from the Circuit Court of Vermilion County, No. 12-CF-74; the
Hon. Thomas M. O'Shaughnessy, Judge, presiding.
J. Robinson and Allison Paige Brooks (argued), of State's
Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel, for
Michael J. Pelletier, Jacqueline L. Bullard, and Daaron V.
Kimmel (argued), of State Appellate Defender's Office, of
Springfield, for appellee.
JUSTICE HOLDER WHITE delivered the judgment of the court,
with opinion. Justices Turner and Harris concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 In February 2012, the State charged defendant, Lincoln
Staple, with two counts of aggravated driving under the
influence (DUI)-Class 4 felonies-in Vermilion County case No.
12-CF-74. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(1)(G), (I) (West 2010). In
December 2015, defendant pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor
charge of DUI in Vermilion County case No. 12-DT-19, which
arose out of the same set of circumstances as case No.
12-CF-74. That same month, defendant filed a motion to
dismiss the felony charges in case No. 12-CF-74, alleging
prosecution of the felony charges would place him in double
jeopardy for the same offense. In January 2016, the trial
court granted the motion to dismiss.
2 The State appeals, arguing the trial court erred by
dismissing the felony charges on the basis of double jeopardy
when the felony charges were pending at the time defendant
pleaded guilty to the lesser-included misdemeanor offense. We
3 I. BACKGROUND
4 In February 2012, the State charged defendant by
information with aggravated DUI with a revoked license (count
I) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(1)(G) (West 2010)) and aggravated
DUI when defendant knew or should have known the vehicle was
not covered by liability insurance (count II) (625 ILCS
5/11-501(d)(1)(I) (West 2010)). Defendant, released on bond,
failed to appear for arraignment, and the trial court issued
an arrest warrant. In December 2015, the arrest warrant was
served when defendant was arrested on new traffic charges.
5 At the December 2015 arraignment, the trial court began
with the felony charges in case No. 12-CF-74. Case No.
12-DT-19 arose out of the same set of circumstances as No.
12-CF-74 and involved a series of traffic tickets, including
a Class A misdemeanor for DUI. The court set case No.
12-CF-74 for a preliminary hearing on December 31, 2015. The
court then asked the prosecutor, "are you wanting these
DUI tickets consolidated with the [f]elony, or do you want
them to proceed separately?" The prosecutor elected to
keep the cases separate.
6 On December 17, 2015, defendant pleaded guilty to
misdemeanor DUI in case No. 12-DT-19. The trial court
accepted the plea of guilty and sentenced defendant. On
December 18, 2015, defendant filed a motion to dismiss case
No. 12-CF-74, alleging prosecution would subject him to
double jeopardy for the same offense following his guilty
plea in case No. 12-DT-19. The State stipulated the felony
charges in case No. 12-CF-74 arose from the same offense
underlying the guilty plea in case No. 12-DT-19.
7 Defendant argued "[d]ouble jeopardy applies to a
greater offense when there is a plea where jeopardy has
attached to a lesser offense." Defendant further argued
jeopardy attached to the lesser-included DUI charge when the
trial court accepted defendant's plea. The State argued
there was no mandatory joinder of offenses filed by uniform
traffic citation with enhanced charges filed by information.
The State argued this principle prevents a situation
"where a [d]efendant can just come in and basically
surreptitiously plead guilty *** in a DT case while the
felony is pending" and escape the felony charges based
on double jeopardy. Defendant distinguished the case law
relied upon by the State by arguing those cases involved
citations where the traffic ticket was not a lesser-included
offense of the felony charge. Moreover, defendant argued
statutory mandatory joinder was not at issue; rather,
defendant argued jeopardy attached after the court accepted
defendant's plea to the lesser-included misdemeanor
offense, thereby barring the State from placing defendant
"at jeopardy twice for the same act."
8 In January 2016, the trial court granted defendant's
motion to dismiss. The court found the misdemeanor DUI charge
was a lesser-included offense under the "same
elements" test from Blockburger v. United
States, 284 U.S. 299, 304 (1932), because "[t]here
are no elements contained in the offense of misdemeanor [DUI]
not contained in the felony [a]ggravated [DUI]." The
court further found jeopardy had attached where the court
accepted defendant's guilty plea and imposed sentence on
the misdemeanor DUI charge. The court ruled, "To permit
the felony charge to proceed here would now necessarily ...