The case examples listed below include results obtained in various matters handled by our Chicago criminal defense law firm. The sole intent of these case descriptions is to provide information about the activities and experience of our criminal defense law firm. They should not be viewed as a guarantee or assurance of future success in any criminal defense matter.
Please be aware that the outcome of a particular case cannot be determined based on a criminal defense attorney's past results. Rather, the outcome of a particular matter depends on a variety of factors specific to the case a hand. As such, you should not assume that a similar result or outcome can be obtained by our criminal defense law firm in your legal matter.
Recent Criminal Defense Cases Handled By Our Law Firm
August 21, 2017 - Domestic Battery. The client had a child with the complaining witness. The client and the complaining witness got into an argument. The complaining witness was supposed to take their child to daycare, but instead took the baby to the client's house. The complaining witness called the client and left voicemails with threats to leave the baby out in the cold. The complaining witness was angry and swearing. In response, the client called the police. When the client arrived, they fought. The police arrived, and the complaining witness became meek and cried. The client was angry and screamed at the complaining witness, so the police arrested the client. At trial, Attorney Steven R. Hunter cross-examined the complaining witness, who denied ever being angry or threatening. Mr. Hunter then confronted the complaining witness with the voice mail recordings. He also presented a booking photo showing that the complaining witness had broken the client's glasses. The Judge said that she did not believe the complaining witness and found the client Not Guilty.
August 11, 2017 - Unlawful Use of Weapon. The client was a properly licensed armed Security Guard. Under the law, he was entitled to carry his weapon while performing his job and while commuting. On the way home from work his car broke down. He did not want to pay for a tow truck and texted his ex-wife for help. While waiting for her to respond he fell asleep. He awoke later and was arrested because the police, mistakenly relying on an out-of-date statute, believed that there was a time limit to his commute. Attorney Steven R. Hunter proved at trial that the client was a legally licensed Security Guard. During cross-examination, the police officer admitted he thought the law imposed a one-hour time limit on commuting. Mr. Hunter then presented the court with the old law and the new, amended statute. The Judge sided with Mr. Hunter and found the client Not Guilty.
July 18, 2017 - Aggravated Robbery. The client was charged with Aggravated Robbery. He was arrested shortly after a man was robbed. The robber wore a mask and had what appeared to be gun. He also carried a white bag. The police searched the client at his arrest and found inside a white bag a mask, a bb gun, and the victim's phone. Originally, he was held on a high bond that he could not post. Attorney Steven R. Hunter filed a Motion to Reduce the bond and the bond was lowered to an amount his mother could obtain. After acquiring and reviewing all of the police reports and video evidence, Attorney Steven R. Hunter filed a Motion to Suppress. At the same time, he put together mitigation in the form of character letters, records of employment and education, and other documents that he used to persuade the prosecutor to recommend probation rather than litigate a Motion to Suppress Evidence that had an uncertain outcome. The client chose to accept the probation rather than risk up to 15 years in prison.
July 5, 2017 - The client had two cases, a misdemeanor Domestic Battery charge and a felony Violation of Probation based on several different violations. He was in custody. The client had received an offer of 60 days in jail if he plead guilty to the domestic battery charge. When he called attorney Steven R. Hunter, he wanted Mr. Hunter to advance the misdemeanor case and accept the offer. The client did not realize that pleading guilty to the misdemeanor would automatically violate his felony probation, and could result in his being sent to prison on the violation. Mr. Hunter spoke to the probation Judge and that Judge agreed that he would accept the 60 days in jail for the domestic battery as punishment for the violation of probation too. The client then plead guilty to the domestic battery and received 60 days of jail. A few weeks later he was before his probation Judge who accepted the 60 days sentence as punishment for the violation of probation. The client received credit for the time he had been locked up, and he was released a few days later.
June 30, 2017 - Theft of Services. The client took a cab home from the bar after a bit too much to drink. He dropped his debit card in the dark cab and could not find it. The cabbie called the police and the client was arrested for theft of services. Restitution was negotiated and paid and the charges were dropped.
June 23, 2017 - Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance. The client was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance. Attorney Steven R. Hunter appeared in court several times, always ready to proceed. The State never obtained an analysis of the drug from the Crime Lab. Because the defense was always ready, the State's 30 days window to obtain a finding of probable cause passed and they had to dismiss the charges.
June 21, 2017 - Battery. The client was a staff person at a school for children with behavior problems. A student came home with bruises and claimed that the client had hit him. Attorney Steven R. Hunter had a teacher and a staff member prepared to testify that this did not happen, and that the student was disruptive and physically violent, prompting a safety restraint. In addition, Attorney Hunter obtained a video from the school bus showing the student leaving school the day he claimed to have been hit. The video showed he did not have a mark on him. On the day of trial, the prosecutors dismissed the charges.
June 14, 2017 - Felony Domestic Battery. After a contested hearing, the court entered a finding of No Probable Cause and the case was dismissed.
June 2, 2017 - Failure to Register. The client was held in custody for failing to register as a sex offender. Specifically, he was a few days late in updating his address. Attorney Steven R. Hunter appeared for him at weekend bond court. He had obtained a great deal of background information that allowed him to argue for a relatively low bond. After a hearing, the client was given a bond that he could post and he was released. Pursuant to the advice of his lawyer, he immediately updated his registration information. On the next court date, the prosecution had verified that the client complied with his registration obligations and decided to dismiss the charges. This case shows that it can be very important to obtain a reasonable bond for the client. Because he was released the client could become compliant. Had he remained in jail, his case would not have been dismissed.
June 1, 2017 - Reckless Conduct. The client was charged with throwing objects out of a high hotel room window. He was a Dream Act applicant who could not afford a conviction of any kind. Attorney Steven R. Hunter developed a defense pointing to other occupants of the hotel room, but asked the prosecutor to consider a diversion. The client performed community service and his case was dismissed.
June 1, 2017 - Possession of a Controlled Substance. Attorney Hunter met with the defendant in his office after obtaining permission from the Cook County Sheriff's Electronic Monitoring Unit. He drafted a cross-examination and was ready to fight the Preliminary Hearing for Possession of a Controlled Substance. The officer failed to appear and the Judge denied the State's request for a continuance so the State dismissed the charges.
May 25, 2017 - Domestic Battery. The defendant was arrested on a signed complaint. Attorney Steven R. Hunter interviewed the complaining witness and learned that she signed the complaint without realizing what she was signing. She never wanted the defendant to be arrested, and said that the claim that he had stolen her telephone was not true. She thought he had taken it but found it later under a bed. Attorney Hunter asked her for a letter stating this, which she provided to him. She failed to appear in court and Attorney Hunter used the letter to persuade the prosecution to dismiss the case. Mr. Hunter also obtained an order from the court for the immediate removal of the GPS ankle monitor that the client had been forced to wear.
May 18, 2017 - Federal Fraud. The client was charged with a Federal Fraud crime involving unemployment benefits. The actual loss amount was more than $800,000. Because the client had no prior criminal history, his sentencing range under the United States Sentencing Guidelines was 30 to 37 months. Criminal defense attorney Steven R. Hunter worked with the client and his family to present mitigation and positive information about the client to the Judge. The sentence imposed was 8 months in the Bureau of Prisons, almost 75% off of the low end of the client's Sentencing Guidelines range.
May 15, 2017 - Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. The client is charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. At bond court Attorney Steven R. Hunter argued for a reasonable bond given the defendant's limited criminal history and ties to the community. The court heard Mr. Hunter's arguments and imposed a bond of $100,000 I with Electronic Monitoring, which means the client went home without posting any money.
May 12, 2017 - Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. The client was charged with Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. The accusation alleged that he had unwanted sexual contact with a person in a nursing home who could not consent. Attorney Steven R. Hunter obtained a bond reduction for the client to $30,000. The $3,000 bond was posted and Mr. Hunter fought for his client by filing and litigating several pre-trial motions. After over a year of fighting, the prosecution agreed to dismiss the sex offense and recommend probation to the offense of Aggravated Battery.
May 10, 2017 - Battery. A dispute arose at a school about a bullying situation. The client went to the school and confronted the bully and his mother. The mother responded by filing a battery complaint, which the client insisted was a lie. Attorney Steven R. Hunter appeared in court ready to dispute the charge, but the opposing witnesses failed to appear and the case was dismissed.
