Monday, November 19, 2007

Don't get caught altering computerized California Drunk Driving / DUI records

California DUI lawyer news - defense attorney for drunk driving cases

A records clerk at the Sacramento County California courthouse and another man have been arrested in connection with an alleged scheme to alter computerized court records involving California DUI cases, District Attorney Jan Scully announced Monday.

Fernando Catlin, who worked in the court clerk's office, was arrested Friday after a two-month investigation and charged with conspiracy, secreting and destroying court records and making fraudulent computer entries in seven California Drunk Driving / DUI cases, Scully's office said.

Also arrested was Hector Whitley, who is not a court worker and who was charged in connection with three of the affected California Drunk Driving / DUI cases.

Scully's office said the probe began when prosecution and court staffers noticed problems with the computer entries involving one California Drunk Driving /DUI case. That resulted in an audit going back to the beginning of the year that found seven cases "where the defendant had been arrested and charged, then had failed to appear at the first court date," Scully's office said.

"Following the failure to appear, an arrest warrant would normally issue," her office said in a statement. "Instead, no warrant was issued (or in one case the warrant was recalled), but a computer entry showed the case had been dismissed, when in fact there had been no court order of dismissal. The investigation revealed that some DUI defendants paid money to have their case be 'taken care of' in the court records."