During a snowstorm in January, I was walking my dog... slipped on some ice and my siberian husky ran away, leash attached. He was later found by animal control and I picked him up at a shelter.
At the shelter, I was told since he was found with his leash still attached that there would be no fine as I made a good faith effort to confine the animal. Great. Signed some paperwork stating I was the owner of the dog and me and the pooch went home.
Fast forward three months to 4/28/09. This morning I awoke to loud banging on my door. Two police officers, their two police cars with lights on in my parking lot. My first thought was that someone had died and I was being notified. I was quickly told that I had a warrant out for my arrest for, "failure to confine an animal and failure to appear in court". I begged to disagree. I had not received any fines related to my husky being captured by animal control. I had not received any mail related to a court date, etc.
I was not allowed to change out of my pajamas. I was not even allowed to close my front door (the officer made sure to put his boot in the door jam - so I wouldn't, "lock" the door and refuse to come with them). The officers pushed hard for me to "bring a credit card" and I was swiftly handcuffed in front of all of my neighbors (I live in a prestigious area of town) and put into the back of a police car. Again, I stated that I had no knowledge of this offense.
At the police station, I was made to wait 45 minutes in handcuffs and I was placed in a locked small cell with a fabulous metal toilet. They didn't take a mug shot or take a set of prints. After a while, the officer came in with my "file" and said that he had my signature on a "ticket". I thought, I did fall that day, maybe I just didn't realize what I was signing?
A few minutes later I was in front of the judge pleading guilty, when suddenly I saw the "ticket" with my own eyes. My signature was not on it!
Someone else had signed for me, followed by a badge number #359. Yay! I wasn't crazy. I quickly changed my plea to "not guilty," posted bond ($300.00) and a court date was set for June 8th.
Now, doesn't this whole ordeal sound a bit ridiculous? I think I was unfairly racially profiled (I'm Hispanic) and treated horribly given the circumstances. I have been applying for jobs and as a RN, we all know they conduct a rigorous background check and I'm sure this outstanding "warrant" prevented me from obtaining employment!
I'm freaking out... after two months of looking for a job I finally was offered two in Texas.
The officer said that this wouldn't "go on my record," but I'm not sure if I need to check "yes" when I apply for endorsement into Texas? Does my pending court date constitute any "pending charges"?
Has anyone had a prior "arrest" (omg I can't believe I just typed that) and applied for endorsement into TX? What is the process like? Can I at least receive a temporary permit? Or should I call the judge and try to get it expunged?
All this, because my dog ran away!!!!!!!