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 - Contractor was charged with theft by deception for allegedly misusing customer funds and failing to complete work that had been agreed upon. A successful motion to quash on legal grounds following the bindover order at preliminary hearing resulted in a complete dismissal of all charges.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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....

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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....

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Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Jail time, prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and the lifetime collateral consequences of having a criminal conviction on your record - all of these and more are at stake when you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah. Understanding what is at risk is critical. Even so-called "minor" misdemeanor cases can have serious consequences....

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Utah Criminal Attorney - Reasons to Hope

An arrest is not a conviction. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, it can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are things you can do right now that can increase your chances of a good outcome. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you evaluate the various options available to you and help develop a strategy for success....

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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

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.