Aaron J. Romano, P.C.
A t t o r n e y s   a t  L a w


Significant Cases
and
In the News


APPELLATE WINS:

Petition for Erasure for Marijuana: State v. Nicholas Menditto,
petition to erase marijuana conviction was denied by trial court.  We appealed the case up to the Connecticut Supreme Court where they unanimously agreed that we were right.  Client's record was cleaned up as a result.

Trial Counsel Found Ineffective for Failing to Properly Represent Client:
Douglas Davis v. Warden, Mr. Davis was represented by another attorney at the trial level where he received the maximum sentence in a plea agreement.  We represented Mr. Davis on his appeal and won in the Connecticut Supreme Court.   We went on to represent him in sentencing where he received a lower sentence!  

Trial Counsel Found Ineffective for Failing to Give Advice About Plea Offer
: Barlow v. Commissioner, Mr. Barlow was represented by a lawyer (who is now a judge) at trial who failed to properly advise him of a plea offer.  He went to trial and received a sentence eight times his plea offer.  We appealed his case and the Appellate Court agreed that he should receive a new hearing before the habeas court to determine if he will get the original deal.


ASSET FORFEITURE
:

We have represented countless clients when their assets have been seized by law enforcement.  We have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars, cars, computers, firearms, and personal possessions, all claimed by the state to have been used or derived from illegal activity. 

Recently, we recovered $65,000 that was stored in a safe along with cocaine.

If law enforcement has seized your property and you want it back call us to discuss how we can help.


FEDERAL COURT:


Bank and Medical Fraud:
USA v. M.W., Veteran indicted in federal court for bank fraud and defrauding the United States government over a period of years to obtain benefits.  He faced a maximum penalty of 35 years.  He received a sentence of twenty-four months in prison.


Drug Trafficking and Conspiracy: USA v. D.T.,  Mother of one and girlfriend of heroin kingpin indicted in federal court for conspiracy to distribute heroin.  The evidence suggested she negotiated deals and transported kilogram quantities of heroin and money for kingpin.  She was facing up to a life sentence with a ten year mandatory minimum in federal prison.  We secured a plea deal where she was sentenced to no prison time only supervised release

Drug Trafficking and Conspiracy: USA v. L.K., Mother of two and wife of cocaine kingpin indicted in federal court for conspiracy to distribute multiple kilogram quantities.  The evidence suggested that she functioned as the secretary of the organization which was converting multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine into crack for distribution.  She was facing up to a life sentence with a ten year mandatory minimum in federal prison.  We secured a plea deal where she was sentenced to a $500 fine and six months of supervised release.

Drug Trafficking: USA v. R.C., Individual indicted in federal court for heroin distribution faced up to twenty years incarceration.  Despite his extensive criminal history involving drug distribution, our office obtained a sentence of one year and a day of incarceration.

Firearm Offenses Violation of Supervised Release: USA v. J.F., Individual on federal supervised release for firearms offenses arrested on new drug charges.  Our office went forward on the violation hearing before the judge who terminated supervised release with no further penalty.  Our defense: the police planted the drugs on him.

Immigration Fraud:
USA v. R.S., Foreign national indicted in federal court for mail fraud regarding his immigration application faced up to five years in prison.  The evidence suggested that he was involved in arranging for his relatives to enter the United States through the arrangement of fraudulent marriages.  Our office obtained a sentence that provided for no further penalty.

International Fraud: Investigation of E.A., Individual investigated by FBI for involvement in international fraud ring involving fictitious lotteries represented by us during the investigation.  No Grand Jury indictment issued.

Money Laundering: USA v. A.C., Foreign national and his father indicted in federal court for illegal structuring of bank transactions.  He was threatened with future indictments for tax evasion when he demanded a trial and maintained his innocence.  On the morning of jury selection after the litigation of motion to suppress statements and other pre-trial motions, all charges were dismissed.  Charges were later dismissed against the father.

Wire Fraud: USA v. T.M., Client accused of defrauding Department of Education and obtaining money for student loans but never attending college.  All charges dismissed.

