July 2015 Illinois Criminal Case List – Fast and convenient summary of recent Illinois criminal court cases. Stay smart & informed in no time.
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This case list PDF download is clickable! It features a summary of all the July Illinois criminal cases for 2015. Click through to the actual court decision if the case is of special interest to you.
Defendant in custody when he told parole officers he had marijuana under his mom’s bed; Miranda was required. People v. Coleman
Statement had to be suppressed because no Miranda warnings given the parole officer. During a search Defendant is cuffed and asked about money agents discovered. Generally, A parole does not lose his privilege against self incrimination. Merely asking incriminating questions is not compulsion. But this defendant was handcuffed and legally in custody, so Miranda was required. Additionally, it didn’t’ matter that defendant said he did not feel he was in custody because it is an objective standard not a subjective one. Go to case.
Counsel was not ineffective for not filing a motion to suppress statement after defendant admitted without Miranda warnings the shank discovered in his jail cell was his. People v. Bowen
Miranda laws do not apply automatically when a suspect is being questioned in a penal institution. Such a per se rule would disrupt prison administration and would torture Miranda by providing greater protection to a prisoner than to an imprisoned counterpart. Counsel was not ineffective because defendant was not in custody at the time of the cell shakedown and at the time of the questioning about the discovered shank. On the scene type questioning is inherently non coercive and may take place in a prison environment as well as on the streets. Go to case.
Off- duty Aurora police officer’s DUI is sustained. People v. Gutierrez
He argued the PBT was inadmissible during the SSS hearing because it was ordered pursuant to an administrative employee disciplinary investigation and was therefore nonconsual. The fifth amendment prevents the introduction of compelled testimony at criminal proceedings rather than civil proceedings, such as summary suspension proceedings. A PBT test is not a statement, thus, the officer’s DL suspension is proper. Go to case.
Murder conviction is reversed because the State improperly admitted inconsistent statements as substantive evidence. People v. Lofton
A written prior inconsistent statement under 725 ILCS 5/115-10.1(c)(2)(A) must also narrate, describe, or explain an event for which the witness had personal knowledge. This witness had overheard the Defendant talking about the shooting, but at trial the witness denied ever saying he heard the conversation. Additionally, a double hearsay error occurred when grand jury transcripts were admitted. The transcripts contained testimony from a witness who said he had heard another witness talking about the murder. The reviewing court found that defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel and, in light of the scarcity of other concrete evidence, there was a reasonable probability that the result at trial would have been different. Go to case.
This “inconsistent statement” in a murder trial was improperly admitted. People v. Cambell
Eyewitness testified differently about some things from her grand jury testimony. Although technically the statement qualified under 115-10.1 as substantive evidence, the witness actually did not testify inconsistently with the items in the grand jury transcripts because she was not questioned about, nor did she offer testimony on the same issues at trial. In the transcripts, she talks about about the gang affiliations of people who hung around the neighborhood, the other shootings that have occurred there, and the fact that defendant’s brother, who was a member of a gang, had been killed in a prior shooting. None of this came out at trial. So it was error to allow the jury to see this part of the transcript just because the witness testified differently about other parts. It was deemed harmless. Go to case.
Two convictions are proper here when defendant is caught with possessing pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries, “Heet” (isopropyl alcohol), and “cold packs.” People v. Bush
He was charged and convicted of unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursor, and unlawful possession of methamphetamine-manufacturing materials. One act one crime principles does not prevent the two convictions. Defendant possessed two distinct items: (1) methamphetamine precursor (pseudoephedrine), and (2) methamphetamine manufacturing materials (lithium batteries, “Heat,” and cold packs). The charges are based on possessing different items. Possession of methamphetamine-manufacturing materials specifically excludes a methamphetamine precursor. See 720 ILCS 646/30(a) (“other than a methamphetamine precursor”). Go to case.
Sex probation sentencing terms prohibiting computer proper even though the crime did not involve a computer. People v. Crabtree
Defendant was prohibited from communicating with minors on the internet, not allowed to use social networking sites, and not allowed to use any computer scrub software. First of all section 730 ILCS 5-6-3(a) makes this provisions mandatory for a sex offense. They “shall” be imposed. Court found these to be constitutional and reasonable as the value to the public in imposing the restrictions outweighs any impairment to defendant’s constitutional rights. Go to case.
60 year sentence for attempted predatory criminal sexual assault is vacated because a double enhancement was applied. People v. Melvin
Attempted predatory criminal sexual assault of a child is a Class 1 felony. However, the 60-year sentence to which the parties agreed is a Class X, extended-term sentence. Defendant had a prior class X predatory and a prior class 2 drug offense. They were applying a mandatory X sentence and then applied an extended term to that. You can’t do that. It was a void sentence. Go to case.
Motorcycles cannot have any plate coverings whether tinted or not. People v. Johnson
No error to deny motion to quash. It shall be unlawful to operate any motor vehicle that is equipped with registration plate covers under 625 ILCS 5/12-610.5(b). Felony conviction for DWLR is sustained. Fines applicable at time of offense govern over fines applicable at sentencing. Go to case.
