3/4/2016: People v. N.H. Not guilty of first degree murder
Our client was charged with first degree murder of a man was on the Southwest side of Chicago after 4 eyewitnesses said they saw him step out of a vehicle and shoot one of their friends. At trial in front of a jury, we presented evidence that the witnesses only thought our client was responsible because the victim tried to start a fight with him at a nearby restaurant. On cross examination of the State's witnesses, the case fell apart as we exposed drastic inconsistencies in each of the eyewitness's descriptions of the shooting. We presented evidence that a vehicle matching the shooter's vehicle was caught on a surveillance video driving past the scene of the shooting three times in under 5 minutes just before the shooting. We also presented expert testimony that explained several key pieces of evidence that nobody else could explain. The jury returned a not-guilty verdict in just 3 hours.
11/20/2015: State of Illinois v. H.S. Not Guilty of Possessing 200 pounds of marijuana.
Our client was charged with possession of 200 pounds of marijuana that was found in the trunk of a car he rented. At trial, the State called a veteran police officer to testify that he was watching our client drive the vehicle to a grocery store parking lot on the Southwest side of Chicago, where he met with another man. The officer further testified that our client exited the car and the other man drove the car to a drug stash house, loaded it with several heavy garbage bags, and then drove back to the parking lot, where our client got back into the car. After hearing this testimony, Villalobos & Associates conducted an in depth investigation of the exact location of the location described by the officer. We rented the exact vehicle that our client used the day of the incident and had an investigator take pictures of the vehicle to show that the officer could not have seen what he claimed to have seen. In addition, we produced Google Maps images backdated several years to the month of the incident showing that there were high bushes that would blocked the officer's view. On cross examination and on rebuttal, Villalobos & Associates discredited the veteran officer's testimony and showed that our client had no idea that his car contained the large bags of marijuana. The judge agreed that the officer's credibility was tarnished and found our client not guilty.
9/9/2014: People v. L.H. Not guilty of attempted murder
Our client was charged with attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend and her sister. At trial, his ex-girlfriend and her sister both testified that they were driving home from the planetarium and exited the expressway at Kostner when a black SUV pulled up next to them. They testified that our client leaned out of the passenger window wearing a bandana over his face, looked at them over the top of the SUV he was in, pulled down the bandana to reveal his face, and then fired several shots at their van while speeding away. In our case in chief, we presented several witnesses who testified that our client was at work in a nearby suburb at the time of the alleged shooting. Moreover, we presented the testimony of the responding Chicago police officer, who testified that he did not find any shell casings, broken glass, or other evidence of a crime scene where the girls said that the shooting occurred. The judge agreed that the girls' stories were either completely made up or embellished to the point of being unbelievable given the lack of any corroborating physical evidence. She found our client not guilty.
People v. J.A. Not guilty of aggravated battery to police officers.
Out client, a college student, was charged with several counts of Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer with a weapon after he fell asleep on the L and was awakened by several police officers who asked him to exit the train. The client refused and claimed that he was appointed by President Obama to clear the L of any crime. After a struggle, the client jumped onto the L tracks and later was cornered by the officers, who tasered him six times and continued to struggle with him. After a long struggle, the client gave in and was promptly charged. At trial, Villalobos & Associates presented an expert witness, a psychiatrist, who testified that the client did not understand that what he was doing was wrong. Several police officers also testified that he demonstrated almost inhuman strength and fearlessness at the time of the offense. The client was facing 15 years in the state penitentiary but as a result of the testimony, the client was found not guilty by reason of insanity. After the trial, the client was able to receive appropriate care and has returned to work and school.
People v. Munoz
The client was charged with felony possession of a false social security card after he was stopped, frisked and searched by Chicago Police. The conviction would have made the client ineligible for the Dream Act and would have had other immigration implications. Villalobos & Associates filed a motion to suppress evidence and to quash the arrest since the police had no reason to think the client was doing anything unlawful. At the motion hearing, Villalobos & Associates proved that the police did not suspect the client of committing a crime, did not have a reason to frisk him, and did not need to search his wallet. All charges were dismissed.
People v. U.A.
The client was charged with burglary of his girlfriend's former apartment when police found his fingerprints all over the window that the burglars allegedly used to enter the apartment. At trial, Villalobos & Associates proved that the State had no other evidence connecting the client to the crime. Important testimony at trial showed that the client used to open the window and climb in to visit his girlfriend when she used to live there. Careful cross-examination of the complaining witness showed that his testimony was too good to be true and not wholly believable. The judge found that the fingerprints could have been old and did not necessarily connect him to the crime. Not guilty.
People v. J.K.