CONNECTICUT SUPERIOR COURT CASES:

Assault of Safety Personnel: State v. A.S., charged with assault against safety/medical personnel, client who was in a drug induced haze assaulted several hospital personnel causing prolonged injury.  Case was dismissed after we successfully argued for her entrance into a pretrial diversion program.

Assault- Domestic Violence: State v. R.M., charged with domestic violence against his mother.  The State withdrew all charges after investigation revealed inconsistencies with mother's account.  Prosecutor agreed to withdraw all charges.

Assault- Domestic Violence: State v. M.D., charged with domestic violence against his ex-wife.  The State withdrew all charges after successful investigation revealed the falsity of the ex-wife's claims.

Assault, Strangulation, Theft: State v. K.P., charged with a theft and assault of another while staying in a hotel room.  Through investigation and intense negotiations, prosecutor agreed to withdraw all charges.

Assault, Strangulation, Unlawful Restraint - Domestic Violence
: State v. Z.H., charged with domestic violence crimes against his partner.  Successful pretrial negotiations resulted in prosecutor withdraw all charges.

Carjacking, Robbery, Assault, Firearms: State v. J.Y., Young man in Hartford charged with carjacking, robbery, assault, and firearms offenses and a violation of probation facing over 100 years of incarceration.  Evidence suggested that the accused turned over the weapon to the police and made inculpatory statements.  After our successful investigation and pretrial advocacy, the State withdrew prosecution on all charges and the violation of probation.

Controlled Substance Sale/within 1500 Feet of School, Drug Factory: State v. M.R., client charged with delivery of cocaine to cooperating witnesses.  House was searched and bulk quantities of cocaine and money were discovered.  Our attorneys negotiated a pretrial resolution where the prosecutor withdrew all charges.

Controlled Substance Sale: State v. S.B., college student was charged with distributing LSD, approximately a pound of marijuana, and MDMA.  Negotiated a plea to misdemeanor marijuana possession with non-reporting probation.

Controlled Substance Possession: State v. K.I., client with significant criminal history charged with possession of controlled substance.  We negotiated a plea without any incarceration, probation or a fine.

Counterfeit Currency: State v. J.H., client charged with passing counterfeit $100 bills throughout the state.  Our persuasive negotiations and thorough investigation forced the prosecutor to withdraw all charges.

Criminal Mischief
: State. v. S.P., out of state client with severe mental health issues destroyed property.  Successful pretrial advocacy resulted in a dismissal of all charges.

Destruction of Evidence, Obstruction: State v. V.B., when client destroyed drugs after friend overdosed on heroin he was charged.  Through our pretrial negotiations the prosecutor agreed to withdraw all charges.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol: State v. R.M., client failed field sobriety tests and chemical testing.  Our investigation revealed that the police officer who initiated the stop lied about her observations  of client, prosecutor agreed to withdraw all charges.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana: State v. T.B., charged with operation of  a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.  Evidence suggested that client was stopped at DUI roadblock with odor of marijuana emanating from his person.  He is accused of failing field sobriety tests, admitting to recent use of marijuana, and having ashes found on his person.  Pretrial motions were filed revealing the flaws in the prosecutor's case and it was withdrawn from prosecution.

Firearm Possession: State v. D.M., charged with possession of a firearm without a license, client was in an automobile with other persons.  Through pretrial negotiations the prosecutor agreed that it could not sustain a guilty verdict and prove possession.  The case was withdrawn from prosecution.

Firearm Possession/Illegal Display/Assault: State v. M.O., charged in a road rage incident where client was accused of pointing loaded firearm at another driver.  Our investigation revealed that the complainant was the aggressor and client did not act as claimed.  Prosecutor agreed to withdraw all charges. 

Forgery: State v. R.S., Charged with forgery of official state judicial department documents.  Successful pre-trial advocacy and mental defect defense resulted in the dismissal of all charges.

Forgery: State v. J.E., Client charged with forging employers checks.  Our investigation revealed that checks were forged by another employee even though client cashed the checks.  Prosecutor agreed to withdraw all charges.

