Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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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

Utah Criminal Defense - When Should I Hire a Lawyer?

What is the best time to hire a criminal defense lawyer?  As soon as possible.

There are many reasons to contact a criminal lawyer early on in your case.  Even before charges are filed, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to take action that can put you in a position that will help you achieve the outcome you need in your case.

Early Intervention Can Avoid Criminal Charges


The only thing better than a dismissed case is a case that never gets to court.  Through early intervention in a criminal investigation, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to help convince prosecutors to decline charges before you even go to court.  Even if your attorney is not able to completely derail the case, he may be able to help minimize your exposure to risk as well as ensure that you don't inadvertently give the police information that will hurt your case.

Investigation Preserves Necessary Evidence


If criminal charges cannot be avoided, you need to be in the best possible position for a trial.  That means having the best possible evidence to support your case.

Evidence can be lost, destroyed, or tampered with.  Witnesses can move.  Memories can fade.  If you are facing criminal prosecution, there may be a limited window of opportunity during which critical evidence can be preserved.  Talking to an experienced criminal lawyer early on can improve the chances that the evidence you need for your case will still be there when the time for trial comes.

The Best Mitigation Begins Early


There are times when the best strategy for defending a criminal case does not involve taking the case to trial.  While a lot of attorneys in Utah claim to be "aggressive" and to "fight hard," in some circumstances, you may be better off working toward a negotiated resolution.  An experienced criminal lawyer can help you determine what steps you can take immediately to help put yourself in a better position to negotiate a more favorable resolution to a case.

Early Representation Can Prevent Police Questioning


If you have not hired an attorney or notified police that you will not talk to them without an attorney present, police may continue pressuring you to make a statement or allow an interview.  Without consulting with a lawyer first, it is highly likely that giving a statement to police may provide them with information that may be used against you later in the case.  Once you hire a lawyer, your attorney can step between you and the police and help insure that you do not inadvertently provide police with evidence that will hurt your case.

This list is just the beginning.  There are many reasons to hire a lawyer as soon as you discover that there is an investigation or charges pending against you.  There is no good reason to wait.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard has handled literally thousands of serious felony charges during his career.  He has a track record of achieving real results for his clients.  Contact us now to schedule an initial 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 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 Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
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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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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.