First District Appellate Court Reverses Resisting a Police Officer Conviction for a New Trial and Urges the State to Consider Dropping the Case.

In this case, the defense raised 8 different legal issues based on a re-trial. Summing them up in the reverse order of their importance, they are:

1. Under the facts of this case, resisting a police officer is a lesser included offense of aggravated battery of a police officer.

2. When a defendant is re-tried on an uncharged offense that results from an acquittal of a greater offense that’s reversed and remanded for a new trial, the State should re-charge the case.

3. The trial court did not abuse his discretion in refusing to admit the POD video since it did not contradict the officer’s testimony on that occasion.

4. Since the trial court had an opportunity to view the witnesses during the suppression hearing, the denial of the motion to quash arrest was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

5. Neither double jeopardy nor collateral estoppel are implicated because the defendant was acquitted of aggravated battery of a police officer and was not being re-tried for that offense, but rather for the lesser included for which he was found guilty: resisting.

This case involved a stop where the defendant left his van, leading to a foot chase. The defendant was tased, and the officer was allegedly struck. After a bench trial, the defendant was found not guilty of aggravated battery to a police officer, but found guilty of resisting.

This led to civil rights proceedings being filed which led to more discovery, including a POD video that seemed to back the defendant’s side of the story and contradict the officer’s. Defense counsel went in with a Petition to vacate that conviction which, after a hearing, was granted.

The follow-up motion to quash arrest was denied, which led to a second trial, this time a jury.

In this case, the defendant was never re-charged with the crime of resisting. This led to some mistakes in jury instructions. The defense also asked for a self defense instruction, which the appellate court held was improperly denied because the defense produced evidence of excessive force.

The appellate court also urged the State to consider dropping the case. A worthwhile read.

The case is People v. Brown.

Related Posts
  • Number 10 of Bill Wolf’s “Top Ten” Fourth Amendment Cases for Illinois Lawyers: The Illinois Appellate Court Case of People v. McCavitt. Read More
  • U.S. Supreme Court Holds Defendants Sentenced on Mandatory Minimum Ineligible for Later Sentencing Reductions Based on Reduction in Guidelines Range. Read More
  • Seventh Circuit Orders Limited Remand in Light of United States v. Dean Read More