from the Circuit Court of Macon County No. 14CF850 Honorable
Thomas E. Griffith Jr., Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion Justices Holder White and Steigmann concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 In June 2015, a jury found defendant, Joseph M. Jophlin,
guilty of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol
(aggravated DUI), a Class 2 felony (625 ILCS
5/11-501(d)(1)(A), (d)(2)(B) (West 2014)), and driving while
license revoked or suspended with three prior convictions for
driving while license revoked or suspended (DWR), a Class 4
felony (id. § 6-303(d-3)). In September 2015,
the Macon County circuit court sentenced defendant to four
years and two years in prison to run concurrently and ordered
defendant to pay specific fines, fees, and assessments.
Defendant appeals, arguing (1) the State presented
insufficient evidence to support his conviction for
aggravated DUI and DWR; (2) the State engaged in vindictive
prosecution when it charged him with the more serious offense
of aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony, on the morning of trial,
to punish him for exercising his right to a jury trial; (3)
the State's repeated violation of the court's in
limine order deprived him of his right to a fair trial;
and (4) the circuit clerk improperly imposed numerous fines.
We affirm in part and vacate in part.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 In July 2014, the State charged defendant by information
with aggravated DUI, a Class 4 felony (id. §
11-501(d)(1)(G), (d)(2)(A)) (count I), and DWR with three
prior convictions for DWR, a Class 4 felony (id.
§ 6-303(d-3)) (count II). The charges alleged that, on
July 20, 2014, defendant drove or was in actual physical
control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of
alcohol (id. § 11-501(a)(2)), on a highway of
Illinois, during a period in which defendant's driving
privileges were revoked (id. § 6-303(a)).
4 A. Pretrial Hearing
5 At a pretrial hearing on December 12, 2014, the State
requested an additional pretrial hearing because defendant
had a pending case not yet on file in another county. Defense
counsel informed the trial court the reason for the
additional hearing was because the State intended to file an
additional charge against defendant for aggravated DUI, a
Class 2 felony (id. § 11-501(d)(1)(A),
(d)(2)(B)) (count III). Defense counsel indicated the change
in classification was "based on the defendant's
request for a jury trial." The State did not respond to
defense counsel's comment. The trial court did not
6 B. Defendant's Jury Trial
7 Below, we summarize the testimony elicited during
defendant's June 23, 2015, jury trial.
8 1. Defendant's Motion in Limine
9 On the morning of trial, defense counsel filed a motion
in limine to exclude evidence relating to results of
a preliminary breath test, defendant's prior convictions
for DUI, and any evidence offered to "boost the
credibility" of the investigating officers, such as
evidence of the number of DUI arrests made by the officers or
evidence the officers did not arrest everyone stopped for
suspected DUI. The trial court ordered, "The state shall
not be allowed to introduce into evidence the results of the
defendant's preliminary breath test or the
defendant's prior convictions for DUI or driving on a
revoked or suspended license."
10 2. Count III
11 After the trial court ruled on defendant's motion
in limine, the State moved to file count III,
charging defendant with aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony
(id.), the aggravating factor being defendant had
two prior DUI convictions in 2008 and 2011. Defense counsel
stated, "I don't believe there's any basis to
object to that, Your Honor." The State moved to dismiss
count I with no objection from defense counsel. The State
informed the trial court defendant was offered the
opportunity to plead "open" to count I prior to
filing count III, but defendant rejected the offer. The trial
court told defendant he was "taking a risk" by
rejecting the deal on the Class 4 felony and proceeding to
trial on a Class 2 felony. Defendant acknowledged he
understood, and the case proceeded.
12 3. Civilian Witnesses' Testimony
13 The State called David Karius as a witness. Karius, a
P&V gas station employee, testified he had worked at the
P&V gas station in Macon, Illinois, for 15 years. On July
20, 2014, Karius testified he was on duty around 3 a.m. when
he observed a maroon vehicle enter the gas station parking
lot and pull up to gas pump five directly in front of him.
Karius was outside when the vehicle pulled up and stated
there was only one person in the vehicle. Karius estimated
the vehicle remained at the gas pump for roughly 20 or 30
minutes before the vehicle started to overheat, causing it to
smoke and leak fluid.
