In some cases, innocent people face criminal charges for honestly doing nothing wrong. One day they are just living their lives and the next, they are trying to figure out how to defend themselves against erroneous charges.
This happened to a University of Virginia student in April of this year. In April, a 20-year-old was arrested after she and two classmates bought sparkling water and other items for a sorority fundraiser. The woman was caught up in an undercover sting run by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, also known as the ABC.
The plainclothes officers approached the student, Elizabeth Daly after they saw her leave with a 6-pack of sparkling water and they mistakenly thought she was carrying beer. They, along with four additional officers, surrounded her car. She began to drive away to call 911 and stopped when 911 confirmed they were officers. In the process, one officer ended up on the hood of the vehicle, one drew a gun and a third struck the window with a flashlight. Daly was arrested for assault and battery and spent a night in jail.
The state dropped the charges and has announced changes in policies to make sure an incident like this does not happen again.
An official statement said:
ABC deeply regrets the terribly unfortunate events of April 11. Three young women engaged in running errands, and several ABC special agents meeting prior to an undercover enforcement operation, converged at a grocery store parking lot. The decisions that were made and the actions that were taken during those ten minutes escalated into an incident with results that neither group intended nor desired.