James Justin a former District Court Judge in Michigan pleaded guilty to four counts of willful neglect of duty after he admitted to fixing speeding tickets. Justin was originally charged with different felony charges but eventually pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges. He entered his plea moments before a jury was to decide the case.
Justin admitted that he fixed a speeding and equipment ticket for his wife and his court officer and a court reporter. Justin did so without holding a hearing or notifying the police that issued the ticket. In court the former judge admitted it was wrong.
This is not the first traffic scandal and it is clearly not going to be the last. Here, if a judge is blatant in his or her actions the consequences can be severe. No judge is allowed to hear a case where he or she knows any party. The proper procedure is to notify both sides of the relationship and see if either side has an issue with the relationship. If either side has an issue then the judge should recuse himself.
Patrick Donovan is a Massachusetts Criminal Attorney who has represented people on speeding tickets in Boston and throughout the state. The penalties for tickets can be severe. Attorney Donovan commonly advises clients to fight their speeding tickets.