POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
JANUARY 2018, LIVINGSTON COUNTY
MOTION TO SUPPRESS GRANTED
Fairbury police entered the client’s apartment without a warrant, searched the client and seized suspected cannabis and “spice.” Mr. Hiatt moved to suppress the evidence based on numerous Fourth Amendment violations. The court granted the motion. Prosecutors subsequently dismissed the charges.
AGGRAVATED UNLAWFUL USE OF A WEAPON; POSSESSION OF CANNABIS WITH INTENT TO DELIVER
NOVEMBER 2017, KANKAKEE COUNTY
MOTION TO SUPPRESS GRANTED
Client was pulled over by Kankakee police. A firearm and cannabis were discovered inside the vehicle. Police claimed they had information that the vehicle was stolen. Mr. Hiatt moved to suppress all evidence seized. He argued that the police had no evidence that the client knew the vehicle was stolen, and that the client had done nothing to justify being pulled over. The court agreed and granted the motion. As a result, the State dismissed the charges, the most serious of which carried a mandatory prison sentence of 6 to 30 years.
HARASSMENT OF A WITNESS
JUNE 2017, KANKAKEE COUNTY
Client was charged with going to the home of a witness in a criminal case against the client’s husband and harassing her. At trial, under questioning from Mr. Hiatt, another person who had been present contradicted the claims of the witness. Mr. Hiatt successfully discredited the witness, and the court returned a not guilty verdict.
JUNE 2017, KANKAKEE COUNTY
Client was arrested in Bourbonnais for DUI and other offenses. Despite the client’s failure of field sobriety tests and possession of alcohol in the vehicle, Mr. Hiatt successfully attacked the arresting officer’s conclusions and observations. A jury returned a not guilty verdict on the DUI.
CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT
MAY 2016, KANKAKEE COUNTY
Client, a group home worker, was accused of raping one of the residents while on duty. He sat in jail for several months with court-appointed counsel until Mr. Hiatt took on the case. Upon being retained, Mr. Hiatt demanded a jury trial. The jury deliberated an hour before returning a not guilty verdict.
MARCH 2017, FORD COUNTY
Client was arrested after being involved in a single-car accident after he left a bar. Despite a high blood-alcohol content and witnesses from the bar who observed the client drinking to intoxication, Mr. Hiatt demanded a trial, and prosecutors dismissed the charges.
FAILURE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER
APRIL 2017, KANKAKEE COUNTY
As a juvenile, client pled guilty to a sex offense and was subjected to lifetime sex offender registration. As an adult, he missed his registration deadline and was arrested for failure to register. Mr. Hiatt successfully petitioned the juvenile court to terminate the client’s registration requirement. In light of this, prosecutors elected to dismiss the failure to register charge, which carried a potential sentence of two to five years’ imprisonment.
AGGRAVATED DISCHARGE OF A FIREARM
JULY 2015, KANKAKEE COUNTY
Client was accused of shooting at a neighbor’s home with a high-powered rifle. Mr. Hiatt obtained evidence and witnesses contradicting the claim. Prosecutors elected to dismiss the charge, which carried a potential sentence of four to 15 years’ imprisonment.
FEBRUARY 2014, KANKAKEE COUNTY
Client was arrested in Bradley for DUI after she drove through a road block. The arresting officer berated the client during the traffic stop and insisted that she smelled strongly of alcohol, even as the client attempted to explain that she had not been drinking. At trial, Mr. Hiatt questioned the officer’s temperament and methods and called witnesses to demonstrate that the client had not consumed alcohol the night of the arrest. A jury returned a not guilty verdict after deliberating for less than an hour.
DELIVERY OF COCAINE
OCTOBER 2011, KANKAKEE COUNTY
Client was arrested in Kankakee County during a sting operation. Video purported to show the client engaging in a hand-to-hand transaction with a confidential informant, who was working with police in exchange for leniency on his own pending charges. Mr. Hiatt attacked the credibility of the informant and the poor equipment used by police to record the alleged transaction. The client faced up to 60 years in prison, but the jury returned a not guilty verdict.
PREPARATION OF FRAUDULENT TAX RETURNS
DECEMBER 2014, US DISTRICT COURT, PEORIA
Client, a tax preparer, was accused of filing fraudulent tax returns for his customers. At trial, Mr. Hiatt pointed out that certain of the returns were reviewed and approved by the customers, even though they attempted to deny doing so during the trial. The jury returned a not guilty verdict on these charges. Although the client was found guilty on other counts, the not guilty verdicts reduced the amount claimed by the government and lowered the client’s exposure. Mr. Hiatt successfully argued for a sentence below the United States Sentencing Guidelines and far below that requested by the government.
JANUARY 2016, US DISTRICT COURT, PEORIA
BELOW GUIDELINES SENTENCE
Client was indicted for distribution of child pornography. His residence contained several computers and electronic devices with thousands of photographs and videos. Client pled guilty and faced a Sentencing Guidelines range of 12 to 16 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of 20 years. At sentencing, Mr. Hiatt challenged the application of the Guidelines and emphasized the client’s lack of a criminal history, strong family ties and absence of violent or pedophiliac tendencies. Although the government demanded a Guidelines-range punishment, the court sentenced the client to only eight years in prison.