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06/04/96 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. AUSTIN JON

June 4, 1996

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
AUSTIN JON SINCLAIR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court for the 13th Judicial Circuit, Grundy County, Illinois. No. 94-CF-60. Honorable Paul Root, Judge, Presiding.

Released for Publication July 12, 1996.

Present - Honorable Tom M. Lytton, Justice, Honorable Michael P. Mccuskey, Justice, Honorable Kent Slater, Justice. Justice Lytton delivered the opinion of the Court: McCUSKEY and Slater, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lytton

The Honorable Justice LYTTON delivered the opinion of the Court:

Defendant Austin Jon Sinclair was indicted for the offense of unlawful possession of cannabis, in violation of section 4(d) of the Cannabis Control Act. 720 ILCS 550/4(d) (West 1994). Defendant filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, asserting that he was illegally detained and searched. The trial judge denied the motion. Following a stipulated bench trial, defendant was found guilty and sentenced to thirty months probation. Defendant appeals the decision of the trial court denying the motion to quash and suppress. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

I. FACTS

Defendant was a passenger in a four-door car that was stopped for speeding on the night of May 3, 1994, by Officer Dite of the Morris Police Department. At the hearing on defendant's motion to quash and suppress, Dite testified that the car was traveling fifty-five miles per hour in a forty-five mile per hour zone. The stop was videotaped by a camera in Dite's car.

After stopping the car, Officer Dite approached the vehicle and requested the driver's license and insurance card. The driver complied, and Dite began to ask the driver questions about speeding. Dite requested that the driver step from the car and opened the door. The driver complied. Dite inquired about where the driver had been. Dite then stated, "I'll just give you a warning tonight."

During this exchange, two more officers approached the car. Dite instructed one of the officers to obtain IDs from the passengers.

Officer Dite asked the driver whether there was anything illegal in the car, such as weapons or drugs. The driver said no. Dite then inquired whether the driver knew anyone who used drugs. The driver responded that some kids at school used drugs.

Following Officer Dite's instructions to obtain IDs from the passengers, a second policeman knocked on the window of the car and gestured for the front-seat passenger to roll down the window. The policeman shined a light in that passenger's window. The policeman then opened the passenger-side back door, leaned in and shined his flashlight. The passengers then complied with the request that they turn over their IDs.

Officer Dite asked the driver for permission to search for weapons. The driver refused, explaining that he had received this advice from his lawyer. Dite asked for the lawyer's phone number.

Dite then told the driver that his request to search had never been refused. Again the driver stated that his lawyer had told him to say no. Dite then asked the driver his age, and the driver said that he was sixteen. Dite responded, "You can kinda make decisions for yourself." Dite again asked for consent to search, and proceeded to convince the driver that there were advantages to permitting a search. Finally, two and one-half minutes after Officer Dite warned the driver not to speed, the driver consented to a search.

One passenger was then asked to exit the vehicle, while two others were instructed to stay in the car. The passenger who exited was told to step away from the car and was subsequently questioned by one of the other officers. In the ...


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