May 9, 2017 - Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance. The client was accused of Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance in an amount greater than 100 grams, as well a violation of his probation for a drug offense. This charge carries a sentence of 9 to 40 years in prison, with only 25% good time, instead of the typical %50. Attorney Steven R. Hunter filed several pre-trial motions and was prepared to fight the case. At the same time, he acquired a great deal of mitigation evidence establishing that his client had a job, a family, and a history of good works. In addition, he used the police reports to show that the client was a low level participant and not an organizer of the crime. Mr. Hunter persuaded the prosecution to reduce the charge to a standard Class X offense with a range of 6 to 30 years with day for day good time and to recommend a 10 year sentence. In addition, the prosecution agreed to withdraw the violation of probation.
May 5, 2017 - Aggravated Battery. The client was on probation for Aggravated Battery, but had been required to attend sex offender counseling. The client had been discharged from counseling for allegedly failing to cooperate. The alleged violation actually consisted of not always having the $40 per session fee, and also refusing to admit being a sex offender. Attorney Steven R. Hunter convinced the court to terminate the probation without a violation hearing, and the client was released from custody. This case underscores the importance of jail visits. Attorney Steven R. Hunter visited the client in jail before the court date and heard her explanation for the alleged violation. Using this information, Mr. Hunter acquired corroboration for his client's story. If he had not gone to the jail, he would not have been able to go forward on the first court date and his client would have remained in jail another month.
April 12, 2017 - Domestic Battery. The client faced the charge of Domestic Battery. The complaining witness was his wife, who was an immigrant and who spoke limited English. The husband had been ordered as a condition of his bond to have no contact with his wife. Attorney Steven R. Hunter spoke to the witness and discovered that she did not understand why her husband was not at home and did not understand what had happened. She thought her husband had chosen to stay away. Mr. Hunter explained that her husband was legally forbidden from returning home or from contacting her. Once she had this understanding, the wife chose to ask the prosecution to drop the charges. Case dismissed.
March 14 and 15, 2017 - Resisting or Obstructing a Police Officer . The prosecution charged the client with Resisting or Obstructing a Police Officer, which is a misdemeanor offense. At the time that Attorney Steven R. Hunter was hired as the client's criminal defense lawyer, the prosecutors had offered him 180 days in jail. The offer was very high because the police claimed the client had possessed a gun, even though they never recovered a gun. In addition, he was on felony probation in another courtroom. Attorney Steven R. Hunter researched and wrote a motion to suppress based on an illegal arrest. The court complimented Mr. Hunter on the quality of the motion, and when the State was not ready to proceed, the case was dismissed. The next day Mr. Hunter appeared with his client for the felony violation of probation and reported the dismissal. With the basis of the violation removed, the court agreed to early termination of the probation.
March 13, 2017 - Firearm Crime. The client was charged with the offense of Possession of Firearm Ammunition without an FOID card in DuPage County. The prosecutors refused to recommend Supervision, or anything else, so Attorney Steven R. Hunter requested a continuance, put together a mitigation package and requested a 402 conference with the Judge. At the conference, Mr. Hunter persuaded the Judge to sentence his client to Supervision and community service.
March 3, 2017 - Reckless Conduct. The client was accused of throwing cups of water out a hotel window. The charge was Reckless Conduct. Because of the client's immigration situation, he did not want to risk a trial. Instead Attorney Steven R. Hunter negotiated a diversion, where the client performed community service in exchange for a dismissal.
March 2, 2017 - A person who the client had business dealings with accused him of robbing him at gunpoint, along with another alleged offender. The client was arrested and charged with Armed Robbery and Aggravated Unlawful Restraint. The Armed Robbery charged carried a 21 year minimum in which the client would have to serve 85% of his sentence if he had been convicted. Attorney Steven R. Hunter and his client prepared for trial and fought to show the many inconsistencies in the accuser's story. In addition, Mr. Hunter worked many hours with his client to prepare him for testimony. At the conclusion of the trial, the client was found Not Guilty of the Armed Robbery and received probation for the Unlawful Restraint count.
February 22, 2017 - Domestic Battery. The client was arrested for Domestic Battery after an argument with his girlfriend. The girlfriend told the police that he had threatened her with a gun. Because of this claim, the bond was thousands of dollars. The client managed to post bond and hired Attorney Steven R. Hunter to defend the criminal battery charges. Mr. Hunter appeared in court ready to fight on the first court date. However, the complaining witness did not show up. Mr. Hunter successfully objected to a continuance and the case was dismissed.
February 15, 2017 - Violating a Protection Order in Will County. Our client violated a Will County Order of Protection. With a knowledgeable Will County criminal defense attorney on his side, he was able to avoid harsher punishment.
More case details: Violating a Will County Protection Order, Probation Granted
January 24, 2017 - Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and Burglary. The client had been arrested 16 years earlier for two felonies, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle and Burglary. The age of the criminal case would have potentially made them difficult to prove, although the police claimed to have witnessed both crimes and may have appeared for a trial. Instead, Attorney Steven R. Hunter persuaded the prosecution to dismiss one case and reduce the other to a misdemeanor. The client decided not to risk trial and pled guilty to one misdemeanor.
January 20, 2017 - Battery. After a night of drinking the client was arrested for battery to a cab driver. He was unable to remember much of what happened. Attorney Steven R. Hunter spoke to the complaining witness and was shown photos of his injuries. Mr. Hunter negotiated a plea bargain for six months of Supervision and no contact with the complaining witness.
December 5, 2016 - Domestic Battery. The client was charged with Domestic Battery. At bond court, before Attorney Steven R. Hunter was hired, the prosecutors persuaded a judge to enter Special Conditions of Bond that required the client to have absolutely no contact with his wife, who was the complaining witness.
However, attorneys can interview witnesses. Attorney Hunter spoke to the wife and she told him she had no idea that the prosecutors would ask for bond conditions that prevented her husband from contacting her. She also stated that the whole incident was a misunderstanding and she wanted the charges dropped because her husband was innocent. At the request of Mr. Hunter, she provided a letter to that effect.
Interviewing the complaining witness is essential in domestic battery cases. Frequently, what the complaining witness says happened is dramatically different from police reports. This gives an attorney and his client the ability to evaluate if they should go to trial. At court, the complaining witness did not appear, her letter was presented to the prosecutors, and the case was dismissed.
November 16, 2016 - Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. The client was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Squad car video showed him driving the wrong way down a one-way street and doing poorly on Field Sobriety Tests. Not wishing to risk his driving privileges at a trial, the client asked his Cook County DUI lawyer, Attorney Steven R. Hunter, to negotiate a plea agreement. After obtaining mitigation, Mr. Hunter persuaded the prosecution to concede on a Petition to Rescind Summary Suspension and to recommend Supervision on the DUI. The client, who needed to drive for his job, could keep driving.
November 5, 2016 - Disorderly Conduct. The client was charged with Disorderly Conduct for allegedly swearing and verbally abusing a security guard at a train station. The client denied the charges, but lived in another state. Returning to fight the case would have been an extreme hardship. Instead, Attorney Steven R. Hunter obtained witnesses who would support the clients defense, but also prepared mitigation. Mr. Hunter's philosophy, developed after practicing criminal defense for many years, is that if you want a good deal, you should look like you want to go to trial and the prosecutor must persuade you not to do so. The strategy worked, and the client was offered a dismissal of charges if he completed some community service in his home town. Attorney Hunter convinced the judge to waive his client's presence on the next court date, and Mr. Hunter returned with proof of the community service. The case was then dismissed.
October 11, 2016 - Domestic Battery. The client was charged with Domestic Battery. The complaining witness was the client's girlfriend. Attorney Steven R. Hunter interviewed her as part of his case preparation. She told him that the defendant had not hit her and that she did not wish to pursue charges. She also indicated that the injury she sustained which the police photographed was the result of an accident.
Attorney Hunter acquired a letter from the girlfriend stating those facts. Despite this extremely helpful evidence, the prosecutors refused to dismiss the case, and demanded that the client plead guilty. The client wanted to plead guilty rather than set the case for trial. He had an extensive criminal history and was worried that he would receive a year in jail if he was convicted. Attorney Hunter discussed the situation with him and pointed out that if he pled guilty he could also receive up to a year in jail. The client eventually decided to listen to the advice of Attorney Hunter and the case was set for trial. On the day of trial the complaining witness was not present. The judge sustained Attorney Hunter's objection to a continuance, and the prosecution was forced to dismiss all charges.