Harassment- Domestic Violence: Investigation of A.D., Interviewed by police after current boyfriend's ex-girlfriend received harassing correspondence through the mail.  Our office represented her during the investigation and no warrant was ever issued.

Home Invasion, Robbery, Burglary, Assault: State v. A.D., Young man from Philadelphia facing a maximum penalty of 150 years in prison for home invasion robbery was acquitted of all charges.  The State presented forensic cellular telephone evidence as well as the testimony of four co-defendants in a trial that lasted fifteen weeks.  The jury found him not guilty and believed that the co-defendants fabricated the story.

Identity Theft: State v. R.S., client accused of conspiring in identity theft ring obtaining credit card information and purchasing items which were later sold for profit.  Client faced deportation if convicted.  We successfully argued for his entry into a diversionary program that ended in dismissal after two weeks of supervision.

Illegal Contracting: State v. S.Z., Contractor was charged in State court with operating without a license and defrauding homeowner of appropriate work.  Case moved forward to trial and after jury selection was dismissed.

Immigration - Motion to Reopen Conviction to Avoid Deportation: State v. G.L., client was facing deportation for drug trafficking and maintaining a premises for trafficking drugs.  Our office was contacted by an immigration attorney for help.  We were able to reopen the conviction successfully argue for dismissal.  The client is now out of immigration custody and reunited with his family.

Immigration - Motion to Reopen Conviction to Avoid Deportation: State v. E.A., client was facing deportation for theft charges.  Our office was contacted by immigration attorney for help.  We were able to reopen the conviction and modify the sentence to avoid deportation.

Kidnapping, Robbery, Assault: State v. D.B., Young man in Hartford charged with kidnapping, robbery, first degree assault facing over eighty years of incarceration.  After our successful investigation and pretrial advocacy, the State withdrew prosecution on all charges.

Larceny from Employer: Investigation of M.D., Fired from employment for suspected theft on the job.  Our office represented him when the police were investigating the crime.  No charges ever filed.

Larceny: State v. M.K., Client was falsely arrested for Larceny and Failure to Appear when another person stole her identity.  Our investigation revealed that photographs and fingerprints did not match.  Charges were dismissed.

Larceny: State v. N.C., client, a non-citizen was charged with shoplifting and caught red handed.  As this was not the client's first contact with the law, a conviction of this nature would have resulted in her deportation.  Our pretrial advocacy was successful and obtained a dismissal of all charges.

Larceny
: State v. A.G., client was charged with conspiring to steal items from Home Depot.  Incident was caught on camera.  Successful pretrial advocacy resulted in dismissal of all charges.

Manslaughter 1st Degree: State v. A.L., Hartford resident fought another resident who died of his injuries.  After facing 20 years in jail, trial began and a resolution to the case for a misdemeanor plea of negligent homicide.  Time served.

Marijuana - Receipt of Bulk Delivery
: State v. D.R., Delivery of $200,000 worth of wax was intercepted by police.  Warrant was obtained for house.  Wax, bud, and paraphernalia was discovered in house.  Our research revealed that the warrant violated client's Fourth Amendment rights.  We drafted and threatened to file a Motion to Suppress.  Prosecutor agreed to withdraw prosecution.

Marijuana - Indoor Cultivation/Drug Factory/Distribution: State v. A.J.,
charged with the operation of a drug factory, cultivation, and distribution of a controlled substance.  Evidence suggested the operation of a sophisticated indoor marijuana grow with hydroponic system.  All charges dismissed.
 
Marijuana - Indoor Cultivation/Drug Factory/Distribution: State v. G.C.
, charged with operation of a drug factory, cultivation, and distribution of a controlled substance.  Evidence suggested the operation of a medium scale indoor marijuana grow.  Legal flaws with the search warrant were identified during the course of pretrial negotiations resulting in all charges being dismissed.

Marijuana - Indoor Cultivation/Drug Factory/Distribution: State v. M.H., charged with operation of a drug factory, cultivation and distribution of controlled substance.  Evidence suggested client was operating grow room in house.  We negotiated entry in a pretrial diversion program where all charges were dismissed.

