Case Results

HARASSMENT OF A WITNESS

JUNE 2017, KANKAKEE COUNTY

NOT GUILTY

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.

DUI

JUNE 2017, KANKAKEE COUNTY

NOT GUILTY

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

NOT GUILTY

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.

DUI

MARCH 2017, FORD COUNTY

CHARGES DISMISSED

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

CHARGES DISMISSED

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

CHARGES DISMISSED

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.

DUI

FEBRUARY 2014, KANKAKEE COUNTY

NOT GUILTY

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

NOT GUILTY

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

NOT GUILTY

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.

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

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.