Case Results – Motions to Vacate and Record Sealing

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August 2018
Commonwealth v. John Doe
Taunton District Court

AFTER A HEARING, ATTORNEY PATRICK J. NOONAN GETS FELONY ASSAULT CHARGE SEALED FROM ASPIRING TEACHER’S CRIMINAL RECORD

In 2013, when our client was 22 years-old, he was charged with Assault & Battery and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (a felony) upon his then-girlfriend. There were photographs showing serious injuries to the girlfriend’s face and the Defendant had written a letter to his girlfriend apologizing for what he did. Prior to our representation, our client entered a plea to both charges, admitted to sufficient facts, and was placed on probation for two years with conditions that he receives anger management and substance abuse treatment. In 2015, the charges were dismissed upon his successful completion of probation. Because our client was charged with a felony, he was not eligible to have his record sealed until ten (10) years following the disposition of his case. That is, our client was not eligible to get the felony sealed until 2025. It should be noted that, in October of 2018, new legislation will go into effect regarding record sealing and expungement. Our client was a college graduate. He had hopes of getting a Graduate Degree in Education and fulfilling his dream of becoming a high school science teacher. However, because of the criminal charges on his record, including the felony charge, our client did not feel he could get into Graduate School or get hired as a teacher.

Result: Our client was very discouraged. He felt that he would never be able to become a teacher so he didn’t even try. Then, one day, he called our law office to see if anything could be done. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan reviewed his case and told him about our record sealing laws in Massachusetts and how he could petition the Court to have his record sealed immediately rather than waiting until 2025. Our client decided to give it a shot. At a hearing, our law office presented evidence to convince the Judge order to the sealing of our client’s criminal record.


August 18, 2017
Commonwealth v. M.C.
Taunton District Court

CLIENT SEEKING U.S. CITIZENSHIP WAS CONVICTED IN 1989 OF A DEPORTABLE OFFENSE BUT ATTORNEY PATRICK J. NOONAN GETS THE CONVICTION VACATED. CLIENT CAN NOW REPORT TO IMMIGRATION THAT HE HAS NO CONVICTIONS ON HIS RECORD.

Client, is a 47 year-old Brockton resident, a happily married man, and father of 5 children. He is college educated and has a successful business as a Certified Real Estate Appraiser. He was born in Cape Verde and came to the U.S. when he was 10 years old. His wife and children are U.S. citizens but he is not a U.S. citizen. He has been a permanent residence and green card holder. It has been his lifelong dream to become a U.S. citizen. Client contacted Attorney Patrick J. Noonan because he was concerned about a prior felony conviction affecting his application for U.S. citizenship. In 1989, client was convicted of Burning Property with Intent to Defraud Insurance Company. It was alleged that the client burned his own vehicle in an attempt to recover money from his insurance company. According to federal law (8 U.S.C.A. §1227(2)(A)), Burning Property with Intent to Defraud an Insurance Company is considered a crime of moral turpitude and is a deportable offense. “Any alien who is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude is deportable.

Result: Client was concerned that his prior conviction for a deportable offense would affect his ability to become a U.S. citizen. Client had contacted other Attorneys who did not provide him with any confidence that anything could be done. Client contacted Attorney Patrick J. Noonan in desperation hoping that something could be done. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan told the client that he could try to get his felony conviction “vacated” and “dismissed” so that he could go into his immigration meeting with a record of no convictions. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan obtained the court records and discovered that the court did not give him an alien warning when he pled guilty to the charge. Pursuant to G.L. c. 278, §29D, judge’s must warn a Defendant who is pleading guilty, or taking another disposition, of the immigration consequences of that plea. Failure to provide such a warning may provide grounds for a motion to vacate the conviction. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan dug deeper and tried to find as much evidence surrounding the crime as possible. It was discovered that the client made all his car insurance payments and the insurance company did not pay anything out to the client. Therefore, the client could not have had the intent to defraud the insurance company because the insurance company did not suffer any financial loss. The facts were more consistent with the crime of Malicious Burning of Personal Property, which does not involve fraud. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan filed a Motion to Vacate his client’s conviction, which was allowed by the Judge and the case was dismissed. Now, the client has no conviction on his record.


