Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Veteran Criminal Defense Lawyer / Former Prosecutor
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what the right attorney can do for you.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Contact Us

Procedural Outline of a Utah Felony Defense Case

This page is part of a series of web pages intended to give a general overview of the criminal case process in Utah's court system. If you are facing felony criminal charges, the assistance of an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney can be invaluable. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard has obtained not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appellate reversals in some of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

Initial Appearance / Felony First Appearance

In a misdemeanor case, the first court hearing is the arraignment. In a Utah felony case, the arraignment is not held until after a preliminary hearing is conducted (unless waived), and a probable cause determination has been made by the court and a bindover order issued.

The first hearing in a Utah felony case is called by different names, depending on what county the case is being heard in. Some courts will call it an initial appearance. Others will call it a felony first appearance. But the substance of the hearing is essentially the same regardless of the name used.

At a first hearing in a felony case, the defendant is given formal notice of the charges that have been filed by the prosecuting attorney. Normally, the court will provide a copy of the formal charging document - the "Information." In some courts, the judge will read the Information in open court. In many courts, the judge will ask if the defendant wants the Information read aloud, or if the defendant is willing to waive the reading.

The court will also inquire at this hearing as to whether the defendant is represented by counsel, will be hiring counsel, or will be requesting the appointment of a public defender. Because the potential consequences of a felony conviction are severe, it is always advisable to have the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Next: Formal Discovery Requests
Previous: Jail Booking and Release Options
Main: Procedural Outline of a Utah Criminal Case

Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah

If you are facing prosecution for criminal charges, having an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal lawyer Stephen Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah. His track record includes not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appellate reversals in cases including aggravated robbery, child kidnapping, drug distribution, white collar crimes, burglary, forgery, and more. He has the experience, knowledge, skill, and determination necessary to help you get the results you need.

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
** All fields are required. **
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • 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 was facing multiple cases involving first-degree felony drug distribution charges for allegedly selling to a confidential informant. Defense analysis of the case revealed fatal flaws in the prosecution case that ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all cases and charges.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Expungement - Worked to restore client's expungement eligibility through 402 reduction process, then filed successful expungement petitions in multiple courts obtaining expungement orders and clearing client's official criminal history.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery based on allegations he entered a store with a gun and mask and demanded cash. Client confessed to police before hiring a defense attorney. Defense mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution that removed life in prison as a possibility, and secured a probation sentence from the court.
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

The best outcome is more likely when the right strategy is employed. Developing the best strategy can require real courtroom experience, a thorough understanding of procedural and substantive legal issues, and a determination to ensure that important constitutional and other legal rights are protected. Choosing the right attorney....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

With decades of combined experience, our criminal defense team attorneys have the knowledge, skill, and determination to help you achieve the results you need. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. Choosing the best attorney to defend your case may be one of the most important decisions you will ever make....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Hope

Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are reasons to remain hopeful, and there are things you can do right now that can help increase the odds of a successful outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the various options you have, and can help you....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

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

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.