Just six short days into 2017 the country saw its first “act of terror”, when Esteban Santiago opened fire at an airport in Ft. Lauderdale. These crimes hit too close to home for many, geographically and also emotionally. It has not even been a year since the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and the Sunshine State is once again at the forefront of news reports on this type of violence. Many questions have been asked, with few answers provided. The weeks and months to come may work to shed some light on the incident, but until then the best any of us can do is to look for accurate reports and demand the system does its job to protect certain constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Five things to know about the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooter when thinking about how to balance his rights with those of the victims and their families are:

  • All defendants are entitled to representation. While it seems heartless to provide a defense to those that commit the most heinous of actions, failing to do so would only fail to prop up the judicial system on which we rely for fairness, justice, and equality. Given the current tone of the country after the inauguration of Donald Trump, it seems the last thing any one of us wants is to be forced to live with a system that does not look to protect the rights of the citizens it serves.
  • Will Santiago rely on an insanity defense? This type of defense is common, but until and unless a trial takes place, trying to decide what type of defense will be offered is premature. It is the job of the criminal defense attorney to provide competent and complete representation, which includes developing a defense strategy aimed at dealing with the facts of the matter on a case by case basis.
  • How will this act impact gun and weapons laws? Never before has our country been at such odds over the laws surrounding gun ownership, and cases like these and the Trayvon Martin case have done a lot to bring some very important issues to light. It remains to be seen what changes lie ahead so it is critical to remain vigilant in this area of the law, especially if you are facing a weapons related charge.
  • How does bond work? Santiago has been denied bond and this might leave you wondering what the chances of this happening to you or a loved one are if you are arrested. The truth is that each case is unique, and the factors that led to the denial of bond in Santiago’s case are rare.
  • Is there a valid defense to this case? That depends on how things unfold, and what the facts turn out to be in the matter.

Our goal as your defense attorney is to make sure you understand the charges against you, and then to aggressively defend those charges without judgment. If you have been arrested for a crime, call us today for help.

For more information about criminal defense, call an experienced defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We work with you to tailor a defense that fits the specific facts of your case. We offer an initial consultation for no charge, and look forward to helping you.