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Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard

Real Results from Utah Criminal Defense Cases

The following results are selected examples of real victories achieved by Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard in real cases. Each criminal defense case is different, and these results are not intended to suggest any guaranteed outcome for your case.*  To protect confidentiality, no names have been used.

  • Aggravated Robbery - Dismissed - Details >>
    • Defendant was facing possible life in prison in a criminal prosecution for allegedly robbing a TRAX passenger at knife point. Police claimed that he and an acquaintance had tried to take money from a passenger by threatening him with a knife.  Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard's cross-examination of the passenger at the preliminary hearing demonstrated that the defendant, although present when the robbery occurred, had not participated in the crime.  Mr. Howard convinced the judge to dismiss the case, without going to trial.
  • Child Kidnapping - Dismissed - Details >>
    • A man was accused of child kidnapping, charged with a first degree felony, and faced the possibility of life in prison.  By meeting with the prosecution and exposing legal flaws in the prosecution's case, Mr. Howard convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the case after the first court hearing.
  • Aggravated Assault - Not Guilty Verdict - Details >>
    • Several witnesses accused a man of attacking other individuals at a party.  Utah criminal lawyer Stephen Howard was able to obtain testimony from prosecution witnesses at trial supporting the defense contention that the man had in fact been attacked first by the other individuals, and that any force he used had been in self-defense. The jury returned a not guilty verdict.
  • First Degree Felony Drug Charges - Plea in Abeyance to Single Misdemeanor -Details >>
    • Client was charged with two first-degree felony drug distribution charges after selling drugs to an undercover police officer.  Through negotiations with the prosecutor, Mr. Howard obtained a plea offer that allowed the client to enter a plea-in-abeyance agreement to a single misdemeanor charge of attempted possession of a controlled substance.  Under the terms of the plea-in-abeyance agreement, the case would be dismissed upon successful completion of the court's probation terms.
  • First Degree Felony Burglary and Theft - Plea in Abeyance to Misdemeanors  - Details >>
    • Client was charged with two first-degree felony criminal charges of burglary and theft, with a "gang enhancement" for burglarizing a house and stealing thousands of dollars in property.  Stephen Howard was able to successfully convince the prosecutor that his client's involvement in the case had been peripheral and that he had not significantly benefited from the theft.  Mr. Howard also collected character references that demonstrated that his client's conduct in this situation was out of the ordinary.  Based on this mitigating information, the prosecutor agreed to allow the client to enter a plea in abeyance agreement on misdemeanor charges, that would ultimately result in the case being dismissed.
  • Felony Theft - Dismissed - Details >>
    • A contractor was charged with multiple counts of criminal theft for allegedly misusing funds from his customers.  He had contracted to perform work on the homes, but due to complications, the work was significantly delayed.  Although a substantial amount of the work was already completed, customers contacted police, and had a felony  filed against the contractor. Although the case was bound over for trial, Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard filed a successful motion to quash the bindover that resulted in dismissal.
  • Workers Compensation Insurance Fraud - Dismissed - Details >>
    • A felony criminal case was filed alleging workers compensation fraud, based on an employer's allegation that a former employee's claim was fraudulent.  Insurance investigators observed him kicking a soccer ball around in his yard, and alleged that he was faking the injury.  Neither his injury nor his job had anything to do with kicking a soccer ball.  Instead, his injury prevented him from doing heavy lifting, which was required for his job.  By pointing this out and obtaining medical and other administrative records, Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard was able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the case.
  • DUI - Conviction Reversed on Appeal - Details >>
    • While represented by another attorney, a man was convicted at trial of DUI.  Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard took the case after conviction, and filed a successful appeal.  On appeal, Mr. Howard challenged the trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress evidence. Although there was sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was under the influence, Mr. Howard was able to convince the appellate court that the most damaging evidence was obtained by police in violation of Fourth Amendment protections.  The conviction was reversed, and the case dismissed.
  • First Degree Felony Drug Charges - Reduced to Misdemeanor Plea in Abeyance -Details >>
    • Charges for drug distribution in a drug-free zone were filed against client, who was facing the possibility of life in prison.  Salt Lake criminal attorney Stephen Howard negotiated a reduction of charges to a misdemeanor level and a plea in abeyance agreement that would result in dismissal of the charges.
