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How much time will I serve for selling drugs to an undercover police officer in Utah?

Selling drugs, offering to sell drugs, or even just telling an undercover police officer where he can buy drugs could result in a second degree felony charge in Utah.  Under Utah criminal law, distribution of a controlled substance, possession with the intent to distribute, and offering or arranging to distribute a controlled substance can all be charged as second degree felony criminal offenses punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Police in Utah engage in undercover operations to try to catch and arrest people who are dealing drugs.  While the stereotypical undercover police drug operation is aimed at "big time" dealers, the reality is that many people caught in Utah undercover operations are low level dealers, or people who working for the real dealer in order to support their own drug habit or addiction.

Most prosecutors and judges understand that there is a difference between a top level drug dealer and an addict who is just feeding his own habit.  And the sentences imposed by Utah judges for distribution charges can range from prison time to probation and drug treatment.

If you are facing drug distribution charges, having an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side can help give you the best chance of avoiding the most serious consequences of a conviction.  Stephen Howard has handled thousands of serious criminal defense cases during his career, with a track record that speaks for itself.  He is also one of only a few attorneys now in private practice who has served as defense counsel in a Utah felony drug court program.

Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation with Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard.


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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Contractor was charged with theft by deception for allegedly misusing customer funds and failing to complete work that had been agreed upon. A successful motion to quash on legal grounds following the bindover order at preliminary hearing resulted in a complete dismissal of all charges.
  • 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 Lawyer 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.
  • Utah Burglary Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
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You want the best defense. Agressive is good. But results ultimately are what really matter. Creating an effective strategy for defending against criminal prosecution requires a thorough understanding of statutes, case law, and evidentiary and procedural rules. A successful outcome is more likely when....

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Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Defending against a criminal prosecution in Utah is a job that has to be done right the first time. Choosing the right attorney to defend you can be the most important decision you make. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor charges on the books in Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, we can help....

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Even a "minor" misdemeanor carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. The direct penalties and collateral consequences of a felony conviction are even more severe. Understanding these consequences is critical as you make decisions relating to your case. Even in a misdemeanor case, you should not....

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Clients sometimes ask what the "worst case scenario" is for their charges. We prefer to take a more positive approach. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. But you can take steps and make choices right now that will improve your chances of a positive outcome. Let us help you....

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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
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, 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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