Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
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Can addiction be used as a legal defense to a Utah criminal charge?

Drug addiction plays a major role in many Utah criminal cases - even cases that are not traditionally viewed as "drug crimes."  Under Utah criminal law, both voluntary intoxication and involuntary intoxication can provide a defense to criminal prosecution under certain circumstances.  An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney can help you determine whether drug addiction can become a central part of a defense strategy in a Utah criminal defense case.

While drug addiction does not create a legal defense to criminal prosecution in Utah, it can provide a significant tool in negotiating a reasonable resolution to your case.  Many Utah criminal cases stem from drug use or substance abuse.  Property crimes, white collar crimes, and even violent crimes can have their roots in drug use and substance abuse.  If a prosecutor can be convinced that the real problem is substance abuse or addiction, you may be able to obtain a more favorable offer by demonstrating your willingness to participate in substance abuse treatment.

As an experienced criminal defense lawyer based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Stephen Howard has defended thousands of serious felony criminal charges during his career.  He has extensive experience defending drug charges in Utah, and has a record of achieving real results for his clients.  He is one of only a few criminal defense attorneys now in private practice who has worked inside Utah's drug court system.  If drugs have played a role in your life or in your criminal case, contact us now to schedule your initial consultation.


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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Salt Lake Davis Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
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Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

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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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