Appeal from the County Court of Champaign County; the Hon.
FREDERICK S. GREEN, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.
Defendant, Joseph Pohl, was convicted in the County Court of Champaign County of driving a motor vehicle on a public highway while his operator's license was revoked, under the provisions of Chapter 6, Article 3, section 6-303 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Law, (Ill Rev Stats c 95 1/2, § 6-303). He was sentenced to the Champaign County jail for a period of seven days and ordered to pay the costs of prosecution.
On February 7, 1963, the State's Attorney of Champaign County, Illinois, filed an information charging the defendant, Pohl, with the aforesaid offense.
To this information the defendant filed a motion to dismiss alleging the charge was barred by virtue of Article 3, section 3-4(b) of the Criminal Code of 1961, (Ill Rev Stats c 38, § 3-4(b).
The motion to dismiss was denied by the Court and the cause heard on a stipulation of facts before the Court without a jury.
Briefly the stipulation provided that defendant's operator's license had been revoked by order of the Secretary of State on November 20, 1961, and had not been modified or changed prior to December 4, 1962. On December 13, 1962, the defendant was served with a summons to appear before a Justice of the Peace in Champaign, Illinois, to answer a charge of driving without a valid operator's license allegedly committed on December 4, 1962.
The defendant advised the State Police officer serving the summons that his operator's license had been revoked and that he had not reapplied for a license after the expiration of the one year period from the date of such revocation.
On December 19, 1962, when the defendant appeared before the Justice of the Peace he entered a plea of guilty to the offense of driving without a valid operator's license and was assessed a fine, which he paid. Prior to the entry of his plea before the Justice of the Peace he advised the Justice that his operator's license had been revoked and that he had not reapplied for a license after the expiration of the one year period from the date of such revocation.
Neither the State's Attorney of Champaign County nor any member of his staff was advised of the offense of driving without a valid operator's license prior to defendant's conviction.
The State's Attorney of Champaign County was on January 26, 1962, informed by the Secretary of State that said conviction occurred while the defendant's operator's license was revoked. The State's Attorney thereupon filed the information in the County Court of Champaign County charging the defendant with driving a motor vehicle on December 4, 1962, when his operator's license was revoked. This charge was based upon the same conduct for which the defendant had been convicted before the Justice of the Peace on December 19, 1962.
The sole question as posed by counsel for the defendant is whether or not the disclosure of the revocation of defendant's operator's license to the State Police officer prior to his conviction on December 19, 1962, was knowledge to a "proper prosecuting officer" as contemplated by Article 3, section 3-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961.
Article 3, section 3-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 provides as follows:
"(a) When the same conduct of a defendant may establish the commission of more than one offense, the defendant may be prosecuted for each such offense.
"(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, except as provided in subsection (c), if they are based on the same act.
"(c) When 2 or more offenses are charged as required by subsection (b), the court in the interest of justice may order that one or more of such charges shall be tried separately."
The pertinent provisions of section 3-4 of the Criminal Code of 1961 provides as follows:
"(b) A prosecution is barred if the defendant was formerly prosecuted for a different offense, or for the same offense based upon different facts, if such former prosecution:
"(1) Resulted in either a conviction or an acquittal, and the subsequent prosecution is for an offense of which the defendant could have been convicted on the former prosecution; or was for an offense with which the defendant should have been charged on the former prosecution, as provided in section 3-3 of this Code (unless the court ordered a separate trial of such charge); or was for an offense which involves the same conduct, unless each prosecution requires proof of a fact not required on the other prosecution, or the offense was not consummated when the former trial began."
The defendant in support of his theory for reversal has cited a number of cases to the effect that the primary object in construing a statute is to ascertain and give effect to the intention of the enacting legislative body, and that penal statutes are to be strictly construed in favor of the defendant so that their operation will not be extended beyond the clear import of the language used.
These general propositions of statutory construction are not questioned and we have given full weight to those ...