from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will
County, Illinois, Circuit No. 15-TR-16380 Honorable Daniel L.
Kennedy, Judge, Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE HOLDRIDGE delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion. Justices Lytton and Schmidt concurred in
the judgment and opinion.
HOLDRIDGE, PRESIDING JUSTICE.
1 The defendant, Fabian Lomeli, appeals his conviction for
driving on a suspended license, arguing that the court erred
in granting the State's motion for directed finding at
the close of the defendant's evidence during a motion to
3 On March 11, 2015, the defendant was issued traffic
citations for having an obstructed windshield (625 ILCS
5/12-503(c) (West 2014)) and driving on a suspended license
(625 ILCS 5/6-303(a) (West 2014)). The defendant filed a
motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, alleging that
Officer Shaughnessy did not have a sufficient basis for a
traffic stop where he "unreasonably determined the
object reportedly hanging from the Defendant's rearview
mirror was a material obstruction." A hearing on the
motion was held on September 21, 2015. Shaughnessy testified
that on March 11, 2015, he was a patrol officer for the City
of Joliet and was on duty around 8 p.m. It was dark, and he
observed a vehicle in front of him. He followed the vehicle
for a block or two and observed an object hanging from the
rearview mirror. He did not recall what the object was. He
initiated a traffic stop based off the object suspended in
the rearview mirror. Shaughnessy went to the defendant's
passenger side window and asked the defendant for his
driver's license and insurance. The defendant gave
Shaughnessy his firearm owner's identification card.
Shaughnessy ran the defendant's information and found
that the defendant had a suspended license. He then issued
the defendant citations for having an obstructed windshield
and driving on a suspended license. The following exchange
"[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: What is a material obstruction?
[SHAUGHNESSY]: A material obstruction is something that
blocks the view of the driver.
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Is everything that hangs and is between
the driver and the windshield a material obstruction?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Have you had any training on what is and
what is not a material obstruction?
4 Shaughnessy was shown photographs of the vehicle and the
windows. After viewing the photographs, he stated that there
was slight tinting to the back and side windows. He noted
that in the windshield was a rosary and an I-Pass. He agreed
that the rosary was the item he had observed hanging from the
rearview mirror. Defense counsel asked Shaughnessy how big
the rosary was, and Shaughnessy replied that it was
"[n]ot very big, " and approximately "[a] half
inch" thick. On cross-examination, the following
"[STATE]: Officer, you observed a vehicle with what
reasonably appeared to be an obstruction ...