A driver in Brooklyn is in custody following a serious accident that sent four people to the hospital on the early morning of Sept. 4. New York officials arrested the man, who now faces drunk driving charges. No court date has been set, but when the time arrives, the man will be represented by a criminal defense attorney.
Surveillance footage obtained by police show a vehicle, driven by a 23-year-old man, jump a curb in Brooklyn just before 5 a.m. The car continued on the sidewalk, striking a group of four pedestrians. The man then crashed into an iron fence before fleeing the scene in his vehicle. He was apprehended only a few minutes later and was arrested for suspected DWI.
Of the four pedestrians, one was critically injured and was rushed to a local hospital. This individual has since been stabilized. Three other people were also taken to local hospitals in serious but stable condition. It is unclear what caused police to believe the man was drunk at the time of the accident, as there was no mention of a roadside sobriety or blood test being taken.
If New York police did not follow procedure in apprehending the accused man, or if they improperly administered a sobriety test or blood draw, criminal defense representation could call the evidence into question. Clearly, this individual is facing difficult circumstances, but he has every right to present a defense and contest the formal accusations. In fact, it is the government that has the burden of proof in criminal court, and must prove every element of the crime/s charged beyond a reasonable doubt. That standard is intentionally set high to protect the rights of all accused individuals, and unless prosecutors can meet their burden, no criminal conviction can occur.
Source: New York Post, ""Drunk" driver crashes into pedestrians on sidewalk", Stephanie Pagones, Sept. 4, 2017