September 14, 2016 - Petition for an Order of Protection. In this case, a Petition for an Order of Protection was filed against the client by his Aunt. The client had filed charges against his Uncle, and the Aunt made false allegations him to DCFS, the Chicago Police, and filed the petition in retaliation. Attorney Steven R. Hunter spoke to members of the Chicago Police Department, who indicated that they believed the client's accusation against the Uncle, they lacked sufficient proof to charge him. Other officers investigated the accusations made by the Aunt against the client and found them baseless. Attorney Steven R. Hunter subpoenaed the police to testify at the hearing against the Aunt. Attorney Hunter also subpoenaed the Uncle. Fearing he would have to testify, the Aunt dismissed her petition against the client.
September 12, 2016 - Petition for a Stalking No Contact Order. The client's ex-girlfriend was jealous when he became engaged to another woman and filed a Petition for a Stalking No Contact Order. She claimed that he punched her twice at a Memorial Day picnic, and also alleged that he had called her in 2014 to "confront" her about a situation that she claimed his fiancee had created. On the court date, she told the judge that she had just hired a criminal defense lawyer and that he was on his way. The attorney arrived and answered ready for a hearing. Knowing that the opposing lawyer had just been hired, Attorney Steven R. Hunter also answered ready. Once the hearing began, Attorney Hunter successfully prevented the Petitioner from bringing up allegations not in the petition. He argued that the Illinois Stalking No Contact Order Act, 740 ILCS 21/10 defines stalking as at least two acts of stalking, and that the 2014 telephone call did not qualify. The judge agreed and the petition was dismissed.
September 12, 2016 - Criminal Trespassing. The defendant in this case was charged with trespassing to a home which was the subject of a raid to seize drugs by the police. Attorney Steven R. Hunter went to the home, which was located in a high-crime neighborhood on the West side of Chicago. The home appeared vacant and there was no contact information in the police reports for the leaseholder. Prior to hiring Attorney Hunter, the client had changed her court date. The other defendants' cases were dismissed on the original trial date when the complaining witness failed to appear. However, the complaining witness was not summoned to court on the client's new court date, so the prosecution refused to dismiss her charges. Although the client expressed the desire to plead guilty to "get the case over with," Attorney Hunter encouraged her to set the case for trial, knowing that the prosecution could not prove the case without the presence of the resident. On the day of trial the prosecution had no witnesses and the case was dismissed.
September 1, 2016 - Battery. The defendant was accused of Battery to a security guard at Wrigley Field. The allegation was that he pushed a security guard while being ejected from Wrigley Field for being intoxicated. The complaining witness was a senior security official who was nearly 70, and the client had a hazy recollection of the events due to being overserved by the beer vendors at Wrigley Field. Attorney Steven R. Hunter concluded that seeking a diversion was wiser than going to trial. He worked with the client to obtain mitigation about the client's work history, education, and background, and convinced the prosecutors to offer a diversion, in which the client performed community service, returned to court with proof of that service, and the charges were dismissed.
September 19, 2016 - Warrant for Arrest. The defendant was on Pretrial Release from the Southern District of Indianapolis. The defendant had permission to reside in the Chicago area and was monitored by Pretrial Services for the Northern District of Illinois. A warrant was issued for his arrest in Indianapolis based on allegations that he failed to report to Pretrial Services and did not report contacts with the Downers Grove police. He was taken into custody in Chicago, and a removal hearing was held. Attorney Steven R. Hunter presented testimony from the defendant's Pretrial Services officer that the defendant had not failed to report and did inform Pretrial of his contacts with the Downers Grove Police. The court agreed to allow the defendant out of custody and ordered him to travel to Indianapolis for his next court date on his own.
September 1, 2016 - Criminal Trespassing. The client was accused of Criminal Trespass at a Place of Public Amusement, under 720 ILCS 5/21-9, which is a Class 4 felony. Specifically, the client ran onto the field at a White Sox game. Knowing that there were about 20,000 witnesses, plus video on the internet, Attorney Steven R. Hunter advised against trying to win the case, and instead pursued a diversion with the Cook County State's Attorney Alternative Prosecution Unit. A mitigation package was put together and the unit of the prosecutor's office with jurisdiction was contacted. Attorney Hunter successfully persuaded them to offer a diversion and the client avoided a felony conviction and a permanent criminal record.
August 18, 2016 - Driving under the Influence of Alcohol and Driver's License Suspension. The defendant was charged with the offense of Driving under the Influence of Alcohol, as well as Aggravated Speeding and other moving charges. Attorney Steven R. Hunter filed a motion for discovery and obtained police reports and video recordings of the client's driving, arrest and booking. The prosecutors refused the defense proposal to dismiss the DUI and rescind the summary suspension in exchange for a plea of guilty to lesser charges.
With nothing to lose, the case was set for a hearing to rescind or take back the suspension of the driver's license, as well as trial on the Drunk Driving and Aggravated Speeding offenses. The video did show bad driving, including the client speeding away after the police officer stopped him the first time and got out of his police cruiser. In addition, the booking video showed the client refusing to take a breathalyzer test after being properly warned. However, it also showed the officer failing to administer field sobriety tests at the scene.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter successfully argued that the police and prosecutor did not have proof beyond a reasonable doubt to show drunk driving or Aggravated Speeding. The court agreed, but upheld the driver's license suspension. Not Guilty as to DUI and Aggravated Speeding. The defendant acquired a BAID, or mobile breath device, for his car and could drive.
August 10, 2016 - Warrant Dismissed. Fifteen years earlier, in 2001, the defendant was in the Cook County jail on a gun charge. He was released from jail, and mistakenly believed that his case was dismissed because he never posted bond. However, what had actually happened was that he was released under a dubious program to release jail overcrowding. He returned to his home in another state, and did not become aware of the warrant issued in his case until it was brought to his attention by law enforcement. He had gone fifteen years with no arrests, he was gainfully employed, and he was a solid citizen. Attorney Steven R. Hunter presented proof of all of this to the prosecutors, and pointed out that it would be difficult to prove a case that was fifteen years old. The prosecutors agreed and the case was dismissed on a motion to Nolle Prosequi. 01 CR 1682301)
July 18, 2016 - Domestic Battery. The client was charged with Domestic Battery. He was arrested after bystanders witnessed an argument with his wife at a local shopping mall. During the argument he took his car keys from his wife's purse so that he could leave and they could both cool off. Bystanders misunderstood the act and reported a robbery. The police tracked down the wife and persuaded her to sign a criminal complaint for domestic battery. The client hired Attorney Steven R. Hunter, who interviewed the wife/complaining witness. She told a very different story than the one contained in the police reports. Attorney Steven R. Hunter explained to the wife how to communicate the truth to the prosecutors. Ultimately, the case was dismissed.
July 8, 2016 - Petition for an Order of Protection. The client's ex-fiancee filed a Petition for an Order of Protection against him based on false allegations. She managed to obtain an Emergency Order of Protection by claiming that the client waited for her outside her apartment with a stick and grabbed her arm, and that, on other days, the client walked around near her apartment. Attorney Steven R. Hunter, working with the client, obtained proof that the defendant was at a baseball game with several witnesses at the time the Petitioner claimed he was at her apartment. He even had a "selfie" photograph of himself and his friends. The Petitioner dropped the petition and the emergency order was vacated.
July 6, 2016 - Petition for an Order of Protection. The client's former girlfriend filed for an Order of Protection, alleging that he pushed her, forcibly took her mobile phone, and locked her out of their apartment. She also claimed he had been verbally and emotionally abusive on many occasions.
The client denied all of this and said that the Petitioner attacked him during a heated argument. He then locked her out to defuse the situation. The client had a job working with children and could not be subject to an Order of Protection. Attorney Steven R. Hunter attempted to negotiate with the Petitioner, but she was extremely angry and out for revenge. She also did not appear to consider the possibility that she would lose the hearing.