How much credit is defendant entitled to when he is sent to prison on a probation violation after he was arrested and held for a new charge that eventually was dismissed? People v. Jones
None. The gist of 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-100(c) is to prevent the state from dropping an initial charge and charging a defendant with another crime, with the intent of denying credit for time spent in jail on the first charge. The section would allow the defendant to claim as credit the days he was in custody on the early charges. A probation violation is not a “prosecution” under section 5/5-4.5-100(c). Since defendant was not being held under his first crime when he was arrested for the second crime, and since the law does not expressly allow credit for time spent in custody on a subsequent charge that is dismissed, Defendant gets no credit for the time spent in custody on the later charge. Go to case.
No trial error where judge refused an interpreter for defendant while he testified in his sex trial. People v. Argueta
Defendant had an interpreter for some hearings but not all. He described his English is not 100%. His defense attorney told the court he does not need an interpreter, and Defendant agreed with that. At trial defendant requested to testify in English. Request was denied. Pursuant to 725 ILCS 140/1, there was no abuse of discretion when trial judge found that Defendant “capable of understanding the English language and is capable of expressing himself in the English language so as to be understood directly by counsel, court or jury.” Go to case.
Retail theft conviction is overturned because trial judge messed-up the Zehr principles (Rule 431(b)). People v. Mueller
It’s ok roll our eyes when judges don’t’ get this right. Just write a script down or read the rule! He didn’t ask if they understood some the principles and didn’t ask if they accepted others. This one was reversed under plain error because it was such a close case. Not so clear video may or may not show defendant who is not arrested the day of the theft, and there is no lineup or photo array evidence. Go to case.
Right to Counsel
13 years for aggravated battery is reversed due to pro se admonishment error by the trial judge. People v. Bartholome
Defendant was represented by a public defender the entire way up to the State’s case in chief through the jury trial for punching a cop in the face. Defendant then wanted to go pro se the remainder of the trial. The court inquired about his age, education level, mental health, and prior legal involvement. Judge did not cover Rule 401(a). Prior admonishments are not sufficient. Substantial compliance is required for an effective waiver of counsel. Reversal required. Go to case.
Substantial compliance with Rule 401 is required before Defendant is allowed to proceed pro se. People v. Herndon
Here, defendant was told he was “eligible for an extended term, which is 15 to 30 years”. It was actually mandatory X sentencing that he was eligible for which is 6-30 years. No error. This was substantially compliant with Rule 401(a). Go to case.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
The state proved more than the corpus delicti of AUUW when Defendant claimed possession of a bag containing a gun. People v. Smith
Defendant was convicted of AUUW (carried in a vehicle a firearm and was under 21 – 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(I)). Defendant left the gun in a bag on a bus and when he went to claim the bag he was arrested. Generally, the State cannot prove the corpus delicti solely through the defendant’s admission, confession or out-of-court statement and must also provide independent corroborating evidence. the evidence here demonstrated that Smith, who was not 21 years of age, sat on the bus in close proximity to where a gun was found, which tended to show the commission of AUUW. Additionally, the State offered sufficient circumstantial evidence for a rational trier of fact to conclude that Smith had constructive possession of the gun. Go to case.
Residential burglary evidence is so speculative that conviction must be reversed. People v. Rankin
Defendant was seen outside an apartment building holding some clothes. The exact time of the burglary is unknown. Trial judge found guilt on just this. Go to case.
Defendant appealed his guilty but mentally ill finding for murder, double jeopardy does not prevent the state from arguing for first degree murder on retrial. People v. Jackson
This was an interlocutory appeal where Defendant was seeking to limit what the state could win on the new trial. Defendant argued the state was prohibited from seeking a first degree murder conviction since he was already found guilty but mentally ill. A new trial was ordered after the initial appeal because the trial judge abandoned its role as the neutral and impartial arbiter of fact. When the evidence at trial is insufficient to sustain a conviction, double jeopardy bars the State from retrying the defendant. However, the double jeopardy clause, does not prohibit retrial of a defendant whose conviction is set aside because of an error in the proceedings leading to the conviction. This case helps understand that a GBMI finding is still for all practical purposes a conviction. Collateral estoppel also addressed. Go to case.
Dismissal of postconviction petition was proper. People v. Robinson
Defendant claims appellate counsel never informed him that the direct appeal had been denied. However, the court was left left with only an admission of lateness, without a coherent explanation of why the lateness was not due to culpable negligence on defendant’s part. Go to case.
Defendant is entitled to postconviction DNA testing of evidence under 116-3; denial of his petition is reversed. People v. Kines
The case involved the rape and murder of an 11 year old girl. Defendant was guilty by accountability. He was requesting that items of evidence be tested that were never tested. CODIS database is much larger now and different DNA techniques can now amplify DNA. The code allows for testing of items that were never originally tested. The court could not dismiss the very real possibility that DNA testing might result in a viable third-party suspect. Go to case.
Having to register as a sex offender does not provide the required standing for a postconviction petition. People v. Stavenger
It was appropriate to dismiss petition at the second stage. Defendant’s term of probation for possession of child pornagraphy had ended. A defendant on probation is considered to be “imprisoned.” When a defendant’s conviction is no longer an actual encumbrance, he no longer needs assistance under the Act to secure his liberty, and, therefore, the Act is no longer available to him. Collateral consequences resulting from a conviction are not actual restraints on liberty sufficient to implicate the Act. Go to case.