  • Motion to Suppress - Granted - Details >>
    • A vehicle was parked in an area where houses were under construction.  Police officer pulled his vehicle in front of the vehicle, and approached the vehicle to investigate possible criminal activity.  After detaining the driver, the officer found evidence supporting felony drug charges.  Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard successfully argued, even though the the officer did not activate his lights, did not handcuff the driver, and never stated that the driver was not free to leave, that the encounter was not "voluntary" and that the officer had violated the protections guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.  The court ordered the evidence suppressed, and the case was dismissed.
  • Drug Distribution - Dismissed - Details >>
    • Woman had been caught by police with drugs that were intended for distribution.  As a result of Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard's negotiations with the prosecutor, and the woman's willingness to participate in treatment, State agreed to dismiss charges of felony drug distribution upon her completion of treatment.
  • Assault on a Police Officer - Plea in Abeyance - Details >>
    • Client was charged with assaulting a police officer.  The officer claimed that he had been assaulted by Mr. Howard's client while investigating a traffic accident.  By demonstrating potential exaggeration in the officer's police report and emphasizing his client's lack of prior criminal conduct, Mr. Howard was able to negotiate a plea in abeyance agreement on the case that would result in dismissal of the case.
  • Communications Fraud - Reduced to Misdemeanor with Probation - Details >>
    • Man was accused of second-degree felony communications fraud.  Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard's analysis of the case raised questions and created doubt about whether the prosecutor could actually prove criminal fraud beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. Based on those concerns, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, issuing a bad check (bouncing a check).
  • Felony Burglary - Not Guilty Verdict - Details >>
    • Man was accused of breaking into a home and stealing property. Utah defense lawyer Stephen Howard's investigation revealed witnesses who confirmed the defense contention that the alleged victim had fabricated the criminal accusations as a means of getting revenge. The jury returned a not guilty verdict.
  • Reckless Endangerment - Not Guilty - Details >>
    • A sheep rancher was having problems keeping ATVs and motorcycles off the property where he ran sheep.  In the panic of running from the motorcycles or ATVs, the sheep would often injure themselves. While the rancher was following a motorcyclist to learn his identity, the motorcyclist crashed.  Police blamed the rancher, and filed a criminal case alleging reckless endangerment.  Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard's cross-examination of this alleged victim demonstrated that it was the motorcyclist who had been reckless, and that he had in fact crashed into the back of the rancher's pickup while trying to execute an escape maneuver. The jury returned a not guilty verdict.
  • Probation Violation - Case Closed - Details >>
    • Court had issued an Order to Show Cause for criminal probation violations.  The defendant had been classified a "fugitive" for more than three years, before eventually turning himself in to the court.  In spite of this significant period of noncompliance, Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard successfully argued that the defendant's positive actions (enrolling in school, getting a job, staying crime-free, etc.) along with the age of the case justified closing the case without any additional jail time.
  • Kidnapping - Reduced to Misdemeanor with Probation - Details >>
    • Man was accused of kidnapping a woman and taking her across state lines.  It was alleged that he had lured her into his vehicle on pretenses of having a conversation.  He allegedly began driving, and refused to stop the vehicle to allow the woman to leave.  Effective investigation and negotiation of the case resulted in a misdemeanor plea bargain, with probation.
  • Discharging Firearm from Vehicle/Roadway - Plea in Abeyance / Dismissal - Details >>
    • Driver was accused of a felony for allegedly firing a gun during a confrontation over a traffic incident.  By raising questions about who the initial aggressor was, and highlighting the man's prior positive history, Utah defense attorney Stephen Howard was able to convince the prosecutor to allow a plea in abeyance. The case was ultimately dismissed.
  • Aggravated Robbery - Probation Granted - Details >>
    • Man entered a convenience store, used a gun to threaten the cashier, and demanded money.  Police located him after a gunshot was reported coming from his hotel room.  After waiving his Miranda rights, and before getting an attorney, he confessed to police.  Although aggravated robbery carried a 5-year minimum with a  possible life prison term, Utah criminal lawyer Stephen Howard was able to negotiate a plea to a significantly reduced charge, and to convince the judge to grant probation.
  • Credit Card Fraud - Dismissed - Details >>
    • Woman was shopping with another individual who used a stolen credit card to purchase merchandise.  Without evidence that she had participated or otherwise known that the credit card was stolen, Utah  criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard was able to obtain an outright dismissal.
  • Motion to Withdraw Plea - Granted - Details >>
    • Defendant had pled guilty, without an attorney, to everything that had been filed in a criminal case.  After taking the case, and although the evidence against the man was substantial, Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard was able to get the plea withdrawn and negotiate a resolution to significantly reduced charges.
