Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409. We fight to protect your rights.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Davis County Pleas in Abeyance - Farmington Criminal Lawyer

When a plea is held in abeyance in a Utah criminal case, it is not considered to be a conviction. However, during the "abeyance" period, the case is still considered to be an open and pending criminal case. Upon completion of all terms of the plea in abeyance agreement, the case can be dismissed. In many courts, the dismissal does not happen automatically; the defendant must make a motion to the court asking to have the case dismissed.

Stephen Howard is an experienced criminal defense lawyer, based in Salt Lake City and helping clients in Davis County and throughout Utah. He has successfully handled thousands of serious criminal charges during his career - more than most Utah attorneys will see in their entire careers. His track record includes successfully negotiating pleas in abeyance for firearms charges, drug cases, alcohol charges, theft, and more.

A plea in abeyance offers a number of benefits in a criminal case. But completely clearing your record can require some additional steps. After the case is dismissed, it does not automatically disappear from your record. The criminal charges will continue to show on your record until you have the arrest and charges expunged. Although it will not show as a conviction, your record will still indicate the arrest and the fact that a plea in abeyance agreement was entered into. Once the case is dismissed, you will typically be eligible for an expungement after only 30 days. (This is much shorter than the waiting period for expunging a conviction, which can range from 3 to 10 years, and sometimes even longer.)

If a person fails to follow through with the terms of the plea in abeyance agreement, then an order to show cause can be held by the court. If the defendant is found to have violated the terms of the agreement, then the court can enter the plea as a criminal conviction and sentence the defendant as if there had been an ordinary guilty plea.

So the question of whether a plea in abeyance will show up on a criminal background check depends on the status of your case. Many criminal background checks are only looking for convictions. A successful plea in abeyance does keep a conviction off your record. But you will still need to file for an expungement if you want the arrest and dismissal removed from your record.

Although a plea in abeyance has advantages, there are risks involved in accepting any offer. If you are facing criminal charges in Davis County or anywhere in Utah, contact Stephen Howard now to schedule an initial consultation. Speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you determine the best way to handle your criminal case.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • 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 Salt Lake Davis Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahDismissed at Preliminary Hearing - Client charged with aggravated robbery and facing life in prison. Full case analysis and consultation with client allowed the development of a strong defense strategy. Effective cross-examination of the alleged victim at the preliminary hearing resulted in an outright dismissal of all charges by the judge.
  • Recent Posts
  • 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 Statewide Warrant Search How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant? - If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah, a criminal defense attorney can access the Utah statewide warrant system and help you find the best. . . .
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

Aggressive is good. Effective is better. The best defense strategy in any given criminal case can require in-depth analysis of the facts and a thorough understanding of applicable statutes, case law, and complex procedural and evidentiary rules. Having an experienced attorney on your side....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Our criminal defense lawyers have represented clients facing some of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. Whether you are facing prosecution for felony or misdemeanor charges, you can be assured that our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and determination necessary to help you achieve the results you need. Choosing the best defense attorney for your case will be one of the most important decisions you make....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. But just being charged can affect more than you may have imagined - jail, job, family, bills, rent or mortgage. It can feel like everything has gone wrong, and may you wonder if anything can go right. But facing criminal prosecution does not mean giving up hope....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

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.