Editor, The Commercial:

Editor, The Commercial:

On Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, I was on my way to Pine Bluff to attend church with my sister and family. I was stopped by a state trooper just outside of Watson Chapel on Hwy 79N and Wildcat Drive for expired used car dealer tags, and my son who has neurofibromitosis/autism had gotten out of his safety seat; he is 6 years old.

I gave the officer the papers he requested and much to my surprise the officer returned to me and informed me that I had a warrant out for my arrest for failure to appear in court on Sept. 5, 2011, for a ticket that I had supposedly gotten. Turns out that a family member who had gotten stopped on Aug. 22, 2011, told the Pine Bluff city officer who had stopped her that she did not have her driver’s license with her and she gave my name and date of birth and they got my license number and information.

Needless to say, I was taken into custody, booked, finger printed, photo taken and treated like a common criminal. I am a law-abiding citizen. When I asked what happened to presumed innocent until proven guilty, I was told by both Deputy Cain and Deputy White that “in this case, you are guilty until proven innocent, and you have to prove your own innocence.”

I was eventually able to work this problem out, but I wanted to make the public aware that this can happen to anyone. And law officers should not be allowed to criminalize innocent people because someone knows their name and date of birth and uses that person’s information against them.

Penny V. Sims

El Dorado