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Salt Lake Misdemeanor Lawyer - Out-of-State Defendants

Can I handle a Salt Lake misdemeanor criminal charge without appearing in court if I live out-of-state?

If you have been charged with a crime while visiting Utah, it may be possible to resolve the case without requiring a return trip for court. In some cases, a personal court appearance will be required. But in other cases, a criminal defense attorney can appear on your behalf and resolve the matter without requiring you to appear personally in court.

If you intend to take your case to trial, your presence at trial can be vital to a successful outcome. But often times, your appearance can be waived at pretrial conferences or other preliminary court proceedings. Depending on the facts of the case, past record of the defendant, positions taken by the prosecutor, and the goals of the defendant, a negotiated resolution may be possible that would not require a personal appearance.

Having the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help limit unnecessary travel time and costs. More important, your attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected through the entire criminal court process.

As a criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has handled many misdemeanor and felony cases for clients living out-of-state, often without the client ever returning to Utah. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation regarding your Utah criminal case.

Negotiated Resolutions for Out-of-State Residents

If you have been in Salt Lake City or other places in Utah, whether for business, on vacation, or just while passing through, and have found yourself facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, you have a number of options for dealing with the charges. A jury trial is only one of those options. In many cases, a negotiated resolution will actually result in a better outcome.

If you anticipate reaching a negotiated resolution in your case, arrangements can sometimes be made to allow a plea to be made in absentia (by notarized affidavit). In order to effectively resolve your in absentia, all important disputed points in the case should be resolved by negotiations between the parties. In some cases, there may be a negotiated resolution reducing the level of the offense, or dismissing some charges in exchange for a plea to another charge. In other cases, a plea-in-abeyance agreement may be reached, which would ultimately result in the dismissal of charges.

In cases where a prosecutor is seeking jail time, a defendant will generally better off appearing personally at a sentencing hearing, in order to give the court the best reasons not to impose a jail sentence. If the issue of incarceration cannot be resolved through negotiations, then a plea in absentia may not be appropriate for your case.

In felony cases, Utah law generally requires a defendant to appear in person. But in some instances, an experienced defense attorney may be able to negotiate a reduction in the charges to the misdemeanor level. If a misdemeanor reduction is achieved, then Utah law provides the same opportunity to prepare an appropriate affidavit whereby the defendant may enter a plea in absentia.

Taking a Criminal Case to Trial

If you intend to take your case to trial, you should plan on appearing in court at least for the trial. Prior to a trial, there may be a variety of motion hearings, scheduling conferences, etc. With the court's permission, your appearance at many of these preliminary pre-trial hearings may be waived. You may instead have your attorney appear on your behalf.

Contact a Utah Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake City

Utah Criminal Defense AttorneyStephen Howard has successfully defended clients facing charges ranging from homicide to DUI, and virtually everything in between. If you are facing criminal charges in Salt Lake City, or elsewhere in Utah, your best strategy is to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah.  Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

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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 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.
  • 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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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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