Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
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Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer - Better Than Aggressive 

Your case is important. So you need more than a sales pitch. You need straight talk from a Utah criminal defense attorney with a record of real results. Stephen Howard has successfully handled thousands of serious felony charges - more than most attorneys will see in their entire careers. His track record includes dismissals or not guilty verdicts on cases including aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, burglary, drug distribution, DUI, fraud, forgery, theft, and more.

Attorneys often claim to be "aggressive." But just being "aggressive" is not good enough. Most cases will benefit from a more sophisticated approach. If you intend to fight your case all the way, you need a Utah criminal defense attorney who understands the legal complexities that may be involved in your case. If you are looking to resolve your case, diplomacy will often get you farther than aggression. Some cases are best handled with a jury trial. Others will benefit from a strong and experienced negotiator. You need an attorney with the experience to tell the difference.

While he has handled thousands of cases during his career, Stephen Howard still takes each case seriously because he understands that each case is serious to his client. He also understands that each case is unique, and there is no one solution to every case.

Consequences of Conviction - Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer

Even "minor" charges can result in serious consequences. In Utah, a single misdemeanor can result in up to 365 days in jail. Felony convictions in Utah can result in many years in prison, along with other consequences that can follow you even after you are released. If you are facing criminal prosecution, you need an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney at your side.

Even if you don't serve jail time, a Utah criminal conviction can carry other collateral consequences. You can lose your driver's license, professional licensing, the right to vote, the right to carry a gun or hunt, and more. Having an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer on your case can help minimize the risk of serious consequences of a Utah criminal conviction.

Attorney Profile - Utah Criminal Defense

During his first decade of practice as a Utah criminal defense attorney, Stephen Howard handled thousands of criminal defense cases - more than most attorneys will see in their entire careers. He began his legal career with the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association, where he quickly advanced to a position on the felony trial team. His skill as a criminal defense attorney earned him a position on the capital defense team. In this capacity, he became one of only a few Utah criminal defense attorneys now in private practice who has successfully avoided the death penalty for a client facing aggravated murder charges.

In private practice, Mr. Howard handles only a few cases at a time. This allows him to devote more attention to individual clients. But the experience he gained early in his career continues to be an invaluable asset to his clients. The representation he offers his clients is based on a depth of experience that is matched by few Utah criminal defense attorneys.

Reasons to Hope - Utah Criminal Defense

While a conviction can result in serious consequences, there are many reasons to hope. Your life is not over just because you have been charged with a crime. The outcome of your case is not set in stone. There are many things that you can do to improve your chances. And there are many ways an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer can help with your case €“ taking the case to trial is just one option.

A Note Regarding Drugs and Substance Abuse

Many criminal cases relate in some way to drug use or substance abuse. Even when the case is not a "drug" case, drugs often play a role. If you, or a person you care about, is facing criminal prosecution and also struggling with a drug or substance abuse problem, it is important to have an attorney who understands how the legal system deals with substance abuse issues.

Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has extensive experience in Utah's felony drug court system, and has received significant training in the relationship between substance abuse treatment and the criminal court system. He understands that if you are fighting an addiction, your legal case is only half the battle. Learn more about Utah drug crimes, and Utah's drug court programs.

Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Initial Consultation

Even if this isn't your first charge, you probably have a lot of questions about your case. The most important first step is to talk to an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer right away. Stephen Howard is happy to offer free initial consultation to help you determine the best way to approach your case.

In a criminal case, time can be critical, and your questions can't always wait for regular business hours. That is why we have tried to make it easy to contact Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard.
Our contact page provides you with an office phone number, a special after-hours contact number, and an email contact form.

Contact Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard now to schedule an initial consultation. We can begin working together to find the best solution to your case.


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  • Selected Defense Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • 402 Reduction Lawyer Utah 2-Step Reduction - Client needed a two-step reduction to bring a prior conviction to the misdemeanor level. Collection of substantial evidence of reform and rehabilitation convinced a normally reluctant prosecutor to stipulate to the defense 402 reduction motion.
  • 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 Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

Successfully defending against criminal prosecution requires more than just an 'aggressive' defense. The best defense attorneys understand that a sophisticated defense requires a thorough understanding of a variety of nuanced legal issues, real experience in the courtroom, good negotiation skills, and much more. Fighting hard is good. Fighting smart is better....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your Utah criminal case may be the single most important decision you make. The courtroom can be a hostile place. Prosecutors receive extensive training on legal and tactical issues. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side is critical to defending your case and protecting your rights....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

Consequences »
Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah - Reasons to Hope

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....

Reasons to Hope »
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.


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.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.
Stephen W. Howard, PC

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