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Criminal Law FLASHPOINTS June 2024

Matthew R. Leisten, Ogle County State’s Attorney’s Office, Oregon
815-732-1170 | E-mail Matthew R. Leisten

First District: Courts Have Some Latitude in Interpreting Pretrial Fairness Act’s 48-Hour Detention Hearing Language

In People v. Garduno, 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U, the First District Appellate Court held that the failure to bring a defendant before a judge within 48 hours of his arrest did not require his release because the defendant was brought before a judge without unnecessary delay.

In Garduno, the defendant was arrested on February 6, 2024, at 4:50 a.m. The Cook County State’s Attorney approved felony charges the next day on February 7 at 2:20 p.m., and Chicago Police approved of the charges at 6:31 p.m. 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶3.

The defendant was brought before a judge on February 8 at 12:40 p.m. for a detainment hearing. The defense asked that the defendant be released because he was appearing before a judge over 48 hours after his arrest in violation of 725 ILCS 5/109-1(a), as amended by P.A. 101-652 (eff. Jan. 1, 2023) (commonly known as the Pretrial Fairness Act). 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶4.

The trial judge denied the request to release the defendant because the statute did not list a remedy for the 48-hour violation. The trial judge stated that dismissing the case or releasing the defendant would be grossly disproportionate to any violation. 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶5. The trial court granted the state’s petition to deny pretrial release. 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶7.

The appellate court affirmed the trial’s court decision not to release the defendant. 725 ILCS 5/109-1(a) states in part that

[a] person arrested with or without a warrant for an offense for which pretrial release may be denied under paragraphs (1) through (6) of Section 110-6.1 shall be taken without unnecessary delay before the nearest and most accessible judge in that county, except when such county is a participant in a regional jail authority, in which event such person may be taken to the nearest and most accessible judge, irrespective of the county where such judge presides, within 48 hours, and a charge shall be filed. 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶10.

The appellate court cited to its previous decision in People v. Williams, 2024 IL App (1st) 232219-U, in which it also affirmed a trial court’s decision to detain a defendant when he was brought before a judge around 49.5 hours after his arrest. The Williams court concluded that the statute was not violated because the defendant was brought to a courthouse within 48 hours of his arrest, which satisfied the “may be taken to the nearest and most accessible judge” statutory language. 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶11.

The appellate court next cited the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Ballard, 206 Ill.2d 151, 794 N.E.2d 788, 276 Ill.Dec. 538 (2002). The Ballard court interpreted a prior version of §109-1 that did not contain the 48-hour language but required an arrestee to be taken without unnecessary delay before the nearest and most accessible judge. The Supreme Court held that “some latitude is allowed” when determining whether a defendant was brought before a judge without unnecessary delay. 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶12, quoting Ballard, supra, 794 N.E.2d at 806. The Supreme Court noted that “[p]resentment to a judge need be performed only with such reasonable promptness as the circumstances permit.” Id.

The appellate court further relied on the Williams decision, which stated that the “without unnecessary delay” language showed that the legislature intended that there be some latitude in fulfilling that deadline. Therefore, the defendant in Garduno was brought before a judge without unnecessary delay. 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶¶12 – 13.

However, the appellate court also stated that even if it had found that the 48-hour language was violated, that did not mean that releasing the defendant was required. The appellate court cited to its opinions in People v. Green, 2024 IL App (1st) 240211, and People v. Walker, 2024 IL App (1st) 232130-U, in which it found that a failure to hold a pretrial release revocation hearing within 72 hours did not require release because the statute did not prescribe a remedy. 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶14.

The appellate court concluded that it would have been impossible to have held the defendant’s detention hearing on February 7 because his charging decision was not finalized until that evening. Therefore, there was no unnecessary delay and his hearing was held “with such reasonable promptness as the circumstances permit[ted].” 2024 IL App (1st) 240405-U at ¶17.

For more information about criminal law, see CRIMINAL RECORDS: EXPUNGEMENT AND OTHER RELIEF (IICLE®, 2024). Online Library subscribers can view it for free by clicking here. If you don’t currently subscribe to the Online Library, visit www.iicle.com/subscriptions.

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