August 2, 2017
Commonwealth v. B.B.
Wareham District Court

ATTORNEY PATRICK J. NOONAN WINS NEW TRIAL FOR CLIENT CONVICTED OF DRUNK DRIVING BECAUSE HER BREATHALYZER TEST PRODUCED SCIENTIFICALLY UNRELIABLE RESULTS

Defendant, a single mother, was arrested by Massachusetts State Police for Negligent Operation and Operating under the Influence of Alcohol. At the police station, Defendant agreed to have a Breathalyzer Test to determine her blood alcohol content. The breath test machine gave a blood alcohol content result of 0.11%, which is over the legal limit. Based on the breath test result of 0.11%, Defendant pled out to the OUI charge.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan was hired to vacate the Defendant’s conviction and win her a new trial. Recently, in the case of Commonwealth v. Ananias, a District Court Judge ruled that a Breathalyzer Machine did not produce scientifically reliable Blood-Alcohol-Content results during the time period of June 2012 to September 2014. Relying on the Court’s recent decision, Attorney Patrick J. Noonan argued that his client’s conviction should be vacated and she should be awarded a new trial because the Breathalyzer Machine used in her case did not produce scientifically reliable results. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan was successful in getting his client’s conviction vacated and a jury trial is now scheduled.


May 19, 2017
Commonwealth v. V.P.
Orleans District Court

CLIENT WAS FOUND GUILTY OF A FELONY AFTER A TRIAL IN 1980 BUT ATTORNEY PATRICK J. NOONAN GETS THE CONVICTION VACATED AND DISMISSED.

The Client is a 63-year-old former carpenter from Dennis who remains disabled from a bad work-related accident. In 1980, when the Client was 26 years-old, he was charged with felony larceny for allegedly stealing trees and shrubs from a Nursery in Dennis. The Client went to trial and was found guilty of the felony larceny. The client, an avid hunter, has been a gun owner since he was 17 years-old. He has had a Firearms Identification Card (FID Card) since age 17 and has renewed his FID Card for the past 46 years with no issues. The Client was concerned that his FID Card would be denied for renewal because of the old felony conviction.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan filed a Motion to Vacate his client’s Conviction arguing that: there was insufficient evidence that the larceny was a felony because the value of the stolen property was not clearly proven, the client had a viable Motion to Dismiss because the stolen property was never recovered despite police executing a search of the client’s home, and trial judge may have committed error in permitting the client to be represented at trial by his co-defendant who was acting pro se. Prior to any hearing on the Motion to Vacate Conviction, Attorney Noonan had a conversation with the District Attorney’s Office who agreed to vacate the client’s conviction and enter a dismissal. Attorney Noonan then filed a new Motion to Vacate Conviction that was agreed to by the parties. The Judge allowed the Motion to Vacate and entered a dismissal, as requested by both parties.


March 8, 2017
Commonwealth v. L.A.
Brockton District Court

ATTORNEY PATRICK J. NOONAN CONVINCES A JUDGE TO VACATE AN OLD CONVICTION FOR A CRIME AGAINST THE PUBLIC JUSTICE AND THEN SUCCESSFULLY PETITIONS THE COMMISSIONER OF PROBATION TO SEAL IT FROM HIS CLIENT’S RECORD.