On the first court date, the Petitioner told the court she was ready for a hearing that day. Normally, Attorney Steven R. Hunter spends many hours preparing for trials and hearings, but the opportunity to do a hearing with a Petitioner who was representing herself was too good to pass up, given that a lack of understanding of criminal law and legal procedures put the Petitioner at a significant disadvantage. A hearing was held, during which the Petitioner attempted to introduce hearsay and make reference to alleged emails and texts which she could not produce.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter, citing the relevant rules of evidence, kept all inappropriate testimony out of evidence. The defendant then denied her allegations, and explained that the Petitioner was in a fit of jealous rage after concluding, wrongly, that the client had cheated on her. At the conclusion of the hearing the court ruled in favor of Mr. Hunter's client and the Petition for an Order of Protection was denied. In addition, the Emergency Order of Protection which the Petitioner had obtained was vacated.
July 5, 2016 - Reckless Conduct. The client was charged with Reckless Conduct after he jumped off a bridge into Lake Michigan. The client was anxious to resolve the case quickly, so Attorney Steven R. Hunter negotiated an agreement for the client to perform 50 hours of community service in exchange for a dismissal of the charges.
June 24, 2016 - Criminal Damage to Property. The client was charged with felony Criminal Damage to Property. He and two co-defendants were accused of spray painting a CTA train in a CTA railyard. One of the co-defendants in this graffiti case unwisely filmed much of the painting on a Go-Pro camera. The police obtained the camera during a search of the co-defendant's car. The defendant lacked standing, or in other words the legal authority, to object to the search of someone else. In addition, the client had received a prison sentence for a similar crime previously. Attorney Steven R. Hunter put together mitigation and negotiated a plea agreement for probation and restitution with the prosecutors.
June 22, 2016 - Domestic Battery. The client had an on-going feud with his roommate. The roommate repeatedly called the police and had the client arrested for domestic battery, even though both men denied a romantic relationship. The law does allow for this. Against the advice of Attorney Steven R. Hunter, the client continued to live with the roommate, seeking to stay in his apartment until the lease had expired. A week before the lease was up, the roommate again called the police and again had the client arrested. Armed with the entire history of the roommate's false charges, Attorney Steven R. Hunter appeared in court and demanded trial after the case was dismissed.
June 7, 2016 - Order of Protection. The client was the Respondent in a petition for an Order of Protection filed by his former girlfriend. The girlfriend was represented by counsel. Attorney Steven R. Hunter obtained texts of threats from the petitioner and photos of injuries. He then persuaded the Petitioner and her lawyer to dismiss the petition after the parties agreed to resolve an outstanding mobile phone bill.
May 3, 2016 - Domestic Battery. The client was arrested for domestic battery. She was accused of slapping her boyfriend's mother. The police arrested the client and she bonded out. She then returned to the residence she shared with her boyfriend and his mother. The mother called the police and had the girlfriend re-arrested for violating the bail bond. (A standard condition of bond in domestic violence cases is not to return to the home for 72 hours. That condition applied in this case). The client returned because she felt she had nowhere else to stay. Attorney Steven R. Hunter worked with the boyfriend to make his mother understand that his girlfriend was a permanent part of his life. The mother decided to return to her native land of Romania. The client was unable to appear at the third court date due to a hospitalization. However, Attorney Steven R. Hunter persuaded the prosecution to dismiss the charges and not to seek a warrant.
May 2, 2016 - Retail Theft. The defendant was charged with retail theft. The defense case was weak, so attorney Steven R. Hunter developed multiple options for the client. First, working with the client he obtained mitigation, which is the word lawyers use for positive information about the client. For this retail theft case, the mitigation facts included proof that he was gainfully employed, character references, and documentation of his education. Next, attorney Steven R. Hunter investigated the possibility of a diversion. Finally, he appeared in court and discerned that no one from the store appeared. The case was dismissed.
March 17, 2016 - Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. The defendant was charged with the offense of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. He was facing a suspension of his license. The defendant had a good job that required him to drive. Loss of his license would have meant loss of his livelihood.
Squad car video showed him failing the Field Sobriety Tests, and his breathalyzer result was over twice the legal limit. Nevertheless, Attorney Steven R. Hunter filed a Petition to Rescind. Although the client received Supervision for the DUI, his suspension was rescinded and his driving privileges were reinstated.
March 10, 2016 - Bank Fraud. The client was charged with bank fraud. The government alleged that she conspired to cash stolen checks with forged information and to open bank accounts with stolen personal identification and then use the accounts to obtain the money from the checks. The federal prosecutors had a strong case, as they often do. The defendant and attorney Steven R. Hunter reviewed the evidence and agreed that the wisest strategy was to pursue plea negotiations. Unfortunately, the prosecutor took a tough line. This meant a contested sentencing hearing.
Mr. Hunter worked with the client to obtain mitigation. Photos of the client at a food bank and other charitable events, along with letters proving her participation, were just some of the mitigation obtained. The client had a strong work history, and the defense submitted many letters from her current employer, past employers, and past clients who all praised her work ethic and integrity. That and other information persuaded the court that this case was an aberration. The defendant received a sentence of 20 months in the Bureau of Prisons, even though the United States Sentencing Guidelines called for a sentencing range of 41 to 51. The sentence imposed was less than half the U.S.S.G. range.
March 8, 2016 - Theft of Government Funds. The client had been collecting his mother social security retirement benefits by cashing her checks after she passed away and not informing the government that she had died. This went on for decades. In total, he received $438,204.00. The Social Security Administration contacted him, and shortly after that so did a federal agent. The client wisely hired attorney Steven R. Hunter.
The evidence against the client was substantial. Bank records and video established conclusively that the defendant had received the money in question. Instead of pursuing a futile trial that would have increased the client's United States Sentencing Guidelines range of punishment, attorney Steven R. Hunter pursued a strategy of obtaining mitigation. Medical records showed the clients serious health issues, employment documentation revealed the clients strong work history. The alarming total, when divided out over time, came out to less than $1100.00 per month, a far less shocking figure. In the end, the court sentenced the defendant to one year and a day in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, with mandatory restitution and Supervised Release. The one day made him eligible for good time credit, and the client is likely to serve just over 10 months in the Bureau of Prisons.
February 11, 2016 - Child Abduction. The client was charged with Child Abduction under 720 ILCS 5/10-5(b)(10)(A). Two girls, ages 9 and 6, claimed that the client had yelled at one of the girls to come into his van as they played in the front yard of their home. The girls ran inside and told their mother this story. An older brother and the mother came outside, and while the mother cursed out the client, the older brother punched him in the face and seized his keys.
The defendant was held on an enormous $250,000 bond, even though he had no criminal history. Attorney Steven R. Hunter tried unsuccessfully to have the bond lowered, but a judge refused to do so.
Mr. Hunter obtained and reviewed the police reports, as well as a video tape of the so-called "victim sensitive interview" or VSI. He also interviewed family and friends of the accused client. What he learned was that the client routinely bought coffee at a local fast food restaurant, and would then would go park somewhere and people watch while it cooled off. Then he would drink it. On occasion, friends and family confirmed, he would wave at children.
This is what the client said happened in this case. He denied ever speaking to either girl. The girls, for their part, agreed that the client was drinking coffee. However, they insisted that the client yelled for one of them to get in the van. However, at the VSI both girls also insisted that the client told them to go get their mother because he wanted to talk to her.
A conviction would very likely have resulted in a lifetime of sex-offender registration, and also very likely have resulted in a loss of legal status and deportation for the client. Attorney Steven R. Hunter urged the client not to accept that outcome and the client agreed. However, it took months to get the case into a trial posture. Finally, on the day of trial, the defendant was offered a charge reduction to Attempt Child Abduction. Sex offender registration and deportation still seemed likely, so the defendant refused. The prosecution, seeing the multiple defense witnesses that attorney Steven R. Hunter had prepared to testify, his trial book, and his determination to fight, then offered the defendant six months of non-reporting Supervision to the offense of Reckless Conduct. The defendant instructed Mr. Hunter to accept the offer. While it is difficult to be to elated about a guilty plea, trials always have uncertain outcomes and the client elected to avoid the risk of the severe consequences that a possible conviction would carry. Attorney Steven R. Hunter does take satisfaction in the knowledge that his hard work resulted in a substantial charge reduction and one of the lowest sentences possible. Charge reduced, 6 months court Supervision.
