Criminal defense attorney indicted for backdating DWI cases and charges brought against Judge who signed the orders. In North Carolina a judge and a lawyer are being accused of conspiring together to backdate convictions of those charged with DWI. Regardless of personal feelings about the charge everyone is entitled to justice and to have their case fairly decided. It would be unfair to punish the former clients of the attorney involved in this case, as they didn’t even know what was happening.
Our attorneys will review your case and make sure you receive the fair representation you deserve. If you find yourself in a situation in which you have been charged with a DWI in North Carolina you need to hire an attorney who knows and understands complex DWI law. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to defend your case. Contact one of our attorneys directly by calling 704-499-9000 > or toll free 877-374-5999. You will be glad you did. Don’t worry. We are here to help.
When DWI Conviction Dates Go Back in Time
A lawyer and a North Carolina judge were charged Tuesday with scheming to get people convicted of DWIs out of their suspension from driving.
The charges stemmed from a State Bureau of Investigation probe that discovered a Wake County judge’s signature on several orders for DWI convictions that had been backdated, News and Observer reports.
DWI convictions can cause drivers to lose their license for a year, but that year starts on their conviction date. By putting conviction dates back many months, sometimes over a year, the license suspension is greatly reduced or even negated.
Backdating, or “nunc pro tunc” rulings, are usually used to fix clerical errors. They are only done to correct a judge’s own order, not to overrule another judge’s order as is alleged in this case.
The judge in question, now former Wake County district court judge Kristin Ruth, is accused of omitting and neglecting to discharge the duties of her office. A district court judge in Wake County for 13 years, she resigned in May amid the investigation.
The same attorney allegedly requested all of the orders to change conviction dates. Raleigh defense lawyer James Crouch is charged with two counts of obstruction of justice, one count of conspiracy, and one count of altering documents. His legal aid, Elizabeth Michelle Daniel, is facing charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Judge Ruth said in a statement in May that Mr. Crouch misled her when he asked her to sign the orders.
“I must admit that, because I trusted Mr. Crouch, I did not read the orders that were presented to me.” Judge Ruth said in the statement. “Had I read the orders, I would not have signed them. Mr. Crouch, as an officer of the court, should not have presented inappropriate orders to me for signature.”