Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Take the first step in securing a successful defense.
Call 801-449-1409 now to see what our team can do for you.
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

Criminal Case Process in Utah - Arrest / Citation / Summons

If a police criminal investigation yields sufficient evidence to support a criminal charge against a defendant, the police have several options by which they can proceed. In any of these circumstances, an experienced criminal defense attorney can play a vital role in protecting the defendant's rights. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard.

Warrantless Arrest

In some circumstances, a police officer is allowed to make an arrest without a warrant. These circumstances include the following: the crime was committed in the presence of the officer; the officer has reasonable cause to believe that a felony or class A misdemeanor has been committed; or the officer has reasonable cause to believe that any crime has been committed and that the suspect will flee or attempt to conceal himself, destroy or conceal evidence of the crime, or injure another person or cause damage to another person's property.

Arrest with Warrant

If the above circumstances do not exist, a police officer may be required to obtain a warrant before making an arrest. Typically, the arrest warrant will be issued by the court following the filing of formal charges. In making a request for an arrest warrant, many prosecutors will make a perfunctory recitation along the lines of the following: "There is reason to believe that the above-named defendant will not appear upon a summons." Many judges do not require any specific supporting reasons for the "belief" but will instead issue the warrant as requested.

Citation

In some cases, a police officer may issue a citation to the person who is accused of a crime. The citation will typically list the sections of the Utah State Code or of the local municipal code that are alleged to have been violated. Sometimes the citation will list the offense by its common name rather than citing the code section. In minor misdemeanor and traffic cases, the police officer's citation can serve as the charging document when it is filed with the court. But a defendant has the right to require a formal "information" to be filed with the court. A formal information must be filed by the prosecuting attorney, and requires the prosecutor to review the case to determine which, if any, charges are appropriate.
 

Summons

If a person is not immediately arrested following the alleged commission of a crime, the court has the option of issuing an arrest warrant or sending a summons to the defendant. As noted above, an arrest warrant is an order to any peace officer finding the defendant to arrest and bring the defendant defendant before the court to face formal charges. A summons instead provides notice to the defendant that the charges have been filed, and provides instructions to the defendant regarding where and when to appear for court. A summons may also provide instructions to the defendant to appear at the jail for a "book and release" process.

Many prosecutors will by default ask the court to issue an arrest warrant rather than send a summons. But many prosecutors can be persuaded to instead request a summons if the prosecutor is convinced that the defendant will appear voluntarily in court. An experienced Utah criminal defense attorney can provide vital assistance in making this argument to the prosecutor.

Next:
Jail Booking and Release
Previous: Police Investigation
Main: Outline of Utah Criminal Case Processes

Choosing the Right Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Finding a criminal lawyer to handle your case can be a daunting task. There are a number of important factors to consider in choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your case. Experience and a record of success are two important considerations.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has successfully protected his clients' rights in thousands of Utah criminal cases, ranging from murder to white collar crimes, and from DUI to serious felony drug charges. He has achieved not guilty verdicts or dismissals in cases including aggravated robbery, child kidnapping, attempted murder, drug distribution, burglary, forgery, theft, and many more. He has the skill, experience, and knowledge necessary to ensure that your rights are protected.

Contact us today to schedule 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Violent Crimes Assalt Defense UtahProbation - Client charged with aggravated robbery based on allegations he entered a store with a gun and mask and demanded cash. Client confessed to police before hiring a defense attorney. Defense mitigation efforts resulted in a negotiated resolution that removed life in prison as a possibility, and secured a probation sentence from the court.
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....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Our criminal defense lawyers have represented clients facing some of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. Whether you are facing prosecution for felony or misdemeanor charges, you can be assured that our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and determination necessary to help you achieve the results you need. Choosing the best defense attorney for your case will be one of the most important decisions you make....

Experience »
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....

Consequences »
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....

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.