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People v. Jordan

OPINION FILED APRIL 25, 1980.

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

v.

ELVIN L. JORDAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Woodford County; the Hon. SAM HARROD, III, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE TRAPP DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Mr. JUSTICE TRAPP delivered the opinion of the court:

Upon bench trial, defendant was convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and driving while his operator's license was suspended. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 95 1/2, pars. 11-501 and 6-303.) He appeals the conviction for license violation only and the concurrent sentences of 364 days as being excessive.

Defendant was charged with "driving while license suspended" in violation of section 6-303 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-303).

At the time of his arrest on September 30, 1978, defendant presented a Michigan driver's license. A certified copy of his Michigan driving record showed that such license was suspended in August 1978. The record also discloses that defendant's Illinois operator's license was suspended on January 5, 1971, and the certificate of the Illinois Secretary of State, dated November 3, 1978, states that defendant did not have a valid license on September 30, 1978, the date of his arrest.

As to each license, defendant was asked whether it had been suspended as of September 30, 1978, and as to each he responded "not to my knowledge." He here contends that the prosecution failed to prove that he had knowledge of the respective suspension of the licenses and that such knowledge is an essential element of the offense. People v. Nunn (1979), 77 Ill.2d 243, 396 N.E.2d 27.

Upon cross-examination defendant conceded that in 1971 he had not notified the Secretary of State of Illinois within 10 days that he had moved from his Gridley address as is required by section 6-116 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-116). The Illinois Secretary of State has certified that all statutory notices upon such suspension of license were given upon such evidence. The matter of defendant's knowledge was an issue for the trier of fact.

The issue of the liability of this defendant is considered in the context of the statutory scheme of the Illinois Vehicle Code, section 6-210 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-210), which provides:

"Any resident or nonresident whose drivers license or permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this State has been suspended or revoked as provided in this Act shall not operate a motor vehicle in this State:

(1) During the period of such suspension, except as permitted by a restricted driving permit issued under the provisions of Section 6-206 (b) 2 of this Act; or

(2) * * *." (Emphasis added.)

This record discloses a certified copy of an "ORDER OF SUSPENSION" issued by the Secretary of State, State of Illinois, effective January 1, 1971, which states upon the face:

"Pursuant to the requirements of Section 6-306 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, there has been received in my office a notice of a court order entered against the person named herein for failure to appear and answer a charge of an offense committed against traffic regulations governing the movement of motor vehicles after depositing his license in lieu of bail.

Therefore, it is HEREBY ORDERED that any and all drivers' licenses or permits issued to such person, the privilege of operating a motor vehicle, the privilege of obtaining a license in this State, be and are hereby SUSPENDED, on the effective date shown above as provided under the authority shown upon this Order."

The certificate of the Secretary of State, State of Illinois, dated November 3, 1978, certifies "that all statutory notices required as a result of any driver control action taken have been properly given."

The certification includes a particular statement added to the form: "I FURTHER CERTIFY Elvin L. Jordan, File No. J635-2124-5204, did not have a valid drivers' license on September 30, 1978."

In section 6-306 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-306), the underlying offense requiring suspension provides for the deposit of an operator's license in lieu of bail. Subparagraph (d) provides that if the operator does not appear as required upon the charge for which the operator's license was deposited in lieu of bail, the clerk of the court shall notify the Secretary of State and forward the "licensee's license within 21 days," and continues:

"The Secretary of State, when notified by the clerk of such court that an order of failure to appear to answer such charge after depositing license in lieu of bail has been entered, shall immediately suspend the drivers license of such licensee without a hearing and shall not remove such suspension, nor issue any hardship license or privilege to such licensee thereafter until notified by such court that the licensee has appeared and answered the charges placed against him."

We can conclude that under the statutory structure the conviction for driving with a suspended license must be affirmed upon the rationale of People v. Turner (1976), 64 Ill.2d 183, 354 N.E.2d 897. In Turner, defendant's operator's license was revoked in 1968 following his conviction of a felony in which a motor vehicle had been used. In 1970 defendant's application for a license under the name of Turner was refused. In 1972 defendant made application for a license using the name Sharp, by which he was sometimes also known. In that application he stated that his license had never been revoked. In 1973, defendant was convicted of driving with a revoked license. Subsequently, the Secretary of State ...


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