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Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

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Utah Criminal Lawyers

The Canyons Law Group's criminal defense team is led by veteran Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard, who has successfully represented clients facing some of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. Whether you are facing felony charges or even just a first-time misdemeanor citation, we understand that any criminal conviction can have serious consequences. Each case is unique, so we work personally with clients to develop a defense strategy tailored to meet each client's needs and circumstances.

Contact us today to see how our criminal defense team can help you.

A Team-Driven Defense Strategy

Criminal Lawyer Davis County and Salt Lake CityStephen Howard and the Canyons Law Group have assembled a team of criminal defense attorneys with more than six decades of experience in the criminal justice system. Backgrounds of our criminal lawyers include state and federal prosecution, law enforcement, military courts, and extensive work in Utah's criminal courts defending clients against the most serious charges on the books. Our defense strategies are based on a collaborative approach to the practice of law, where the best of each attorney's strengths can be leveraged by the team in a way that benefits each client. When the Canyons Law Group takes your case, you get more than just an attorney. You are hiring an entire legal team.

The criminal law team at the Canyons Law Group focuses on finding the best solution for each client. A strong procedural and evidentiary motion practice, trial work, constitutional law, appeals, and other legal tools can be critical to mounting a successful defense. Many attorneys claim to "fight hard" or present an "aggressive" defense. But over the years, our clients have consistently told us that what matters most is getting the right help to find a real solution for their legal problems. Simply put, fighting "smart" can be much more effective than talking tough. With nearly 60 years combined experience, we have the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve real results.

The best results require the right strategy and the right attorney. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, contact the Canyons Law Group's criminal defense team. See what real experience can do for you.

Utah Criminal Defense Attorney Profiles

Stephen W. Howard - Salt Lake City criminal attorney Stephen Howard has been awarded the American College of Trial Lawyers Medal for Excellence in Advocacy, and has been named to the National Order of Barristers. After graduating cum laude from Brigham Young University's school of law, Mr. Howard began his legal career with the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association. Spending more than a decade with LDA working as a part of the capital defense and felony trial teams, and after nearly another decade in private practice, Mr. Howard has acquired more real courtroom experience than most Utah attorneys will ever see.

As a Utah criminal defense attorney in private practice, Mr. Howard is able to offer his clients a level of experience that is hard to match. By drawing on this extensive experience and by focusing on the individual needs of each client, Mr. Howard works hard to find solutions that work for his clients.

Andrew McAdams - Mr. McAdams is a native Utahn, with a national resume that includes a prestigious internship with the United States Supreme Court, experience as a law school professor, and several years working as a state felony prosecutor. Mr. McAdams began his prosecution career with one of the nation's largest state felony prosecutor's offices. In 2009, he returned home to Utah to take a position as a felony prosecutor with the Cache County Attorney's Office. As a prosecutor, Mr. McAdams was responsible for prosecuting cases ranging from homicide to complex white-collar crimes. During his time in Cache County, Mr. McAdams also directed the county's drug court program.

As a former prosecutor, Mr. McAdams' extensive experience inside Utah's criminal justice system gives him important insights into how best to defend his clients against criminal prosecution. Working now as a defense attorney, his wealth of criminal law experience and knowledge of the Utah's legal system are valuable assets in helping clients achieve the best results possible in their cases.

See our attorney profile page for more information on other attorneys who form the Canyons Law Group's criminal defense team.

Case Results and Experience

Our combined criminal defense experience includes handling literally thousands of serious felony and misdemeanors cases for clients throughout Utah. We have achieved outright dismissals, not guilty verdicts, or appellate reversals in cases including attempted murder, aggravated felonies, drug cases, kidnapping, violent felonies, white collar cases, fraud, forgery, burglary, DUI, and other felony and misdemeanor cases. Mr. Howard is one of only a few Utah defense lawyers now in private practice who has twice successfully defended a client against the threatened death penalty for charges of aggravated murder.

With experience defending Utah criminal cases ranging from aggravated murder to DUI and from drug crimes to white collar crimes, the Salt Lake criminal defense attorneys at the Canyons Law Group have the skills and knowledge necessary to help you achieve the results you need. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Criminal Defense Philosophy and Strategy

A successful defense strategy requires the ability to both fight hard and fight smart. Aggressive representation certainly has its place. But there are times when a thorough understanding of complex legal issues, effective advocacy skills, and the subtle diplomacy necessary for successful negotiations are more likely to produce better results.

Whether your case requires aggressive representation or a more sophisticated defense strategy to address complex legal issues and serious criminal charges, the criminal defense team at Canyons Law Group is prepared to defend you anywhere in Utah.

Consequences of Conviction in Utah Prosecutions

In Utah, even "minor" charges are serious. A single Utah misdemeanor can carry up to a year in jail. Utah felony convictions carry the possibility of many years in prison. In addition to jail and prison time, criminal convictions can carry other collateral consequences affecting your driver's license, voting rights, professional licensing, hunting rights, the right to carry a firearm, and more.

Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can greatly increase your chances of avoiding the most serious consequences of a criminal conviction in Utah. We take each case seriously, because your case is serious to you.

Reasons for Hope

Although the consequences of conviction are serious, there are many reasons to hope. Being charged with a crime does not mean your life is over. The outcome of your case is not set in stone. There are many ways an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer can help with your case. Taking the case to trial is just one option.

While your lawyer works on the legal aspects of your criminal defense, there are a number of things you can do to help your case. Giving up or quitting should not be an option. Working hard, getting involved in treatment or counseling, even going back to school are all things that can help mitigate the potential consequences of your case. As an experienced Utah criminal defense attorneys, we can help guide you through the process.

Confidential Criminal Defense Consultation

If you are facing criminal prosecution, you probably have a lot of questions. The first step to resolving those questions and getting help with your case is to talk to an experienced defense attorney. We understand that time can be critical in a criminal case.

With offices in in Salt Lake City and Davis County, we offer legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Utah criminal lawyer. We can begin working together to achieve the best solution to your legal problems.


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  • Selected Defense Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Salt Lake Davis 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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An arrest is not a conviction. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, it can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are things you can do right now that can increase your chances of a good outcome. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you evaluate the various options available to you and help develop a strategy for success....

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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
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.

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.

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