Recently an attorney in Wake County, North Carolina was indicted for charges related to back dating DWI conviction dates. Attoreny James Crouch was recently indicted and Former Judge Kristin Ruth was charged with a Misdemeanor, for their involvement in allegedly backdating DWI conviction dates, according to the News and Observer.com . The allegations arise from cases from 2008 to 2012. Judge Ruth and Attorney Crouch deny any money exchanged hands for this backdating, Judge Ruth cites neglect in reading the orders and trust she had with Crouch.
Following a DWI conviction, the Judge will suspend the Defendant’s license for at least 12 months and requires the Defendant to apply for a Limited Driving Privilege to drive during the period of suspension. If someone was convicted today of DWI, their license would be suspended until next June in 2013. Therefore, the advantage of backdating a conviction would be a significant reduction in the lenght of the suspension. If the that same person who was convicted a DWI today, conviction was backdated one-year, they would NEVER serve a license suspension.
The real question is what will happen to former clients of Crouch, who’s cases were backdated. The Wake County District Attorney’s would first have to decide, whether or not to pursue these former clients, also the DMV could investigate these cases. The process of changing a judgement or suspension made by error or in this case, alleged fraud, would be filing a Motion for Appropriate Relief or MAR Motion. Only time will tell if the Wake County DA will pursue these changes to former judgments or if the DMV will step in…It could mean though, many defendants would have to serve additional suspensions for mistakes not even their fault.