14 Two gas station patrons approached the vehicle to wake the
driver but did not get a response. Karius then called the
sheriff's department to report an overheating vehicle
with an unresponsive driver. At some point after Karius
called the police, a friend of Karius arrived, opened the
door to the vehicle, and "shook the driver awake."
Karius said the driver woke up and came into the gas station
to use the restroom. Karius identified the driver of the
vehicle as defendant, Joseph M. Jophlin.
15 The State next called Austin Webb as a witness. Webb
testified he was a customer of the gas station on July 20,
2014. Webb, upon arriving at the gas station, noticed a
smoking vehicle at one of the gas pumps. Webb was worried and
tried to wake the driver. Webb first tried tapping on the
window but did not get a response. Then, Webb hit the roof of
the vehicle. Webb still did not get a response, so he opened
the door and shook the driver awake. The driver got out of
the vehicle and went into the gas station. Webb identified
the driver as defendant and noted he was the only one in the
16 The State next called Shelby Cohn as a witness. Cohn
testified she accompanied Webb to the gas station on July 20,
2014. Cohn said, when they arrived, she noticed a vehicle
overheating in the lot. Cohn observed Webb try to wake up the
driver as well as turn the vehicle off. Cohn identified the
driver as defendant and as the only occupant of the vehicle.
Cohn said, when defendant got out of the vehicle, he
"seemed very out of it, very incoherent."
17 4. Police Witnesses' Testimony
18 The State called Detective Roger Pope Jr. as a witness.
Detective Pope testified he had been with the Macon County
Sheriff's Department for 13 years and had been on duty
the morning of July 20, 2014. Detective Pope was dispatched
to the P&V gas station for an individual passed out in an
overheating vehicle. Upon arrival, Detective Pope observed a
maroon Chevy Lumina at pump five with no one inside.
Detective Pope went inside the gas station and observed the
clerk and another individual, later identified as defendant.
19 Detective Pope testified he had encountered intoxicated
individuals previously in his employment. Defense counsel
objected to this testimony saying, "I'm going to
object on the basis of my previous motion." The trial
court declined to allow a sidebar and overruled the
objection, noting it was proper foundation for the
officer's opinion regarding defendant's intoxication.
Detective Pope continued, stating he worked the third shift
and over his career he had encountered "a few
thousand" intoxicated individuals.
20 Detective Pope opined defendant was "extremely
intoxicated" on July 20, 2014. Defendant displayed a
slow reaction in answering questions and exhibited a
"dazed stare" when Detective Pope spoke to him.
Defendant told Detective Pope he consumed alcohol earlier in
the evening. Defendant smelled of alcohol and had red,
bloodshot eyes. Defendant denied the vehicle belonged to him;
rather, the vehicle belonged to a friend, but he stated he
had permission to drive it. It was later determined the
vehicle belonged to defendant's mother. Defendant stated
he had been in Decatur, Illinois, earlier in the evening and
several times told Detective Pope, "I never told you I
drove." Detective Pope, after speaking with defendant,
turned the case over to Deputy Sheriff Matt Jedlicka.
21 The State next called Deputy Sheriff Matt Jedlicka as a
witness. Deputy Sheriff Jedlicka testified he had been with
the Macon County Sheriff's Department going on 11 years
and was dispatched to the P&V gas station on July 20,
2014, to check on the welfare of a male asleep in a vehicle.
Deputy Sheriff Jedlicka made contact with defendant after
arriving at the gas station. Defendant told Deputy Sheriff
Jedlicka he had consumed "a few" Bud Light beers
earlier in the evening at a bar called Sliderz in Decatur,
Illinois. Defendant denied driving and denied being asleep or
woken up by anyone. Defendant refused to perform a field
sobriety test and was put under arrest. Once at jail,
defendant declined chemical analysis of his body.
22 The State asked Deputy Sheriff Jedlicka, in the course of
his work, how many times he had encountered intoxicated
individuals. Defense counsel objected for the same reason as
he did for Detective Pope, which the trial court overruled.
Deputy Sheriff Jedlicka testified his best estimate was he
would observe 20 to 30 intoxicated persons per week in
conjunction with his duties as a sheriff's deputy. Deputy
Sheriff Jedlicka testified to defendant's eyes being red,