In Lake County, Villalobos & Associates defended a client charged with DUI. Illinois State Police got a call about a blue car driving erratically and then pulled up behind a car that matched the description, which was driven by our client. As the dashboard cam showed in court, the client executed a text book lane change, properly used his turning signals, and observed all other rules of the road. At the motion to suppress the stop and quash arrest, Villalobos & Associates confronted the officer with the video, which established that there was no reason to pull over the vehicle. Motion to suppress granted! All this after the client first went to another law firm who told him they would plead him guilty for three times the amount we charged.
Hawthorne v. T.A.S.
The client's business was sued for damage to property for allegedly agreeing to fix two cars and then taking them apart and damaging them. While other attorneys would have quickly settled rather than take the case to trial, Villalobos & Associates argued that the claim was frivolous and the plaintiff had conflicting evidence and statements. The judge agreed and dismissed the case.
People v. N.G.
The client was charged with Aggravated Battery of a woman who had a protective order against the client. When the client went to a police station to report that the woman attacked her in front of a school, the client was arrested because any contact with the woman was a violation of the protective order. Despite the apparent violation of the order, Villalobos & Associates was able to locate an eye witness who testified at trial that the alleged victim was actually the aggressor. The eye witness testimony convinced the judge that the defendant was not guilty.
State Farm and Casualty Company v. Gonzalez-Luna and Basa, Circuit Court of Cook County, Municipal Division.
When the clients could not afford the bottom line demanded by the subrogation firm, Villalobos & Associates took this personal injury and property damage case to trial. Despite police reports clearly depicting the clients liable for the nearly $20,000 in damages to Plaintiff’s vehicle and person, and the client’s guilty pleas in the criminal charges stemming from the accident, Villalobos & Associates succeeded at trial. Impeaching the plaintiff’s witness and arguing that photographs introduced into evidence depicted a different story, Villalobos & Associates convinced the judge that the clients were not liable for the damages the plaintiff sustained.
People v. R. R.
The client was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon after probation officers showed up for an unannounced search and found a gun safe in a bedroom closet. The gun safe was owned by the client’s wife, who was a security guard and authorized to possess a gun. At trial the judge found that officers broke the safe’s lock to open the safe, took out the gun and ammunition and then charged the client with possessing the firearm that was locked inside. Villalobos & Associates’ successful motion to preserve the safe ensured that the safe that was opened by police would make it to trial. The defendant was found not guilty after the judge examined the safe and the lock fell apart on the bench.
People v. J. D.
Initially the client did not have a lawyer and pled guilty to DUI after a fender bender near a late night restaurant. The client then retained Villalobos & Associates, who then vacated the conviction. At trial, Villalobos & Associates’ careful cross-examination of the responding police officer convinced the judge that the State did not prove that the defendant was even the driver of the car and secured a finding of not guilty.
People v. G. S. and F. S.
Two brothers were charged with 10 counts including Attempted Murder, Home Invasion, Aggravated Battery, etc., stemming from a domestic dispute involving a bedroom fight involving a paring knife. At trial, the brothers were found not guilty of all charges except battery and were released when the judge gave them credit for the time they served awaiting trial.
People v. Duarte
Police attempted to pull over a vehicle driving erratically in the Pilsen neighborhood. The driver of the vehicle did not obey the police and led them on a chase that ended up in the parking lot of the UIC Police Department. Once blocked in by police, the vehicle rammed police vehicles and drove through a gate and onto the UIC baseball field, where a game was in progress. The chase continued to Roosevelt Rd., where the driver abandoned the vehicle and led police on a brief foot chase. As the driver exited the vehicle, police saw an open beer can fall out of the vehicle. The client was driving on a revoked license and was ultimately charged with 22 charges from DUI to battery to a police officer. Villalobos & Associates was able to knock out all the charges except DUI, for which the client received 2 years of probation and 15 hours of community service.
People v. Flores et al.
21 people tragically died when a fight at the E2 nightclub on South Michigan avenue caused a stampede in which club patrons crushed each other while trying to exit the over-crowded club. Villalobos & Associates represented one of the club promoters and served as head of the defense team for all the defendants. Despite the attention from the media and the negative public sentiment surrounding the case, all the defendants were acquitted after Villalobos & Associates argued that the defendants could only have foreseen the series of events leading up to the tragedy if they had a crystal ball.
People v. Lee
The client was facing 12 years for aggravated DUI following an early morning accident where his car hit a pedestrian outside a bar. The pedestrian suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized for several months. However, at trial, Villalobos & Associates presented evidence that before the accident the pedestrian had been at the bar drinking and walked into the street, causing the accident. After a hearing with the judge where Villalobos & Associates argued that the client had no prior convictions and that the incident was just a tragic accident, the client received a 30-day sentence in a rehab treatment facility.