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Who is the Best Utah Criminal Defense Attorney?

I was contacted recently by a prospective client who was looking for a Utah defense attorney to represent him in a criminal case. He was worried about how a conviction would impact his life, and wanted to have the best criminal defense attorney represent him in the case. He had gotten the idea somewhere that I was the best criminal defense attorney in Utah. I had to explain to him that there really is no single “best” criminal defense attorney in the state.

There are thousands of attorneys actively practicing law in Utah. And a significant number of those attorneys devote at least a part of their practice to defending criminal cases. Given the number of Utah attorneys doing criminal defense work, there will of course be some that are better than others. But even among the top tier criminal defense attorneys in Utah, it is probably not possible to name a single “best” attorney.

There are a range of skills involved in defending criminal cases. But each attorney will have his or her own particular strengths. Rather than asking who the “best” attorney is for your case, perhaps the better question is who is the “right” attorney for your case.

High profile cases and television series often highlight the drama of jury trials. Being able to successfully conduct a jury trial requires a criminal defense lawyer to have a thorough understanding of the Utah Rules of Evidence, the ability to effectively cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, the ability to present the defendant’s story through defense witnesses, as well as effective communication skills and the ability to persuade a jury.

But while television series and news media coverage may indicate otherwise, the reality is that jury trials represent only a small part of an effective criminal defense practice. Legal research, motion practice, and negotiations along with a thorough understanding of the overall criminal process from police investigations through potential sentencing hearings and probation all contribute to a criminal defense lawyer’s ability to achieve the best results for a client.

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer in Utah

If you have been charged with a crime in Utah, choosing the right criminal defense attorney to represent you may be the most important decision you make. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard represents clients in criminal cases throughout Utah. His experience ranges from defending clients charged with aggravated murder to DUI, and virtually everything in between. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.


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  • 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.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client was facing multiple cases involving first-degree felony drug distribution charges for allegedly selling to a confidential informant. Defense analysis of the case revealed fatal flaws in the prosecution case that ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all cases and charges.
  • 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.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery based on allegations he entered a store with a gun and mask and demanded cash. Client 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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  • 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 Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

Successfully defending against criminal prosecution requires more than just an 'aggressive' defense. The best defense attorneys understand that a sophisticated defense requires a thorough understanding of a variety of nuanced legal issues, real experience in the courtroom, good negotiation skills, and much more. Fighting hard is good. Fighting smart is better....

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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....

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Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

Even a "minor" misdemeanor carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. The direct penalties and collateral consequences of a felony conviction are even more severe. Understanding these consequences is critical as you make decisions relating to your case. Even in a misdemeanor case, you should not....

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Utah Criminal Attorney - Reasons to Hope

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.

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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