So says an appeals panel in the 1st District, which remanded the case of a convicted felon who drew a nine-year stretch on robbery and battery charges thanks in part to a rap he took as a teen. De’Andre Williams was on release from a robbery conviction when he and an accomplice assaulted an undercover cop during an attempted drug buy on a Chicago street in 2018. While no contraband was exchanged, the offense drew a mandatory Class-X sentence from Judge Charles P. Burns in Cook County Circuit Court, who based the decision on priors that included the burglary Williams committed as a 17-year-old.
Williams was convicted as an adult in that case, which came a year before 2014 amendments to the state’s Juvenile Crime Act made such offenses eligible for determination of status under the law. On appeal, he argued that Burns committed plain error in applying the conviction to the sentencing calculus that resulted in three years being added to the mandatory six-year minimum due to the violent nature of the crime. The appeals court concurred, saying that the retroactive application of the change meant that the conviction Williams earned as a juvenile could not be used as a so-called predicate offense at sentencing.
The Chicagoland Law Firm defends clients in criminal cases, including in juvenile court and in sentencing appeals in Cook County, in DuPage County and in courts around the state. To speak with a Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney about your case, contact us today at our offices in downtown Chicago and in Downers Grove. The initial consultation is offered free of charge and cannot be construed as the provision of legal advice. However, our Criminal Defense Lawyer will defend you zealously should you choose to retain us. We are your best defense.