Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now for help protecting 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

Can I avoid a mandatory driver license suspension for a drug conviction?

Under Utah law, a conviction for drug or drug related offenses can result in having your driver's license suspended.  Common charges that can result in an automatic suspension of your driver's license include possession of a controlled substance (drug possession), possession of drug paraphernalia, distribution of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.  But it is sometimes possible to avoid a mandatory driver license suspension when you are charged with a drug-related crime in Utah.  To understand how a criminal conviction for a drug charge may affect you, it is best to consult with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer.

For most drug charges, the license suspension is based on a conviction for the charge.  So anything that avoids a conviction should also avoid the suspension.  A successful motion to suppress that results in a dismissal or getting a not guilty verdict at trial are options for avoiding a conviction.  But an honest attorney will admit that it is not possible to guarantee a win at trial or to guarantee that a motion to suppress may be successful.

An alternative way to achieve a dismissal of your case is to negotiate a plea in abeyance.  Entering a plea in abeyance agreement allows you the opportunity to guarantee a dismissal of your case by your own compliance with the terms of probation ordered by the judge.  Upon successful completion of the conditions of the plea in abeyance, your case may be dismissed.

Under prior Utah law, a conviction was automatically reported to the Utah Driver License Division.  Upon receipt of that notice, your license was automatically suspended.  Changes in the law have been made that allow a judge to decline to report the conviction to the Driver License Division.  This may allow you to avoid the license suspension.

Other options for avoiding a mandatory driver license suspension include having the conviction entered nunc pro tunc.  This process can have the effect of allowing the suspension period to begin even before the conviction is actually entered.  Thus, by the time the conviction is entered, the suspension period has already expired.

Keeping your driver license can be critical to maintaining employment and fulfilling other obligations you may have.  As an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Utah, Stephen Howard has helped many clients find solutions to their legal problems.  His track record includes not guilty verdicts or dismissals in drug-related cases including drug possession, prescription fraud, distribution of a controlled substance, and more.  He also has extensive experience working inside Utah's felony drug court system.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah.  For help with your legal case, contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.


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 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.
  • 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 Lawyer 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 Constitutes Drug Parpahernalia in Utah How is drug paraphernalia defined in Utah? - The definition of drug paraphernalia under the Utah criminal code looks at both the nature of the object and also the intended use of the object in question. . . .
  • 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....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your Utah criminal case may be the single most important decision you make. The courtroom can be a hostile place. Prosecutors receive extensive training on legal and tactical issues. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side is critical to defending your case and protecting your rights....

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.