Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Take the first step in securing a successful defense.
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 still hire an attorney if I originally told the judge I would represent myself?

In a Utah criminal case, you have a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney. One of the first questions a judge will ask when you appear in court is whether you are hiring an attorney, requesting a public defender, or will be representing yourself. Choosing to represent yourself in a criminal case may be a big mistake. As the case progresses, you may discover that defending yourself is more complicated than you anticipated. You may also learn that the consequences you are facing are more serious than you originally realized.

If you find yourself in this situation, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney and provide notice to the court and prosecutor that you are hiring counsel. You have a constitutionally protected right to be represented by an attorney. But your attorney will likely need time to gather discovery, do a thorough case analysis, determine necessary investigation, develop a defense strategy, and prepare the case for court. A delay in hiring an attorney may put you at a strategic disadvantage or may create a situation where the court denies you additional time needed for your attorney to prepare.

If you initially told the judge that you would represent yourself, it may not be too late. Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation with Utah criminal attorney Stephen Howard. Based in Salt Lake City, Mr. Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah.

When is it safe to represent myself in a Utah criminal case?

The only time you should seriously consider representing yourself is when you can accept the worst consequences that you may be facing. If you are facing a simple parking ticket with a $40 fine, you may be better off representing yourself. But even minor misdemeanor cases in Utah can carry serious consequences, including the possibility of substantial jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. Felony cases can involve much more serious penalties.

An experienced defense attorney can help to give you the best chance of avoiding the most serious consequences of a criminal conviction. If you are prepared to accept all of those consequences, you may not need to hire an attorney. Otherwise, you would be well-advised to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.

How much time will my new attorney need in order to prepare to handle the case?

Most of the time, your new attorney will want to ask the court for a continuance, to allow the necessary time to review discovery, pursue any needed investigation, develop an appropriate defense strategy, etc. The amount of time needed to adequately prepare the case can depend on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case, cooperation from witnesses or government agencies, the need for expert witness evaluations, etc.

If you wait to try to hire an attorney until the night before trial, the judge may refuse to grant a continuance. Many experienced criminal attorneys will not be willing (and for good reasons) to take on a case unless the judge grants the continuance. Waiting till the last minute to hire an attorney may also be viewed by the judge as a delaying tactic, and may cast you in an unfavorable light with the court.

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake Criminal LawyerEven minor criminal charges in Utah can have serious consequences. Hiring an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney can help give you the best chance of success in defending your case.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal attorney Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. He has successfully protected his clients' rights in thousands of cases ranging from homicide to shoplifting, and virtually everything in between. His track record includes not guilty verdicts and dismissals in some of the most serious charges on the books in Utah.

Contact us now to arrange for an initial confidential consultation with Salt Lake City defense attorney Stephen Howard.

RELATED QUESTIONS:
Do I need to have a lawyer to represent me in a criminal case?
How do I choose the best lawyer to handle my criminal defense case?
Do I need an attorney even if the case involves only misdemeanor charges?


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 - 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.
  • 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 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 UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery based on allegations he entered a store with a gun and mask and demanded cash. Client confessed to police before hiring a defense attorney. Defense mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution that removed life in prison as a possibility, and secured a probation sentence from the court.
  • 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 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

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you Utah criminal case will be one of the most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect 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

Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

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.