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

Do the police have to tell me why I was pulled over?

If I am charged with DUI in Utah, does the officer have to tell me why I was pulled over?

Many Utah DUI charges begin with a traffic stop. It is common for many police officers to ask "Do you know why I pulled you over?" or other similar questions when they first approach the vehicle. The Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination gives you the right to refuse to answer such a question. But if the officer has probable cause or reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime, you may find yourself detained as part of a criminal investigation - and the officer may not even tell you why.

A typical DUI investigation begins with a police officer pulling a driver over for an alleged traffic code violation. The officer observes an "odor of alcohol" or behavior that raises a suspicion of intoxication or drug use. This can be the beginning of what can be a complicated investigation process for police, to try to determine whether the driver is intoxicated above the legal limit or otherwise impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance.

If you have been cited or arrested for DUI or other criminal charges in Utah, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can be critical to a successful outcome for your case. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal lawyer Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to arrange for an initial confidential consultation.

Fourt Amendment Protections and Suppression of Evidence

Any time a person is detained against their will by a police officer, certain Fourth Amendment protections are invoked. The simple act of turning on the red and blue lights or activating the siren and pulling a driver over can constitute a "seizure" under the Fourth Amendment. This kind of detention requires, at a minimum, that the officer be able to provide a "reasonable, articulable suspicion" of criminal activity (including traffic violations) as a basis for making the traffic stop.

If the officer is not able to provide provide evidence of a "reasonable, articulable" suspicion, a judge may order the suppression of all evidence obtained as a result of the traffic stop. This can include physical evidence, breath test results, statements made by the driver or witnesses, and more. Evidence that is suppressed cannot be used against the defendant at trial. As far as the jury should know, the evidence simply does not exist.

When is the officer required to disclose the reason I was stopped?

While the officer may be required to provide an explanation for why you were pulled over, this is not an argument to get involved with while you are pulled over on the side of the road. If a motion to suppress is filed with the court, the prosecutor can be required to present the officer's testimony and explanation for why you were pulled over. If the judge is convinced that the officer did not have a proper constitutional basis for stopping you, then the evidence can be suppressed.

Getting into an argument with a police officer on the side of the road over why you were pulled over can often lead to even more trouble. The best place to raise this issue is in court.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney

Salt Lake Criminal AttorneyIf you believe you have been stopped by police without proper justification, you should consult with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer immediately. Stephen Howard has successfully defended DUI cases and many other serious criminal cases during his career. His track record includes successful motions to suppress, not guilty verdicts, and dismissals on some of the most serious criminal charges on the books in Utah.

Contact us to arrange for an initial confidential consultation.

Can police stop me based just on a hunch?
Do police have to show a warrant before entering a home?
Can I say no if police ask to search my car?

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 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.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
Best Utah Criminal Defense Strategy

The right criminal defense lawyer can work with you to develop a defense strategy designed to achieve the best results. Hiring a Utah criminal attorney with real courtroom experience and an in-depth understanding of the legal issues involved in defending against a criminal prosecution can help ensure the best...

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Our criminal defense lawyers have represented clients facing some of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. Whether you are facing prosecution for felony or misdemeanor charges, you can be assured that our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and determination necessary to help you achieve the results you need. Choosing the best defense attorney for your case will be one of the most important decisions you make....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Even a single misdemeanor conviction in Utah can result in extended jail time and substantial fines. The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can last a lifetime. Whether you are facing misdemeanor prosecution in a justice court or more serious felony charges in the district court, obtaining advice and assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney is....

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.