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People v. Chavez

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

September 16, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ALBERT ISREAL CHAVEZ, Defendant-Appellant.

Held [*]

Defendant’s convictions on two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance were upheld over his contentions that he was not properly admonished of the possible maximum sentences prior to entering his guilty plea, since the trial court substantially complied with Supreme Court Rule 402(a)(2) by advising defendant of the minimum and maximum penalties, the possibility of consecutive sentences, and how consecutive sentences work.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County, No. 10-CF-531; the Hon. Robert L. Freitag, Judge, presiding.

Michael J. Pelletier, Karen Munoz, and Daaron V. Kimmel, all of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Springfield, for appellant.

Ronald C. Dozier, State's Attorney, of Bloomington (Patrick Delfino, Robert J. Biderman, and Perry L. Miller, all of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

Panel JUSTICE POPE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Knecht and Turner concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

POPE JUSTICE

¶ 1 In June 2010, a McLean County grand jury indicted defendant, Albert Isreal Chavez, on two counts of unlawful delivery of more than 1 gram but less than 15 grams of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 2010)) (counts I and II), and three counts of unlawful delivery of more than 15 grams but less than 100 grams of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/401(a)(2)(A) (West 2010)) (counts III, IV, and V). In May 2011, defendant pleaded guilty to counts III and V. In August 2011, the trial court sentenced defendant to consecutive sentences of 20 years' imprisonment on count III and 30 years' imprisonment on count V. In September 2011, defendant filed a motion to withdraw guilty plea and reconsider sentence. The court denied those motions.

¶ 2 Defendant appeals, arguing the trial court erred in denying his motion to withdraw guilty plea as his plea was not voluntarily and knowingly made. He contends the court failed to properly admonish him of the possible maximum sentence as required by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 402(a) (eff. July 1, 1997). We disagree and affirm.

¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 4 On June 9, 2010, a McLean County grand jury indicted defendant on two counts of unlawful delivery of more than 1 gram but less than 15 grams of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 2010)) (counts I and II), and three counts unlawful delivery of more than 15 grams but less than 100 grams of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/401(a)(2)(A) (West 2010)) (counts III, IV, and V).

¶ 5 On May 2, 2011, defendant appeared before the trial court to enter an open guilty plea on counts III and V. The court admonished defendant as follows:

"Sir, each one of those charges are Class X [f]elonies. What that means is they each carry penalties of incarceration in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Probation is not available as a sentence on either one of those charges. So if you plead guilty, the court must sentence you to a term in the Department of Corrections. The mandatory minimum term for those offenses is six years in the Department of Corrections. The maximum penalty that could be imposed is up to 30 years in the Department of Corrections or any term between six and 30 years can be imposed. Any sentence to the Department ...

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