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People v. Domovich

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 22, 1980.

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

v.

ANDREW M. DOMOVICH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of McHenry County; the Hon. HASKELL M. PITLUCK, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE VAN DEUSEN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Andrew Domovich, appeals his conviction of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injuries in violation of section 11-401(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-401(a)).

On July 2, 1979, defendant, while westbound on Interstate highway 90 (I-90) in McHenry County, evaded a toll booth located at Lane 10 of Plaza 7. As he drove through the toll booth area, he struck and injured the toll booth operator. Defendant failed to stop after hitting the booth operator. On July 12, 1979, defendant was charged with toll evasion and leaving the scene of an accident. Defendant was given a Uniform Traffic Citation and Complaint which alleged, in substance, that on July 2, 1979, at 6:05 p.m. in McHenry County, Illinois, Andrew Domovich was operating a 1972 Oldsmobile, with registration No. MP9292, westbound on I-90 at Lane 10 of Plaza 7 when he unlawfully committed the offense of "Leaving the Scene-Accident-Injury" in violation of section 11-401(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-401(a)).

On October 16, 1979, defendant was tried without a jury. At the trial, the arresting officer testified that after advising defendant of his Miranda rights, he asked defendant if he wanted to tell him what happened. The defendant responded that he was worried about the pedestrian, that he was in a hurry because he was late for an engagement, that he did not have money for the toll and that he did not see the toll taker until after he had hit him.

At the close of the evidence, defendant made a motion for a directed finding on the ground that the complaint did not charge an offense. Defendant filed a supporting memorandum alleging that the Uniform Traffic Citation and Complaint was constitutionally deficient in that it failed to enumerate any of the elements of the crime of leaving the scene of an accident, and specifically the element of knowledge that a pedestrian was hit. The trial court denied the motion and found the defendant guilty. Defendant filed a motion in arrest of judgment which was also denied.

On appeal, defendant asserts that the court erred in refusing to grant his motion for a directed finding and his motion in arrest of judgment because the Uniform Traffic Citation and Complaint did not allege the nature and elements of the offense as required by article I, section 8, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 8) and section 111-3(a)(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 111-3(a)(3)).

Section 111-3(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides:

"A charge shall be in writing and allege the commission of an offense by:

(1) Stating the name of the offense;

(2) Citing the statutory provision alleged to have been violated;

(3) Setting forth the nature and elements of the offense charged;

(4) Stating the date and county of the offense as definitely as can be done; and

(5) Stating the name of the accused, if known, and if not known, designate the accused by any name or description by which he can be identified with reasonable certainty." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 111-3(a).)

The pertinent part of article I, section 8, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 provides: "In criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right * * * to demand the nature and cause of the accusation and have a ...


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