An old FedEx commercial tells the story of a delivery man who had to bring a package to a “Mr. Zhang” working in a factory. He didn’t expect to have every man on the floor walk toward him the moment he called out the name. It turned out that everyone in the factory had the name “Zhang,” and so did 88 million others in China.
Nearly everyone shares a name with at least a few people; that’s normal. However, it can give rise to some misunderstandings, especially in the legal system. For experienced Mobile criminal lawyers like Shane A. Taylor, P.C., this isn’t unusual.
Andrew and Andrew
Here’s one example. An Andrew in Nebraska had the same first and last name as an Andrew in neighboring Iowa. The first Andrew was only guilty of speeding, while the second had a graver case: not finishing repair work in a house in Iowa. This case of mistaken identity caused the first Andrew, who claimed that he had never been to Iowa, to be thrown in jail.
It was only after a picture comparison that authorities were able to realize their mistake, which then led to Nebraskan Andrew’s release. This just goes to show that a person’s name should not be enough of a basis for an arrest. Law enforcers can’t risk the chance of putting innocent people in jail due to a case of mistaken identity.
Effects of Jail Time
What happened to Andrew from Nebraska was unfortunate, but it could have been worse. He could have faced lengthy jail time, which would have been a serious miscarriage of justice. Jail is bad enough, but what if the wrong person was put on death row?
Anyone who becomes a victim of false arrest can ask the help of their family lawyer in Mobile AL to help them get a competent criminal defense attorney to determine whether due process was followed in their apprehension. The latter will look into whether the authorities bothered to do an in-depth check on the victim’s identity (e.g. fingerprint, photos, etc.). These legal professionals will also ask if the authorities acted with malicious intent during the arrest.
Any psychological damage caused by mistaken detainment can be grounds for just compensation. Simply put, a victim of mistaken identity has the right to complain about the miscarriage of justice, along with the effects that jail time has inflicted upon him.