Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People ex rel. Glasgow v. Carlson

Supreme Court of Illinois

December 1, 2016

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS ex rel. JAMES W. GLASGOW, Petitioner,
v.
HONORABLE DAVID M. CARLSON et al., Respondents.

          JUSTICE KILBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Karmeier and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Garman, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          KILBRIDE JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Petitioner, James W. Glasgow, State's Attorney of Will County, seeks mandamus pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 381 (eff. Jan. 1, 2016) against respondent, the Honorable David M. Carlson, judge of the circuit court of Will County. Petitioner asks this court to compel respondent to (1) vacate its January 6, 2016, sentencing order, (2) classify as a Class 2 felony Mitchell Harper's third violation of Illinois's driving while under the influence (DUI) statute of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-501 et seq. (West 2014)), and (3) resentence defendant as a Class X offender pursuant to section 5-4.5-95(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections (730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-95(b) (West 2014)). For the following reasons, we award mandamus.

         ¶ 2 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 In June 2014, defendant, Mitchell Harper, was charged by indictment with Class 2 felony aggravated DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2), (d)(2)(B) (West 2014)). The indictment alleged that on March 23, 2014, defendant operated a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and that he had two prior DUI convictions: (1) a 1994 DUI conviction in Georgia and (2) a 2013 DUI conviction in Illinois.

         ¶ 4 Following a bench trial in July 2015, the circuit court found defendant guilty of aggravated DUI. The court, however, continued sentencing and postponed its review of defendant's prior DUI convictions and additional criminal history.

         ¶ 5 At the initial sentencing hearing in November 2015, the circuit court expressed skepticism on whether defendant's DUI conviction should be classified as a Class 2 felony for sentencing purposes. The court explained, "[a]lthough the indictment alleges a [C]lass 2 felony, I may not necessarily agree with that based upon the statutory provisions."

         ¶ 6 The State first provided the circuit court with certified copies of defendant's two prior DUI convictions in Georgia and Illinois. Because defendant's DUI conviction in this case constituted his third DUI conviction, the State argued that it was aggravated DUI and a Class 2 felony under subsection (d)(2)(B), as charged in the indictment. The State acknowledged that a separate provision, subsection (d)(2)(A), generally classified aggravated DUI as a Class 4 felony. Nonetheless, the State argued that because defendant was charged under subsection (d)(2)(B), that provision's express classification of the offense as a Class 2 felony must control. For support, the State cited to the appellate court's decision in People v. Mischke, 2014 IL App (2d) 130318, that reached the same conclusion.

         ¶ 7 In turn, the State argued that defendant was subject to a mandatory Class X sentence on his third DUI conviction based on his prior criminal record. Specifically, the State noted that defendant's record included a 1989 Class 2 felony conviction, a 1981 Class X felony conviction, and a 1980 Class 2 felony conviction.

         ¶ 8 The circuit court, however, continued to express doubt that defendant's third DUI conviction should be classified as a Class 2 felony. The court repeatedly asked the State to explain when a third DUI conviction would ever be classified as a Class 4 felony. The court also suggested that the State was asking the court to ignore subsection (d)(2)(A), that generally defined aggravated DUI as a Class 4 felony.

         ¶ 9 Defendant argued that the statutory provisions were ambiguous on the issue of felony classification. Defendant questioned why the DUI statute "went from a second offense being a misdemeanor to a third offense being a class two." Defendant urged the circuit court to "err towards lenity and take the lesser offense." At the close of arguments, the court continued sentencing.

         ¶ 10 At the subsequent hearing on January 6, 2016, the circuit court was again critical of the State's position that defendant's third DUI conviction should be treated as a Class 2 felony rather than a Class 4 felony. The court quoted a passage from the "DUI Traffic Illinois Judicial Bench Book Third Edition" that referenced an "apparent irreconcilability" between the felony classifications related to a third DUI conviction. Ultimately, the court determined that those provisions were "completely inconsistent." The court then sentenced defendant as a Class 4 offender to 24 months of probation.

         ¶ 11 On February 1, 2016, the circuit court held a hearing on its own motion to clarify its January 6 sentencing decision. At this hearing, the court explained its prior decisions as follows:

"I had sentenced the [d]efendant as a Class 4 offender on an-arguably a Class 2 DUI offense for a third violation of the statute. The court found that the statute was inconsistent, and one of the things I cited was the Third Edition Benchbook, and I went back through and I found that there is not only a Fourth Edition, but there is also a Fifth Edition, and I want to make part of the record what the Fifth Edition says ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.