  • Aggravated Burglary - Reduced to Misdemeanors with Probation - Details >>
    • Man was accused of aggravated burglary and facing the possibility of life in prison. By investigating the underlying allegations and through hard negotiations, Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard was able to obtain an offer from the prosecutor resulted in two minor misdemeanors - criminal mischief and trespass.
  • Drug Possession, Paraphernalia, and Open Container - Plea in Abeyance - Details >>
    • Client was charged with possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, and open container after police found drugs, a glass pipe, and an open can of beer in the client's car.  Mr. Howard was able to facilitate a substance abuse evaluation and treatment for his client.  His client's participation in treatment played a major role in convincing the prosecutor to allow the client to enter a plea in abeyance agreement that would result in all charges being dismissed.
  • Probation Violation - Probation Reinstated - Details >>
    • After repeated criminal probation violations, the court imposed  'zero tolerance' conditions on the defendant.  After violating probation again, he was facing a potential 15-year prison term.  Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard was able to present sufficient mitigating information to the court to convince the judge to reinstate probation rather than impose the prison time.
  • DUI - Dismissed - Details >>
    • Driver was accused of DUI after police officer observed indications of alcohol consumption during a routine traffic stop.  By pointing out problems with the field sobriety tests and breath alcohol testing performed by the officer, along with the lack of any reckless driving pattern, Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard was able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the charge.
  • Felony Forgery - Dismissed - Details >>
    • Woman was accused of forgery for depositing a bogus check into her own account.  Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard's investigation of the case uncovered evidence to support the defense claim that she had received the check as payment for property she had sold.  Mr. Howard was able to build a case sufficiently strong to convince even the prosecutor that there was reasonable doubt as to any criminal intent. The case was dismissed without going to trial.
  • Child Abuse Homicide - Reduced to Misdemeanor with Probation - Details >>
    • Woman was charged with criminal homicide relating to the death of an infant.  Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard obtained information from an independent medical examiner that raised real questions about the cause of the child's death.  With additional investigation confirming mitigating information about the woman's background, Mr. Howard convinced the prosecutor to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and allow a "no contest" plea.  At sentencing, the court granted probation.
  • Aggravated Robbery - Reduced to Misdemeanor with Probation - Details >>
    • Man was facing potential life in prison for Aggravated Robbery and Aggravated Assault for alleged criminal participation in a robbery where a 2x4 was used to assault the victim and take her property.  Investigation showed that he had mostly been a bystander, and that the property actually belonged to one of the other participants.  Based on the work of Utah defense attorney Stephen Howard, the aggravated robbery was dropped, the aggravated assault was reduced to a misdemeanor, and the court granted probation.
  • Felony Burglary - Reduced to Misdemeanor with Probation - Details>>
    • Man was caught red-handed breaking into a home and stealing property.  Utah criminal lawyer Stephen Howard was able to present sufficient mitigating information about the man's background and circumstances to convince the prosecutor to reduce the criminal charges to misdemeanors. The court granted probation.
  • Domestic Violence - Not Guilty - Details>>
    • A criminal domestic violence case was filed, where the victim alleged that she had tried to call the police during an argument, the defendant grabbed the phone from her hands and pulled so hard that the cord pulled out of the wall. At trial, Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard was able to confirm the authenticity of key photographs that had been taken of the alleged crime scene, showing the phone cord still wrapped around the leg of a small end table that had several items still perched on top.  It would have been physically impossible to pull the cord out of the wall without pulling the table over too and causing its contents to spill. The jury returned a not guilty verdict.
  • Motion to Suppress - Granted - Details >>
    • Driver was stopped by a police officer for an alleged traffic violation.  The officer subsequently found evidence of other crimes.  Utah criminal attorney Stephen Howard filed a motion to suppress, asserting that the officer had violated certain Fourth Amendment protections.  Mr. Howard's cross-examination of the officer revealed that the officer had an incorrect understanding of the traffic laws, and that the "violation" observed by the officer was in fact not illegal. All relevant evidence was suppressed, and the case was dismissed.
  • Minor in Possession (MIP) of Alcohol - Plea in Abeyance / Dismissal - Details >>
    • A minor (over 18, but under 21) was charged with possession of alcohol. While this first case was pending, the minor was charged with a second case of being a minor in possession of alcohol.  Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard negotiated a plea in abeyance agreement on the first case as well as a dismissal of the second case.  The plea in abeyance allowed the minor to avoid having her driver's license suspended.  While the second case was dismissed up front, the plea in abeyance agreement gave her the opportunity to have the first case dismissed as well.
