You’re at work going through a quiet day when all of a sudden you get a call from a family member who tells you that the police are looking for you. Officers later show up at your workplace, asking for you. Even the vice president of the company is wondering why police are looking for you.
The problem for the police is that they have the wrong person. You haven’t done anything remotely criminal. But the bigger problems are the ones you face when you’re arrested anyway and charged with crimes you did not commit.
Think this scenario only plays out on TV? The Dallas ABC station recently reported on a half-dozen such cases that were investigated by the police department’s internal affairs unit. There are, of course, many other cases in which the wrong person is arrested and internal affairs does not look into the matter.
The scenario described to open this blog post in fact happened to a Dallas woman. Officers went to her home, her job and then arrested her for assault in a domestic violence matter when she turned herself in at the police station.
The station reports that the detective on the case might have known the woman arrested was the wrong person, but he filed charges against her anyway. The real suspect has a “similar name,” according to a police document, “but is more than 20 years” younger.
In a similar case, police were looking for a woman who had allegedly made threatening phone calls to a day care center. Police files indicated that the suspect was thin and black. But officers arrested instead a “heavy-set black female,” according to the TV station’s report.
The woman arrested and the woman being sought did not even share a birthdate.
Anyone who faces criminal charges for something they did not do wants to be cleared as soon as possible, which is why they typically seek out the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Source: WFAA.com, "Documents: At least six wrongfully arrested by Dallas police," Rebecca Lopez, May 13, 2014