Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
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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

Salt Lake Criminal Lawyer - Drug Possession in a Correctional Facility

Being charged with possession of a controlled substance in a Utah correctional facility (i.e., jail or prison) can result in enhanced penalties. Salt Lake criminal lawyer Stephen Howard has extensive experience defending a variety of drug and drug-related charges in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. If you are facing drug charges in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, contact us today for an initial consultation.

Penalties for Drug Possession in a Jail or Prison

The Utah criminal code provides that a person found in possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility, jail, "or other place of confinement" can be charged with a crime one level higher than for ordinary drug possession. This one-step enhancement can increase the level of a simple marijuana possession to a class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in jail); possession of other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine can be enhanced to the second degree felony level (punishable by up to 15 years in prison).

Fighting a "Correctional Facility" Enhancement to a Utah Drug Possession Charge

If you are arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, officers will search you as part of the booking process. If drugs are found during this search, a simple possession charge is sometimes enhanced by a prosecutor to a charge of possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility. But the threat of such an enhancement puts a person in the difficult position of giving up the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent by telling the arresting officer about the drugs before arriving at the jail, or facing enhanced penalties. While this choice presents a dilemma for a person being arrested, this dilemma itself may provide a defense to the enhanced charge. If you have been charged with possession of drugs in a jail or other correctional facility in Salt Lake, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

Choosing an Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah

Choosing the right criminal defense attorney can help give you the best chance of success in your case. Stephen Howard has successfully defended his clients' rights in thousands of serious felony and misdemeanr cases. His track record includes not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appeal reversals in some of the most serious crimes on the books in Utah.

With offices centrally located in downtown Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard provides services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to schedule 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 facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Expungement - Worked to restore client's expungement eligibility through 402 reduction process, then filed successful expungement petitions in multiple courts obtaining expungement orders and clearing client's official criminal history.
  • 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.
  • Recent Posts
  • What Constitutes Drug Parpahernalia in Utah How is drug paraphernalia defined in Utah? - The definition of drug paraphernalia under the Utah criminal code looks at both the nature of the object and also the intended use of the object in question. . . .
  • 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 Criminal Defense Strategy

The best outcome is more likely when the right strategy is employed. Developing the best strategy can require real courtroom experience, a thorough understanding of procedural and substantive legal issues, and a determination to ensure that important constitutional and other legal rights are protected. Choosing the right attorney....

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Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Defending against a criminal prosecution in Utah is a job that has to be done right the first time. Choosing the right attorney to defend you can be the most important decision you make. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling some of the most serious felony and misdemeanor charges on the books in Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, we can help....

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Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

A Utah criminal prosecution can result in a lifetime of consequences. Beyond jail and prison, a conviction can affect many areas of life, including employment, housing, finances, family, and much more. Never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal attorney. Understanding what is at stake is the first step....

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Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Hope

Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are reasons to remain hopeful, and there are things you can do right now that can help increase the odds of a successful outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the various options you have, and can 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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