Legal Ethics

New Ethics Complaint Claims Judge Tossed DWI Evidence Without Following Procedure

A North Carolina judge who was suspended last year is facing a new ethics complaint that claims he tossed DWI evidence without following proper procedures.

Judge John Totten of Mecklenburg County is accused of suppressing evidence of a defendant’s blood alcohol level, even though no motion had been made to suppress it and the guilty plea had been entered, the Charlotte Observer reports. He is also accused of signing an order allowing a defendant to drive without an interlock device, knowing its claim that a suppression hearing had been held was false or misleading.

He is also accused of lying about the incident to investigators.

The ethics complaint doesn’t give a motive for Totten’s leniency, but he is accused of violating an ethics canon that says judges should not allow family, social or other relationships to influence their decisions, reports. The website posted the complaint.

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