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The People of the State of Illinois v. Daniel Paul Isaacson

May 20, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DANIEL PAUL ISAACSON,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of No. 09CF426 McLean County Honorable Paul G. Lawrence, Judge Presiding.

JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Presiding Justice Knecht and Justice Cook concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

In May 2009, a grand jury indicted defendant, Daniel Paul Isaacson, with one count of driving while license suspended in violation of section 6-303(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Vehicle Code) (625 ILCS 5/6-303(a) (West 2008) (text of section effective until June 1, 2009)), as increased to a Class 4 felony under section 6-303(c-3) of the Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/6-303(c-3) (West 2008) (text of section effective until June 1, 2009)). In August 2009, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, asserting he could not have violated section 6-303(c-3) because he was ineligible for a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) when he drove during his summary suspension. After a September 2009 hearing, the McLean County circuit court denied defendant's motion. At a November 2009 stipulated bench trial, the court found defendant guilty, sentenced him to 24 months of conditional discharge, 60 days in jail with credit for 32 days served, and ordered him to pay a $200 deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fine and a $200 contribution to the Crime Detection Network. Defendant filed a motion to reconsider, again asserting he could not have violated section 6-303(c-3), and the court denied the motion.

Defendant appeals, contending (1) his felony driving-while-license-suspended conviction must be vacated because the trial court misinterpreted section 6-303(c-3), (2) he is entitled to an additional day of sentencing credit, and (3) he is entitled to a $5 credit per day in presentence custody under section 110-14(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Procedure Code) (725 ILCS 5/110-14(a) (West 2008)) against his fines. We affirm as modified and remand with directions.

I. BACKGROUND

According to a document in the record filed by the State, defendant was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) on January 4, 2009, which led to People v. Isaacson, No. 09-DT-13 (Cir. Ct. McLean Co.) (hereinafter case No. 13). At the time of his arrest in case No. 13, defendant consented to a "blood/urine draw," for which the results were completed on February 27, 2009. On January 31, 2009, defendant was again arrested for DUI, which led to People v. Isaacson, No. 09-DT-86 (Cir. Ct. McLean Co.) (hereinafter case No. 86). In case No. 86, defendant consented to a Breathalyzer and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.122. In a document filed February 17, 2009, the Secretary of State informed defendant of a six-month summary suspension in case No. 86 that was effective March 18, 2009. The document stated defendant was a first offender. On March 4, 2009, defendant opted out of an MDDP, and a copy of the opt-out document was placed in the files of both the cases. In a document filed March 30, 2009, the Secretary of State informed defendant of a 12-month summary suspension in case No. 13 that was effective April 25, 2009. That document stated defendant was not a first offender.

On May 9, 2009, defendant was arrested for driving while license suspended. Two days later, the State charged defendant under section 6-303(c-3) of the Vehicle Code. On June 10, 2009, a grand jury indicted him on the same charge.

In August 2009, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, asserting he was ineligible to receive an MDDP when he allegedly committed the charged offense. The State filed a response, setting forth some of the facts of defendant's two DUI cases and asserting eligibility is determined at the time the summary suspension is imposed. After a September 2009 hearing, the trial court denied defendant's motion, agreeing with the State's interpretation of section 6-303(c-3).

On November 4, 2009, the trial court held a stipulated bench trial. The parties stipulated to the evidence, but defendant preserved his argument that section 6-303(c-3) did not apply to his situation. The parties also presented the court with a joint sentencing recommendation. After complying with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402 (eff. July 1, 1997), the court found defendant guilty and accepted the parties' sentencing recommendation. The court stated defendant's sentence was 24 months of conditional discharge, 60 days in jail with credit for 32 days served, a $200 DNA fine, and a $200 contribution to the Crime Detection Network. The written conditional-discharge order did not expressly list any additional fines but did order defendant to pay any mandatory assessments, including one under the Violent Crime Victims Assistance Act (725 ILCS 240/10 (West 2008)), that were set forth on a form by the circuit clerk. The circuit clerk's "notice to party" document lists, inter alia, the $200 DNA fine, the $200 Crime Detection Network contribution, a $15 children's-advocacy-center assessment, and a $10 drug-court assessment but does not list a fine under the Violent Crime Victims Assistance Act.

On November 12, 2009, defendant filed a motion to reconsider, again challenging the application of section 6-303(c-3) to his situation. After a November 23, 2009, hearing, the court denied defendant's motion to reconsider. On December 21, 2009, defendant filed a notice of appeal in sufficient compliance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 606 (eff. Mar. 20, 2009) that stated he was appealing (1) his sentence and (2) the denial of his motion to reconsider that addressed his conviction. While the parties and trial court agreed defendant's stipulation was tantamount to a guilty plea, it was, in fact, not since defendant just stipulated to the evidence that would be presented if the case proceeded to a trial and preserved a defense. See People v. Thompson, 404 Ill. App. 3d 265, 270, 936 N.E.2d 195, 199 (2010) (noting "a stipulated bench trial is tantamount to a guilty plea if the defendant either: (1) stipulates that the evidence is sufficient for a finding of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or (2) does not present or preserve a defense"). Accordingly, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (eff. July 1, 2006) does not apply here, and this court has jurisdiction of defendant's conviction and sentence under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 603 (eff. July 1, 1971). See Netto v. Goldenberg, 266 Ill. App. 3d 174, 178, 640 N.E.2d 948, 952 (1994) (indicating the notice of appeal may list either the order disposing of the posttrial motion or the order entering the judgment), overruled on other grounds by Holton v. Memorial Hospital, 176 Ill. 2d 95, 118-19, 679 N.E.2d 1202, 1212 (1997).

II. ANALYSIS

Defendant first argues his felony conviction under section 6-303(c-3) of the Vehicle Code must be vacated because he was ineligible for an MDDP at the time of his arrest in this case. The State responds section 6-303(c-3) refers to eligibility for an MDDP at the time the summary suspension is imposed. This issue involves a matter of statutory interpretation, which ...


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