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Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Utah Criminal Lawyer - Representing Out-of-State Clients

If you have been charged with a crime in Utah while visiting the state, it may be possible to handle your criminal case without returning to Utah. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has assisted out-of-state clients in resolving and fighting both felony and misdemeanor criminal charges in many parts of Utah. His track record includes victories in a wide variety of serious criminal cases. Contact us today for an initial consultation.

Your Right to Appear and Defend Criminal Charges in Utah

Under our State and Federal constitutions, you have the right to be present at court hearings relating to your criminal charges. But you can also waive that right, and ask the court to excuse your presence in court and allow your attorney to appear on your behalf.

Whether you can resolve your Utah criminal case without returning to the state will depend on a number of factors. Chief of all will be the question of whether you intend to take the case to trial or, alternatively, to work out a negotiated resolution. If you take your case to trial, you will want to be present for the trial and possibly for some of the more important pre-trial proceedings. In many cases, if a negotiated resolution is reached between the prosecutor and the defense, that resolution can be entered with the court by means of affidavits prepared and presented to the court by your attorney on your behalf.

Another important factor in determining whether your case can be resolved without returning to Utah is the nature and seriousness of your charge. Various felony and misdemeanor charges can present their own unique challenges. Consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best step you can take in determining a defense strategy for your case.

Defending Misdemeanor Charges in Utah

Under Utah law, a person can enter a plea to a misdemeanor charge by submitting a signed and sworn affidavit to the court. In a misdemeanor case, your criminal defense attorney can protect your rights during the negotiations process, and then prepare the required affidavit and statement for submission to the court. With the judge's approval, you will not need to appear in court.

Defending Felony Cases in Utah

In felony cases, Utah law normally requires a defendant to personally appear in court. Under Utah Code 77-13-4, all pleas in felony cases must "be entered by the defendant in open court." But even in felony cases, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to work out a resolution that will not require your personal appearance in court. This may involve a negotiated reduction of the felony charge to the misdemeanor level. If the prosecutor agrees to such a reduction, you may still be able to enter a plea by affidavit without returning to Utah to appear personally in court.

Finding an Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard offers services to clients throughout Utah. He has a track record that includes not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and reversals on appeal in a wide range of felony and misdemeanor cases. If you have been charged with a crime while visiting or traveling through Utah, contact us today for an initial consultation.

We also represent out-of-state clients who are seeking an expungement or a 402 reduction for a prior Utah criminal charges.


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  • 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.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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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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