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In a weird story out of Georgia, a woman spent a month in jail because police refused to believe that the residue on her spoon wasn't meth. Turns out, it was actually the remnants of the SpaghettiOs the woman had eaten earlier.
Of course, when the crime lab analysis on the spoon came back negative for methamphetamine, the district attorney's office was forced to drop charges against the woman, reports the Gainesville Times.
How are police justifying their arrest and prolonged detention of a woman whose only crime appears to be bad taste in food?
Field Test Came Up Positive for Meth
According to the arrest report, 23-year-old Ashley Huff was a passenger in a car that was pulled over for a traffic violation. Inside the car, officers found a bag with Huff's name on it and asked if they could search it. Inside the bag, police reported finding a glass smoking device, as well as a spoon with a "clear, crystal-like substance."
Huff told police the substance was sauce from the SpaghettiOs she had eaten earlier. But the report described Huff as "nervous" with sores on her face, arms, and legs. After a field test on the substance from the spoon tested positive for meth, Huff was arrested.
After being released, Huff missed her pretrial hearing, and then gave police a false name which landed her additional time in jail after she couldn't afford to pay her bond.
Possible Legal Action?
Now free, Huff is now considering taking legal action against the police and district attorney's office for false arrest and malicious prosecution, reports San Francisco's KRON-TV. Under Section 1983 of the U.S. Code, it is unlawful for anyone acting under the authority of the government to deprive a person of his or her civil rights.
Generally, a lawsuit for false arrest must show that an officer lacked probable cause to make the arrest, or that the person arrested had a clearly established legal right to engage in the activity for which he or she was arrested.
However, if Huff files a claim or sues, police may try to justify their actions with evidence of the initial field test that came up positive for meth. If the issue winds up in court, it may eventually be up to a judge or jury to determine whether this bizarre case of (uh-oh) SpaghettiOs deserves compensation.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.