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People v. Sampson

OPINION FILED JANUARY 17, 1985.

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

v.

VINCENT SAMPSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Moultrie County; the Hon. Worthy B. Kranz, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MCCULLOUGH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

After bench trial on stipulated facts, defendant was convicted of the offenses of driving while under the influence (DUI) and of driving too fast for conditions (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 95 1/2, pars. 11-501(a), 11-601(a)) in Moultrie County case Nos. 84-T-8 and 84-T-9. He was sentenced in 84-T-8 to six months' probation and ordered to attend an alcohol treatment program at his expense and pay court costs. He was sentenced in 84-T-9 to pay a $50 fine, inclusive of court costs. Defendant appealed the judgment of the circuit court of Moultrie County in 84-T-8 (4-84-0300), and thereafter sought leave to file a late notice of appeal in 84-T-9, which was granted (4-84-0573). These cases have been consolidated for the purpose of this appeal.

Defendant raises three issues: (1) whether his stipulated bench trial was tantamount to a guilty plea on the DUI charge, and, if so, whether he was sufficiently admonished under Supreme Court Rule 402 (87 Ill.2d R. 402); (2) whether he was proved guilty of driving too fast for conditions; and (3) whether section 2-7(2) of the Juvenile Court Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 37, par. 702-7(2)) violates Federal and State constitutional provisions on due process and equal protection.

Defendant was charged with the instant offenses on January 3, 1984, when he was 16 years old. At hearing on January 16, 1984, the State stipulated that in the event of a finding of guilt, incarceration would not be sought as part of the sentence. In consideration of defendant's age, the public defender was appointed to represent him. On February 7, 1984, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the criminal prosecution in 84-T-8, the DUI charge, as being in violation of his right to equal protection of the laws, and asked that section 2-7(2) of the Act be declared unconstitutional. This motion was argued and denied on April 9, 1984.

At hearing on April 11, 1984, the record shows the following transpired:

"[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: * * * We have agreed that this will be presented as a stipulated bench trial. [The prosecutor] will give a factual basis. The defendant will stipulate that the factual basis is, that the witnesses called would testify in conformity with what [the prosecutor] says they would say.

THE COURT: Is there a civil suit pending or anticipated?

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: No. There was a motion to dismiss based on an equal protection argument and we are preserving that issue. I think if the defendant comes in and pleads guilty, it would waive —

THE COURT: It's not a negotiated plea then?

[PROSECUTOR]: Not technically.

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Assuming the court does find the defendant guilty on the basis of the stipulated facts, then we have an agreed recommendation to make to the court as far as sentencing goes.

THE COURT: All right, then don't show it as a negotiated plea. Show it as a bench trial on stipulated facts."

The court then ascertained that defendant voluntarily waived his right to jury trial, and proceeded with a stipulated bench trial on both charges. The factual basis was stated as follows:

"[PROSECUTOR]: This occurred on January 3, 1984 at 11:05 [p.m.]. Officer Thompson observed a red car off the road resting against a telephone pole in the 500 block of North Main, Sullivan, Moultrie County. He approached the driver, [defendant]. The driver stated he had lost control of the vehicle. While speaking with the defendant, Officer Thompson observed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath as well as difficulty in speech and coordination. He performed a field test and was placed under arrest for DUI. Back at the jail he took a breath test and the result was .11. And he was also cited for driving too fast for conditions.

THE COURT: Do I understand the officer saw him strike the pole or just saw him parked ...


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