Selected Case Results and Testimonials
SORB Case Results
We filed a comprehensive motion and exhibits for a client who had been registering as a Level 2 sex offender for over 15 years, requesting that he no longer have to register. By putting in the extra effort at this early stage, SORB agreed to terminate the client’s duty to register without even holding a hearing, which kept the cost down for the client.
After a hearing SORB agreed that our client no longer posed a risk of reoffense, and our client went from being a Level 2 to having his registration obligation completely terminated.
Even after getting a reduction from a Level 3 to Level 2, this was a case where it made sense to keep going and file for judicial review. We won a preliminary injunction and our client’s information will not the internet while the case is in superior court.
Reclassification to Level 1
Following an evidentiary hearing, SORB reduced our client from a Level 2 to a Level 1 and his personal information is no longer on the internet.
Reclassification to Level 2
After an evidentiary hearing SORB reduced our client from a Level 3 to a Level 2.
Recommended classification reduced
The Sex Offender Registry Board preliminarily classified our client as a Level 3. After an evidentiary hearing our client was classified at a Level 2.
The Appeals Court agreed with our argument that that our client’s prior attorney had made serious errors in the way he presented his case to SORB. We got his case remanded for a new hearing and now he is a Level 1.
We retained an expert and filed a detailed motion requesting termination of our Level 2 client’s registration. Our motion was allowed prior to even holding a hearing which saved the client money.
SORB terminated our Level 2 client’s registration obligation after a hearing.
Reclassification to Level 1
SORB reduced our client from a Level 2 to a Level 1.
Level 1 classification prior to hearing
This client reached out to us early in his case so we were able to submit an impressive packet of information that persuaded SORB to recommend a Level 1, something that rarely happens. Our client was not only happy to obtain the best result possible but was also able to keep the cost of representation down by avoiding an evidentiary hearing.
Level 1 classification
After registering for nearly 15 years our client’s risk to reoffend had been significantly reduced by his stable lifestyle. We assembled and interpreted the relevant recidivism research and applied it to the facts of our client’s case, and were able to persuade SORB to reduce our client to a Level 1.
Initial classification reduced
We obtained a Level 2 classification in a case with difficult facts where SORB had given our client a preliminary classification level of 3.
Level 1 classification
SORB preliminarily classified our client as a Level 2 offender, which would mean his photo and address would be posted on the internet, something he was very concerned about. After a hearing we were able to obtain a Level 1 classification and our client has been able to maintain his privacy.
Level 1 classification
The Sex Offender Registry Board preliminarily classified our client as a Level 2. After an evidentiary hearing our client was classified at a Level 1.
SORB tried to increase client’s classification level
Based on a new sex offense the Sex Offender Registry Board sought to increase our client’s classification level from a 2 to a 3. We had an expert forensic psychiatrist evaluate our client and testify to the Board that he did not pose a high risk of reoffense or degree of dangerousness. Following the hearing, the hearing examiner found that upwards re-classification was not warranted and retained our client’s level 2 classification.
Level 1 classification
The Sex Offender Registry Board sought to classify our client as a Level 2 offender. After an administrative hearing where we submitted extensive evidence demonstrating that our client was at a low risk to reoffend we obtained a Level 1 result.
SORB classification with expert testimony
Following a hearing where we presented substantial evidence, including testimony from a forensic psychologist, the hearing examiner reduced our client’s recommended classification level from a 3 to a 2.
SORB classification with expert testimony
SORB informed our client of its intent to classify him as a Level 3 offender. Following a two-day classification hearing where we presented expert testimony that our client did not pose a high risk to reoffend or degree of dangerousness, the hearing examiner classified our client as a Level 2 offender.
Reclassification hearing with expert testimony
SORB held a reclassification hearing where we introduced evidence from a forensic psychologist that our client’s risk to reoffend had been substantially reduced since his initial classification hearing, and his level was reduced from a Level 3 to a Level 2.
Post-Conviction Relief for Non-Citizens
Conviction vacated, deportation avoided
Our client was facing deportation based on a case where he received a continuance without a finding (“CWOF”), which meant that his case would be dismissed after a period of probation. He completed probation and thought he was all set. Nearly 15 years later he found out that for non-citizens a CWOF is still considered a conviction, and was placed in deportation proceedings. We vacated his CWOF and he is no longer deportable.
Conviction vacated, client granted citizenship
Our client was unable to travel outside the country or become a citizen and risked deportation due to a 30-year-old case that wasn’t even considered a conviction under Massachusetts law. We filed a motion and our client was allowed to withdraw his plea. The case was dismissed by agreement, and about a year later we got an email from this client giving us the good news that he had become a U.S. citizen.
