Wrongly Arrested UVa Student Wants Charges Erased

UVa student wrongly arrested by ABC agents files to have charges expunged


Sept. 20, 2013

The University of Virginia student wrongly arrested by Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents has filed a petition to have the charges erased.

Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman has declined to prosecute the three felony charges against 20-year-old Elizabeth Daly.

Daly was arrested on April 11, after she and two classmates bought sparkling water for a sorority fundraiser.

ABC agents mistook the sparkling water for beer, and swarmed her vehicle. According to an ABC account of the incident, one agent drew his gun and another tried to break a window in Daly's SUV with a flashlight.

Daly recently had her lawyer file a petition asking for the case to be expunged.

"This is a terrible incident, it's a very extreme incident, it's by far unusual," says Commonwealth Attorney, Dave Chapman.

Chapman believes that Daly’s request to expunge the case will be granted.

"These young ladies weren't doing anything wrong; they weren't in possession of any alcoholic beverages,” says Chapman. “They misperceived who the officers were and acted as they did for understandable reasons, so it's just not a kind of a case that should be prosecuted."

Following the April incident, Va. ABC officials changed their undercover policy and now require at least one officer in uniform at a location where undercover officers are working.

Chapman explained that it will not take long to have Daly's record expunged; all that is needed is an order to have that arrest record sealed or destroyed by a judge.

"It's one that is appropriate to expunge. That's why expungement is there, to allow someone that is innocent to say that this didn't happen, their record is clean."

ABC officials explained that they will not release a statement about the case until the Va. State Police release their report. As of right now, it is still an ongoing investigation.

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