Expungement of Criminal Record - Attorney Steven J. Topazio
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Expungement of Criminal Record

The client consulted with Attorney Topazio regarding a criminal complaint in the name of “Jane Doe” that popped up on her CORI after she applied for a job.  The client claimed that she was not the defendant in the complaint alleging common nightwalking which was in default status since 1988.  The client further claimed that the complaint, in the pseudonym of “Jan Doe”, must be a mistake and she wanted the warrant withdrawn from her name and the case removed from her CORI.  Attorney Topazio discovered that the complaint was in the name of “Jane Doe” because the police could not determine the true identity of the person they arrested in 1988.  The description given by the police of the person they arrested did not match the physical description of the client now associated with the “Jane Doe: complaint.  Attorney Topazio also pointed out that the “Jane Doe” in the complaint had a date of birth in 1968 yet his client had a date of birth in 1952.  Attorney Topazio persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the case due to the difficulties in trying such an old case and the Commonwealth filed a nolle prosequi.  Not satisfied with the dismissal, Attorney Topazio wanted to remove the charge from his client’s CORI so he filed a Petition for Expungement pursuant to G.L. c. 276 section 100K.  Having a criminal record expunged means that the record will be permanently destroyed so that it is no longer accessible by the court or any other state, municipal, or county agencies. An expungement is not the same as having your record sealed.  There are two different types of expungement. One is a time-based expungement and the other is a non-time-based expungement.  Attorney Topazio filed for a non-time-based expungement petition alleging that there was unauthorized use of his client’s identity and that she was not the person in the “Jane Doe” complaint.  Attorney Topazio wanted the complaint expunged to remove it from his client’s CORI.  Non-Time-based expungements can be based on the following criteria:

  • False use of your identification
  • Unauthorized use of your identity
  • Theft of your identity
  • Offense(s) that is/are no longer a crime (i.e. possessing small amounts of marijuana)
  • Errors by law enforcement
  • Errors by civilian or expert witness(es)
  • Errors by court employees
  • Fraud perpetrated upon the court.


The Court agreed with the petition for expungement and made a finding that false identification of the client was used and expunged the record.  After a record is expunged, Attorney Topazio informed his client that she cannot be found guilty of perjury or of giving a false statement by not acknowledging this charge if anyone inquires about it. The client can say that she has no record after expungement.