January 20, 2016 - Possession of a Controlled Substance. The client was arrested on the street after the police saw what they assumed was a drug deal. He was stopped and searched and a significant amount of drugs was found on him. Attorney Steven R. Hunter developed testimony at the preliminary hearing that would support a motion to suppress the evidence. However, the client and his family wanted to pursue treatment options. Attorney Steven R. Hunter obtained and submitted a screening request form to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office of Alternative Prosecutions and Sentencing Courts, along with supporting documents. The prosecutor's office agreed to send the case to the Felony Deferred Prosecution Program. There, the defendant is received treatment and case management to help him deal with his problems, without having to plead guilty. Deferred prosecution.
January 20, 2016 - Forgery and Theft. The defendant was a bookkeeper who used her position to create fake invoices and check register entries to vendors, then actually writing checks to herself. Her acts were discovered, and when her employer confronted her, she made a full admission. She contacted attorney Steven R. Hunter about arranging for a re-payment plan. At this point she had not been charged with a crime. However, eventually she was charged in federal court. Attorney Steven R. Hunter obtained mitigation evidence which proved that the defendant was a middle-aged woman who had never had any contacts with law enforcement before, that she was the primary care-giver for a special-needs step-daughter, and that she had made substantial repayments of the money taken. He presented this information to the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the case and requested that his client only be charged with a misdemeanor. The AUSA refused, indicating that over $40,000 had been taken and that was too much for a misdemeanor. Mr. Hunter then requested a meeting with the AUSA and his supervisors for what attorneys call a "pitch meeting." At the meeting attorney Steven R. Hunter persuaded the U.S. Attorney's office to charge the defendant with a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
January 14, 2016 - Domestic Battery. The defendant and his fianc got into an argument. She attacked him. During the attack he called 911. Then he left the residence. He went to the police station and asked the police to come with him to retrieve his possessions so he could spend the night somewhere else. However, when he arrived his fianc was already there talking to the police. The police claimed that she told them he pulled her hair, and the arrested the defendant.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter interviewed the complaining witness, who spoke limited English. She said that when the police interviewed her none of them spoke Spanish. She also told Mr. Hunter that she had served 15 days in the Cook County jail for a domestic battery against another person. Attorney Steven R. Hunter used this information to convince the prosecution to drop the charges. Case dismissed.
November 16, 2015 - Stalking. The defendant was accused of stalking a young woman by following her around her neighborhood and attempting to talk to her while she walked her dog, and by working out next to her at her health club. She also told the police that after she moved to a new neighborhood, he moved a few buildings away. Finally, she told the police that he left note for her on her windshield. Based on these claims the police arrested the defendant and charged him with Stalking.
Prior to trial, Attorney Steven R. Hunter made a motion for Substitution of Judge. Based in his in-depth knowledge of the judges in the courthouse, he concluded that he would have a better chance of winning if he did so. The case was reassigned
At trial, attorney Steven R. Hunter proved that the defendant had lived in the same neighborhood all of his life, and the complaining witness moved into it. Through maps and other evidence, it was shown that the complaining witness repeatedly walked her dog in front of his house where he lived with his parents. Business records from the health club established that the defendant belonged to a health club for a year, then the complaining witness joined the same health club as the defendant during the time she claimed he was stalking her. In addition, the records showed that during the time the complaining witness belonged to the health club, the defendant worked out 90 times, usually at the same time of day. The complaining witness was only at the health club at the same time as the defendant 9 times. The defendant did move near the complaining witness's new residence, but he had no way of knowing that she had moved to that neighborhood until after he had already rented a new apartment and moved out of his parent's home. Finally, the note on the windshield contained an apology and a promise to leave the complaining witness alone. Attorney Steven R. Hunter proved that there were no threats, no trespassing, no photos taken, no surveillance of the complaining witness at her work or anywhere other than the neighborhood where the defendant lived and the health club he belonged to. At the conclusion of the trial the court entered a finding of Not Guilty.
January 13, 2016 - Felony Criminal Damage to Property. The defendant was contacted by a suburban police department and told that he was wanted in connection to a felony criminal damage to property case at a CTA rail yard. The defendant wisely hired attorney Steven R. Hunter, who went with him to the police station and assisted him in invoking his right to remain silent and his right to an attorney. The graffiti case occurred months earlier. Several co-defendants were arrested close in time to the criminal damage. One of them had photos and video on his camera that showed the defendant making unrelated graffiti. The prosecution had a circumstantial case, but one police officer did claim he saw the defendant with the co-defendants shortly after the criminal damage to property, and also claimed that he fled the scene when ordered to stop. Eventually attorney Steven R. Hunter persuaded the prosecution to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, and the client chose to accept misdemeanor probation.
October 22, 2015 - Resisting or Obstructing a Police Officer. Three brothers hired attorney Steven R. Hunter to fight their case. Normally it is best for each defendant to have his or her own lawyer. However, defendants can be jointly represented by one lawyer if they agree to waive any conflicts of interest and present a joint defense, which is what the clients wanted to do in this case.
The police in this case pulled into a gas station and then proceeded to back up as the brothers' vehicle was behind them, nearly causing an accident. The brothers' car pulled up to the pump, and they were approached by the police officer who drove erratically. The officer demanded to see the license of the driver, and also ordered the driver's brothers to exit the vehicle. All three refused, asserting that they had done nothing wrong. The defense obtained two videos. One showed the officer's poor driving, contradicting the officer's claim in his report that one of the defendant's had driven poorly. The other showed the officer and the defendants exchanging insults and curse words. Attorney Steven R. Hunter also obtained evidence showing that one of the defendants suffered from autism. In the end, attorney Steven R. Hunter successfully argued that while the brothers may have refused to comply with police commands, which technically violated the statute, the officer contributed to the conflict. Attorney Steven R. Hunter persuaded a judge and the prosecutor to dismiss the charges after the brothers completed community service and apologized. The final outcome was case dismissed.
October 12, 2015 - Delay of Mail. The defendant was a postal service employee accused of taking small amounts of money from several pieces of mail. She was notified that she was going to be charged in federal court with a crime. If she had been charged with theft from the mail, it would have been a felony offense. Attorney Steven R. Hunter convinced the prosecution to charge the defendant with a misdemeanor. At sentencing, he proved that the defendant had retired from the postal service after her arrest, that the defendant had a strong work history, education, and lack of any prior criminal contacts. The judge agreed and sentenced the defendant to two years of probation, even though her United States Sentencing Guideline called for 6-12 months of incarceration in the Bureau of Prisons.
October 1, 2015 - Domestic Battery. The defendant was in an arranged marriage that did not work out. He and his wife often argued, and both wanted a divorce. However, his wife was demanding that he move out of their home immediately. Eventually, she filed a complaint with the police, and claimed that the defendant had hit her in the face. She had a photograph of her face with a black eye to substantiate her claim.
At trial, Attorney Steven R. Hunter proved that the wife waited weeks before she made her claim to the police weeks after she received the black eye, that she traveled to visit family and had every opportunity to make a report of the alleged battery. Mr. Hunter showed that she denied being struck by the defendant to her brother, telling him it was an accident. Finally, Attorney Steven R. Hunter introduced evidence that the wife was an amateur boxer, with a heavy bag and boxing gloves. All of this set up the testimony of the defendant, who told the court that she attacked him and that he acted in self-defense. The defendant explained that he had injuries too, but that the wife waited until they had healed before making her complaint. At the conclusion of the trial the defendant was found Not Guilty.
September 17, 2015 - Animal Cruelty. Even when you lose a trial, sometimes fighting a case leads to a better outcome than pleading guilty. In this case the defendant was charged with Animal Cruelty. The defendant lived in a high-rise apartment building. A neighbor took video of the defendant putting her dog on a bar stool and then putting the dog on the floor, tying a rag over its head, and on another occasion putting a plastic bag over the dog's head. The police came to the defendant's apartment, entered, and questioned her about the dog. They claimed that she consented to the entry and gave a statement voluntarily admitting to wrongdoing.
The prosecution refused to negotiate, insisting that the defendant had slammed the dog to the floor and attempted to suffocate the dog. Attorney Steven R. Hunter saw this as a gross exaggeration not born out by the video. In addition, his client insisted that the police barged into the apartment without a warrant and twisted her words. No statement was ever signed by the defendant, and English was the defendant's second language.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter filed and litigated a motion to suppress the statement based on the illegal entry into the home by the police and based on an arrest without probable cause. The court denied the motion, and the client elected to go to trial. At trial, the defense disputed the police version of the client's statement, and showed that the video did not support the contention that the dog had been slammed to the floor. Instead it showed the client quickly placing the dog on the floor. In addition, eye witness testimony established that the plastic bag had air holes. Veterinarian's records from the city Animal Control office were introduced to show the dog was in good physical condition and never harmed. At the end of the trial, the judge found the defendant guilty, but because the evidence proved the dog was never harmed the judge sentenced the defendant to one-day credit for time served, thus ending the case.
