Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

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Employers & Criminal Background Checks

Can I keep an employer from seeing my felony conviction in Utah?

Being convicted of a felony in Utah can dramatically affect your ability to get or keep a job.  More and more employers are doing background checks as part of their pre-employment screening practices.  Even if you already have a job, your employer may choose to fire you if it is discovered that you have been convicted of a felony.  Speaking with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney before deciding how to handle your criminal case is vital to protecting your rights your future employment prospects.

In Utah, adult criminal convictions are considered a matter of public record, and your employer will be able to find out about a felony conviction as part of a criminal background investigation.  While you can't keep your employer from finding out about your criminal record in Utah, there are steps you can take to actually change what is on your criminal record.

Utah law provides a way to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor.  Under Utah Code Ann. 76-3-402, a person who has successfully completed probation can petition the court to reduce a charge by up to two steps.  For most felonies, this will reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.  This process is often called a "402 reduction."

Utah law also allows most criminal convictions, charges, and even arrests to be completely expunged from your criminal record.  You must meet certain qualifications relating to the number of convictions on your record and the length of time since the last criminal incident.  But if you meet the requirements for expungement in Utah, you may petition the court to have your record expunged.

Getting and keeping a job is just one of the many areas of your life that a criminal conviction can affect.  In Utah, the consequences of even a minor criminal conviction can be severe.  If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help give you the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome.  Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has successfully defended thousands of serious criminal cases during his career.  His track record speaks for itself.

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Salt Lake City defense attorney Stephen Howard.


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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.
  • 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.
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....

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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....

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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....

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Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah - Reasons to Hope

Clients sometimes ask what the "worst case scenario" is for their charges. We prefer to take a more positive approach. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. But you can take steps and make choices right now that will improve your chances of a positive outcome. Let us 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.