Recent Case Results
People v. F.H.
Not Guilty Verdict
F.H. was charged with shooting three men as they sat in their cars. At trial, the state called a woman who claimed to have driven F.H. to purchase marijuana from the men. The woman testified that when she stopped to let F.H. out to buy the weed, F.H. suddenly started shooting the men.
Mr. Bolotin worked on F.H.’s defense team and helped identified glaring holes in the woman’s story. First, the woman testified for the state in exchange for not only full immunity for her, but also in exchange for light sentences for her boyfriend who faced multiple charges in unrelated cases.
Second, the evidence clearly contradicted the woman’s account. While she claimed F.H. committed the shooting, 3 separate types of shell casings were found at the scene.
Finally, the woman’s description of how she parked the vehicle immediately before the shooting did not add up. The woman claimed she parked between the men’s vehicles, watched F.H. get out of her car, fire shots into both vehicles, and then drove F.H. away without backing up or turning around. Crime scene photos showed it would have been impossible for the woman to park in between the vehicles, let alone leave without having to turn her vehicle around as the cars were parked at a dead-end.
After the close of the state’s evidence, F.H. was found Not Guilty!
United States v. C.K.
Possession With Intent to Distribute More Than 100 grams of Methamphetamine
Motion to Suppress All Narcotics and Paraphernalia Granted.
C.K. was pulled over for failing to stop at a stop sign. After providing the officer with his valid license and registration, the officer did everything in his power to delay issuing C.K. a ticket. The officer’s leisure gave a fellow officer just enough time to arrive on scene and walk a K-9 around C.K.’s vehicle.
In his sworn police report, the K-9 officer claimed that upon sniffing C.K.’s vehicle the K-9 sat next to C.K.’s driver side door, signaling to the officers that he detected narcotics in the vehicle. C.K. was promptly searched and the officer seized what he claimed to be “the largest shard of methamphetamine” he had ever seen.
In a motion to suppress, Mr. Bolotin argued the K-9 never actually alerted to the smell of narcotics, therefore no probable cause to search C.K. existed, and the “largest shard of methamphetamine” must be suppressed. Notably, Mr. Bolotin pointed out the squad car video showed the K-9 never actually sat next to C.K.’s vehicle -the action the K9 was trained to do if he detected narcotics.
In an attempt to excuse the non-alert, the officer claimed his K-9 did not sit because there was a puddle on the ground and the ground was cold. The video did not show any puddle and an expert testified a properly trained K-9 would never fail to sit upon detecting narcotics no matter how wet or cold the ground was. The federal judge agreed and granted the motion to suppress the methamphetamine. Without the ability to admit the meth at trial, the United States was required to dismiss all charges.
People v. S.A.
Possession with Intent to Distribute More Than 54 Kilograms of Cocaine.
Motion to Suppress All Narcotics Convinces Prosecution to Dismiss Case Without a Hearing.
Investigating a drug trafficking organization, police obtained wire-taps on multiple people’s phones. After listening to their conversations, officers learned a huge shipment of cocaine would arrive hidden in tomato crates. Jumping at this information, the officers waited at the location the shipment was to arrive, stopped the tomato truck, and seized 54 kilograms of cocaine.
There was only one problem, as Mr. Bolotin pointed out in a motion to suppress. The wiretaps were 100% illegal. The law required the elected state’s attorney to sign off on all non-consensual wiretap applications -wiretaps where neither person talking on the phone worked as a snitch and consented to the police officers listening to their conversations. None of the wiretap applications obtained by the police in A.S.’s case were ever authorized by the elected state’s attorney.
Mr. Bolotin filed a motion to suppress arguing the seizure of the cocaine was the fruit of the poisonous tree: without the illegal wiretaps, the officers would never had been allowed to listen on the conversations, would never have learned the cocaine was hidden in the tomato crates, would never have had any cause, let alone probable cause, to search the crates, and would never had found the cocaine. After reviewing Mr. Bolotin’s motion to suppress, the prosecution knew they had no case and dismissed all charges.
People v. L.T.
Not Guilty Verdict
Possession with Intent to Distribute 100-440 Grams of Cocaine.
Officers saw L.T. exit a multiunit apartment complex while they prepared to execute a search warrant on a specific units inside the complex. In their police reports, the officers claimed they stopped L.T., searched his bag, and seized over 100 grams of cocaine. According the officers, they caught L.T. red-handed.
Mr. Bolotin worked on the defense team that annihilated the officers’ claims. During the search of the specific apartment, the officers did not find any mail, identification, or any other documents that indicated who lived in the apartment. Though the officers did not find any indicia of ownership, they took pictures of every room of the apartment. The officers also took pictures of the cocaine and L.T.’s bag, but never took pictures of the drugs inside the bag.
