Last week I did a trial for a client charged with Criminal Trespass in DuPage County, for an incident that happened at the Naperville Police Department. The client, a young lady with no criminal record whatsoever, refused to back down and agree to make the case go away by simply accepting a deal for a minor fine and court supervision. The client demanded a trial and at the end the judge found her not guilty and dismissed all the charges against her.
One evening last year, the client received a telephone call from a friend that had been arrested for a driving offense in Naperville. The friend was being held in jail and asked that my client go to the Naperville Police Station and bail him out of jail. The client, who lived in Chicago, had never been to Naperville so she asked her 2 roommates to accompany her. The state first called the arresting police officer who testified that he was parked in the rear of the Naperville Police Station when he saw the vehicle that my client was driving stop at a gate to a parking area that was reserved for police officers and was clearly marked with signs warning members of the public that the area was off limits. For some unknown reason, the gate to the parking lot was not closed. He observed my client stop her vehicle for a few seconds and proceed into the parking lot. He then pulled over my client’s vehicle and placed her under arrest for Criminal Trespass for entering an area that she had been warned was off limits. Another witness was called. This witness was a DuPage County Deputy Sheriff who testified that my client approached him at the entrance to the Naperville Police Station and asked him where she needed to go to post bond for a prisoner. The officer testified that the entrance to that location was just past where she was. The client then drove past that location, made a right turn and entered a restricted area. At the close of the state’s case I moved for a Directed Verdict arguing that the state had failed to meet its burden of proof and that there was no evidence that my client had knowingly entered a restricted area. I argued that my client merely made a mistake that was being treated as a crime by the state. The state argued that the area was clearly marked with warning signs and I pointed out that the same warning signs state that the parking lot is monitored by electronic surveillance and that in spite of subpoenas and numerous requests, the state had to admit that the surveillance tape of the incident had not been preserved and could not come up with the video evidence which would show whether the DuPage County Sheriff’s Deputy pointed the client to the correct location or to where the client ultimately went. After the state finished presenting their case, I moved for a Directed Verdict arguing that they had failed to present enough evidence for the case to continue. The Judge agreed and granted my Motion for Directed Verdict resulting in the dismissal of charges and a formal finding of Not Guilty! This means that my client will be able to expunge this case from her record.
My winning streak in DuPage County continues. I remain undefeated in DuPage County.
James Dimeas is an award winning Chicago criminal defense attorney and author with more than 23 years of experience aggressively representing his clients in criminal trespass cases. If you have a criminal trespass case in Illinois, contact me in Chicago (312-229-5500), DuPage and Kane (630-504-2096) or Lake (847-696-6458) for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.