ARGUMENT BEFORE THE 11TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS -- July 2019
Saraliene argued United States v. Van Buren before the federal appeals court on July 25, 2019. She argued that her client's convictions should be reversed because the jury was not properly instructed on the law and because there was insufficient evidence to support the convictions. Click here for audio of the argument and here for a news story about the case.
ALL CHARGES DISMISSED IN DEKALB COUNTY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CASE --
Saraliene's client was charged with aggravated assault in connection with the stabbing of her then-boyfriend in Dekalb County. The client faced up to 20 years in prison. After Saraliene filed a pre-trial request for a self-defense hearing and a notice of intent to tell the jury about the alleged victim's history of abusing women, the district attorney's office agreed to dismiss all charges.
FEDERAL ATTEMPTED MURDER AND MURDER CONSPIRACY CHARGES DISMISSED -- October 2018
Saraliene's client was charged with attempted murder and murder conspiracy in connection with a racketeering conspiracy. After extensive pre-trial motions practice, Saraliene's client was dismissed from this 30-defendant federal gang case in the Northern District of Georgia.
CHARGES DISMISSED IN DOUGLAS COUNTY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CASE -- May 2018
In this case, Saraliene aggressively questioned a police officer at a preliminary hearing and pointed out the weaknesses in a report claiming her client intentionally hit another person with a car. After consideration, the DA's office decided not to move forward with any formal charges against Saraliene's client.
MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL GRANTED IN HENRY COUNTY CASE -- May 2018
Saraliene's client was granted a new trial in a felony false statement case after she filed a brief explaining that the indictment in the case had been legally insufficient. The client was able to close the case immediately with a misdemeanor.
FEDERAL DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CONVICTION REVERSED AFTER ARGUMENT BEFORE THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS -- March 2018
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held oral argument in the case of United States v. Carroll. Saraliene argued that the government failed to make a sufficient showing at trial that her client knowingly intended to distribute child pornography. The appellate court agreed and reversed the client's conviction as to the distribution charge. Click here for the audio from the case.
TWO CONSECUTIVE LIFE SENTENCES VACATED -- September 2017
Based on a motion for new trial filed by Saraliene, a Fulton County Superior Court judge vacated a client's convictions and his two consecutive life sentences. The court found that a juror with a clear bias in sexual assault cases should have been removed from the jury panel for cause before the parties began selecting the jury that would ultimately hear the case. Based on this finding, the court granted the client's request for a new trial.
TWO FELONY DRUG CHARGES REDUCED TO ONE MISDEMEANOR -- August 2017
Saraliene was successful at negotiating 2 felony drug charges (possession of cocaine and possession of methamphetamine) down to 1 count of possessing drug related objects in this Cobb County case. The client was sentenced to 12 months probation, which can be terminated early after a fine is paid and other conditions are met.
GEORGIA SUPREME COURT ARGUMENT IN WILLIAMS v. STATE -- March 2017
Saraliene argued that her client should get a new trial in his murder case because his attorney provided ineffective assistance. Click here for Supreme Court video.
FELONY DRUG CHARGE REDUCED TO DISORDERLY CONDUCT -- September 2016
Saraliene assisted a client in getting a felony marijuana charge reduced to the misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct in Cobb County. The case was closed with 5 days credit for time served.
FELONY CASE DISMISSED AFTER SELF-DEFENSE HEARING -- September 2016
Saraliene successfully argued that all charges should be dismissed against a client because he was acting in self-defense and in defense of another in this Clayton County case. The client was initially charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Battery and 2 counts of Aggravated Assault. All charges were dismissed, the case was closed, and the client's arrest record will be restricted.
FELONY THEFT REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR CRIMINAL TRESPASS -- August 2016
Through negotiations with the Cobb County District Attorney's office, Saraliene was able to secure misdemeanor probation for an out-of-state client in a felony case that alleged the theft by receiving of a stolen automobile.
DISMISSAL OF ALL DRUG CHARGES IN FEDERAL CONSPIRACY CASE -- March 2016
Through the use of pretrial motions and pretrial investigation, Saraliene was able to convince the government to dismiss all drug charges against her client. At the beginning of the case, the client faced a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison on the drug charges alone. Instead, the client received a 30-month sentence on the single remaining count of illegal reentry.
FELONY THEFT BY RECEIVING REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR THEFT -- March 2016
A Cobb County client initially charged with felony theft by receiving stolen property was able to plead to misdemeanor theft and receive probation thanks to negotiations between Saraliene Durrett and Cobb County District Attorney's office.
DISMISSAL OF ALL CHARGES IN COBB COUNTY DRUG CASE -- January 2016
Through pretrial discussions with the prosecution, Saraliene was able to secure the dismissal of all charges (possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana, more than an ounce) for a Cobb County client when it became clear that the drugs at issue belonged to another resident of the same house.
GEORGIA SUPREME COURT ARGUMENT IN GATES v. STATE -- September 2015
On September 14, 2015, Saraliene Durrett argued Gates v. State before the Georgia Supreme Court. In this appeal from a murder conviction, Saraliene argued that the State improperly admitted evidence of alleged possession of unrelated firearms by her client. Click here for the Supreme Court oral argument video.
NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS IN FULTON COUNTY -- February 2014
Saraliene Smith Durrett in partnership with Elizabeth Rogan of the Rogan Law Firm won an acquittal on all counts for a client charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder, Aggravated Assault, Battery (Family Violence), Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Cruelty to Children in the Third Degree, and Possession of a Firearm by a First Offender Probationer.