Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Veteran Criminal Defense Attorney / Former Prosecutor
Call 801-449-1409. We'll fight to protect your rights.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Contact Us

Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Unlawful Detention

A typical charge of "unlawful detention" in Utah involves allegations that a person has been held against his or her will for a brief period of time, without the authority of law. Unlawful detention under Utah law is a class B misdemeanor. But if the victim is injured or if the defendant uses, threatens, or even simply possesses a weapon, the charge can turn into a felony aggravated felony charge. Stephen Howard is a Utah criminal defense lawyer based in Salt Lake City, with experience defending thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases including unlawful detention, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, and child kidnapping. Contact us today for an initial consultation.

Elements of an Unlawful Detention Charge in Utah

Utah Code 76-5-304 sets forth the elements of a criminal charge for unlawful detention. This charge requires proof that a person "knowingly and intentionally" detained or restrained a person under circumstances not constituting a violation of one of Utah's kidnapping statutes. The typical difference between charges of unlawful detention and kidnapping is based on the duration of the detention. A kidnapping charge requires proof  that the detention continued for a "substantial" period of time. (Note, however, that an aggravated kidnapping charge can be filed even in cases where the detention was only brief, if injuries were inflicted, weapons were used, or other factors are met.)

Unlawful detention of a minor requires proof of different elements. This charge does not require proof that the minor was physically restrained or detained. Instead, a person can be charged with unlawful detention of a minor if the person "coerces or exerts influence over the victim with the intent to cause the victim to remain with the actor for an unreasonable period of time under the circumstances." A person charged with unlawful detention of a minor must also be at least four years older than the victim.

Finding a Utah Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake City

Stephen Howard has successfully handled literally thousands of criminal cases - more than most attorneys will deal with in their entire careers. His record of real results includes not guilty verdicts or dismissals on cases including aggravated robbery, child kidnapping, burglary, drug distribution, fraud, forgery, theft, DUI, domestic violence, and more. Whatever your charge, he has the experience and skill to help you achieve the results you need.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard offers services to clients throughout Utah. 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 - 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.
  • Minor Possession Alcohol - MIP AttorneyDismissed - Minor in possession charge (MIP) was dismissed by prosecutor when defense analysis demonstrated that the police had failed to obtain necessary evidence against client. Police had raided a large party involving underage drinking. Several individuals were charged, but police did not obtain evidence showing that client had personally consumed or possessed alcohol. Case was dismissed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • Utah Misdemeanor Attorney Salt Lake Can I handle a Utah misdemeanor from out-of-state? - Even if you do not intend to take your case to trial, a misdemeanor criminal offense in Utah can require multiple court appearances to reach a resolution. If you have been charged with a crime in Utah, but are not a Utah resident, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you resolve the case without returning to the state. . . .
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

Aggressive is good. Effective is better. The best defense strategy in any given criminal case can require in-depth analysis of the facts and a thorough understanding of applicable statutes, case law, and complex procedural and evidentiary rules. Having an experienced attorney on your side....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you Utah criminal case will be one of the most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect 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 »
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.