Conviction vacated, imminent deportation avoided
More than 25 years ago our client was convicted of several offenses that caused him to be ordered deported back to a country where he and his family had suffered unimaginable horrors. For many years deportation orders to this country were not being carried out and he went on to have a family and career, and hoped this was all behind him. When his country started accepting deportees again he was taken from his family one day without warning and put in immigration detention, where he faced imminent deportation with no opportunity to go back to immigration court. We filed a lengthy motion supported by hundreds of pages of exhibits explaining why the conviction should be vacated. The judge agreed, and our client is back home with his family.
Conviction vacated, deportation avoided, client granted citizenship
A superior court judge allowed our client to vacate his plea because he did not understand at the time that the “good deal” he was getting wasn’t so good after all since it would result in his deportation from the place he has lived since he was a child. Our client got ordered deported on the basis of this conviction many years ago, but until recently his country was not issuing travel documents for its citizens so he had been able to remain here. This recently changed and he was at risk of being deported within the next year. By winning his case he was able to get his case thrown out of immigration court and he was able to apply for citizenship.
After an evidentiary hearing where we called two witnesses to testify, a judge vacated our client’s conviction for a drug offense and he is now eligible for discretionary relief in immigration court.
Successful appeal of denial of motion to withdraw plea
After a judge denied our motion to withdraw our client’s plea, we filed an appeal and argued to three justices in the Appeals Court that the judge made an error by refusing to give us a hearing. The case was remanded for an evidentiary hearing where two witnesses testified. Our motion was allowed and our client was entitled to have a new trial. He was found not guilty and is no longer at risk of deportation.
Conviction vacated, client granted citizenship
When our client admitted to sufficient facts to drug distribution charges he never thought the case would have immigration consequences for him since it was ultimately dismissed. His attorney didn’t explain to him that his admission would be considered a conviction for immigration purposes. 15 years later he applied for naturalization. When he was denied based on this conviction, he was terrified to learn that he could also be deported. After an evidentiary hearing, the district court allowed our motion and vacated our client’s conviction so he is not only safe from deportation, but was able to finally become a U.S. citizen.
Even though he only received probation at the time, our client got deported based on a single offense he committed when he was 19 years old. We presented substantial evidence that our client’s plea should be vacated. The superior court judge agreed and allowed our motion after hearing testimony and arguments. Our client is working with an immigration attorney to return to the United States to be reunited with his family.
Other Post-Conviction Results
Motion to remove GPS probation condition
GPS monitoring is a standard condition of probation for most people convicted of sex offenses. We were able to convince a judge that it was not appropriate here because the unique circumstances of his case did not warrant GPS monitoring.
Motion for new trial allowed
Our client was found guilty of a sex offense after trial. A review of the trial transcripts and discovery revealed that his attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to hire an expert who could have pointed out the holes in the Commonwealth’s theory of the case, and our client’s conviction was overturned.
Commonwealth v. Hamel, 91 Mass. App. Ct. 349 (2017)
The Appeals Court reversed our client’s convictions for indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of 14 when the trial court erroneously admitted the complainant’s medical records into evidence at his trial, and the prosecutor made an improper closing argument which unfairly bolstered the credibility of the complaining witness.
Commonwealth v. Sylvain (II), 473 Mass. 832 (2016)
The Supreme Judicial Court upheld the trial court’s allowance of our motion to vacate our client’s plea where his attorney gave him bad immigration advice. The SJC rejected the Commonwealth’s contention on appeal that a trial court should not have relied on affidavits and affirmed the trial judge’s findings that the evidence we presented at the evidentiary hearing was sufficient to meet our burden.
Motion for new trial allowed
Our client was found guilty of a sex offense after trial in superior court. A review of the trial transcripts and discovery revealed that his attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to hire an expert, failing to conduct any investigation, and failing to properly advise his client regarding his right to testify in his defense. Following an evidentiary hearing a superior court judge allowed our motion for new trial and our client’s convictions were vacated.
Commonwealth v. Cole, 468 Mass. 294 (2014)
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found the statutory scheme of Community Parole Supervision for Life unconstitutional, and our client and hundreds of others were immediately released from this oppressive and ineffective form of punishment. Laura represented the defendant in this case along with Beth Eisenberg from the Committee for Public Counsel Services.
Commonwealth v. Hart, 467 Mass. 322 (2014)
The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the denial of our client’s motion to vacate his plea to resisting arrest when there was an inadequate factual basis presented during his plea colloquy that he committed the offense charged. This case clarified that in addition to determining that a defendant’s plea be made voluntarily and intelligently, a trial court judge has an independent duty to determine that a sufficient factual basis for the charge exists before accepting a defendant’s guilty plea.
