A Spokane Valley woman admits she had forgotten all about an arrest warrant tied to a minor incident in her life in 1999.
The Kootenai County legal system didn’t forget about it, though.
The woman, a 38-year-old mother, spent two days in the Kootenai jail earlier this week fulfilling the warrant. The jail stay came as a shock to her, she admitted to KREM.
The arrest unfolded Sunday afternoon when the woman was driving on I-90 in Post Falls. The woman had left her home in Spokane Valley to meet up with her daughter who was in a car accident near the Spokane Street exit of the freeway. At some point during the incident, a responding ISP trooper ran the woman’s name and found an arrest warrant tied to a 1999 driving without privileges misdemeanor charge.
KREM is not identifying the woman because we typically don’t report cases related to people driving without licenses.
The woman told KREM she was “blissfully unaware that the charge was still out there.” “I am still in a bit of shock,” she said.
19 years old at the time of the citation, the woman was eventually sentenced to serve 16 hours of community service with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s labor program. She never reported to the program, though, prompting a judge to eventually issue a bench warrant for failure to appear. Court records show the arrest warrant was renewed over the years.
“I didn’t intentionally choose to never deal with it. I was young and dumb and honestly forgot all about it,” said the woman of her sentence at the time.
On Monday, a Kootenai County judge noted that according to the woman’s sentence, two nights in jail would serve in place of the community service. The woman was eventually released on Tuesday.
Despite that the original judge overseeing the woman’s case in 1999 has retired, Magistrate Judge Clark Peterson, who oversaw the woman’s first court appearance on Monday, noted that the woman was still required to serve out her sentence.
With her jail time behind her, the driver indicated to KREM that she was ready to move on. “Everyone in the jail had a comment to make about how funny it was,” she said. “I was the oldest warrant they had seen.”
For a list of all active warrants in Kootenai County, visit https://www.kcgov.us/151/Active-Warrants