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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 - 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 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.
  • 402 Reduction Lawyer Utah 2-Step Reduction - Client needed a two-step reduction to bring a prior conviction to the misdemeanor level. Collection of substantial evidence of reform and rehabilitation convinced a normally reluctant prosecutor to stipulate to the defense 402 reduction motion.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
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 in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Jail time, prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and the lifetime collateral consequences of having a criminal conviction on your record - all of these and more are at stake when you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah. Understanding what is at risk is critical. Even so-called "minor" misdemeanor cases can have serious consequences....

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Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Hope

Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are reasons to remain hopeful, and there are things you can do right now that can help increase the odds of a successful outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the various options you have, and can help you....

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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

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.