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People v. Norris

April 09, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JOHN M. NORRIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, Fulton County, Illinois No. 98-CF-122 Honorable Steven R. Bordner, Judge Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Homer

Released for publication April 16, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JOHN M. NORRIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, Fulton County, Illinois No. 98-CF-122 Honorable Steven R. Bordner, Judge Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Homer

PUBLISHED

 Defendant John M. Norris was charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony (720 ILCS 5/12--16(b),(g) (West 1998)), and two counts of Class X predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (720 ILCS 5/12--14.1(a)(1), (b)(1) (West 1998)). Pursuant to a fully negotiated agreement with the State, defendant pled guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. The State dismissed the other count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, and the court sentenced defendant to consecutive terms of 3 and 10 years, noting that truth-in-sentencing applied to the 10-year term. Defendant filed a post-plea motion, which was denied, and he appeals. Defendant argues that (1) his guilty pleas should be vacated because the trial court failed to admonish him that he was subject to civil commitment proceedings under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (725 ILCS 205/0.01 et seq. (West 1998)) and the Sexually Violent Persons Act (725 ILCS 207/1 et seq. (West 1998)); and (2) Public Act 90--593 (Pub. Act 90--593, eff. June 19, 1998) violates this state's constitution. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

Prior to accepting defendant's guilty pleas, the trial court informed defendant of the nature of the charges against him and the minimum and maximum penalties provided by law. The court also informed defendant of trial rights he would be giving up by pleading guilty. Defendant acknowledged that he understood the charges, the penalties and the rights he was waiving. He acknowledged that he had discussed the consequences of his pleas with counsel, and he was satisfied with counsel's advice and the plea agreement. Following the State's factual basis, defendant denied that he had been threatened, coerced or promised any benefit outside the terms of the plea agreement in exchange for his pleas of guilty. The court then accepted defendant's pleas and imposed sentence according to the agreement.

Defendant subsequently moved to withdraw his pleas. He claimed that (1) his sentence was excessive; (2) his pleas were not entered knowingly and voluntarily, because he misunderstood the right to appeal from his sentence; (3) he was never admonished by counsel or the court that his guilty pleas exposed him to liability under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act and the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act; and (4) the truth-in-sentencing act, as amended by Public Act 90--593, violated the single subject rule of the Illinois Constitution of 1970.

At a hearing on the motion, defendant's trial counsel testified that he had not informed defendant that he faced potential civil commitment under the sexually dangerous and sexually violent persons statutes. Defendant and his wife testified that they believed defendant would receive a jury trial. After arguments of counsel, the court denied the motion. The court ruled, inter alia, that (1) civil commitment under the sexually dangerous and sexually violent persons statutes was a collateral consequence of defendant's guilty pleas; and (2) Public Act 90--593, which reenacted truth-in-sentencing legislation, was not unconstitutional.

ISSUES AND ANALYSIS

On appeal, defendant first argues that his pleas were not knowing and voluntary because the trial court failed to admonish him about the possibility of civil commitment. He contends that proceedings under the sexually dangerous and sexually violent persons statutes are direct, rather than collateral consequences of his guilty pleas.

A defendant must be admonished of the direct consequences of his guilty plea to render the plea knowing and voluntary. People v. Williams, 188 Ill. 2d 365, 721 N.E.2d 539 (1999). Direct consequences of a guilty plea are those consequences within the trial judge's control and related to the sentence imposed on the basis of the plea. Williams, 188 Ill. 2d 365, 721 N.E.2d 539. By contrast, collateral consequences are future or contemplated, but not certain consequences, generally resulting from action taken by the State's Attorney or another agency that the trial court does not control, and not related to the length or nature of the sentence imposed on the basis of the plea. Williams, 188 Ill. 2d 365, 721 N.E.2d 539. Guilty pleas are not invalid for failure of the court to warn a defendant of collateral ...


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