Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Can criminal charges be re-filed in Utah after they have been dismissed by a judge?

Most often, when a criminal case is dismissed in Utah, it is over.  But there are circumstances in which you may face the possibility of having charges re-filed against you.

Constitutional double jeopardy protections and due process requirements often prevent prosecutors from re-filing charges. If your case has been dismissed after a jury is empaneled but before a verdict is reached, double jeopardy prevents re-filing.  If your case is dismissed after the first witness begins testifying in a jury trial, double jeopardy protects you again.  If your case was dismissed after a prosecutor failed to demonstrate probable cause at a preliminary hearing, due process protections can prohibit re-filing of the charges.

If your case is dismissed because witnesses fail to appear at an evidentiary hearing or at trial, the prosecutor may be allowed to refile the case.  If your case is dismissed as a result of a plea bargain in another case, but you withdraw your plea in the other case, the dismissed case will typically be reinstated.

Statutes of limitations can also act to prohibit re-filing.  If the case is dismissed after the original statute of limitations has run, a prosecutor may be prevented from re-filing.

When facing criminal prosecution, an experienced criminal defense attorney can make all the difference.  Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard has a track record that speaks for itself.

Contact us now 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.
  • Minor Possession Alcohol - MIP AttorneyDismissed - Minor in possession charge (MIP) was dismissed by prosecutor when defense analysis demonstrated that the police had failed to obtain necessary evidence against client. Police had raided a large party involving underage drinking. Several individuals were charged, but police did not obtain evidence showing that client had personally consumed or possessed alcohol. Case was dismissed.
  • 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.
  • Utah Burglary Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
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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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