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People v. Franks

OPINION FILED JUNE 19, 1979.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

GERALD R. FRANKS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Whiteside County; the Hon. F.P. PATTON, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE SCOTT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal from a judgment of conviction entered by the Circuit Court of Whiteside County after a trial without a jury.

On July 7, 1978, Trooper David Miller of the Illinois State Police set up portable weighing scales along Illinois Route 88 south of the Illinois Route 5 overpass. Signs were placed along the roadway directing southbound truck traffic onto the scales.

The defendant, Gerald R. Franks, heeding the directions of the signs, drove his truck onto the scales which were located on the shoulder of the highway.

Trooper Miller found the Franks truck had a gross weight of 35,740 pounds and issued a traffic ticket for a violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code for operation of a vehicle upon the highways of the State of Illinois when the gross weight transmitted to the road surface through the tandem rear axles was in excess of 32,000 pounds. Franks was tried without a jury, found guilty, and was sentenced to pay a statutory fine.

The sole issue on appeal is whether a police officer must have reason to believe that the weight of a vehicle and load is unlawful before the officer may require a driver to stop and submit to a weighing of the vehicle and load.

At trial Trooper Miller was asked the following questions and gave the following answers:

"Q: Did you follow this truck before it entered the scales?

A: No.

Q: What was he carrying?

A: Rock, I believe.

Q: What reason, if any, did you have to believe that the weight of the truck and load was unlawful?

A: I had no reason at all."

Franks then moved that the complaint against him be dismissed because the proof failed to meet the requirements of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. ...


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