Sarah Roland

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Sarah Roland grew up always wanting to be a criminal defense lawyer like her late dad, George Roland. Sarah has a criminal trial and appellate practice. She has been a member of TCDLA since 2001 and serves on the board of directors. She has served as chairperson of CDLP and is a course director for Rusty Duncan this year. She’s a past president of the Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and has been selected as a Rising Star in 2012–2014 and a Super Lawyer in 2014.

Stories from Sarah Roland

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

As I write this column as editor of the Voice on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and following the latest racially charged comments from the president, it’s impossible not to think about voices and words. The ones that inspire us. The ones that outrage us. The ones that haunt us. The ones that torment us. The ones that help us. The ones that expose us. The ones that comfort us. The ones that save us. The ones that call us to action.

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

In this season of anticipation, the prominence of the “hurry up and wait” factor is ever-present and undeniable. It always exists in our profession—waiting on clients, waiting to get paid, waiting on judges, waiting on juries—and never seems to end. And the irony of all the waiting is that we are expected to be present, ready, and on time, every time. Consistently showing up ready, unafraid, and on time is half the battle of our profession.

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

It’s that time of year again. The beginning of holiday season. The time when family gatherings—whether dreaded or welcomed—become commonplace. The time of year when we get to see those relatives whom we haven’t seen or talked to since the year before. And let’s just go ahead and acknowledge it: We all have one—at least one—“crazy” relative. And as the joke goes, if you don’t know who that person is in your family, it’s probably you!

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

How many times has it happened? The State needs to prove up a prior judgment for jurisdictional, enhancement, or punishment purposes and just lists any (or every) investigator in the DA’s office or sheriff’s office as an expert to prove up the fingerprints. We assume the judgment is coming in, well, because it always has, so we just stipulate thinking it will somehow earn our client points with the jury for accepting responsibility. We even point out to the jury how this time is different because in the past our client has accepted responsibility.

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

It finally happened. Kind of. In what appeared to be a very impromptu statement on August 10th, our president declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency. What that will do is free up necessary disaster funding to help address the crisis.*

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

We recently took a trip to Washington, D.C.—“our nation’s capital,” as my four-year-old daughter reminded me the whole trip. We toured the Capital and the White House. We stood in the security line alongside congressmen at the Capital and saw the South Lawn from the interior of the White House. We saw the legislature in session. We walked the length of the National Mall, stopping in awe at the memorials along the way. We visited the Supreme Court, the Hirshorn, and the National Museum of Natural History. We did it all in a period of a few days—a typical Roland vacation.

Editor's Comment: The Top Ten - By Sarah Roland
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

A friend and colleague sent me this blog post from Judge Richard G. Kopf on Scott Greenfield’s highly respected blog Simple Justice a few days ago, reprinted here with their kind permission. I couldn’t help but smile and pass it along. It speaks for itself and can’t be said any better.

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

 I have now been the editor of The Voice for one year. What a privilege it has been, what an opportunity. I have been fortunate to work with regular prominent contributors like Buck Files, Stephen Gustitis, and Robert Pelton, and TCDLA’s behind-the-scenes man, Craig Hattersley. We have added a standing Fourth Amendment column, published more from experts, and have heralded in a new SDR author, Michael Mowla.

Editor's Comment: Science Is Golden-1
Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Law lags science. Forensic sciences are a regular and reoccurring part of criminal cases. Jurors overwhelmingly tend to give scientific evidence more weight than other evidence presented in court. Our system is about seeking justice and finding the truth. With the passage of Article 11.073 back in 2013, our legislature recognized this, too. However, that 11.073 exists is never an excuse for bad and/or outdated science to be presented in a courtroom.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

The holidays are over. All has returned to normal. Almost. There is a new presence and a new voice in the heart of many homes. An instantly recognizable, mundanely pleasant voice that responds to anything and seemingly knows everything. A voice that is always listening. Alexa.

