DENVER — It’s bad enough when your identity is stolen. It’s worse when the person who steals it gets a DUI using your name.
It happened to Stephanie Franklin, and she said her mother is to blame.
“I was hurt, I felt betrayed,” Franklin said.
It started last year when Franklin’s mother, Andrea Franklin, and another woman driver, Rayshandria Ewing, were pulled over by a state trooper near South Parker Road and East Florida Avenue in Arapahoe County.
Ewing had no license, so she gave the trooper Stephanie’s name and birth date.
Ewing was then arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and thrown into detox, all the while she claimed her name was Stephanie Franklin.
Stephanie had no idea what her mother and Ewing had done until she was pulled over in a routine traffic stop and the police officer told her she had a warrant out for her arrest for a DUI and that her license had been revoked.
“I kept saying I didn’t commit the crime, I am innocent, but no one would listen,” she said.
The Arapahoe County District Attorney eventually realized the mistake and dismissed the charges.
But the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles said the arrest was still on her record and refused to reinstate her license. Stephanie took her case to the DMV’s investigations unit and was turned away.
“They wouldn’t even give me the time of day,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie spent months trying to clear her name with no success, so she contacted FOX31 Problem Solver Heidi Hemmat for help.
Hemmat contacted a DMV spokeswoman, who sent a statement saying in part, “It is possible that (the DMV) may make a mistake and tell an individual that we are not able to help them when we are.”
The DMV then sent Stephanie’s case back to their investigations unit.
Two days later, Stephanie received some good news.
“I got a call from the DMV investigators, who actually looked over the case and they gave me my license back,” Stephanie said.
State troopers said it’s not uncommon for criminals to use other people’s names when they get into trouble.
If that happens to you, the DMV said you should provide it with a court order of factual innocence.