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The People of the State of Illinois v. Hedilberto Miranda

January 19, 2012

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
HEDILBERTO MIRANDA,
DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 09-CF-3168 Honorable Blanche Hill Fawell, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Hutchinson

JUSTICE HUTCHINSON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices McLaren and Zenoff concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 The State appeals an order suppressing evidence seized under a search warrant that was issued after defendant, Hedilberto Miranda, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The State contends that (1) the trial court erred in holding that the affidavit for the warrant did not provide the probable cause needed to test defendant's urine for drugs; and (2) even absent probable cause, the evidence is admissible under the good-faith doctrine (see United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897 (1984)). We affirm.

¶ 2 Defendant was indicted for aggravated DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(1)(A) (West 2008)) and felony driving with a suspended license (625 ILCS 5/6-303(d-3) (West 2008)). On February 23, 2010, he was indicted for (1) driving while his urine contained any amount of a drug, substance, or compound resulting from the unlawful use of cannabis (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6) (West 2008)) and

(2) driving while his urine contained any amount of a drug, substance, or compound resulting from the unlawful use of cocaine (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6) (West 2008)). Later, he filed his motion to suppress, which alleged as follows. On December 23, 2009, at about 5:05 p.m., a search warrant was issued, authorizing the taking of two vials of blood, to be analyzed for the presence of alcohol, and a urine specimen, to be tested for the presence of controlled substances. Per the warrant, hospital employees took the samples from defendant against defendant's wishes. The warrant was invalid as it related to the urine specimen, because the affidavit used to secure the warrant did not provide probable cause to believe that defendant had consumed any drugs. Defendant requested that the trial court suppress any results of the test of his urine for the presence of drugs.

¶ 3 The affidavit, prepared by Elmhurst police officer Michael McLean and dated December 23, 2009, stated as follows. McLean had been a police officer for approximately 10 years. He had investigated hundreds of suspected DUIs and been trained in administering field tests for possible DUI. On December 23, 2009, at about 1:11 a.m., McLean was on patrol when he saw a gray Lexus sedan directly in front of him, traveling north on York Road. The Lexus drifted from the right lane well into the left lane, drifted back well into the right lane about 30 seconds later, continued north, and drifted back into the left lane for about 20 yards before returning to the right lane. The Lexus then stopped about 20 feet short of the stop line at the intersection of York and Grand Avenue and turned right onto Grand without stopping at the intersection line. To stop the Lexus, McLean pulled behind it and activated his squad car's emergency lights. The Lexus rolled forth about 100 yards before stopping. Inside were defendant, who was driving, and Hector Soto, a front-seat passenger.

¶ 4 McLean's affidavit continued as follows. McLean exited his squad car and approached the passenger's side. Soto was holding two open Heineken bottles that contained an amber liquid. McLean asked defendant for his driver's license. Defendant produced a state identification card. He told McLean that he and Soto had been drinking at Heavenly Bodies. Defendant's eyes were glassy and bloodshot and his face was red. McLean smelled a strong odor of alcohol from inside the car. He asked the men how much they had drunk that night; defendant responded that he had had a beer or two. McLean called another officer to the scene, then had defendant step outside for field sobriety tests. Defendant had to be directed not to walk in the open traffic lane, and he swayed back and forth; McLean detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Defendant took three field sobriety tests and failed them all. Based on his observations of defendant, the results of the tests, and his experience and training, McLean "believe[d] that [defendant] was under the influence of alcohol, and not fit to operate a motor vehicle." He advised defendant that he was under arrest for DUI, and he transported defendant to the police station.

¶ 5 The final substantive paragraph of McLean's affidavit stated:

"In reviewing Hedilberto Miranda's driver's abstract, his records indicate that he has had court supervision for DUI in 2000, a conviction for DUI in 2007, and a statutory summary suspension in effect on his drivers [sic] license since 02/24/99. Miranda's license is currently revoked for a DUI conviction. It is in [sic] this complainant's professional opinion that Hedilberto Miranda is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and that a blood and urine specimen will result in evidence of this fact. I am requesting an order directing Elmhurst Hospital to use a DUI blood and urine kit to withdraw a blood and urine specimen, for [the] purpose of analysis for [the] presence of alcohol or drugs."

¶ 6 On December 23, 2009, a judge issued a warrant authorizing the collection from defendant of "two vials of blood samples and a urine specimen collected at Elmhurst Hospital for the purpose of analyzing for the presence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substance [sic], by either a physician authorized to practice medicine, or a registered nurse or other qualified person."

¶ 7 The trial court initially denied defendant's motion to suppress. He moved to reconsider. At a brief hearing, Cynthia Woods, a forensic scientist at a state police laboratory, testified that she had tested defendant's blood and urine samples. The blood sample had been tested for alcohol, but not drugs. The urine specimen had been tested for cocaine and cannabinoids, but not alcohol.

¶ 8 The trial court granted defendant's motion to reconsider. The trial court explained that McLean's affidavit said "nothing at all" about controlled substances. Thus, the police had no right to obtain tests for anything other than alcohol. The State moved to reconsider, contending that, even if the warrant did not provide probable cause to test for controlled substances, the police could have relied on it in good faith. The court denied the motion, and the State appealed.

ΒΆ 9 On appeal, the State again contends both that McLean's affidavit provided the probable cause needed for the issuance of the warrant and that, even absent probable cause, the police reasonably and in good faith relied on it in obtaining the urine sample that provided evidence that ...


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