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Do police ever mistakenly arrest the wrong people?

| Apr 5, 2018 | Criminal Defense |

You got arrested, and you cannot believe it. Not only do you think you are innocent, but you have no idea what the police are talking about. You were not remotely involved in anything like what they claim you did. Even so, you’re sitting in a jail cell after getting booked.

It sounds like a nightmare, but can it actually happen? Could you get arrested without doing anything that even closely resembles a crime?

It isn’t common, per se, but it does happen. To pull an example from Colorado itself, a woman was about to leave to get her daughter after the school day ended when a trio of police cars flew into her front yard. Officers jumped out and told her she was under arrest.

The woman was completely shocked. Sure, she had been given some speeding tickets, but that was the worst thing on her record. She wasn’t a criminal. She was just waiting at her own home to go get her daughter.

Police did not care. They had a warrant and they locked her in jail, despite her protests. She was held for five days behind bars. She claimed it had to be a mistake the entire time.

It was. Her name was Christina. The name on the warrant was Christin. They did share a last name, but Christin did not even live in Colorado. She was in Oklahoma. Police had simply not read the warrant closely enough and left a woman who did nothing wrong in jail for nearly a week.

This is a cautionary tale. Mistakes do happen. When they do, it is critical for those who are accused and arrested to know all of their legal rights.

Source: CNN, “Officer, you’ve got the wrong person,” Stephanie Chen, accessed April 05, 2018

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