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People v. Bernard

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

December 10, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ALIA BERNARD, Defendant-Appellant

Modified Upon Denial of Rehearing February 10, 2015

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 10-CF-1253. Honorable Allen M. Anderson and M. Karen Simpson, Judges, Presiding.

SYLLABUS

Pursuant to the appellate court's authority under Supreme Court Rule 366(a)(5), which allows the appellate court to make any other or further orders and grant any relief, including remandment, that the case may require, the appellate court, in view of the trial court's entry of an order that is obviously based on a confused and incorrect understanding of the status of the instant case, vacated the trial court's order denying defendant's motion to withdraw her guilty plea and dismiss charges of aggravated driving under the influence and to reconsider her sentence and remanded the cause for a new hearing in the trial court, with the case returned to the trial court as it existed when defendant was initially sentenced; further, defendant shall be granted reasonable time to file a new motion to withdraw her guilty plea and/or reconsider her sentence if counsel concludes that a new motion is necessary in order to include issues and/or prayers for relief in light of this posture, and also, counsel shall file a new certificate pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 604(d).

For Appellant: Michelle L. Moore, Michael John Sweeney, Law Offices of Michelle L. Moore & Kim DiGiovanni; Donald J. Ramsell, Ramsell & Associates, Wheaton.

For The People: Joseph H. McMahon, State's Attorney, St. Charles (Lawrence M. Bauer, Marshall M. Stevens, State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, Of Counsel).

JUSTICE McLAREN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Burke and Jorgensen concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

McLAREN, JUSTICE.

Page 195

[¶1] Defendant, Alia Bernard, appeals from the trial court's denial of her motions to withdraw her guilty plea and reconsider her sentence. We vacate and remand for further proceedings.

[¶2] I. BACKGROUND

[¶3] Defendant was charged with two counts of reckless homicide (720 ILCS 5/9-3(a) (West 2008)) and one count of driving under the influence (any amount of cannabis) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6) (West 2008)), arising out of a May 24, 2009, motor vehicle collision that resulted in the deaths of Wade and Denise Thomas. The grand jury indictments lodging these charges were returned in May 2010. Defendant posted bond on May 20, 2010.

[¶4] After the trial court denied various pretrial motions in March 2011, the case was continued for trial to June 13, 2011. However, on May 17, 2011, the grand jury returned a five-count " Re-Indictment" that charged, in addition to the three counts in the original indictment, two counts of aggravated driving under the influence (aggravated DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(1)(F) (West 2008)) (counts I and II).[1] The trial date was stricken, and the matter was continued for defendant to file any motions relating to the new indictment. Defendant filed a motion to find the aggravated DUI statute unconstitutional, which the trial court denied on October 28, 2011.

[¶5] On December 9, 2011, defendant entered " unconditional (COLD)" pleas of guilty to the two counts of ...


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