September 2, 2015 - Possession of Firearm with Defaced Serial Number. Some cases are won on pre-trial motions, and sometimes cases are won based on testimony obtained at preliminary hearings. In this case, the defendant lived in a house that was the subject of a search warrant. Although the warrant was for drugs, the police found a firearm with a defaced serial number in a shoebox in a closet of a basement bedroom. The defendant was asleep in an upstairs bedroom when the police arrived, and one officer admitted this at a preliminary hearing. There were a number of adults in the house when the police arrived, including the target of the search warrant. Nevertheless, the police focused on the defendant, who was not named in the search warrant. They took him into custody, handcuffed him, and interrogated him in the kitchen. The police claimed he admitted to knowledge of the gun.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter wrote and litigated a motion to suppress that statement based on a lack of probable cause to arrest the defendant. At the motion, he showed that others were present who could just as easily have put the gun in the bedroom. He cited case law that establishes that a statement made after an arrest cannot be used to justify the arrest. He also brought out the fact that the officer admitted at the preliminary hearing that the defendant was asleep in an upstairs bedroom, suggesting that the basement bedroom with the gun in it was not the defendant's bedroom. Shockingly, the officer denied saying this at the Preliminary Hearing. Attorney Steven R. Hunter was ready, and impeached him with the transcript of his prior statement, showing him to be unbelievable. The judge agreed, granted the motion and suppressed the statement. The prosecution still went forward with the trial, arguing that because the defendant was present in the house with the gun, that proved possession. Attorney Steven R. Hunter successfully argued the opposite, that mere presence is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Mr. Hunter had case law to back up his argument, and the judge found the defendant Not Guilty.
August 5, 2015 - Violation of Order of Protections and Violation of Probation. The defendant had previously been convicted of the felony of Stalking while represented by a different lawyer. He was sentenced to felony probation and a complete No Contact Order of Protection was entered against him.
One of the protected parties claimed that the defendant had followed her in his vehicle as a friend drover her home. The defendant also claimed that the defendant later drove slowly past her residence as she was being dropped off. The prosecution's witnesses told the police that the vehicle had an outline of adhesive caused by a sign that the defendant had previously had on his vehicle. Based on these claims the police obtained a red light camera video that showed a vehicle with the same make and model as the defendant's vehicle driving behind the complaining witness and her friend. Based on their claims, the defendant was arrested and charged with Violation of an Order of Protection. A Violation of Probation was also filed based on the new charge.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter reviewed the video, and interviewed several witnesses. At trial, he had the witnesses testify that the defendant's car never had adhesive in the side, and that in fact the sign the defendant used to have on his car was magnetic and attached without adhesive. He introduced the actual sign into evidence. He also introduced photos showing that the defendant's vehicle was missing a gas cap. The witnesses confirmed that the gas cap had been missing for a long time. Attorney Steven R. Hunter then showed each witness the video. The vehicle in the video had a gas cap. In addition, Mr. Hunter aggressively cross-examined the prosecution's witnesses and showed that they held a grudge against the defendant. The result was a finding of Not Guilty to the charge of Violation of an Order of Protection. Because the Violation of Probation petition was based solely on the new charge, the Petition was dismissed.
July 24, 2015 - Federal Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana. This was a Federal Case from the Central District of Illinois. The defendant was indicted for having a grow house full of marijuana plants near Kankakee. The government's case was very strong. The evidence showed the defendant controlling the house, purchasing the equipment found in the house, and exhibiting a lifestyle that could not necessarily be explained through legitimate sources of income. In addition, an individual cooperating with the government was prepared to testify that he worked at the grow house for the defendant.
Plea negotiations took place and a deal was made based on agreed to sentencing guidelines calculations. The plea agreement stated that "if the Pre-Sentence Report determines the defendant's criminal history category is higher or lower than the criminal history category stated in this Plea Agreement, the Plea Agreement may be declared null and void by either party prior to sentencing."
The defendant was charged with Driving on a Suspended License at the time of his arrest, and the local Kankakee authorities had him transported to court to prosecute that case after the plea agreement on the federal charges was made. The defendant was represented by a local lawyer in State court, not Steven R. Hunter. The defendant plead guilty to a sentence of 59 days, which did not count against his 4A1.1(b). However, the defendant also pled to a violation of supervision and received a concurrent 59 days on a case in which he had already served jail time. This put his aggregate sentence above 60 days, added a point to his criminal history, and the prosecution seized on the change to void the plea agreement in federal court.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter fought to reinstate the plea agreement, but his motion was denied. He then worked with the family of the defendant to gather mitigation evidence in the form of witnesses, character letters, proof of employment, proof of educational efforts, and evidence of charitable acts. This was all presented at a hotly contested sentencing hearing. The result was that the defendant received a sentence of 5 years in the Bureau of Prisons, the legal minimum, even with a plea agreement.
July 22, 2015 - Felony Forgery. The defendant was a bookkeeper at a small business. He developed severe health problems and forged two checks to obtain money to pay for medical treatment. He was caught and prosecuted. The State had a strong case which proved he wrote the checks and deposited them into his own account. In addition, he confessed.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter worked with the defendant to show proof of his health issues, his work history, his lack of prior criminal conduct, and his education. He presented this to the prosecution, and asked for them to consider reducing the charge to a misdemeanor with full restitution. The prosecution declined, stating that the victim business owner objected. Attorney Steven R. Hunter did not give up. Instead he spoke to the business owner, explained the situation, and asked the business owner to request leniency from the prosecutors. He did so, and the defendant received misdemeanor probation.
June 25, 2015 - Domestic Battery. The defendant was accused of domestic battery against his sister. He had multiple felony convictions in his background. In addition, the prosecution had a photograph of his sister with two large black eyes. Also, the defendant and his sister's niece told the police that she saw the defendant head-butt his sister in the head. The State's offer to him prior to his hiring Attorney Steven R. Hunter was six months in the county jail.
Attorney Steven R. Hunter attacked the case on two fronts. First, he prepared mitigation evidence that proved the defendant was working two jobs, paying child support, etc. This was never presented to the prosecution or the judge before Steven R. Hunter took over the case. Second, Steven R. Hunter took crime scene photos that proved that the witness could not have seen the altercation from where she told the police she stood. In addition, Steven R. Hunter developed a witness who could testify that the sister was the aggressor. Also, photos of the scene were taken to show that the altercation took place on some stairs, putting the heads of the defendant and his sister at the same height, which supported his testimony
May 29, 2015. - Possession of a Firearm with No Valid FOID card, Possession of Cannabis, Possession of Cocaine. The client was visiting her boyfriend and spent the night at his apartment. In the middle of the night, her boyfriend left the apartment and was shot dead on the first floor of the building by persons unknown. When the police arrived, they illegally entered the second floor apartment of the boyfriend and discovered the client asleep in bed. They also found a gun, cocaine and marijuana in the apartment. Attorney Steven R. Hunter beat the cocaine charge at a Preliminary Hearing when the evidence showed the cocaine was in another room. He ultimately won the entire case by winning a Motion to Suppress Evidence based on an illegal search and seizure of the gun and marijuana seized from the bedroom. Once all of the evidence was suppressed, the prosecution had no choice but to Nolle Prosse the charges.
May 27, 2015. - Domestic Battery. The client entered into an arranged marriage with his wife, who was from India. Once she got to the United States, she became far less traditional, and would hit her husband. Eventually, she began hitting him and then calling the police and claiming he hit her. In each case she would drop the charges. After a few years of this treatment, the client initiated divorce proceedings. The wife then filed for a U-Visa, which is a visa an individual can obtain to stay in the United States if they are the victim of a crime. She also made new claims, producing old photos that included a chipped toe nail and a small bruise on her arm. At trial, the defense cross-examined her about her behavior and produced an email from her to her husband apologizing for hitting him. She claimed that the email was "out of context." The jury disagreed and quickly returned a verdict of Not Guilty.
