Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
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Criminal Case Procedures in Utah

Finding yourself charged with a crime can be a frightening and intimidating experience. Knowing what to expect can help prepare you to make better decisions as you move through the process.

The following pages are intended to provide general information on criminal case procedures starting with the initial stages of the police investigation through the various processes involved in defending against felony and misdemeanor prosecutions.

Note that the information presented here and in the following pages is general in nature, and is intended only as a broad overview of the process. No two criminal defense cases are identical. Having the assistance of an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney can be vital to a successful defense.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal attorney Stephen Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah. He has successfully protected his clients rights in thousands of cases ranging from murder to drug charges to white collar crime. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

An outline of the procedures involved in a Utah criminal defense case is presented below. More detailed information can be obtained by clicking on the main heading or on one of the specific procedural steps. (Note that class A misdemeanors are treated, procedurally, essentially the same as felony charges.)

Initial Stages of a Utah Criminal Case

 

Felony and Class A Misdemeanor Cases in Utah

  • Initial Appearance / Felony First Appearance
  • Formal Discovery Requests
  • Roll Call / Waiver Hearing
  • Preliminary Hearing / Bindover
  • Felony Arraignment
  • Pre-Trial Conference
  • Motion Hearings
  • Jury or Bench Trial
  • Felony Sentencing
  • Felony Appeals - Court of Appeals or Supreme Court
  • 402 Reduction
  • Expungement
 

Class B and Class C Misdemeanor Cases in Utah

  • Misdemeanor Arraignment
  • Discovery Requests
  • Bail / Bond Hearing
  • Pre-Trial Conference
  • Motion Hearings
  • Jury Trial or Bench Trial
  • Sentencing
  • Appeals - District Court or Justice Court
  • 402 Reduction
  • Expungement 

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your case is important. Finding an attorney who understands your goals, is able and willing to communicate with you about legal issues that concern you, has significant experience defending criminal cases in Utah, and has a track record of achieving positive results - all of these are factors to consider in choosing the best attorney for your case.

With a practice based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah. He has successfully protected his clients' rights in thousands of criminal cases, ranging from homicide to drug charges to white collar crime.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.


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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Contractor was charged with theft by deception for allegedly misusing customer funds and failing to complete work that had been agreed upon. A successful motion to quash on legal grounds following the bindover order at preliminary hearing resulted in a complete dismissal of all charges.
  • 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 Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with residential felony burglary and theft charges. Effective cross-examination of alleged victim at preliminary hearing resulted in an admission by the alleged victim that the charges were based on a false report to police, made for the purpose of getting revenge against the defendant. Case was dismissed outright.
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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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