Identity Theft Arrest in Jacksonville Has Long-Term Consquences

News4Jax.com recently outlined a case of mistaken identity that could end up haunting the falsely accused for life.

An arrest can be a damaging thing for a person who is falsely accused. Despite pleading that the charges aren’t true, police rarely listen they believe they have the right suspect. So, the only place to take those concerns is to the courthouse. Getting a fair trial can squash police malfeasance.
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Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers have fought hard for years to defend clients who are innocent of the charges where the state has little evidence, but is too strong-willed to listen. This requires a jury to acquit on charges of theft in Jacksonville, drug offenses or even violent crimes.

In this case, a woman was falsely accused and falsely arrested and experts believe there will be a long-lasting effect that could haunt her for years.

A Jacksonville woman was arrested and charged with shoplifting from the Wal-Mart on Normandy Boulevard after a shoplifter seen in the video dropped a purse that had Myrick’s driver’s license. Police hunted her down and arrested her, until the video surveillance proved it wasn’t her.

An expert said that even though she was falsely accused and not only the victim of identity theft, but also bad police work, she will not be able to live down the arrest. The expert, a former FBI agent, told the news station that she will continue to appear in law enforcement databases. So, if she gets pulled over, the officer will see the arrest and could treat her with heightened suspicion, asking if she has any stolen merchandise in her vehicle.

The woman said her driver’s license got into a shoplifter’s purse after she surrendered it to the Department of Motor Vehicles 10 days before the incident. The license had been reported lost by authorities.

But there are ways to fight back.

For one, a person who is arrested must hire an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so she can get involved in the case. That means working with police and prosecutors to dispute the charges and possibly get them dropped.

Even if they are too stubborn to drop the charges, an attorney is necessary to fight the charges before a judge or jury. And once the not guilty verdict comes in, it will be necessary to ensure your lawyer files the paperwork to seal and expunge the records leading to your arrest.

That will guarantee that records don’t show up in public view, but as the expert said to the news station, it’s possible that an arrest will still show up to law enforcement officers. And with the Internet, it’s always possible that mug shots and information that shows up on sheriff’s jail web sites could end up being preserved online forever.

That’s why we have to hope that officers do their due diligence and make arrests based on solid evidence and not weak eye witnesses and hunches. Sadly, that’s not always the case. They sometimes get caught up in the hunt for the arrest and don’t take into consideration the effects an arrest can have on the accused.

If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.