When police search for suspects believed to be involved in illegal activities, they often rely on the media and New York residents. They may broadcast photographs of an alleged perpetrator asking for anyone who may know him or her to come forward. Depending on the party making a potential identification for police, it could make a criminal defense more of a challenge.
For example, on one day, a 50-year-old woman was robbed at knife point, and the perpetrator covered her face with a cloth. The next day, another woman, age 49, was robbed in the same manner. Each incident occurred at roughly the same time in the same manner. Police obtained surveillance video of the suspect and disseminated it to the media.
As it happens, a woman recognized the man in the footage as being her 34-year-old son. She contacted authorities, and he was arrested. He faces two counts of robbery in connection with the incidents, which occurred in a SoHo subway station. When an individual making an identification knows the suspect as well as a mother would, it could be problematic for his defense.
There are many challenges in any criminal defense, and overcoming them often requires the assistance of a knowledgeable New York attorney. An accused individual retains the right to challenge all evidence and to confront all witnesses against him or her. A thorough review of the circumstances could reveal weaknesses in the prosecution's case that could provide an avenue to the best possible outcome to the charges.
Source: CBS New York, "Mom's Tip Leads To Arrest Of Suspect In Connection With Knifepoint Robberies At SoHo Subway Station", Juliet Papa, June 23, 2017