Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409 now for help protecting your rights.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

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 Retail Theft Defense Attorney

A shoplifting conviction in Salt Lake City can start as a class B misdemeanor. But a retail theft charge can be filed as a felony if the merchandise taken is more valuable or if the defendant has too many prior theft convictions. While it may be tempting to view shoplifting as a minor charge, the consequences of a conviction can be serious. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help give you the best chance of a positive outcome for your case. Based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has protected the rights of his clients in thousands of serious misdemeanor and felony cases. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

Legal Definition of Shoplifting

Utah Criminal Lawyer Retail TheftShoplifting charges in Salt Lake City are typically filed under the Utah criminal code section 76-6-602, which defines the acts constituting "retail theft." This statute prohibits a variety of conduct, including changing price tags, removing an item from its box or container, under-ringing of merchandise by a cashier, and even removing a shopping cart from store premises. Perhaps the most common form of retail theft occurs when a person takes possession, conceals, carries away, or transfers merchandise from a retail store, without paying for the merchandise and with the intent to deprive the merchant of the value of the merchandise.

One commonly held misconception regarding retail theft is that a person cannot be charged with retail theft unless they leave the store with the merchandise. This is not true. Utah law prohibits even taking possession of merchandise, if the person has the requisite mental intent and has not paid for the item. Of course, it is easier that the person intended to commit retail theft if the person has left the store without paying for the merchandise. But if the prosecutor can prove that the person had the required intent, a theft charge is often filed when the person did not leave the store before being "caught."

Do I need an attorney for a shoplifting charge?

Retail theft is often viewed as a relatively "minor" criminal charge. But the effects of a conviction can be serious and long-lasting.

A conviction for shoplifting can carry the potential for jail or prison time, plus thousands of dollars in fines. Any criminal record can also make it more difficult to find a job.

Expungement of a retail theft charge is possible (assuming a person does not have too many other convictions), but reducing the level of the offense or obtaining a plea-in-abeyance dismissal can be important ways to shorten the waiting period for expungement eligibility.

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can help you achieve the best results in your case.

Finding a Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney

Class B misdemeanor retail theft charges in Salt Lake City are typically filed in the Salt Lake City Justice Court. Felony or class A misdemeanor charges for retail theft are filed in the district court. Regardless of the level of the offense, the consequences are potentially serious. It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before making any decisions regarding your case.

Stephen Howard has defended clients in theft-related cases ranging from shoplifting to aggravated robbery, and virtually everything in between. His track record includes not guilty verdicts, dismissals, and appellate reversals in some of the most serious crimes on the books in Utah.

Based in Salt Lake City, Mr. Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • 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.
  • 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 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
  • Recent Posts
  • 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

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....

Strategy »
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....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

Even a "minor" misdemeanor carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. The direct penalties and collateral consequences of a felony conviction are even more severe. Understanding these consequences is critical as you make decisions relating to your case. Even in a misdemeanor case, you should not....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Attorney - Reasons to Hope

An arrest is not a conviction. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, it can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are things you can do right now that can increase your chances of a good outcome. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you evaluate the various options available to you and help develop a strategy for success....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

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.