At trial, Mr. Bolotin and the defense team argued the officers were lying. L.T.’s bag never contained the drugs. Instead, the officers stopped L.T. after he exited the apartment complex and kept him in custody while they searched the specific unit apartment. When the officers found drugs inside the apartment, but nothing that indicated who lived in the unit, the cops made the decision to put the drugs on L.T. The jury agreed and found L.T. Not Guilty of all charges.
People v. F.R.
Not Guilty Verdict
Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child.
F.R.’s step-grandchild accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was eleven years old. The allegations were explosive. If found guilty F.R. would have spent the rest of his life in prison.
Mr. Bolotin worked on the defense team that prevented that from happening by exposing the step-grandchild’s motive to fabricate the allegation. She wanted to live with her biological mother, not with her father and his new wife, F.R.’s daughter. The step-grandchild was not bold enough to lie about her father, but she could not care less what happened to F.R., her step-grandfather.
On top of the bias, the defense team showed the jury it was impossible for F.R. to have done what the step-granddaughter accused him of doing. F.R. was frail, could barely walk, and his wife never left his side.
Finally, the defense team called multiple of F.R.’s family members. Every witness testified that he was nothing but the model grandfather. Doting and loving -not the predator the step-grandchild described.
At the close of the evidence, the jury found F.R. Not Guilty of all counts!
People v. E.A
Not Guilty Verdict
Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child.
Found Not Guilty
E.A.’s cousin accused him sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old. If found guilty, E.A. would likely have spent the rest of his life in prison.
At trial, Mr. Bolotin blew E.A.’s cousin’s story out of the water. E.A. claimed the assault occurred on the bottom bunk while another family member was in the top bunk. E.A. claimed the other family member wore expensive noise cancelling headphones and that’s why he did not hear or stop the assault from occurring.
Mr. Bolotin pointed out the family had limited means and did not have the funds to purchase expensive headphones. Mr. Bolotin also pointed out that the cousin did not want to live with E.A.’s family and was adamant about moving to Florida to be with her biological father.
E.A.’s cousin also claimed, for the first time on the stand, that she specifically remembered E.A. having a cut on his thumb the day she claimed he assaulted her. While most attorneys never ask questions they don’t know the answer to during cross examination, Mr. Bolotin recognized this was the perfect opportunity to show the cousin’s capacity to make up fantastical stories. He asked her to describe the cut further. She testified at length describing the how deep the cut was, how disgusting it looked. The cut, she testified, was burned into her memory.
It was burned into her memory, Mr. Bolotin asked, yet she never once described it to a single person before trial? Not to the police during in any of her multiple interviews? Not even in her creative writing essay where she first made the allegation? Her story made no sense.
At the close of the evidence, E.A. was found Not Guilty.
People v. L.R.
Not Guilty Verdict
Felony Retail Theft.
L.R. was charged with stealing over $500 worth of merchandise from a hardware store. The only problem was, as Mr. Bolotin pointed out, L.R. had every reason to believe he paid for everything he brought to the checkout counter and even had a receipt to prove it.
Video surveillance showed L.R. going to the store’s lumber department and placing large 2 x 4’s on to a dolly. The video also showed L.R. filling a separate cart with dozens of other supplies. The video, however, did not show L.R. fleeing the store with the loot. Instead, L.R. calmly walked to the register, and unloaded the merchandise from the cart on to the belt to be rung up. The video also showed the clerk coming around the counter to scan items L.R. wanted to purchase. The video also showed L.R. paying over $300 for the merchandise.
After paying, L.R. left the store. As he began unloading his merchandise into his car, a security guard stopped him and asked for his receipt. Without hesitating L.R. showed the receipt. Unbeknownst to L.R., the clerk failed to scan the lumbar. L.R. apologized profusely, offered to correct the mistake immediately, and pay for whatever was not scanned. The store rejected his apology and called the police. Mr. Bolotin refused to accept the state’s offer of probation. Why should L.R. accept any conviction when he did absolutely nothing wrong? The answer, he shouldn’t! At trial, the L.R. was found Not Guilty of all charges.
People v. F.M.
Motion to Suppress All Field Sobriety Tests and Breathalyze Granted.
F.M. was charged with driving under the influence. In his police report, the officer claimed he witnessed F.M. run a red light and swerve in his lane before he pulled him over. The officer further claimed that when he came to F.M.’s car, he immediately smelled a strong odor of alcohol on F.M.’s breath, saw that F.M. had bloodshot eyes. The officer ordered F.M. to exit the vehicle. When F.M. exited, the officer claimed F.M. needed to hold on to the officer.
The officer’s descriptions checked every box for a DUI conviction. An open and shut case, unless Mr. Bolotin could convince the judge the officer was lying. And that is exactly what Mr. Bolotin did.
