,” Shayna Jacobs, Chelsea Rose Marcius, Rich Shapiro, May 20, 2017