As we’ve discussed before, being accused of a crime can be devastating. Whether it’s a felony or a misdemeanor, the mere allegations of wrongdoing can rip lives apart and destroy the accused’s reputation at work and in the community. While you’d like to believe that the criminal justice system is infallible, it’s not. It’s as prone to error as the human beings who run it, and mistakes are often made that land innocent people in jail.
One Louisiana woman was recently the victim of one of these errors and she says it’s ruined her life. You see, she shares the first and last name of a woman who was wanted by Florida police for fraud and theft. Rather than check her middle name, Social Security number or whereabouts when the crime was committed, police arrested this mother of two and held her for four weeks. Then, in May, while at her court case, she was arrested again for a different crime committed by her namesake and held for yet another week.
It took a defense attorney to point out the obvious that this woman was clearly not the same woman they were looking for. Not only had she never been in this Florida county, she’d never even heard of it. In fact, she was in the hospital when the first of the alleged crimes occurred. She claims that as a result of the charges, she’s lost her house and says that her children have suffered untold trauma from losing their mother for so long.
The real suspect is still out there.
Cases like these demonstrate the importance of having good legal representation to fight for your rights when you’ve been wronged.
Source: nola.com, “Chalmette mother wrongly arrested twice in case of mistaken identity, newspaper reports,” Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, June 12, 2014