Client is a 70 year-old accountant, grandmother, and former drug-addict who had an old felony conviction from 1984 for smuggling drugs into a prison. The client had turned her life around but was always haunted by her past. Back in the 1980s, client had a terrible drug addiction. In 1984, she was arrested for attempting to smuggle cocaine into a prison for an inmate. She was convicted of the serious felony offense of Giving a Prisoner a Controlled Substance. That was the last time the client ever had any involvement with police or the court system. She committed herself to treatment and lived a life of sobriety ever since. She went back to school and earned a degree in Accounting and graduated at the top of her class with Highest Honors. She has been employed as an Accountant for over 30 years and has held the same job for nearly 15 years. Despite the remarkable turnaround in her life, she was always haunted by her old felony conviction, which was a constant reminder of her past. She petitioned the Commissioner of Probation in Boston to seal the felony conviction from her record. Regrettably, she was informed that the conviction was non-sealable because it was a Crime against the Public Justice. Her only hope was to have the felony conviction vacated, which she believed was impossible. Other attorneys told her that convincing a judge to vacate a conviction for this charge would be very difficult. In a leap of faith, she contacted Attorney Patrick J. Noonan who agreed to take on the case.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan made a compelling argument to a Judge of the Brockton District Court to vacate his client’s felony conviction. In a rare case, the Judge entered an order and vacated a conviction for a Crime against the Public Justice. With the conviction vacated, the Commissioner of Probation agreed to seal the charge from the client’s record.


September 22, 2016
Commonwealth v. L.Z.
Stoughton District Court

CRIMINAL HARASSMENT CHARGE SEALED FROM REGISTERED NURSE’S RECORD

Client was in a tumultuous relationship with a man who had been cheating on her with several other women. Client’s ex-boyfriend obtained a Harassment Prevention Order (restraining order) against her. The client did not retain an attorney nor contest the restraining order. On the day she was served with the restraining order, the client admitted to police that she violated it by making a phone call to her ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend. As a result, client was charged with Violation of a Harassment Prevention Order. The client was given a disposition known as Pretrial Probation and her case was dismissed after six months. After her criminal case was dismissed, client retained Attorney Patrick J. Noonan to seal her criminal record. The client was a 52 year-old woman with no other criminal record. She was a Registered Nurse and worked as a Staff Nurse for Children’s Hospital for 30 years. She was named runner-up by the Boston Globe for Nurse of the Year. She made a terminal ill child’s dream of speaking to Ellen DeGeneres come true. When her criminal case was pending, the client left Children’s Hospital. After her criminal case was dismissed, the client applied for over 100 jobs in the nursing field without any success. It was clear that the client’s criminal record was preventing her from getting a job in the nursing field even though she was highly qualified and had a stellar work history. Attorney Noonan filed a Motion to Seal the Client’s Criminal Record pursuant to G.L. c. 276, §100C.

Result: After a hearing in which Attorney Patrick J. Noonan presented compelling evidence, the judge issued an order sealing the client’s criminal record.


November 28, 2014                                        
Commonwealth v. R.W.
Wrentham District Court

POSSESSION CLASS A SUBSTANCE:    DISMISSED and SEALED
POSSESSION CLASS A SUBSTANCE:    DISMISSED and SEALED

Client, 32-year-old financial consultant, with no criminal record was arrested and charged with Possession of Class A Heroin (two counts). Police were conducting surveillance in a high-crime area and observed a known drug dealer and a known drug user engage in a hand-to-hand transaction. Police then stopped Defendant’s motor vehicle and discovered heroin (Class A). Attorney Patrick J. Noonan filed a Motion Requesting Assignment to a Drug Treatment Facility pursuant to Chapter 111E. The prosecutor objected. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan presented evidence establishing Defendant’s drug dependency. Attorney Noonan presented a treatment plan to the court, which included the client’s enrollment in an outpatient program where he will be treated by a psychiatrist and a substance abuse counselor. The judge adopted Attorney Noonan’s treatment plan.

Result: Defendant’s case was dismissed upon his successful completion of drug treatment, and the drug charges were permanently sealed from the Defendant’s record. 