Mr. Bolotin filed a motion to suppress arguing F.M. never ran the red light and did not swerve in his lane. Therefore, there was no basis to stop F.M. and all the officer’s observations must be suppressed. During the hearing, Mr. Bolotin showed the video that failed to capture F.M. running a red light or swerving in his lane.
Just as Mr. Bolotin anticipated, the officer, claimed those events happened before the video began. “Well officer,” Mr. Bolotin coyly asked, “it’s also true that although the video recorded all your interactions with F.M. it cannot show the strong odor of alcohol you encountered on F.M.’s breath?” “That’s true counsel,” the officer replied smugly, “it doesn’t show that but I immediately detected the odor.” “You immediately detected that odor, officer, but isn’t it true moments after speaking with F.M. you told your partner ‘I don’t smell any liquor on him though?’” “No counsel, I never said that.”
Mr. Bolotin then proceeded to play the officer’s body worn camera video which capture the officer telling his partner, as clear as could be, “I don’t smell any liquor on him though.” With that, the officer had no credibility and the court granted the motion to suppress. The prosecution promptly dismissed the case.
People v. J.T.
Pardon Signed by the Governor.
Petition for Clemency Granted.
J.T. had multiple drug and gun related convictions on his record. After repaying his debt back to society, J.T. committed himself to putting his past far behind him. He got married, earned degrees, and even opened his own business. But, no matter how many goals he achieved, his past convictions followed him.
That is until Mr. Bolotin file a Petition for Clemency asking the Governor to recognized J.T.’s achievements and Pardon him for his past indiscretions. Only a small percentage of Clemency petitions are granted each year. J.T. was one of the lucky few. The Governor granted J.T.’s petition and issued a Pardon vacating all J.T.’s prior convictions. J.T.’s record now shows that he has never been convicted of any crime.
United States v. A.B.
Sentenced to 1 Day Time Considered Served.
Client Pleaded Guilty to $1 Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud.
A.B. stood before a federal judge convicted of committing a $1 million dollar mortgage fraud scheme. Based on that loss amount, A.B. faced years in prison. Mr. Bolotin prevented that from happening. He convinced the federal judge to sentence A.B. to a single day -a day the court ruled A.B. already served through her spending a night in custody following her arrest. Mr. Bolotin even convinced the court not to place A.B. on supervised release, aka parole.
People v. A.B.
Sentenced to 3 Years.
First Degree Murder
Faced Life in Prison. Reduced to Involuntarily Manslaughter.
A.B. was charged with First Degree Murder -the most severe type of murder under the law. A.B. faced life in prison if convicted. The prosecution, however, had all their ‘facts’ completely mixed up.
While the evidence, if believed, showed A.B. was responsible for the death, Mr. Bolotin convinced the prosecution the evidence showed nothing more than a horrifically tragic accident. After much back and forth, the state offered to reduce the First Degree Murder charge to Involuntarily Manslaughter with an agreed sentence of 3 years in prison. It was an offer A.B. could not refuse.
United States v. E.G.
Appeal of an Aggravated Battery to a Federal Agent.
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Shot-Spotter Evidence Should Not Have Been Admitted Without a Hearing
While undercover federal agents attempted to place a tracking device on a vehicle, they came under gunfire. One of those bullets struck one of the federal agents, seriously injuring him. E.G was indicted and later convicted of committing the shooting.
At trial, the government introduced “Shot-Spotter” evidence, an acoustic gunshot detection and location system. According to the government and its witnesses, when system detects a sound, it sends the time and certain measurements to a central location where software classifies the sound as gunfire or not. If the system determines the sound to be gunfire, the ShotSpotter software then supposedly calculates the point of latitude and longitude where the shot was fired and reports that information to law enforcement. The government witness testified the ShotSpotter system concluded the gunshot that struck and injured the federal agent was fired near where E.G. stood.
Federal Rules of Evidence require such expert and technological evidence to be reliable and based on tested scientific principles. The rules further require trial courts to hold evidentiary hearings, prior to trial, where they can determine whether such technology meets those standards. The trial court, however, failed to hold such a hearing before crediting the Shot-Spotter technology and permitting it to be admitted at E.G.’s trial.
As part of E.G.’s defense team, Mr. Bolotin appealed the trial court’s decision to introduce the evidence without first holding an evidentiary hearing to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals -one court below the United States Supreme Court. The Seventh Circuit agreed with Mr. Bolotin’s arguments and specifically credited the point he raised that ShotSpotter’s identification of certain sounds as gunshots and the location where they were fired from “goes to how ShotSpotter collects, analyzes, and reports its data,” i.e. the scientific principles the software claims to employ reliably. The trial court, the Seventh Circuit asserted “never sufficiently explored [those] issue[s].” “Without a more searching examination of ShotSpotter’s methods” as required by the Federal Rules of Evidence and federal caselaw, the Court ruled, “we cannot conclude that this evidence as properly admitted against [E.G.].”
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