Marijuana - Indoor Cultivation/Drug Factory/Distribution
: State v. L.D, J.B., couple charged with indoor cultivation and sale.  Police performed garbage pulls, researched electric bills, and plain smell and obtained warrant.  House searched and basement found to contain large scale grow with 13+ pounds of dried bud.  We uncovered issues with warrant and threatened to file Motion to Suppress.  Successful pretrial negotiations resulted in dismissal of charges against L.D. and conditional discharge (non-reporting probation) for J.B.

Marijuana Conviction Erased: State v. E.C,
client had misdemeanor conviction for possession of marijuana we filed a Petition for Erasure which was granted after an hearing.  Client now has a clean record

Marijuana trafficking: State v. O.W.,
client hired three different attorneys when charged with maintaining a drug house with over one hundred seventy (170) pounds of marijuana, a half an ounce of cocaine, and three guns.  He allegedly ran from the police after exiting the evidence and hid the gun while trying to change his appearance.  Our office was hired as the case went to trial.  During trial, we were able to negotiate a plea to six years of incarceration, negotiating the offer down from the twelve year offer the prior attorneys received.

Marijuana Distribution:
State v. O.W., Twenty-four year old Jamaican national found with over one pound of marijuana with packaging materials and scales during automobile stop.  Pretrial advocacy and negotiations resulted in all charges dismissed.  He now remains a lawful green-card holder.

Marijuana Distribution:
State v. R.H., Twenty year old student of a local university arrested with marijuana packaged for sale, scales, and documented sales in his dormatory room.  Pretrial advocacy and negotiation resulted in all charges dismissed and avoided any academic suspension.
 
Marijuana Distribution: State v. B.C., Twenty year old man found in possession of over one pound of marijuana.  Due to extensive pre-trial advocacy and investigation, all charges dismissed.

Marijuana Distribution: State v. E.C., Charged with two different files of drug sales/possession.  Successful pre-trial advocacy obtained dismissal on all charges.

Marijuana Delivery/Sale: State v. M.S., client charged with accepting deliveries of 25 lb. packages of marijuana on two different dates at her residence.  Local and Federal DEA agents conducted a controlled delivery where client signed for packages.  Our attorneys used case precedent to defend case and prosecutor agreed to withdraw all chargesThe ganja, however, was not returned.

Marijuana Sale:  State v. M.B., client was arrested selling marijuana to an undercover agent.  Successful pre-trial advocacy resulted in a dismissal of all charges.

Marijuana Possession:
State v. D.S., client's car searched during traffic stop.  Large quantity of marijuana discovered in backpack.  Motion to Suppress drafted, and prosecutor agreed to withdraw charges.

Marijuana Possession: State v. Z.M., college student charged with multiple separate cases of marijuana possession.  He attempted to resolve the cases on his own and made multiple inculpatory statements to the prosecutors when he was in court.  He came to our office after cases were set for trial.  We negotiated a pretrial diversion program for him and all charges were dismissed. 

Marijuana Possession: State v. A.K., charged with marijuana possession, we threatened to file a motion to suppress because police had no lawful justification to conduct an automobile stop.  Prosecutor agreed to withdraw all charges.

Murder, Attempt:
State v. W.W., Middle aged man facing a maximum penalty of 80 years of incarceration after being accused of stabbing two people in a street fight; acquitted of all charges.  The jury found that he was not the actor and that his co-defendant/brother acted in self defense.

Murder, Robbery, Burglary, Assault 1st Degree With a Firearm: State v. C.M., Hartford resident with extensive criminal history accused of committing a home invasion where two people were shot and one died.  Multiple witnesses and ballistics evidence was presented at trial.  Case dismissed.

Murder: State v. R.C., Young man accused of murder facing a life sentence acquitted of murder, conspiracy charges.  The State presented forensic cellular telephone evidence and evidence of his own statements.  The jury believed that he was not the shooter.

Murder: State v. K.R., Client shot man who pulled a sawed off shot-gun on him during an alleged drug deal gone bad.  Successful pretrial advocacy demonstrated that client acted in self defense.  Prosecutor agreed to withdraw charges.

