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Utah Plea Negotiations and Plea Bargains - Criminal Lawyer Salt Lake

Many attorneys claim to fight aggressively for their clients. But an aggressive approach may not always be the most effective approach. A better outcome can often be achieved through a negotiated resolution. Stephen Howard is an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney with a record of successfully negotiating resolutions to some of the most serious criminal charges on the books. He also has a success record at trial to back up his clients in the event negotiations break down.

Stephen Howard's record of successful plea negotiations includes misdemeanor probation offers or pleas in abeyance on serious charges including child abuse homicide, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, first-degree felony drug distribution, felony firearms violations, felony theft, and more.

Plea Negotiations Strategy in Utah

It is best to approach any negotiation from a position of strength. In a criminal case, that means having an experienced criminal defense attorney with a record of successfully fighting cases. Stephen Howard has achieved not guilty verdicts or outright dismissals on serious felony cases including aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, fraud, forgery, theft, and more.

Achieving a position of strength for purposes of criminal plea negotiations also requires a thorough understanding of criminal procedure and case law, and how those laws apply to your particular case. To successfully engage in negotiations, an attorney has to understand both the strengths and weaknesses of the case, and the realistic chances of success given the facts and circumstances of the case. This kind of understanding requires time and experience to develop. During his career, Stephen Howard has handled literally thousands of case, with thousands of serious felony and misdemeanor charges.

Successful plea negotiations also require an attorney who understands the art of diplomacy. The best negotiated resolutions are rarely achieved by being rude or overly-aggressive. There is an art involved in a successful plea negotiation. The successful negotiator has to understand what his client needs from the prosecutor, and also what his client can offer the to prosecutor. The successful negotiator is sometimes required to find creative ways to meet the needs of both sides, without compromising his client's position or needs.

What if Negotiations Fail in a Utah Criminal Case?

Negotiation efforts do not always result in an acceptable offer from the prosecuting attorney. If you choose to take your case to trial, Stephen Howard has the experience, skill, and knowledge necessary to take your case all the way.

No attorney can guarantee you a not guilty verdict at trial, as there are certain risks involved in every jury or bench trial. Your attorney can advise you on what to do. But ultimately you are the only one who can decide to accept an offer, or reject an offer and take the case to trial. As you make that decision, you deserve to have the best possible options to choose from.

You need an attorney with the negotiating skills to get you the best offer, and the trial skills to take the case all the way if the prosecutor refuses to make a reasonable offer.

Finding an Experienced Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with a Utah criminal lawyer. See the difference experience can make.


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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 Expungement Attorney Expungement - Worked to restore client's expungement eligibility through 402 reduction process, then filed successful expungement petitions in multiple courts obtaining expungement orders and clearing client's official criminal history.
  • 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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  • 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. . . .
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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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