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 to see what our team can do for you.
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.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
  • Utah 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • 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.
  • 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 Criminal Defense Strategy

You want the best defense. Agressive is good. But results ultimately are what really matter. Creating an effective strategy for defending against criminal prosecution requires a thorough understanding of statutes, case law, and evidentiary and procedural rules. A successful outcome is more likely when....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Defending against a criminal prosecution in Utah is a job that has to be done right the first time. Choosing the right attorney to defend you can be the most important decision you make. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor charges on the books in Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, we can help....

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 - 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....

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.