Narcotics Possession/Sale: State v. J.T., stock trader was pulled over and searched.  Heroin and marijuana packaged for sale, suboxone, scales, and large sums of money were found.  Client made admission to drug sales.  Negotiations resulted in entry to diversionary program where all charges were dismissed.

Narcotics Possession/Sale: State v. J.M. and M.R., client's apartment was raided where multiples stacks of heroin, cocaine, and money was recovered in various places.  Case against M.R. was dismissed and J.M. was admitted to diversionary program where all charges were dismissed.   

Obscenity: State v. B.T., Liquor permittee charged with obscenity offenses for allowing swingers party to be held in a hotel bar.  First Amendment freedom of expression defense raised, resulting in a dismissal of all charges.

Perjury/False Report: State v. A.G., client accused of fabricating rape allegation.  Negotiations resulted in all charges being dismissed.

Rape: State v. W.W., Fifty-nine year old man charged with first degree sexual assault acquitted of all charges.  The State presented forensic DNA evidence, medical evidence, the testimony of the complainant, and the defendant's statement.  After a brutal cross-examination, the jury did not believe the complainant's story.

Rape: In Re: D.F., client was University student charged with raping intoxicated young woman at party.  Our firm successfully represented the young man during the police investigation and the warrant was declined for prosecution.


Robbery, Firearm Offenses: State v. R.H., charged with a gunpoint robbery of a store.  Evidence revealed fingerprints, videotape, and statements of the accused.  Successful pre-trial investigation and the threat of trial by our office resulted in the State withdrawing prosecution on all charges.


Theft: In Re: L.O., client was automobile dealer accused of falsely representing the car that was sold.  Our firm successfully represented the dealer during the police investigation and the warrant was declined for prosecution.

Theft/Larceny: State v. N.C., client, an immigrant, was charged with theft and faced deportation if convicted.  We negotiated a dismissal of all charges

Violation of Probation: State v. K.P., Client on probation and charged with assault and theft.  We persuaded the prosecutor to agree to withdraw charges on new case and no further penalty on the violation of probation.

Violation of Probation: State v. M.C., Client was on probation for assisting of disposing the victim of a homicide.  After 23 days on probation client fled jurisdiction.  Upon arrest locally, we were able to obtain mental health and drug treatment for client who had probation continued.




   IN THE NEWS:


Preppy State Proposes Amnesty for Potheads, by Abby Haglage, The Daily Beast (March 18, 2015)

Some Past Pot Convictions in Connecticut Can Be Erased: Court, NBC Connecticut (March 16, 2015)

State Supreme Court Ruling Clears Way For Marijuana Convictions To Be Erased, by David Collins, The Hartford Courant (March 16, 2015)

"What Your Cell Phone Can't The Police" by Douglas Barr, The New Yorker (June 26, 2014)

"What Is This Child Doing in Prision?" by Harvey Fierstein, New York Times (May 16, 2014)

"Jailed Transgender Teen Moved to Psych Center" by Associated Press, Washington Post (June 24, 2014)

"Transgender teen's imprisonment without charges stirs controversy" by Nick Valencia, CNN (May 15, 2014)

"After abuse under state supervision, transgender Connecticut teen held in solitary without charge" Democracy now (May 8, 2014)

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/5/8/after_abuse_under_state_supervision_transgender

"We must no forget Jane Doe's humanity" Huffington Post, May 29, 2014.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chase-strangio/we-must-not-forget-jane-transgender_b_5413317.html

"When states can't control violent youth, is prison the answer?" NPR, May 15, 2014.

http://www.npr.org/2014/05/15/312715483/when-states-cant-control-violent-youth-is-prison-the-answer

"Jailed Connecticut transgender teen Jane Doe accepted at Massachusetts facility" Aaron Romano advocates for Jane Doe at a protest outside of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, New Haven Register

http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20140605/jailed-connecticut-transgender-teen-jane-doe-accepted-at-massachusetts-facility

"Lawyer for transgender teen kept in prison speaks out" Fox News
http://foxct.com/2014/05/18/real-story-lawyer-for-transgender-teen-kept-in-prison-speaks-out/