May 26, 2015. - Petition for Order of Protection. The client's son-in-law broke out the windows of our client's car with a bat and threated the client and his son. Attorney Steven R. Hunter filed an amended petition and was prepared to litigate, but the respondent conceded defeat and the order was entered.
May 20, 2015. - Harassment by Telephone. This case started by a complaint and summons. That is a process in which the complaining witness walks into the police station to report what she believes to be a crime. There is no arrest. The police then mail a summons to the defendant, and he or she must go to court or a warrant will be issued. In this case, our client dated a man who, unbeknownst to her, had a girlfriend. The girlfriend left threatening voicemails and sent harassing texts to the client. The client responded and things went back and forth, with the girlfriend ultimately accusing our client of harassment by telephone. At trial, the complaining witness tried to show only the texts from the defendant, and not her half of the communications. The defense showed that the communications were an exchange which had in fact been started by the complainant. Not Guilty.
May 14, 2015. - Domestic battery. Client was arrested for Domestic Battery after a neighbor called the police. Attorney Steven R. Hunter spoke with the complaining witness, and she indicated that her husband never hit her. The charges were dismissed.
May 6, 2015. - Assault and Criminal Damage to Property. Client was accused of being loud and abusive on an airline flight from California. He was also accused of damaging the plane by spilling his wine and leaving a permanent stain. He was arrested when the plane landed at O'Hare airport. The client resides in another state and it would have been difficult for him to return to court on another day. Attorney Steven R. Hunter investigated the case and learned that the complaining witness also did not reside locally. When the complaining witness was not in court he persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the charges. Case Dismissed.
May 1, 2015 - Motion for Early Termination of Supervised Release. The client was convicted of a Federal Drug charge in another state. After serving his time in the Bureau of Prisons, he completed half of 5 years of Supervised Release that was imposed as part of his sentence. Attorney Steven R. Hunter to litigate a motion for early termination. Motion granted.
April 30, 2015 - Possession of a Firearm with no Valid FOID card, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Cannabis. The client was the overnight guest of her boyfriend. During the night, while the client slept, the boyfriend left the apartment and went to the first floor of the apartment building where he lived. Unfortunately he was shot dead by an unknown person or persons. When the police arrived, the entered the apartment where the client slept, found crack cocaine, a handgun and marijuana. The police arrested the client and charged with the gun and drugs. At a preliminary hearing, Attorney Steven R. Hunter convinced the judge that prosecution had no probable cause to charge the client with the cocaine. The case was then transferred to misdemeanor court. Once there, Attorney Steven R. Hunter researched, wrote and litigated a Motion to Suppress the Evidence based on an illegal search of the apartment. He established that the police did not have a search warrant or consent to enter the apartment, and that no exigent circumstances or emergency existed to justify the search. Motion Granted.
April 21, 2015 - Domestic Battery Accusation. The client was accused of domestic battery by his wife. He was arrested, made the subject of an Order of Protection, and forced to move out of his home. Case dismissed and the Order of Protection was terminated.
April 15, 2015 - Federal Grand Jury Case. The client was subpoenaed to appear before a Federal Grand Jury. Attorney Steven R. Hunter investigated the case, spoke to the prosecutor, and determined that the client was not the target of the investigation. Mr. Hunter and the client attended meetings with agents and the prosecutor, and the client provided testimony.
March 19, 2015 - Federal Drug Conspiracy. The client was convicted of Federal Drug Conspiracy charges in 1990. He was represented by other counsel. In 1990 the sentencing guidelines were mandatory, and the defendant was sentenced to 420 months. Due to amendments in the law, specifically Amendment 782 to Section 3582 (c) and Section 1B1.10 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the defendant was eligible for a sentence reduction. Attorney Steven R. Hunter litigated a motion for a sentencing reduction from the original 420 months to 352 months.
March 4, 2015 - Domestic Battery. The client in this case had an extremely promising defense. The complaining witness in this case had fired a handgun repeatedly on a public highway with highly questionable justification. Attorney Steven R. Hunter investigated the situation and learned that the complaining witness had moved out of state and did not intend to return due to fears that she would be charged with a firearms offense. The case was set for trial without the complaining witness in court, and the prosecution represented that they could prove their case without her. Attorney Steven R. Hunter disagreed and urged his client to go to trial. Unfortunately, on the day of trial the client decided to accept a plea offer of Supervision to a reduced charge, against the advice of Steven R. Hunter. Our office prides itself on being willing to fight, but the final decision is always the client's decision, and we must abide by it.
February 6, 2015 - Vendor Fraud and Theft. The client had a son who had suffered brain damage and required care. Under State Medicaid rules, one of the client's other son's signed up to be a care provider and was compensated by the State. An investigation revealed that the son who was the paid care-giver was in jail for part of the time for which he was supposedly providing care, and time sheets were submitted and payment was received after the son providing care had been murdered. The client was accused of submitting time sheets and taking the money. Attorney Steven R. Hunter established at trial that the prosecution had suspicions but no proof. Not Guilty.
February 3, 2015 - Criminal Damage to Property. The client kicked out the glass door of a building while intoxicated. He was charged with Criminal Damage to Property. Attorney Steven R. Hunter was approached by an attorney for the building and he and the client agreed to settle potential civil damages by paying the building all costs associated with the damage. The complaining witness then, of his own accord, asked that the prosecution be dropped. Case dismissed.
January 28, 2015 - Federal Motion for Early Termination. The client was convicted of a federal crime in another state. After serving her sentence she was allowed to have her Supervised Release transferred to the Northern District of Illinois. After serving half of her Supervised Release, she hired Steven R. Hunter to litigate a motion for early termination. Motion granted.
January 6, 2015 - Leaving the Scene of an Accident. The client was alleged to have struck a small child in an intersection despite a red light. He denied this. The complaining witness was not in court on the day Attorney Steven R. Hunter first appeared for the client. Since the prosecution could not prove their case without the complaining witness, the case was set for trial. In the interim, Attorney Steven R. Hunter located an eyewitness who corroborated the complaining witnesses' account of the event, as well as other evidence that made the outcome of the trial uncertain. Attorney Steven R. Hunter negotiated a plea agreement for 4 months of Supervision instead of trial.
January 15, 2015 - Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. The client was arrested on New Year's Eve after police saw him with a handgun on the back porch of an apartment. The client was a convicted felon. The police chased the client into the apartment, conducted a search, and discovered two guns. After acquiring extensive mitigation evidence, attorney Steven R. Hunter persuaded the court to offer the client the Illinois Department of Corrections Impact Incarceration Program, also known as Boot Camp.
January 12, 2015 - Official Misconduct and Unauthorized Delivery of Contraband in a Penal Institution. The client was a guard at the Cook County Jail. He was accused of smuggling in drugs, contraband such as lotions, and even a cellphone. Wiretap evidence, law enforcement surveillance, contraband recovered from the client's car and the client's confession all made trial an unwise decision. Attorney Steven R. Hunter worked with the client and his family to acquire mitigation evidence of his employment history, education, family life and contributions to the community. This information persuaded the prosecutor and judge to offer the client a sentence of probation.
January 7, 2015 - Organizer of a Continuing Financial Crimes Enterprise. The defendant was charged with several financial crimes involving thousands of dollars, including being the organizer of a continuing financial crimes enterprise. That charge is a Class X felony that carries a minimum sentence of 6 years in prison. Probation is not possible for anyone convicted of that charge. Attorney Steven Hunter established that the defendant acted alone and that other individuals acted outside the enterprise. Based on his legal arguments the prosecution agreed to dismiss the Class X felony and to recommend 30 months of probation as a sentence.
December 3, 2014 - Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance. The client was accused of selling drugs outside of a CHA residence. The police claimed they saw him put a magnetic key holder on a mailbox and that the keyholder contained narcotics. Due to the amount of drugs, he would have been sentenced as a Class X felon, with a sentencing range of 6 to 30 years, if he had been convicted as charged. However, Attorney Steven R. Hunter conducted legal research, and then wrote and filed a Motion to Quash Arrest and Suppress Evidence based on an illegal search. The State, after having reviewed the motion, offered to reduce the charge to a Class 4 felony and recommend 18 months of probation, despite the fact that the client was a convicted felon who had served time in prison in the past. The defendant accepted the offer and received the probation. Sometimes having a good motion can cause the prosecution to come up with a very favorable plea agreement.
