Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Should I represent myself in court on a Utah criminal charge?

There are times when representing yourself in court on a minor (very minor) Utah criminal case can  make sense.  But in most cases, obtaining the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer is advised.  Before you decide to represent yourself, you should strongly consider consulting with a Utah criminal defense lawyer to ensure that you understand the risks and potential consequences involved in your case, as well as what the various options may be for defending your case.

We are sometimes asked the following question: "Do I have to have an attorney for this?"  Almost every time, the answer is "No, you don't HAVE TO have an attorney."  But consider the following by way of analogy.  While it might be possible for you to perform certain surgery on yourself, most people would prefer to have a doctor perform a surgical operation.  Similarly, having an experienced criminal defense attorney handle your case is usually the best way to go.

Having an attorney who understands the Utah criminal courts system and has handled your kind of case previously gives you the advantages of experience and knowledge that you would not have if you were representing yourself.  You may not realize the importance of certain facts in the case.  You may not be aware of possible legal defenses that are available under the law.  You may not understand the procedural rules and rules of evidence and how those rules may protect you, or how they may hurt your case.

Sometimes, a prosecutor will offer to recommend probation in exchange for a guilty plea.  But even if the prosecutor says he/she is not asking for jail, there may be other consequences of a guilty plea that should be considered.

Based in Salt Lake City, we provide legal services to individuals charged with crimes throughout the state.  Before you represent yourself in court in a Utah criminal case, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to arrange for a consultation.


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  • 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.
  • 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 Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
  • 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.
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  • 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. . . .
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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....

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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....

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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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