The public often appears quick to judge when criminal allegations are brought against New York citizens, and even more so if the charges brought are felony charges. The judicial system can be very confusing, especially for juveniles. Even if they are not proven guilty of the felony charges that are alleged, being thrown into the criminal system can be a life-changing event.
Two New York teenagers are being charged with felonies for supposedly breaking into a disable person's home and stealing his wheelchair. Their actions were supposedly meant to be a harmless prank, but when they crashed the $17,000 specially made wheelchair, the prank got very serious. The two teens allegedly crashed it a short distance from the house after taking a joy ride. The damage was so expensive that special parts had to be ordered to repair the chair.
The victim of the incident has cerebral palsy, and relied on the chair to do daily things. Since his chair was trashed, he was forced to use a regular wheelchair, which does not have near the mobility that his motorized chair had and therefore is not as helpful. Though he will hopefully have his chair back and his life will soon return to normal, the lives of the two juveniles could soon change more than they already have. The teens are still awaiting their trials for the felony charges. Prosecutors say that if they are found guilty, their sentences could be anywhere from community service to time in a juvenile detention center.
Both juveniles and adults are charged with felony charges every day in New York and across America, and can be thrown into the confusing world of the legal system until they are proven guilty or are released. Even if proven not guilty of the charges, accused citizens' lives and reputations can change drastically. Fortunately, the judicial system is set up to give them a fair trial and they are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: CBS New York, "Long Island Teens To Learn Their Fate For Wheelchair Joyride," July 15, 2013