November 28, 2014 - Aggravated Assault. The client was accused of threatening to kill a conductor on a Metra Train. The client admitted to an argument with several people but denied making threats. The case was set for trial. On the day of trial, after creating an opening statement, direct examination of the client, preparing the client to testify, writing cross-examinations of the prosecution witnesses, and drafting a closing argument, Attorney Steven R. Hunter was prepared to fight. The prosecution agreed to reduce the charges and the client decided to accept 6 months of Supervision.
November 18, 2014 - Retail Theft. The client was arrested outside of a grocery store with a bag full of merchandise that had not been purchased. Case dismissed.
July 28, 2014 - Violation of Order of Protection. Our client's wife obtained an Order of Protection against our client and then persuaded the Glenview police to arrest him. Based on our defense of the husband, the Judge called the wife a liar and granted a Motion for Directed Finding of Acquittal at the close of the State's evidence. Not Guilty.
More case details: Not Guilty Verdict for Arrest After Order of Protection
July 18, 2014 - Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Deliver. The defendant was a college student. Attorney Steven R. Hunter obtained a security video showing that the police arrested a co-defendant in the hallway of the dorm, walked the other defendant down the hall and into the defendant's room. Once inside, the police searched the room and found a large bag of cannabis. The co-defendant did not live in that room, there was no warrant, and the entire search was illegal. However, Mr. Hunter asked for and received a deferred prosecution and admission to the State's Attorney's drug school program for his client. Because he did not have to litigate the motion, the client saved thousands of dollars in legal fees. After successfully completing the drug school program, the case was dismissed.
July 10, 2014 - Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Deliver. The defendant was arrested at the Greyhound bus terminal carrying a backpack containing a large bag of marijuana. Attorney Steven R. Hunter investigated the scene and was prepared to litigate a Search and Seizure motion. However, due to the claim by Greyhound Security personnel that they searched the defendant first, not the police, there was doubt that the defense could prove state action. This is a requirement in order to win a suppression motion. The defense negotiated with the prosecution and the defendant received probation under 720 ILCS 550/10, which is a deferred judgment and not a final disposition of guilt.
July 8, 2014 - Domestic Battery. The defendant's wife called the police during an argument. The police arrested the defendant, signed the complaint in the wife's name, and insisted on a prosecution. The wife told the police that she did not want her husband arrested. Nevertheless, charges were filed and an Order of Protection was entered that barred the husband from seeing his wife or child. Attorney Steven R. Hunter was contacted by the wife and obtained documentation from her in which she denied any battery ever took place. He used that documentation to persuade the court to deny the prosecution's request for a continuance. The case was then stricken off the call.
June 16, 2014 - Petition for Order of Protection. Attorney Steven R. Hunter represented the Petitioner who sought an Order of Protection. The Respondent had embarrassing photographs of the Petitioner that he obtained when they had dated. After she broke up with him, he threatened to publish the photos to her children and extended family unless she continued to see him. He made other threats as well. After a hearing, the petition was granted and an Order of Protection was entered.
June 13, 2014 - Petition for Order of Protection. The Respondent had been in a relationship with a Chicago Police Officer. During a bitter break up the Officer filed a Petition for an Order of Protection and obtained an Emergency Order of Protection based on some text messages and emails. The Respondent also filed a petition for an Order of Protection but it was not docketed because of the competing petition. The Respondent had the permission of the court to remove her belongings from the residence they had previously shared. However, the Petitioner filed for a Contempt citation based on the claim that the Respondent made comments to her as she packed and that she had supposedly threatened their dog to a third party. The Petitioner also filed criminal charges claiming that violated the Order of Protection. The Respondent was prepared to show that she never threatened the dog or violated the Emergency Order. In this case negotiations between the attorneys proved useful. In the end all parties agreed to drop their litigation. Petition dismissed.
June 10, 2014 - Petition for a No Stalking Order of Protection. The Respondent was the landlord for a deadbeat tenant who did not pay all of his rent. During a heated exchange of texts the Respondent made a few statements in anger that she regretted, but all in the context of rent collection. The Petitioner also fought against eviction proceedings by calling the police when the landlord attempted to serve the eviction notice, and calling the police when her realtor tried to show the building to a potential buyer, claiming he was stalking her. No arrests were ever made. At the hearing, Attorney Steven R. Hunter presented evidence proving that the Petitioner had not paid his rent and was attempting to obtain an Order of Protection in order to avoid paying rent or eviction. The judge agreed. Petition for Order of Protection denied.
May 16, 2014 - Theft. Defendant was accused of taking another traveler's iPhone out of the gray plastic container used by the TSA when property goes through the scanner at airport. The defendant insisted it was a mistake. The investigation revealed that the complaining witness was from out of state and the incident occurred at the O'Hare International terminal. This made it likely that the complaining witness would not appear in court. However, the Judge indicated she would continue the case, which would have been a hardship for the defendant, who flew to Chicago from Texas to fight the charges. The judge was unmoved by that fact. However, Attorney Steven R. Hunter persuaded the judge to instruct the prosecutor to call the complaining witness to see if he was willing to return to Illinois. The complaining witness was not willing to travel to Chicago, and fifteen minutes later the case was dismissed.
April 17, 2014 - Petition for Order of Protection. Client's step-daughter accused him of attacking her when she and her mother, who is going through a divorce with the client, appeared at the home of his new girlfriend. At the hearing, attorney Steven R. Hunter effectively cross-examined the petitioner, proving that the police came to the scene but did not arrest anyone. In addition, the petitioner claimed she was thrown down a stairs and knocked unconscious, yet there was no proof of injuries. The client and his girlfriend testified that the petitioner and her mother attacked them. Petition for an Order of Protection denied.
April 3, 2014 - Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon. Client was the passenger in an automobile that was stopped due to an allegedly broken side-view mirror. Client was ordered out of the vehicle and a gun was recovered. Attorney Steven R. Hunter filed and litigated a Motion to Suppress. The motion, in which the burden of proof rested on the defense, was denied. However the motion testimony laid the ground work for attacking the officer's creditability at the trial, where the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt was on the prosecution. Not Guilty.
April 1, 2014 - Mail Fraud and Identity Theft. Client charged with several mail fraud schemes. At his sentencing hearing, the client's Sentencing Guidelines range was 41-51 months of imprisonment. Attorney Steven R. Hunter presented mitigation evidence and arguments specific to this client that persuaded the judge to impose a sentence of 18 months in the Bureau of Prisons.
March 24, 2014 - Domestic Battery. Client accused by roommate of punching and beating him over a dispute about missing property. Case dismissed.
March 19, 2014 - DUI. Client alleged to have swerved all over road for several miles by police officer. Petition to rescind summary suspension was granted and the client's driver's license was reinstated.
More case details: Cook County DUI Attorney Gets Drivers License Reinstated
March 11, 2014 - Battery. Client punched an emergency room nurse during treatment. Attorney Steven R. Hunter negotiated a sentence of 1 year court Supervision.
February 24, 2014 - Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis and Possession of Cannabis. Client, mistakenly believing that Cannabis was legal in Illinois, was arrested. Our Chicago criminal defense attorneys demonstrated an illegal stop of the vehicle and all evidence was suppressed. Charges Dismissed.
More case details: Charges Dismissed and Evidence Suppressed in Marijuana Drug Case
February 21, 2014 - Disorderly Conduct. Client was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Attorney Steven R. Hunter established that client's actions did not "provoke a breach of the peace." Not Guilty.
More case details: Attorney Secures Not Guilty Verdict in Disorderly Conduct Case
January 27, 2014 - Client Being Stalked by Neighbor. Police refused to make an arrest. Attorney Steven R. Hunter successfully wrote, filed and litigated a Petition for a No Contact Order on behalf of the Client. Order entered.
January 15, 2014 - Client on Supervised Release from Federal Court. Case had been transferred from Iowa. Attorney Steven R. Hunter crafted a Motion for Early Termination, which the court granted.
January 8, 2014 - Felony Possession of Cannabis. Client stopped by police after they ran his license plate through their mobile computer. The police claim they received a cryptic message stating "possible hit, verify driver." Attorney Steven R. Hunter subpoenaed records that did not reflect any warrant or stop order for the Client. Court granted motion to suppress the evidence and the case was dismissed.
Looking for more examples of how we defend the accused? Browse more Chicago, Illinois criminal defense attorney case write-ups on our case archives page.