People v. Dalton, 2017 IL App (3d) 150213 (June). Episode 384 (Duration 5:52)
Defendant was charged with additional sex crimes more than 120 days after his first two original counts were charged.
Defendant made it to third stage postconviction hearing on the issue of whether the state had violated his speedy trial right.
He was originally charged with three counts of sexual crimes.
More than 120 days later the state charged him with 3 new additional charges.
The Judge at the hearing held no speedy trial violation occurred because some of the new counts charged different offenses base on different distinct acts and one of the late charges was just an “upgraded” version of a previously filed charged.
The speedy trial statute provides that any person who is held in custody on criminal charges must be tried within 120 days. 725 ILCS 5/103-5(a).
The 120-day limitation applies both to charges that have been filed against defendant and charges that have not yet been filed but would be subject to mandatory joinder with the originally filed charges.
Multiple offenses are subject to mandatory joinder when they are all based on the same act by defendant. 720 ILCS 5/3-3(b).
(b) If the several offenses are known to the proper prosecuting officer at the time of commencing the prosecution and are within the jurisdiction of a single court, they must be prosecuted in a single prosecution
The General Assembly enacted the compulsory joinder statute…
“to prevent the prosecution of multiple offenses in a piecemeal fashion and to forestall, in effect, abuse of the prosecutorial process. A prosecutor might otherwise harass a defendant through successive prosecutions of multiple offenses and put a defendant through the expense of several trials until the prosecutor obtains a result that satisfies him.”
Consequently, a defendant held in custody and charged with a single offense must be tried within 120 days not only for that offense but also for any other offenses that could be charged based on the same underlying act.
Can’t Agree If Not Charged
Generally, the 120-day period under the speedy trial statute can be extended by a delay of trial that is attributable to the defense. 725 ILCS 5/103-5(a).
Delay is attributable to a defendant whenever he agrees to a continuance of trial. People v. Ingram, 357 Ill. App. 3d 228, 232-33 (2005). However, a defendant can only agree to the continuance of trial with respect to offenses with which he is actually charged.
Must Charge All The Applicable Counts
Put another way, if a defendant is in custody and charged with one offense and agrees to continue his trial, that agreement tolls the 120-day period with respect to the charged offense but does not toll the 120 day period for any uncharged offenses based on the same act.
Consequently, when a defendant is charged with an offense based on conduct that could support charges of multiple offenses, the State must file any additional charges based on that conduct within 120 days.
Any additional charges filed beyond the 120-day period violate the speedy trial statute. See People v. Williams, 204 Ill. 2d 191, 198 (2003).
This rule does not cover the charges that were based on different acts.
One of the additional charges, however, was based on the same act as count I, but included the allegation that defendant and victim had lived together continuously for at least one year.
In addition, the newly filed charge alleged a greater class of felony (Class 1 as opposed to Class 2).
Because both counts were based on the same physical act, we find defendant’s right to a speedy trial was violated when the State filed the additional charge more than 120 days after filing the original charges.
In reaching this conclusion, we reject the State’s argument that defendant’s right to a speedy trial was not violated because count I provided adequate notice to defendant against the late-filed count VI. Specifically, the State argues defendant had adequate notice as to count VI because it alleged the same act, date, parties, and the witnesses involved as count I.
Accordingly, the court found that defendant made a substantial showing of his constitutional claim that appellate counsel provided ineffective assistance. Therefore, the trial court erred in denying defendant postconviction relief on this claim.