OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma woman who was wrongfully jailed for two weeks after being arrested on a warrant that should have been dismissed is speaking out.
“I’m going to be in there, and who’s going to watch my kids?” Giselle Perez told News 4.
Perez said that was her first thought when she was arrested back in February and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail. Then, she had a lot of questions and confusion.
“He just said that I have a warrant and I’m going to jail,” she said.
Perez said she had no idea what the warrant, served by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol during a traffic stop, was for. She spent the next 14 days locked up, waiting for answers and fearing the worst.
“I’m like, damn, I’m going to lose my job and like my kids too,” she said.
When Perez got out, deputies at the jail told her she never should have been arrested in the first place.
“I was like why am I even in here, like they never even pulled me out for arraignment or for court,” she said.
Perez didn’t lose her kids, but she did lose her job.
Turns out, the warrant, from a case back in 2015 when she was a juvenile, was dismissed. However, OHP troopers and the jail were unaware of that important fact.
“When they get here, I think it was around 3 o’clock in the morning, we then do the check, call the juvenile and ask them is this warrant good, is this the individual here and the reply is yes. It’s a good warrant, it’s an active warrant,” said Mark Opgrande, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.
It was a mistake made somewhere within the court system.
Perez isn’t alone. She’s one of three people found wrongfully jailed this year.
“On somebody’s end, they’re supposed to take that warrant out of the system so it doesn’t show up when they get stopped,” Opgrande said.
Perez is frustrated but thankful the unfortunate oversight was finally discovered.
“That’s scary, like they could have gotten me locked up for a longer time and just forgotten about me and then you can’t do nothing about it,” she said.
Opgrande said they are currently looking into new computer systems that might help alert the jail of oversight’s like what happened with Perez’s case.