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Davis County Felony Attorney - Farmington Defense Lawyer

Felony charges in Davis County can carry substantial penalties, including lengthy prison terms and thousands of dollars in fines.

In any felony prosecution, the defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence and the right to a jury trial. In some cases, better results may be obtained through strategic settlement negotiations. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can give you the best chance of success.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal attorney Stephen Howard provides criminal defense services to clients in Davis County’s district courts, including Farmington, Layton, and Bountiful. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

Felony Conviction Consequences in Utah

A felony conviction in Utah can carry serious consequences. Penalties for a single third-degree felony can include up to five years in jail and $9,500 in fines and surcharges. Penalties for a second-degree felony can include up to fifteen years in prison and $19,000 in fines and surcharges. A first-degree felony carries the potential of a life prison term.

Davis County prosecutors may seek heavy penalties when a defendant is convicted of a felony charge. But in most Utah felony cases, the judge will have discretion to impose a penalty that may include probation instead of prison. But even when probation is granted, Utah law allows a judge to impose up to one year in jail as a "condition of probation." A skilled criminal lawyer can help present mitigating information to the prosecutor, Adult Probation and Parole, and the court in an effort to secure a more lenient sentence.

Utah law provides for "indeterminate" sentencing in felony cases. This means that if a judge orders a prison term to be served, the Board of Pardons and Parole will make the final decision in determining the ultimate length of incarceration. The legislature has provided ranges which restrict the Board's decision-making authority. But so long as the Board's decision is within that range, there normally will be no judicial review of that decision.

For a third-degree felony, the potential prison term is 0-5 years. This means that there is no minimum, with a maximum of five years that may be imposed by the Board. For a second-degree felony, the potential prison term is 1-15 years. This means that the Board must require the person to serve at least one year in prison (although credit can be given for jail time served prior to sentencing), with a maximum prison term of fifteen years. Most first-degree felonies carry a 5-life potential prison term. This means that the Board is required to impose at least five years in prison. But the "life" maximum means that there is no requirement that the Board ever release the person on parole or that the sentence ever expire.

Felony Defense Strategy

Determining the best defense strategy for your Davis County felony charges requires a skilled analysis of relevant legal and factual issues. Taking into consideration the client's needs and goals, an experienced defense attorney will make a careful review of the statutory elements of the charges, relevant case law, possible constitutional challenges, and other factual issues specific to the case. In some cases, an independent investigation may be required to address fact or potential witness that were overlooked or ignored by police.

Any person charged with a felony is entitled under the Constitution to the presumption of innocence and the right to a jury trial. In some cases, exerting those rights to the fullest will be necessary. But in other cases, a better result may be obtained through strategic settlement negotiations. Each case is unique, and the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be vital to determining which defense strategy is best for a case.

Additional Consequences of a Felony Conviction

In addition to the jail time, prison time, and fines that may be imposed by the judge, a felony conviction can carry a variety of consequences outside the courtroom. A felony conviction can restrict your right to possess or use a firearm. A felony conviction can also create significant problems in obtaining professional licensing, seeking employment, renting an apartment, or getting a loan. Certain felony convictions can also result in a suspension of your driver license.

Criminal convictions (either for felonies or misdemeanors) do not automatically disappear from your record after any number of years. Utah's Bureau of Criminal Identification ("BCI") is required to keep records of arrests and criminal convictions indefinitely. But there are avenues that can allow a person to have a felony conviction reduced to the misdemeanor level or to have the records of an arrest or conviction expunged from their record.

An expungement is the most common way of having your criminal records sealed. But having too many convictions may cause you to lose expungement eligibility. In such circumstances, a 402 reduction may be pursued to reduce a felony conviction to the misdemeanor or to restore expungement eligibility. In circumstances where neither expungement nor a 402 reduction are possible, a pardon may provide an alternative avenue of clearing your criminal record.

Finding a Felony Defense Attorney for Davis County

Davis County Criminal LawyerCriminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has successfully defended clients facing some of the most serious crimes on the books in Utah. His experience in defending felony charges in Utah includes aggravated murder, complex white collar financial crimes, and much more. He has a track record of achieving real results for his clients.

Based in Salt Lake City, Mr. Howard is pleased to provide criminal defense services to clients in Davis County, including the Farmington, Layton, and Bountiful district courts. If you are facing criminal charges in Davis County or elsewhere in Utah, contact us to arrange for an initial consultation.


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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • Minor Possession Alcohol - MIP AttorneyDismissed - Minor in possession charge (MIP) was dismissed by prosecutor when defense analysis demonstrated that the police had failed to obtain necessary evidence against client. Police had raided a large party involving underage drinking. Several individuals were charged, but police did not obtain evidence showing that client had personally consumed or possessed alcohol. Case was dismissed.
  • Utah 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
340 East 400 South, Suite 25, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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