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Utah Criminal Defense - When Should I Hire a Lawyer?

What is the best time to hire a criminal defense lawyer?  As soon as possible.

There are many reasons to contact a criminal lawyer early on in your case.  Even before charges are filed, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to take action that can put you in a position that will help you achieve the outcome you need in your case.

Early Intervention Can Avoid Criminal Charges

The only thing better than a dismissed case is a case that never gets to court.  Through early intervention in a criminal investigation, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to help convince prosecutors to decline charges before you even go to court.  Even if your attorney is not able to completely derail the case, he may be able to help minimize your exposure to risk as well as ensure that you don't inadvertently give the police information that will hurt your case.

Investigation Preserves Necessary Evidence

If criminal charges cannot be avoided, you need to be in the best possible position for a trial.  That means having the best possible evidence to support your case.

Evidence can be lost, destroyed, or tampered with.  Witnesses can move.  Memories can fade.  If you are facing criminal prosecution, there may be a limited window of opportunity during which critical evidence can be preserved.  Talking to an experienced criminal lawyer early on can improve the chances that the evidence you need for your case will still be there when the time for trial comes.

The Best Mitigation Begins Early

There are times when the best strategy for defending a criminal case does not involve taking the case to trial.  While a lot of attorneys in Utah claim to be "aggressive" and to "fight hard," in some circumstances, you may be better off working toward a negotiated resolution.  An experienced criminal lawyer can help you determine what steps you can take immediately to help put yourself in a better position to negotiate a more favorable resolution to a case.

Early Representation Can Prevent Police Questioning

If you have not hired an attorney or notified police that you will not talk to them without an attorney present, police may continue pressuring you to make a statement or allow an interview.  Without consulting with a lawyer first, it is highly likely that giving a statement to police may provide them with information that may be used against you later in the case.  Once you hire a lawyer, your attorney can step between you and the police and help insure that you do not inadvertently provide police with evidence that will hurt your case.

This list is just the beginning.  There are many reasons to hire a lawyer as soon as you discover that there is an investigation or charges pending against you.  There is no good reason to wait.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard has handled literally thousands of serious felony charges during his career.  He has a track record of achieving real results for his clients.  Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahDismissed at Preliminary Hearing - Client charged with aggravated robbery and facing life in prison. Full case analysis and consultation with client allowed the development of a strong defense strategy. Effective cross-examination of the alleged victim at the preliminary hearing resulted in an outright dismissal of all charges by the judge.
  • Utah Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
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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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