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How can I get a plea in abeyance in Utah?

A plea in abeyance can be one of the best possible outcomes in your Utah criminal case. If you are able to successfully complete the terms of a plea in abeyance agreement, you can have your charges dismissed. Once your charges are dismissed, you may be eligible for an expungement. If your charges have been expunged, it can be as though the case never existed. Few outcomes in a criminal case could be better.

The key question then, in a Utah criminal case, is how to get your plea held in abeyance. Under Utah criminal law, there is only one way to get a plea in abeyance - you have to convince the prosecutor to make that offer. You cannot simply go in and "plead in abeyance." Not even a judge can order a plea held in abeyance. The prosecutor has to agree to that resolution.

Most prosecutors consider a plea in abeyance to be an exceptionally good offer. Such offers are not usually given out freely. It can sometimes take an experienced and determined negotiator to convince a prosecutor to make a plea in abeyance offer.

Prosecutors consider a number of different factors in determining what kind of offer they may be willing to make. If your attorney can expose flaws or potential problems in the prosecutor's case, putting the prosecutor at a greater risk of losing at trial, the prosecutor may be more willing to agree to a plea in abeyance. By presenting mitigating information about you (e.g. a lack of prior criminal record, engagement in productive activities such as school, participation in counseling, or volunteer work in the community), your attorney may also be able to convince the prosecutor that you deserve a break.

Each case is different. There is no magic formula to obtaining a plea in abeyance. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can help give you the best chance of success in your case.

Finding a Plea in Abeyance Criminal Attorney in Utah

Stephen Howard is a Utah criminal defense attorney, with extensive experience in the courtroom, including jury trials, motion practice, and appeals. As an effective negotiator, he has been able to obtain plea in abeyance offers for clients on first-degree felony charges as well as a wide variety of other felony and misdemeanor cases.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout the state. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, you need an experienced criminal lawyer on your side.  Mr. Howard's record of results includes not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appellate reversals for some of the most serious charges on the books in Utah.

Contact us now to schedule your initial consultation.


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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

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