Kerry Bryson of the Office of the State Appellate Defender reviews the Illinois Supreme Court ruling in the criminal case People v. Casas.
In 1996, Fernando Casas, Jr., posted bond in a drug case and was released from custody. He regularly appeared at scheduled court dates until June 1998. His bond was forfeited and a bench warrant was issued. Casas was ultimately tried in absentia and a 20-year prison sentence was imposed.
In April 2014, a traffic stop revealed Casas’s outstanding warrant. Casas was taken into custody and began serving the 20-year sentence. Then, in December 2014, Casas was indicted for violating his bail bond. Casas moved to dismiss on the basis that the general three-year statute of limitations had expired in 2001 and the state had not alleged any facts to toll or extend the limitations period. The state then filed an amended information alleging that the bond violation was a continuing offense and the limitations period did not begin to run until Casas’s April 2014 arrest.
The circuit court dismissed, relying on People v. Grogan, 197 Ill. App. 3d 18 (1st Dist. 1990), which held that violation of bail bond is not a continuing offense. The state appealed, and the appellate court agreed with the state's assertion that Grogan was wrongly decided and concluded that it should no longer be followed.