Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

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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 Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • 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.
  • Felony Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony charge and possible life in prison for child kidnapping. Full defense analysis of the case revealed critical legal flaws in the prosecution's case. When confronted with the defense legal analysis, the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case outright without trial.
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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. . . .
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

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you Utah criminal case will be one of the most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect your rights....

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Conviction Consequences in Utah Criminal Prosecutions

Even a single misdemeanor conviction in Utah can result in extended jail time and substantial fines. The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction can last a lifetime. Whether you are facing misdemeanor prosecution in a justice court or more serious felony charges in the district court, obtaining advice and assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney is....

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Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. But just being charged can affect more than you may have imagined - jail, job, family, bills, rent or mortgage. It can feel like everything has gone wrong, and may you wonder if anything can go right. But facing criminal prosecution does not mean giving up hope....

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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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