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People v. Johnson

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

July 16, 2015

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ROBERT L. JOHNSON, Defendant-Appellant

Motion to Publish granted July 16, 2015.

Modified Opinion upon denial of rehearing July 16, 2015.

Order filed June 4, 2015.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois, Appeal No. 3-13-0431, Circuit No. 11-CF-328. Honorable Gerald R. Kinney, Judge, Presiding.

Dimitri Golfis, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Ottawa, for appellant.

James Glasgow, State's Attorney, of Joliet (Laura E. DeMichael-Bialon, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

Lytton and Schmidt, Justices concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 235

WRIGHT, JUSTICE.

[¶1] Defendant, Robert L. Johnson, was convicted after a stipulated bench trial of aggravated driving while license was revoked (625 ILCS 5/6-303(a) (West 2010)). Defendant challenges the trial court's ruling on his motion to suppress, the sufficiency of the State's evidence, and the monetary consequences imposed by the court following his conviction. We affirm and remand for further proceedings.

[¶2] FACTS

[¶3] The charges arise from a traffic stop initiated by an officer who pulled defendant over for operating a motorcycle that had a tinted plastic cover on its registration plate. The superseding indictment in this case alleges defendant committed the offense of aggravated driving while license revoked (625 ILCS 5/6-303(d-2) (West 2010)) by operating a motorcycle while his driver's license was revoked for a previous violation of the statute prohibiting driving while under the influence (625 ILCS 5/11-501 (West 2010)). The superseding indictment also alleged that the instant violation was defendant's third driving while license revoked violation.

[¶4] Defendant filed a motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence on the grounds that there was no legal basis for the officer to initiate the traffic stop based on the characteristics of the clear plastic cover affixed to the motorcycle's registration plate.

[¶5] At the suppression hearing, Illinois State Trooper Guy Vancina testified that he initiated a traffic stop on a motorcycle being operated by defendant because he believed the motorcycle was equipped with an illegal tinted plate cover on its registration plate. Vancina " ran" defendant's information and discovered defendant's license was revoked. Vancina ticketed defendant for operating a motor vehicle without insurance and for driving while defendant's driver's license was revoked. Vancina gave defendant a ...


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