Third District Appellate Court Upholds Denial of Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea

In this case, the defendant was charged with home invasion, armed robbery, and other offenses. He chose to enter a partially open plea where the defendant would plead guilty to home invasion, the State would dismiss the other charges, and promise to cap the defendant’s exposure on the home invasion at 40 years (instead of 45).

The judge chose to give the defendant 40 years after a full sentencing hearing. The defendant then chose to file a motion to reduce his sentence as well as a motion to withdraw his plea. After the motion was denied, the defendant appealed.

The appellate court affirmed, finding that because this defendant could have received a maximum sentence of 90 years’ imprisonment had he gone to trial, this case was distinguishable from other situations where the defendant is not saving much time by pleading as opposed to going to trial.

The appellate court also found it significant that the defendant failed to present any evidence that the ability to appeal his sentence played an important role in his decision to accept the plea agreement.

The case is People v. Blair Johnson, 2018 IL App (3d) 150679.

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