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07/19/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. GREG A. WHITE

July 19, 1995

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
GREG A. WHITE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit, Rock Island County, Illinois. No. 89 CF 84. Honorable John Donald O'Shea, Judge Presiding.

Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied December 6, 1995.

Present - Honorable Tom M. Lytton, Justice. Honorable Michael P. Mccuskey, Justice. Honorable William E. Holdridge, Justice. Justice McCUSKEY delivered the opinion of the court: Lytton and Holdridge, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mccuskey

JUSTICE McCUSKEY delivered the opinion of the court:

In 1989, Gregory A. White pleaded guilty to the offense of aggravated criminal sexual abuse (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 12- 16(c)(1)(i)). He was sentenced to a term of four years' probation. In 1994, White's probation was revoked and he was sentenced to a term of four years in the Department of Corrections (DOC). White appeals.

The sole issue raised on appeal is whether White's due process rights were violated by the State's lengthy delay in proceeding on its petition to revoke his probation. In this case, White had no notice of the petition for almost four years after it was filed. Because of the lengthy delay, we agree with White that the State violated his due process rights. Accordingly, we reverse the revocation of White's probation.

FACTS

On May 19, 1989, White pleaded guilty to the offense of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Rock Island County. He was sentenced to a term of four years' probation. On July 9, 1990, the State filed a petition to revoke White's probation. The petition alleged that White was charged with committing various criminal offenses on June 6, 1990, in Lake County. On July 12, 1990, a warrant was issued for the defendant's arrest.

In Lake County, White was found guilty, following a bench trial, of aggravated battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 12-4(b)(8)). On October 1, 1990, White was sentenced in Lake County to an extended term of nine years in the DOC.

On May 17, 1994, White was served with a warrant for his arrest while still in the custody of the DOC. This was his first notice that the petition to revoke his probation had been filed in Rock Island County on July 9, 1990. The record shows White was released from the DOC on June 23, 1994. He was immediately taken into custody and placed in the Rock Island County jail. On August 30, 1994, the trial court in Rock Island County found that White had violated the terms of his probation. On October 20, 1994, White was sentenced to a term of four years' imprisonment for his 1989 conviction of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

White appeals. He argues that his due process rights were violated because of the State's lengthy delay in proceeding on the petition to revoke his probation. We agree.

BACKGROUND

In Illinois, statutes and supreme court rules set out certain circumstances where the State must bring a criminal defendant to trial within a specified period of time. Section 103-5(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Code) states that a defendant in custody for an alleged offense must be tried within 120 days from the date he was taken into custody, unless certain exceptions apply. (725 ILCS 5/103-5(a) (West 1992).) Under section 103-5(b) of the Code, a defendant out on bail or recognizance who makes a speedy trial demand must be tried within 160 days from the date of the demand. 725 ILCS 5/103-5(b) (West 1992).

Supreme Court Rules 504 and 505 state the protections available to defendants charged with traffic and certain other misdemeanor offenses. The rules provide that the date set for the accused's appearance in court should be within 49 days after the date of the arrest. (134 Ill. 2d R. 504.) If the accused pleads not guilty, a new appearance date not more than 49 days from the original appearance date will be set. (134 Ill. 2d R. 505.) Also, an accused pleading not guilty may demand a speedy trial pursuant to section 103-5 of the Code. (134 Ill. 2d R. 505.) Our supreme court has recently noted that the "express policy of Rule 505, as well as Rule 504, is to provide a defendant with an ...


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