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The People of the State of Illinois v. Donald Lee Devine

September 6, 2012

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DONALD LEE DEVINE,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 09CF307 Honorable Charles G. Reynard, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice McCULLOUGH

JUSTICE McCULLOUGH delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Turner and Justice Knecht concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 On August 25, 2010, the trial court found defendant, Donald Lee Devine, guilty of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, following a stipulated bench trial. On November 24, 2010, the court sentenced defendant to 54 months in prison and "the mandatory financial consequences."

¶ 2 On appeal, defendant argues (1) the trial court erred in imposing a $100 Trauma Center Fund fine, (2) the trial court erred in imposing a $25 Drug Traffic Prevention Fund assessment, and (3) the circuit clerk did not have authority to use remaining bond monies to satisfy an unpaid child support obligation. We affirm in part as modified, vacate in part, and remand with directions.

¶ 3 On April 15, 2009, a grand jury indicted defendant with a single count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West 2008)) based on an incident of April 7, 2009. On May 12, 2009, defendant posted a $2,000 cash bond. After a stipulated bench trial on August 25, 2010, the trial court found defendant guilty of possessing less than 0.1 grams of cocaine residue. On November 24, 2010, the court denied defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal or a new trial and sentenced defendant to 54 months in prison. The prosecutor stated that he was not asking for a street-value fine because the amount of cocaine at issue was only residue. The court imposed "the mandatory financial consequences."

¶ 4 This appeal followed.

¶ 5 Defendant argues the trial court lacked statutory authority to impose a $100 Trauma Center Fund fine and $25 Drug Traffic Prevention Fund assessment where no street-value fine was imposed. The State argues this issue is forfeited because defendant failed to file a posttrial motion setting forth his allegations of error. Defendant asks this court to review the issue as a matter of plain error.

¶ 6 The plain-error doctrine permits a reviewing court to consider unpreserved error under the following two scenarios:

"(1) a clear or obvious error occurred and the evidence is so closely balanced that the error alone threatened to tip the scales of justice against the defendant, regardless of the seriousness of the error, or

(2) a clear or obvious error occurred and that error is so serious that it affected the fairness of the defendant's trial and challenged the integrity of the judicial process, regardless of the closeness of the evidence." People v. Sargent, 239 Ill. 2d 166, 189, 940 N.E.2d 1045, 1058 (2010).

Under both prongs of the plain-error analysis, the burden of persuasion remains with the defendant. People v. Lewis, 234 Ill. 2d 32, 43, 912 N.E.2d 1220, 1227 (2009). As the first step in the analysis, we must determine whether any error occurred at all. People v. Thompson, 238 Ill. 2d 598, 613, 939 N.E.2d 403, 413 (2010).

¶ 7 Section 5-9-1.1(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Unified Code) provides, in part, as follows:

"When a person has been adjudged guilty of a drug[-]related offense involving possession or delivery of cannabis or possession or delivery of a controlled substance, *** a fine shall be levied by the court at not less than the full ...


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