IL sustains arrest for firearm where statute authorizing arrest was later declared unconstitutional

Defendant was stopped under a statute later declared unconstitutional. Distinguishing prior authorities applying state law, the court holds that the “void ab initio” doctrine does not apply here, and the arrest, valid at the time, did not require suppression of the evidence later. People v. Holmes, 2017 IL 120407, 2017 Ill. LEXIS 652 (July 20, 2017). This is kind of like Davis good faith exception, but not exactly:

[*P39] The void ab initio doctrine did not retroactively invalidate probable cause for defendant’s arrest because probable cause was predicated on a statute that was subsequently declared unconstitutional on federal grounds. Because probable cause is a component of both the federal and state search and seizure provisions, we follow federal law pursuant to the limited lockstep doctrine. Federal case law holds that probable cause for arrest would not be retroactively invalidated by subsequent declaration of a statute’s unconstitutionality on federal grounds. See DeFillippo, 443 U.S. 31, 99 S. Ct. 2627, 61 L. Ed. 2d 343; Charles, 801 F.3d 855. Carrera is distinguishable and does not dictate a different result because (1) Carrera involved strict application of a state jurisprudential doctrine—the void ab initio doctrine—to a state statute declared unconstitutional on purely state grounds, (2) Carrera did not analyze probable cause as it was not at issue, and (3) the facts and issues presented in Carrera did not implicate the limited lockstep doctrine. See Carrera, 203 Ill. 2d 1, 783 N.E.2d 15, 270 Ill. Dec. 440. Our conclusion comports with this court’s decisions in Blair and McFadden. See Blair, 2013 IL 114122, 986 N.E.2d 75, 369 Ill. Dec. 126; McFadden, 2016 IL 117424, 406 Ill. Dec. 470, 61 N.E.3d 74. To hold that the void ab initio doctrine requires retroactive invalidation of probable cause would be tantamount to a repeal of the statute, which would violate separation of powers. Because probable cause is not invalidated, no fourth amendment violation has occurred. Therefore, we need not reach the issue of whether the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule may apply. Consequently, we reverse the judgment of the appellate court and remand the case to the circuit court for further proceedings.

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