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Louisiana woman wrongfully arrested twice by law enforcement

Law enforcement officers are not always the brilliant investigators often seen on television. To be sure, there are very capable detectives and officers doing good investigative work every day. And even the best among law enforcement can make honest mistakes that lead to wrongful arrests and wrongful convictions.

But there are also law enforcement agencies that make us wonder if any actual investigative work is being done at all. As a recent example, officers from one Florida county arrested an innocent Louisiana woman because she happened to share the same name as a wanted suspect. After eventually being released, she was arrested again in a repeat of the error.

In January, the woman was surprised when officers from Clay County, Florida appeared at her home. She was arrested for grand theft and brought across state lines. She had never previously been to Clay County and it took her about four weeks to convince the sheriff’s office that she was not the woman they were looking for. They finally let her go, but not before she allegedly lost her job and her home while she was incarcerated. Her mother and boyfriend had to look after her two minor children during that time.

The final insult occurred when the woman had to come back to Clay County in May in order to have the charges officially dropped. While there, she was arrested again for attempting to cash a fraudulent check – a crime presumably committed by the original suspect with her same name. She then had to spend another week in jail.

It should come as no surprise that this law enforcement agency has made similar mistakes in the past. Last fall, a deputy sheriff arrested a teenager with the same name as another young man who was wanted for sexual battery. The innocent teen spent 35 days in jail.

The Louisiana woman plans to file a lawsuit against the agency. Hopefully, it will serve as an incentive for the officers to be a little bit more thorough and careful in their work.

Source: NY Daily News, "Louisiana mom with same name as felon sues Florida cops for wrongfully arresting her — twice," Meg Wagner, June 12, 2014

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

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