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

Should I represent myself if I am charged with a crime?

Do I need to hire a defense lawyer for a Utah criminal case?

Hiring an attorney to handle your criminal defense case in Utah can be one of the most important decisions you make. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can make the difference between success and disaster. If you are questioning whether you need an attorney, consider the following issues.

Do you have legal training and experience needed to go up against a seasoned prosecutor?

Utah's criminal courts use an adversarial system - prosecution v. defense. A defendant who chooses self-representation will be going up against a prosecutor who likely has handled hundreds or thousands of cases, who has spent thousands of hours in court, and has spent years studying the rules of evidence, criminal procedure, and substantive criminal law. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help even the playing field.

The criminal law, rules of evidence, and procedural rules that govern a criminal case are not always straightforwardly written. Each of these rules and statutes has to be interpreted in light of a lengthy history of case law and opinions from Utah's appellate courts as well as the federal court system and United States Supreme Court. It can take years of study and experience to develop the knowledge and skill necessary to successfully defend a criminal case in court.

You have the right to represent yourself and to present your own defense in court. But in most cases, you will be far better off if you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case.

Can you handle a worst-case scenario in your criminal case?

In a perfect world, car accidents would never happen, no one would get sick, and justice would always prevail in our criminal courts. But still, we buy car insurance and health insurance. And most people hire a criminal defense attorney to ensure that their interests and rights are protected when they are charged with a crime.

An insurance agent once explained his theory on what things you should insure, and what things you should not insure. He said, "If you can afford to absorb the cost of a worst case scenario, then don't buy the insurance. If you can't absorb that cost, then buy insurance." Small things like a broken toaster will probably not drive you into bankruptcy, so comprehensive and extended warranties may not be necessary. But major problems like long-term illnesses or an automobile accident with serious injuries can mean financial disaster. Insurance for these possibilities can be vital.

In a legal case, if you can accept the worst case scenario, then you may not need to worry about hiring an attorney. If you are facing a minor speeding ticket with just a small fine, then the money you would spend on an attorney is probably more than the conviction would cost you. On the other hand, in Utah even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries a real risk of jail time.

Any criminal conviction carries the potential for jail time. Felony convictions may result in extended prison sentences. Even a short jail sentence could mean losing your job, foreclosure or eviction from your home, not being able to take care of your family, and more. A felony conviction can make it much more difficult to get a job or even just to rent an apartment. Many Utah criminal convictions can also affect your driver's license, the right to possess a gun or hunt, professional licensing, employment, and more.

If you can accept the worst case scenario for a conviction in your case, maybe you don't need an attorney. But when the consequences of a Utah criminal conviction can have a devastating impact on your life and family, hiring an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney can give you the best chances of getting a positive outcome in your case.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah

Criminal Defense Lawyer UtahSalt Lake criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard has handled more serious criminal cases than most Utah attorneys will see in their entire careers. His track record includes not guilty verdicts or dismissals in cases including aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, forgery, drug possession and distribution, DUI, and many more.

If you are facing a criminal charge in Utah, contact us now to schedule your initial consultation. See the difference an experienced criminal defense attorney can make for your case.


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 Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client was facing multiple cases involving first-degree felony drug distribution charges for allegedly selling to a confidential informant. Defense analysis of the case revealed fatal flaws in the prosecution case that ultimately resulted in a complete dismissal of all cases and charges.
  • 402 Reduction Lawyer Utah 2-Step Reduction - Client needed a two-step reduction to bring a prior conviction to the misdemeanor level. Collection of substantial evidence of reform and rehabilitation convinced a normally reluctant prosecutor to stipulate to the defense 402 reduction motion.
  • 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.
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

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 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 »
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....

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.