Commonwealth v. Sylvain, 466 Mass. 422 (2013)
In this landmark decision – the first of its kind in the country – the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court parted ways with a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court and held that non-citizen defendants in Massachusetts were entitled to the effective assistance of their criminal attorneys in providing them with advice concerning the immigration consequences of their criminal convictions prior to the date of the Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky in 2010. In February of 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Chaidez v. United States, held that their decision would not be retroactive to cases decided before its decision in Padilla. That meant that any client who pleaded guilty before 2010 would not be able to try and withdraw their plea even if they had not received immigration advice. The SJC’s decision in Sylvain holding Padilla retroactive in Massachusetts will help a countless number of non-citizens get a second chance of remaining in the country if their attorneys had given them bad advice that affected their decision to plead guilty. I represented the defendant in this case along with co-counsel Wendy Wayne of the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Immigration Impact Unit, with help from attorneys Jennifer Klein and Emma Winger.
Several years ago our client had pleaded guilty to a crime in district court and was placed on probation. Upon review of the police reports and a transcript of the plea, it became evident that our client had not, in fact, committed the crime he was charged with. We filed a motion to withdraw his plea which was allowed by the judge and the charge was dismissed.
Motion for new trial allowed
Our client had been convicted of a fourth offense for operating under the influence and was sentenced to two years in prison when we took over his case on appeal. A review of the trial transcripts and record revealed that the client had a viable motion to suppress his statements that his trial attorney never pursued. We filed a motion for new trial, and the district court allowed the motion and vacated the conviction. Our client was able to return home to his wife and children a year before his sentence was supposed to end.
Motions to correct sentence (2011-2014)
Before it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Judicial Court, Community Parole Supervision for Life (“CPSL”) was one of the harshest sentences anyone could receive. It essentially put a defendant on probation for the rest of his life, during which time some of the conditions included not being able to use the internet, total abstinence from alcohol, not being able to go to the movies without permission from a parole officer, and a mandatory curfew of 10 pm to 6 am. If a violation of any of these conditions was found, the defendant was sent to prison without ever returning in front of a judge, with no assistance from an attorney. I was able to help more than 10 clients vacate this portion of their sentence before the SJC ultimately ended the practice of CPSL for everyone in 2014 in the case of Commonwealth v. Cole, where Attorney Beth Eisenberg and I represented the defendant in a case that also helped hundreds of other people.
I remember the day I was in a desperate situation with my immigrant situation when I was recommended to this amazing attorney. I didn’t know what to expect or what we were going to do with this old case that was being used against me in immigration court. Laura was able to overturn the conviction and help me win. I couldn’t be more satisfied and could not recommend a better attorney than Laura. She really went above and beyond and even when the odds were against us she pulled through. She was passionate, she was knowledgeable and presented a very good case. Now I can relax and be at ease knowing that I was in good hands thanks to Laura.
Being represented by attorney Laura Mannion has been a great experience. She is very intelligent, knowledgeable, and extremely productive, and specializes in SORB cases. She’s very professional, and dedicated and able to convey all the options and possible results in a very understandable manner and she would keep me updated throughout the process. I’m really satisfied with the outcome on my case and I would highly recommend Laura to others.
When I first sat down with Laura for my consultation, her compassion was apparent and her willingness to assist me was evident. I worked with Laura for a little over one year and throughout that time Laura proved to be dedicated and disciplined in her expertise and was very knowledgeable. She provided guidance throughout the court process and ensured I understood next steps. Her fee was also quite reasonable. I would highly recommend utilizing Laura’s services.
Motion for New Trial
Thank you so much for your help and believing in this case. It’s still hard to believe that the sentence has been vacated. This was only possible because of the hours and time you put into your cases.
I’ve met a lot of attorneys over my years and you truly listen. We got the results we wanted and thank you for all you did to make me feel comfortable.
The first thing that I want to really say is that thank you from the bottom of my heart. Today I read “that the board has determined your final classification level of 2.” I really started to cry because that was weighing on me heavily.