Indeed, Alexa’s presence inside our homes is growing: Many of us may have given, or received, the Echo or Echo Dot (the physical embodiment of Alexa) this Christmas, and Amazon lists the Echo as one of the best-selling products of the holiday season.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

It’s an understatement to say that a lot has happened in the last month. There’s been a lot to absorb no matter your walk in life. A tremendous Fall Classic and a jaw-dropping presidential election. History has been made, but to call either event groundbreaking doesn’t come close to estimating their impacts or importance in the world of sports and around the world. Whatever the allegiance—whether Cub or Indian, Trump or Clinton—people have been instantly divided. Either a new dawn is breaking or the sun is setting.

Defending Child Injury Cases
Friday, October 7th, 2016


Kid cases—whether they be allegations of physical or sexual abuse—are the hardest cases to defend. Jurors, understandably, come in with an inherent prejudice against our client and wanting to save the child. It is an uphill battle from the start.

Friday, October 7th, 2016

It’s that time of year again—Fall Ball, postseason baseball, the Fall Classic. I’ve always loved baseball. I still love to play catch and burnout and have a whole baseball collection. My brothers and I grew up in a baseball family. Our dad introduced us to baseball early on. He coached and sponsored our little league teams, and when it was clear we loved baseball as much as he did, he built us our own field of dreams . . . complete with a real cornfield in the outfield and wooden bleachers.

Look Here: 4th Amendment Musings
Friday, September 2nd, 2016

In a statewide act of solidarity and reverence, we all read the Declaration of Independence this Independence Day. Indeed, it is the very words of the Declaration of Independence that tell us why the Fourth Amendment was so important to our founders and remains of utmost importance today:

Editor's Comment: Back 2 School
Friday, September 2nd, 2016

School is back in session. College campuses are crawling again with students, fresh back from summer break. Dorm rooms are filled with first-year college students yearning for the ultimate college experience, complete with an appropriate balance of academic success and serious fun. The endless weekends of fraternity and sorority parties and tailgating events are well underway. The backdrop is thus perfectly set for the code of student conduct hearings that are regularly happening in universities around our state.

Editor's Comment: Wear Silver-1
Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Whether you believe it’s a matter of choice or genetics or a combination of both, addiction affects us all. It is a disease, and it doesn’t discriminate among us. Addiction has touched each of our lives in one way or another. Some of us have deeply personal experiences, but all of us come face to face with addiction and the havoc it brings on a regular basis by nature of what we have chosen to do.

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

It’s nice to be needed. And given the overall changes in the world around us, criminal defense lawyers are needed more than ever. We provide balance to an often seemingly imbalanced system—and hope, reassurance, and when it goes best, rescue to those whom we serve. We are the ones who consistently challenge the status quo. We are the ones who are unafraid to be in the minority.

Editor's Comment: The Gold Standard - By Sarah Roland
Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The gold standard—the absolute best, the benchmark, the epitome of perfection. It’s what many of us aspire to be professionally and what few actually achieve. Buck Files is no doubt the gold standard among us. He has been a consistent and quality contributor to The Voice for 30 years. In this regard, his contribution to TCDLA is unparalleled. TCDLA is fortunate to have had Buck on its team for all these years. There is no sign of him slowing down, either! 

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

As I write this column, my husband and I are preparing to bring our second child—a boy—into this world. We have decided to name him Samuel George Smith. (Yes, I am one of those women who didn’t change my last name.) George, after my late dad, George Roland. My dad was a fierce defender of the Constitution—the best. I now know and appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears that he invested in his work and its meaning. The soon-to-be birth of my son has me thinking a lot about legacies—the ones we leave behind, the ones we create, the ones we pass on.

Editor's Comment: The New Sheriff-1
Saturday, March 12th, 2016

It is quite a humbling honor and responsibility to serve as your new editor. I am thankful to the leadership for allowing me this opportunity to continue to serve TCDLA in a new way. Many thanks to Michael Gross for his tireless service to TCDLA as editor for the past 2½ years and guidance to me as I step into this new role. His are indeed large shoes to fill. It also cannot be said often enough how fortunate we are to have the staff that we do working for us.