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

Can a police officer stop me in Utah based on a hunch?

A police officer can stop you and arrest you if he has a warrant. Without a warrant, the officer must demonstrate either "probable cause" or a "reasonable articulable suspicion" of a crime. If you have been arrested, detained, or charged with a crime in Utah, it is important to have the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Stephen Howard has successfully protected his clients rights in thousands of s, felonies, and misdemeanor charges. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

Probable Cause and Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Salt Lake Motion to SuppressWhile an officer's attention may at first be drawn to a suspect based on a some kind of "gut feeling," before the officer initiates a stop or arrest, the officer must observe articulable facts sufficient to support a finding of probable cause ("PC") or reasonable articulable suspicion ("RAS"). Analysis under the Fourth Amendment for either PC or RAS requires a very fact-specific inquiry.

The act of driving slowly through a neighborhood, by itself, could be merely an indication that the driver is lost or looking for an address. If that fact ombined with other circumstances or observations (e.g. it is 3:00 a.m.ndis driver is wearing a ski mask in the middle of summer), then the officer may have a sufficient basis under the Fourth Amendment for an investigatory stop. If there has been a report of a home burglary just moments before in the immediate vicinity, the officer might have sufficient basis for a warrantless arrest.

A person standing on the corner may simply be waiting for a friend. If the corner is in a "high crime" area, the person is known to police officers as a drug user, and a police officer observes a hand-to-hand transaction with another person, the officer could may have sufficient basis for an investigatory stop.

The concept behind RAS is that the suspicion must be both reasonable and "articulable" - meaning that the officer has to be able to articulate facts that support his suspicion. A "suspicion" that is not based on any articulable facts is often referred to as a "hunch" by the courts. Case law in Utah establishes clearly that a mere "hunch" is not a sufficient basis for a warrantless arrest.

Motion to Suppress Evidence

If evidence is obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, a court may order that such evidence be suppresses. When a motion to suppress evidence is granted, a prosecutor is not allowed to introduce that evidence at trial. This can substantially weaken a prosecutor's cases. In some instances, it may leave the prosecution with insufficient evidence to proceed with the case, and may result in an outright dismissal of the charges.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah

Criminal Defense Attorney Salt Lake CityIf you have been detained, questioned, arrested, or charged with a crime in Utah, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Based in Salt Lake City, defense lawyer Stephen Howard offers legal services to client throughout Utah. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

RELATED QUESTIONS:
How can I find out if I have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah?
Do Utah arrest warrants ever expire?
Will I get a bench warrant if I miss a court date in a Utah criminal case?


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 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.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Criminal Defense Strategy

You want the best defense. Agressive is good. But results ultimately are what really matter. Creating an effective strategy for defending against criminal prosecution requires a thorough understanding of statutes, case law, and evidentiary and procedural rules. A successful outcome is more likely when....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

With decades of combined experience, our criminal defense team attorneys have the knowledge, skill, and determination to help you achieve the results you need. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. Choosing the best attorney to defend your case may be one of the most important decisions you will ever 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 - 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....

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.