Laura Mannion was an amazing criminal defense lawyer for me. I am very grateful to have her to be my lawyer. She helped represent my case in 2018 when I was denied citizenship three times by an immigration officer due to a drug conviction. I learned that I could not become a citizen and could even get deported. I was very disappointed and frustrated when reading the letter that the immigration officer sent me. I felt like living in America for me came to an end of the road. I have no voice if I never became a citizen in this country. I could not be able to vote, get a job, work in the public office, and most important of all, that I will can get deported. I was introduced to Laura through my church friend who was a prosecutor. He referred me to a program who then referred me to Laura. She said that Laura Mannion is the best criminal attorney for my type of case. She specializes in this area. She was confident that Laura could help me. After some time, Laura reached out to me and said that she is interested in my case and would like me to come to the office so that she can hear about my situation. So, I went to her office located in Quincy. I sat down with her and explained every little detail about my situation. She took my case to heart; I could feel it because I was being very honest with her. 15 years ago, I was charged with dealing drugs because my identify was being used by one of my relatives. He took my driver’s license and went dealing drugs with his friends. They sold to an undercover and I got charged. The case went on for a long time, then the prosecutors made me an offer known as a continuance without a finding. They would dismiss the case later if I took their offer, otherwise if I kept fighting, I could face many years in prison if I lost the case. I was young during that time and just graduated from college got a decent job with a bank. I did not have time to keep on being on trials year after year, so I took the commonwealth’s offer of a “continue without finding”. I thought, I could rest after the case was over, and I had the advice of my public defender. But down the road these drug records were with me for the rest of my life and hurting me. The drug records prevented me from applying for good paying jobs. I was denied by several large banks for accounting positions, and then after I got a good job I was asked to leave the company after two weeks into the job after they finished running my CORI and found out that I got three drug offenses. Then when I applied back to my old company that I started my career after college I was accepted for an accounting position, but then again after two weeks into the position the company also found out that I got three drug records after they finished running my CORI. I was asked to leave the company in the same day that they let me know. In addition, facing hardship with applying for jobs with my drug records. I was also denied by the immigration office for three times. Each time, I applied to becoming a citizen, I passed the citizen test, but the only thing that prevented me from becoming the citizen was my drug records. Laura was a great lawyer for me. She helped me fight my case at Dorchester Court with all her ability and she believed me that I was innocent. She also saw I should not be a person facing the burden from applying for jobs and becoming a citizen. When Laura took on my case, she listened to my explanation of my situation well. She felt the paint for the hardship of my life that I was facing. She helped advice and guide me every step during reopening my three drug cases in Dorchester Court. She explained to me the pros and cons of my case. Her advice helped eliminate the risks for me. She helped follow up with me along the way. She would schedule me to come to her office before the court day and would counsel me and explain how she is going to present my case to the judge. I was very confident when talking with Laura helping with my case. In 2018, we had an evidentiary hearing. The judge listened to Laura representing my case and arguing against the prosecutor. The judge also heard my oral testimony. She felt my honesty testimony and listened to Laura’s strong supporting argument. After the hearing was over the judge said that she will make her decision in couple months. Laura received the good news a couple months later. She responded back to me in the same day and told me that the judge had made her final decision to vacate all three of my drug cases. I was very happy to hear the news from Laura. I am very thankful to have her representing me at Dorchester Court and winning the hearing for me and having all three of drug cases vacated. After the hearing was over, Laura took an extra step helping me to become a citizen. She referred me to a program that helps me with my application process and representing me with the immigration officer. In 2019, I became a citizen. I was able to vote and in addition to this I found a good accounting job. I am very grateful that Laura was my defense lawyer. She is a blessing to me. She brought my life back together. I am confident that she can help you too if you allow her to represent you. She will try her all to win the case for you. To this day, I often think about her. Without her fighting for me, I do not know how my life would have turned out with those drug records. I believe Laura is one of the finest criminal lawyers out there for people with immigration issues .I trust that with her ability and experience for many years, she will help you with your case. Take care and God bless.
I am incredibly grateful for the outstanding legal representation I received from Laura Mannion in my case to remove my name from the sex offenders registry in Massachusetts. From the very beginning, she demonstrated not only exceptional legal expertise but also a remarkable level of kindness, compassion, and professionalism that surpassed all expectations.
Navigating the complexities of the legal system can be overwhelming and emotionally challenging, particularly when dealing with sensitive matters like mine. However, Laura showed unwavering support and understanding throughout the entire process. She took the time to listen attentively to my concerns, fears, and aspirations, ensuring that I felt heard and respected at every step.
What impressed me most about Laura was her genuine empathy and compassion. She recognized the impact that being on the sex offenders registry had on my life and understood my desire for a fresh start. With her unwavering dedication and extensive legal knowledge, she developed a compelling case on my behalf.
Throughout the legal proceedings, Laura consistently demonstrated her professionalism and attention to detail. Her comprehensive understanding of Massachusetts laws regarding the sex offender registry was evident in her strategic approach and persuasive arguments.
Thanks to Laura’s relentless efforts and legal acumen, I was successfully removed from the sex offenders registry. Her representation and commitment to my case brought about a life-changing outcome that I thought was unattainable. I cannot express enough gratitude for Laura’s dedication, expertise, and genuine care for my well-being.
I wholeheartedly recommend Laura to anyone seeking legal representation in sensitive matters like mine. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism makes her an exceptional advocate who will go above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome for her clients.