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Sarah Roland | Denton Criminal Defense Lawyer

Exclusively Criminal Defense

I am 100% criminal defense. I handle everything from tickets to murder charges. Defending people is not just what I do for a living; it is my passion and what I have always wanted to do. Your case, no matter how small or big, is the biggest thing going on in your life, and I will treat it that way.

Everyone, no matter the accusation and even the least among us, deserves the full and complete constitutional protections afforded all of us by our founding fathers.

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Understanding A Good Defense

A REAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER IS A TRIAL LAWYER.
It is someone who is unafraid to be the only person standing between the government’s wrath and an individual; someone who is unafraid to protect and defend regardless of the accusation; someone who is in it for the heart; someone who is unwilling to plea a case just to cash a check. The hours in a day don’t matter to a criminal defense lawyer; the case is in her mind all day long – she is strategizing, thinking, planning. I am a criminal defense lawyer. I am a trial lawyer.

Don't Give Up Your Rights

Why do you buckle up when you get in a car (other than it’s the law)? Just in case something were to happen, right? Most people don’t think they will ever be arrested so they don’t worry about how to properly invoke their constitutional protections. News flash – innocent people get arrested, too, so take a moment and learn your constitutional rights. The burden is solely on the State to prove the case against you; do not make it easier for them.

See a sample of Notable Cases >

Use it. What you say will be used against you. Assume that if a police officer is speaking with you, what you say and do is being recorded. This includes when you are stopped for a traffic offense and then a DWI investigation begins. You do not have to answer questions or perform tests. It is also important to keep in mind that police officers can lie to you to try to get you to talk. The safest course of action is to resist the urge to talk and remain silent. Feel free to tell your lawyer everything.

 

When you’re dealing with police, though, you have to unambiguously and unequivocally invoke your right to counsel. That means say “I want my lawyer here and I will not answer questions without my lawyer.” And then be quiet. Do not say anything else without your lawyer there or else it could be construed as waivers of your right to counsel and to remain silent.

 

 

Did you know there are 3 only ways a police officer can get into your home? One, if the officer has a warrant; two, if the officer has “exigent circumstances;” and three, if you let them in. If the police ask to search your car, home, etc. and you allow them to – you consent to the search – then you have basically waived any ability to complain about the search. So just politely say no to searches.

In Texas it is legal to consume alcohol and then drive as long as you are at least 21 and not intoxicated. Intoxicated has a specific definition under the law. Intoxicated, under the law, means:

  • Having a breath or blood test of .08 or greater at the time of driving.
  • Not being normal mentally because of the introduction of alcohol and/or drugs into the body.
  • Not being normal physically because of the introduction of alcohol and/or drugs into the body.

Remember you have the right to remain silent. That means you do not have to answer police questions and you do not have to perform sobriety tests including blowing into a machine and giving blood. However, the police can – and in some cases do – get search warrants for blood, though.

Find out more about defending Intoxication Offenses

Possession has a specific legal definition in Texas law. It is not limited to ownership. Possession means “care, custody, control, or management” over a substance. The State also has to be able to “affirmatively link” you to the prohibited substance. This is why it is so important to know and exercise your constitutional rights. You do not have to allow the police to search your car or your home. Remember, we aren’t in Colorado or Oregon. Marijuana – even personal amounts – is still illegal in Texas.

On conviction of a drug offense DPS will automatically suspend your driver’s license. That’s what the law calls a “collateral consequence” to a conviction. Judges don’t necessarily have to inform you about collateral consequences. There are a multitude of collateral consequences to a drug conviction. For instance, loss of federal and state benefits and loss of federal assistance for college are typical collateral consequences. That’s why it’s generally not a good idea to take “time served” or represent yourself.

The “drug free zone” allegations are always curious. A “drug free zone” implies there is a zone where drugs are allowed. Obviously, that’s not true though. You always want to avoid a “drug free zone” enhancement allegation if at all possible. If you are within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground, etc. you are in a drug free zone. Sometimes homes are located within drug free zones. That means if you possess a drug in your home you can be charged with possession in a drug free zone. To be convicted of possession of a drug in a drug free zone carries extra punishment consequences.

Find out more about defending Drug Offenses

There are two types of warrants:

Arrest warrants

which authorize a person’s arrest, and search warrants, which authorize a search by law enforcement at a particular location. In order for a judge to issue a warrant there must be probable cause. Probable cause for arrest exists when facts and circumstances within the police officer’s knowledge would lead a reasonable person to believe that the suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. Probable cause to search exists when facts and circumstances known to the officer provide the basis for a reasonable person to believe that a crime was committed at the place to be searched, or that evidence of a crime exists at the location. Probable cause must come from specific facts and circumstances, rather than simply from the officer’s hunch or suspicion.

Search warrants 

must specify the place to be searched, as well as items to be seized. When a search warrant has been issued, police generally must search only for the items described in the warrant. However, police do not need a warrant to search or seize contraband “in plain view” when the officer has a right to be present.

Police must also have probable cause to arrest without a warrant, and in many cases to search or seize property without a warrant. If a warrantless arrest occurs – which is allowable in some instances – probable cause must still be shown after the fact, and will be required in order to prosecute a person.