June 4, 2014
Commonwealth v. A.W.
West Roxbury District Court

ASSAULT and BATTERY: DISMISSED / SEALED

Boston Police responded to a domestic disturbance in which the alleged victim reported that her boyfriend (Defendant) had punched her in the face and that he had possession of two firearms and a rifle. The alleged victim stated that the Defendant suffers from depression and had been drinking heavily all day. The alleged victim stated that the Defendant threatened her by saying, “If you don’t get out of the house I am going to shoot you” and the Defendant then punched her in the face. She then ran out of the house and called 911. Attorney Gerald J. Noonan successfully dismissed the case and sealed the criminal charge from his client’s record. This was a considerable victory given that the Defendant had no prior criminal record. He was educated in England and worked in the financial industry for years. The Defendant was seeking new employment in the financial field and the presence of the Assault and Battery charge on his record would have seriously prejudiced him getting hired.

Result: Attorney Gerald J. Noonan gets domestic violence charge dismissed outright and permanently sealed against financial advisor.


March 28, 2014                                    
Commonwealth v. J.P.
Taunton District Court

LARCENY: DISMISSED / RECORD SEALED

Client, 57-year-old teacher’s aide, was arrested and charged with Larceny over $250 (felony) in connection with an alleged incident in which she exited Home Goods with a shopping carriage with $667.00 worth of merchandise without paying. After the client was arraigned on the felony offense, she retained Attorney Patrick J. Noonan. At the first court date, Attorney Patrick J. Noonan obtained an agreement with the Commonwealth that his client will be placed on Pretrial Probation for 5 months until 09/01/14 at which point the felony charge will be dismissed. On September 1, 2014, the criminal charge was dismissed.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan permanently seals criminal charge on school teacher’s record.  


January 10, 2014                                    
Commonwealth v. K.M. 
Attleboro District Court

DRUG OFFENSE: DISMISSED & SEALED FROM RECORD

Client, 22-year-old nursing student, was pulled over for a series of motor vehicle infractions. The officer immediately detected a strong odor of fresh marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Officers searched the vehicle and found a small bag of marijuana in the cubbyhole of the passenger side door. The front seat passenger was issued a citation for possession of marijuana less than one ounce. Officers searched the Defendant’s purse and recovered Percocet. Client was charged with Possession of Class B Substance (Percocet). She was applying for nursing positions at hospitals. After arraignment on the drug charge, client retained Attorney Patrick J. Noonan.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan dismisses criminal charge outright and permanently seals the drug charge from his client’s record.  


November 21, 2013                                    
Commonwealth v. J.C.
Salem District Court

ASSAULT & BATTERY: NOLLE PROSS and RECORD SEALED

Client, 19-year-old Military Police Officer with no criminal record, was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery stemming from an allegation that he pushed and threw his girlfriend during a heated argument. After his arraignment, client retained Attorney Patrick J. Noonan. Prior to trial, Attorney Patrick J. Noonan informed the Commonwealth that his cross-examination of the alleged victim would incriminate her because she committed several crimes during the night of the alleged incident, including Assault and Battery, Malicious Destruction of Property, and others. At trial, the alleged victim opted not to testify. The Commonwealth nolle prossed the charge at trial. Attorney Patrick J. Noonan then filed a Motion to Seal the Assault and Battery charge from his client’s record arguing that the unsealed criminal charge would pose a specific harm to his client, as he is aspiring to become a Corrections Officer.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan dismisses the case outright and the Assault & Battery charge is permanently sealed from the client’s record.  


February 27, 2012                                     
Commonwealth v. B.M.
Attleboro District Court

DRUG POSSESSION: CRIMINAL RECORD SEALED

Client, 40-year-old physician’s assistant, was charged with Possession of Class B Substance (cocaine) stemming from an arrest at a Comcast Center. After the Defendant’s case was dismissed, Attorney Patrick J. Noonan filed a Petition to Seal his client’s criminal record, arguing that substantial justice required sealing of his client’s criminal record, as he is gainfully employed as a physician’s assistant and the effect of the charge would cause him to lose his license as a physician’s assistant.

Result: Attorney Patrick J. Noonan gets drug charge permanently sealed on Physician Assistant’s record.