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 allegedly pointing handgun at and threatening another driver during a road rage incident. Defense investigation and analysis, combined with effective cross-examination at trial indicated the alleged victim was the initial aggressor and suported client's self-defense claim. Jury acquitted client at trial.
  • 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 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 Not Guilty - Client was charged with residential felony burglary and theft charges. Effective cross-examination of alleged victim at preliminary hearing resulted in an admission by the alleged victim that the charges were based on a false report to police, made for the purpose of getting revenge against the defendant. Case was dismissed outright.
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  • Utah Statewide Warrant Search How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant? - If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah, a criminal defense attorney can access the Utah statewide warrant system and help you find the best. . . .
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

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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 Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

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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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