Drug conviction overturned for Cambodian Refugee fleeing violence from Khmer Rouge
June 29, 2016, Middlesex County Superior Court (Lowell) case no. 0881CR00706 charging distribution of cocaine; Lowell District Court case no. 0811CR01773 charging distribution of cocaine and drug conspiracy. Client contends that she was involved in an abusive relationship, in which her boyfriend forced her to sell drugs for him. Nevertheless, her prior lawyer recommends she plead guilty to both cases. On 3/25/15, client applied for citizenship, unaware that her convictions constituted aggravated felonies which trigger mandatory deportation. Client is a Cambodian national who along with her family fled the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime in her home country. She has resided in the U.S. since she was eleven; she is now a mother of four children. She retains our office to vacate her convictions to avoid being returned to the country of which her only memory is of persecution and death. We filed motions for new trial in each matter, which the government opposed. In separate adversarial hearings, both the Lowell District Court (6/10/16) and the Middlesex Superior Court (6/29/16) allow our motions and vacate her convictions. Following further litigation, all charges are dismissed. Client is now a U.S. citizen living peacefully with her children.
Practice area(s): Appeals, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Immigration