Oftentimes when individuals are accused of committing a crime, their defense is to show that they were not involved in the alleged criminal wrongdoing in any way. An individual accused of robbery or murder, for example, may present an alibi to demonstrate that he or she was somewhere else when the crime occurred. However, sometimes this simply isn’t possible as it is clear from the facts and witness accounts that an accused individual was involved in the events in some fashion.
This is the case for two Pittsburgh-area men who are facing criminal charges after an altercation on a city bus. According to reports, the men started to argue at a bus stop when they exchanged disconcerting looks. One man said that the other followed him onto the bus after he told him to relax because he, meaning the second man, didn’t know what he was capable of.
At that point the men apparently began to tussle near the rear of the bus. The man who was followed onto the bus ended up reportedly pulling out a gun and shooting the other, claiming he felt threatened because the second man was aggressive and was reaching toward his waist in what was interpreted to be a movement toward a weapon. Police arrived on scene and arrested both men. The shooter has been charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, while the other man has only been charged with possession of marijuana.
This incident was witnessed by a number of people, so the accused individual likely will not be able to claim that he didn’t take part in the events. However, the interpretation of what happened is up for debate, which is where strong criminal defense arguments can be made. For example, this man very well may claim that he acted in self-defense and therefore should not be criminally punished. In situations like these, it is crucial for those accused of criminal offenses to develop a sound legal strategy.