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Beggars gone wild

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by boots, May 31, 2007.

  1. boots

    boots New Member

    NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — A homeless man who was arrested after asking a policeman for a dollar got a judge to throw out the case by arguing that begging is a form of free speech.
    Judge Gail Rice made the ruling after Eric Hoffstead had his lawyer cite a 15-year-old federal court decision saying New York state’s loitering law violated First Amendment protections.
    “This is a great victory for freedom of speech,” said Hoffstead’s lawyer, Carl Birman.
    Hoffstead was still in the county jail Thursday on a separate trespassing charge.
    The ruling Wednesday nullified a loitering charge and a misdemeanor drug charge. Police said they found a crack cocaine pipe on Hoffstead, 36, when he was arrested last November.
    The 1992 case applied specifically to enforcement in New York City, and the state law, which prohibits begging in a public place, had never been changed. But when Hoffstead, who has been arrested 20 times in Westchester County, read about the case, he asked Birman to bring it up in court.
    Rice’s ruling echoed the 1992 decision.
  2. Platyrhynchos

    Platyrhynchos Active Member

    Those separate trespassing charges will get you every time.
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