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People v. Collins

March 18, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ERIC D. COLLINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 00-CF-866 Honorable John T. Phillips, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Grometer

Released for publication March 20, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ERIC D. COLLINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 00-CF-866 Honorable John T. Phillips, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Grometer

PUBLISHED

 Pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement, defendant, Eric D. Collins, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (720 ILCS 5/8--4(a), 570/401(c)(2) (West 2000)). The trial court sentenced defendant to four years' probation, subject to various conditions. In addition, the court imposed a $100 street-value fine and a $500 statutory fine. On appeal, defendant argues (1) the cause should be remanded for compliance with Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (145 Ill. 2d R. 604(d)) and (2) the fines assessed by the trial court must be vacated. Alternatively, defendant contends that he is entitled to a $5-per-day credit against the fines imposed as part of his sentence. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that defendant has waived his right to appeal but that he is entitled to a monetary credit against his fines.

I. BACKGROUND

In March 2000, defendant was charged by complaint with various drug offenses. Subsequently, a five-count indictment was handed down against defendant and two other individuals. Defendant was named only in counts II, IV, and V of the indictment. Count II of the indictment alleged that defendant committed the offense of unlawful possession with intent to deliver "more than 1 gram but less than 5 grams" of a substance containing cocaine while within 1,000 feet of a school in violation of section 407(b)(1) of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (Act) (see 720 ILCS 570/407(b)(1) (West 2000)). Count IV of the indictment charged defendant with unlawful possession with intent to deliver "more than 1 gram but less than 5 grams" of a substance containing cocaine in violation of section 401(c)(2) of the Act (see 720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 2000)). Count V of the indictment alleged that defendant committed the offense of unlawful possession of less than 15 grams of a substance containing cocaine in violation of section 402(c) of the Act (720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West 2000)).

Thereafter, defendant entered into an agreement with the State. Under the terms of the agreement, the State would amend count IV of the indictment to charge defendant with attempted unlawful possession with intent to deliver "more than 1 gram but less than 5 grams" of a substance containing cocaine (see 720 ILCS 5/8--4(a), 570/401(c)(2) (West 2000)). In exchange for defendant's plea to count IV as amended, the State would recommend a sentencing cap of 4½ years' imprisonment with eligibility for probation and it would nol-pros the remaining two charges against defendant. At a hearing on May 8, 2000, the trial court admonished defendant pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 402 (177 Ill. 2d R. 402). The parties then recited the factual basis for the plea, and defendant pleaded guilty to count IV as amended.

On June 16, 2000, the matter proceeded to sentencing. Before the trial court had the opportunity to impose sentence, defendant indicated that he wished to withdraw his guilty plea on the basis that trial counsel was ineffective. The court appointed conflict counsel and continued the matter.

On August 8, 2000, defendant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Defendant's motion alleged that in light of recent case law he had a defense worth presenting to the charges filed against him. Accompanying defendant's motion was a Rule 604(d) certificate from his attorney. See 145 Ill. 2d R. 604(d). On August 15, 2000, defendant argued his motion before the court. Among other things, defendant set forth the factual basis for the defense asserted in his motion. The trial court commented that defendant's written motion did not contain the factual basis as set forth at the hearing. However, the court allowed defendant to orally amend his motion to conform with the argument presented at the hearing and granted him leave to file the amended motion in writing. Nevertheless, the trial court denied defendant's motion.

On August 30, 2000, the trial court sentenced defendant to 4 years' probation, subject to various conditions, including 30 months' periodic imprisonment. In addition, the court assessed a $100 street-value fine and a $500 statutory fine. The trial court then admonished defendant as follows:

"You do have the right to appeal. This is a negotiated plea to the extent that there is a cap that was agreed to in the case. Mr. Collins, if you seek to challenge any aspect of the plea or sentence as a precondition of filing any appeal you have to file with this Court within 30 days of today's date a written motion to have the judgment vacated and leave to withdraw the plea of guilty. You must set forth all grounds in that motion. You ...


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