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People v. Smith

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

May 2, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JEROME SMITH, Defendant-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court Of Cook County, No. 15 CR 9000 The Honorable Neil Linehan, Judge Presiding.

          JUSTICE NEVILLE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Pierce and Mason concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          NEVILLE JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 When police searched Jerome Smith's home, they found marijuana and counterfeit currency. Smith admitted that he used equipment police found in his home to make the counterfeit currency. The State accused Smith of marijuana possession, and he pled guilty to the charge. More than a year later, prosecutors persuaded a grand jury to indict Smith for manufacturing counterfeit currency, where the grand jury based the new charge on evidence the State obtained in connection with the search that led to the charge of marijuana possession. The circuit court granted Smith's motion to dismiss the counterfeiting charge, as the circuit court found that the compulsory joinder statute (720 ILCS 5/3-3 (West 2012)) required the State to charge Smith with counterfeiting when it prosecuted Smith for marijuana possession. We find that under the reasoning of People v. Hunter, 2013 IL 114100, the new charge violates the compulsory joinder statute. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         ¶ 2 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 On December 16, 2013, an informant gave a statement to police informing them that Jerome Smith had contraband in his home. Two days later, Chicago police officers and special agents for the United States Secret Service searched Smith's home. They found marijuana, counterfeit currency, and some machinery and tools. Police arrested Smith. A Secret Service agent interviewed Smith and, on the day of the arrest, December 18, 2013, Smith signed a statement in which he admitted that for three months, he had used the machinery and tools to make counterfeit currency.

         ¶ 4 The State charged Smith with possession of marijuana, and on May 29, 2014, Smith pled guilty to the charge. The circuit court sentenced Smith to probation. The United States Attorney's Office decided not to prosecute Smith for counterfeiting. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office also decided not to prosecute Smith further. The Illinois Attorney General decided to pursue further charges based on the informant's statement, Smith's statement, and the items found in the December 18, 2013, search of Smith's home. On June 9, 2015, a grand jury indicted Smith for manufacturing counterfeit currency between September 2013 and December 2013.

         ¶ 5 Smith moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that the new charge violated the compulsory joinder statute. The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss and denied the State's motion to reconsider. The State now appeals.

         ¶ 6 ANALYSIS

         ¶ 7 Smith has not filed an appellee's brief. We will consider the case on the basis of the State's brief alone. First Capitol Mortgage Corp. v. Talandis Construction Corp., 63 Ill.2d 128, 133 (1976).

         ¶ 8 The compulsory joinder statute provides:

"(a) When the same conduct of a defendant may establish the commission of more than one offense, the defendant may be prosecuted for each such offense.
(b) If the several offenses are known to the proper prosecuting officer at the time of commencing the prosecution and are within the jurisdiction of a single court, they must be prosecuted in a single prosecution *** if they are based on the same act." 720 ILCS 5/3-3 (West 2012).

         ¶ 9 The State admits prosecutors knew of the counterfeiting when they charged Smith with marijuana possession and that the Cook County criminal court had jurisdiction to adjudicate both the marijuana charge and the counterfeiting charge. The State contests only the circuit court's finding that the counterfeiting and the possession of marijuana constituted the "same act" within the meaning of the compulsory joinder statute. Because the case presents an issue that ...


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