Officer Didn’t Have The Heart To Arrest Elderly Woman

Back when I worked in the legal aid office in our local district court, I had an old lady (70+) knocking at my door on a Friday afternoon. She said that she was late with her payments of a penalty order and wanted to know what to do. It looked like she got used by some of her relatives in connection with the fraud.

She got a wrist slap in the form of a penalty order and was supposed to pay the fine in monthly installments. Apparently, she was late with some payments and asked if she could pay them once her retirement money was due next week. I did a routine check and found that she had an outstanding arrest warrant because of her missed payments. As it stood then, I was supposed to arrest her or give her the option to pay right then, but she had not enough money and no way to get her hands on enough on short notice. I tried to call the DA’s office to ask if they could temporarily lift the warrant, but as it was Friday afternoon, no one was there.

What that meant was, that this 70+-year-old lady would now have to spend at least the weekend in jail. I called the police to have a transport ready to get her there, but when the police officer and I talked it through on the phone we both came to the conclusion, that we both did not want to send an old lady like that to jail for late payments that would be dealt with early next week and that she never really was in my office that day in the first place. So It was my duty to arrest her, but I did not.

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