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor - Dismissed at Trial - Details >>
    • Allegations were made that the man had been directly involved in providing alcohol to a minor.  Police arrived at the man's residence, and found an intoxicated teenager with empty bottles all around.  The man, however, was upstairs asleep.  By asserting the presumption of innocence and requiring the prosecutor to meet the constitutional burden of presenting proof beyond a reasonable doubt, Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard was able to demonstrate that the prosecutor simply didnā€™t have sufficient evidence to support a criminal case.  The prosecutor conceded, and moved to dismiss even before a verdict was reached.
  • Telephone / Electronic Communications Harassment - Plea in Abeyance - Details >>
    • Client was charged with telephone harassment / electronic communications harassment.  By demonstrating the minimal nature of the alleged violation and raising questions about whether his client had actually been put on notice of the fact that he was not allowed to call the alleged victim, Mr. Howard was able to negotiate a plea in abeyance agreement that would result in dismissal of the case.
  • Child Abuse - No Charges Filed - Details >>
    • Client was being investigated for potential felony charges of child abuse based on allegations that he had choked his son.  By contacting the prosecutor who was screening the case and providing information that cast the incident in a different light, Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard was able to help convince the prosecutor to not file charges in the matter.
  • Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child - No Charges Filed -Details >>
    • Allegations were made that Mr. Howard's client had sexually abused a child.  The juvenile court and DCFS had both determined the allegations to be credible.  Mr. Howard was able to present information to the prosecutor regarding potential flaws in the investigation as well as a positive polygraph examination of his client.  This additional information was sufficient to convince the prosecutor to decline criminal charges.
  • Residential Trespass - Plea in Abeyance / Dismissal -Details >>
    • Client was facing facing a potential year in jail for allegations she had trespassed in another person's residence and made threats against other individuals.  By demonstrating potential weakness in the case, Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard was able to negotiate a plea in abeyance agreement that resulted in the case being dismissed the same day the agreement was made.
  • Domestic Violence - Dismissal -Details >>
    • Client was charged with domestic violence assault, domestic violence in the presence of a child, and other charges.  Salt Lake criminal attorney Stephen Howard achieved a dismissal of all charges without having to take the case to trial.
  • Felony Criminal Mischief - Reduced to Misdemeanor Plea in Abeyance -Details >>
    • Client was charged with felony criminal mischief after doing thousands of dollars of damage to the victim's car.  Client was facing facing possible prison.  Mr. Howard negotiated both a reduction in the level of the charge to a misdemeanor, but also a plea in abeyance that would have the entire case dismissed after a probationary period.
  • Felony Aggravated Assault - Probation with No Further Jail -Details >>
    • Client was charged with felony aggravated assault after allegedly threateing "I'm going to kill you" and firing two shots into the floor. Successful mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution including probation with no further jail.

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerCriminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has spent his career protecting the rights of people accused of crimes in Utah. Based in Salt Lake City, Mr. Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah.
Contact us to schedule an initial consultation with Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard.


*  While the results listed above are real outcomes in real Utah criminal defense cases, no attorney can promise you a particular result in your case. The case examples and information presented in this website should not be construed as any guarantee of a result or outcome in your case. The specific facts of your case play a significant role in determining the ultimate outcome of the case. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand what the possible results may be for your case, as well as the most likely outcome under the specific facts and circumstances of your case.


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  • Selected Defense Victories
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client charged with first-degree felony drug distribution and faced the potential of life in prison. Negotiations with prosecutor resulted in misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance agreement and ultimately a complete dismissal of the case.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Not Guilty - Client charged with second-degree felony home burglary. Defense investigation of the case revealed witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. Jury found client "not guilty" at trial.
  • Utah Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded from felony probation for more than 10 years. At hearing on order to show cause, prosecuting attorney argued for prison. Judge agreed with defense and released client without any further jail.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client charged with first-degree felony child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of case revealed legal flaws in prosecutor's case that convinced deputy district attorney to dismiss the case outright without further conditions.
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack with dangerous weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation and trial preparation resulted in acquittal.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery, and confessed to police before hiring a defense attorney. Defense mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution that removed "life" in prison as a possibility, and secured a probation sentence from the court.
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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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