Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney - Cocaine Possession

Utah law classifies cocaine as a Schedule II controlled substance. Being charged with possession of cocaine in the Salt Lake district courts can result in a felony conviction, prison time, and other serious consequenses. The best step toward achieving a successful outcome in your case can be hiring an experienced Salt Lake criminal defense attorney. Stephen Howard has successfully defended drug charges in Salt Lake County ranging from first-degree distribution charges to straight possession of a controlled substance.

Potential Penalties for Cocaine Possession in Utah

Charges for possession of cocaine begin at the third-degree felony level and carry potential consequences that include up to five years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. In Salt Lake County, a simple possession charge may also be enhanced to a second-degree felony level if the possession occurs within a "drug free zone." Given the density of developments in Salt Lake County, the chances of unintentionally entering a drug free zone is much higher than it might be in a more rural county. The consequences of being convicted of possession within a drug free zone increases the potential pentalties for simple possession of cocaine from a five year prison term to a maximum of fifteen years in prison. Possession with the intent to distrute a controlled substance can increase the potential penlaties to include a life prison term.

In any given drug possession case, it is unlikely that the absolute maximum penalties would be imposed by the court. But in fighting a drug possession case, there are a number of legal goals to work toward, including keeping a felony conviction off your record and staying out of prison or jail. When drug charges are involved, it is important to consider treatment for substance abuse or addiction as part of your legal strategy. Becoming involved in drug treatment early in the case proceedings may actually increase your chances of obtaining a successful result in the case. Stephen Howard is one of a relatively few criminal defense attorneys in private practice in Salt Lake County who has worked inside the Salt Lake County drug court system, and has a unique understanding of how the addiction treatment and criminal justice system relate to each other.

Fighting a Cocaine Possession Charge in Salt Lake City

There are many factors to consider in determining the best strategy to use in fighting a criminal charge for drug possession in Salt Lake.  Fourth Amendment violations, Fifth Amendment violations, constructive possession issues, witness reliability, the use of confidential informants, and other issues are common. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can be the best way to determine how these issues mayaffect your case. As an experienced Utah criminal attorney, Stephen Howard can help you choose the best strategy for addressing your Salt Lake criminal charges.

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake City

Choosing the right criminal defense attorney can help give you the best chance of success. Stephen Howard has successfully protected his clients' rights in thousands of serious felony and misdemeanor cases. Contact us today for an initial consultation with Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard.



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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.
  • 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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  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • 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. . . .
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...

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Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your Utah criminal case may be the single most important decision you make. The courtroom can be a hostile place. Prosecutors receive extensive training on legal and tactical issues. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side is critical to defending your case and protecting your rights....

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In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

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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....

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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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