"Real story: Medical Marijuana Poll"
http://foxct.com/2014/05/18/real-story-medical-marijuana-poll/

"Lawyer questions decision to jail transgender girlPublished:

"Transgender Teen's Imprisonment is 'Unconstitutional,' Connecticut Lawyer Says" Huffington Post, April 21, 2014

"Second Trial Begins for Man Accused in Farmington Rape" Hartford Courant, June 4, 2013

"Man Jailed in Fatal Middletown Car Chase Files Writ to Overturn Conviction" Middletown Press, May 8, 2013

"Giordano Contends Lawyer Botched Child Sex Case," Channel 3 News, May 6, 2013

"Former Waterbury Mayor Giordano Seeks to Overturn Federal Sex Assault Convictions," Hartford Courant, May 5, 2013

Real Story: Medical Marijuana, CTNow, March 10, 2013



"Lawyers Using FOI Act, Which Is Faster Than Discovery, To Help Win Case" (CT Law Tribune, March 4, 2013)


"Bar Association Issues Ethics Opinion on Medical Marijuana" (CT Law Tribune, February 22, 2013)


"As Adam Zachs' Lawyer Seeks To Overturn Conviction, Murder Weapon Can't Be Found" (The Hartford Courant, February 2, 2013)


"Zachs' Attorney Asks To See Murder Weapon in 1987 Case" (The Hartford Courant, Feb. 1, 2013)


"Swingers Party Trouble at Local Hotel" WTNH, January 2, 2013


"Cell Tower Junk Science" (NLADA Cornerstone, Volume 33, Number 3, Centennial IV 2012)


"Budding Ganja Landlords May Get Stoned" (Banker & Tradesman, June 4, 2012)



"Zachs' New Lawyer Wants To See State's Evidence" (The Hartford Courant, May 30, 2012)



"Pot(ential) Business" (The Connecticut Law Tribune, May 21, 2012)


"Justices to Rule on Who Can Send DCF Kids Out of State" (The Hartford Courant, May 1, 2012)



"Cell Tower Junk Science" (Judicature Magazine January/February 2012)


"Katz: Get Troubled Kids Back Home" (The Hartford Courant, August 7, 2011)


"Potluck Enforcement; Marijuana Decriminalization Yields Mixed Results" (CT Law Tribune, August 1, 2011)


"Stoned Cold Justice" (New Haven/Hartford Advocate July 28, 2011)


"Legal Fight Over Teen’s Future" (The Hartford Courant, July 26, 2011)


"Defense Lawyer Decries 'Dirty, Rotten Trick' (The Hartford Courant, March 17, 2011)


"21-year-old acquitted in home invasion" (The Middletown Press, December 14, 2010)


"Cash Transaction Charges Dropped Against Ex-Windsor Ice Cream Dealer" (The Journal Inquirer, November 12, 2009)


"Judge Dismisses Charges Against 4 in WL Motel Swingers’ Party Case" (The Hartford Courant, July 9, 2009)

"2 more arrests in WLocks swingers case; Defense lawyers accuse WL of policing morality" (Journal Inquirer, December 19, 2008)


"Ex-EH Man acquitted in witness-hit case; murder-for-hire case hinged on prison informant" (The Journal Inquirer June 2009)

"Man Beats Second Charge in Murder Case" (The Hartford Courant, June 2009)


"Lawyer urges use of same money for bail, legal fees; Bloomfield lawyer’s ideas embodied in bill introduced by Sen. Kissel" (The Journal Inquirer, February 14, 2009)


"A Day in jail, a sense of freedom; light sentence for woman ensnared in drug ring" (The Hartford Courant, July 4, 2008)

"EH woman gets probation, husband 10 years, in drug case" (The Journal Inquirer, July 2, 2008)


"Plot defendant's 'backpedaling' undercut claims of intent, jurors say" (Journal Inquirer, June 26, 2008)
        

"‘Law and Order’ Drama Allowed; Defendant’s Appeal of Undisclosed Incriminating Statement Fails" (The Connecticut Law Tribune, March 13, 2006)

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