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

Utah 402 Reductions - Stipulated Motions

Does a prosecutor's stipulation guarantee that the judge will grant a 402 reduction motion?

A two-step reduction under Utah Code 76-3-402 requires a prosecutor's stipulation (agreement). But even with the stipulation of a prosecutor, either a one-step or a two-step reduction still requires that the judge must determine that the reduction is in the interest of justice before the 402 motion can be granted.

A 402 reduction may be useful in reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, or in some situations may restore expungement eligibility. If you are seeking a 402 reduction, an experienced criminal attorney can help present your case to the court in the best light, improving your chances of success.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard provides legal services on cases throughout Utah. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

What is the standard for obtaining a 402 reduction in Utah?

In order to obtain a 402 reduction following the successful completion of probation, the defendant must demonstrate that it is "in the interest of justice" to grant the requested reduction. This standard is viewed by the court's as being discretionary - meaning that the judge may consider the specific facts of the case, the performance of the defendant while on probation, activities of the defendant since completing probation, and other relevant factors and then determine whether the reduction is appropriate.

A stipulation is not necessarily enough to guarantee a successful 402 reduction. In the case of State v. Quintana (48 P.3d 249), the Court of Appeals reversed the district court and remanded the case with instructions to that the prosecutor should be compelled to comply with a prior agreement to recommend (or stipulate to) the requested two-step 402 reduction. But the Court of Appeals noted that on remand and even with the prosecution's recommendation for the two-step reduction, the trial court would still have discretion to either grant or deny the 402 motion.

The appellate courts give the district court "wide latitude and discretion" in determining 402 reduction questions. See, State v. Boyd (25 P.3d 985) and State v. Holt (233 P.3d 828). If a 402 reduction motion is not successful in the district court, a defendant has the right to request a review on appeal. But it is generally an uphill fight to show an abuse of discretion by the district court on appeal. A defendant will be better off filing a strong initial motion with the court rather than planning on challenging the court's decision on appeal.

In filing a 402 reduction motion, a defendant should consider presenting information or evidence relating to positive performance while on probation, efforts toward a successful rehabilitation, counseling or treatment engaged in during probation or since the completion of probation, positive community involvements, work history and performance, volunteer work, family, etc. A cookie-cutter 402 reduction form motion cannot serve as a replacement for competent legal advice and representation. Because a successful 402 reduction motion involves a discretionary review by the judge, you must be prepared to present a persuasive case.

Benefits of a Successful 402 Reduction Motion

One of the most common reasons a person may seek a 402 reduction is to have a felony conviction reduced to the misdemeanor level. This kind of reduction can help restore rights that were lost as a result of having a felony criminal record.

A 402 reduction may also be used to help restore a person's eligibility for expungement. Under the Utah Expungement Act, eligibility is based on both the number and level of criminal convictions on a person's criminal record. For example, four class B misdemeanors from four separate criminal episodes will result in a denial of expungement eligibility. But if one of those class B misdemeanors is reduced to a class C misdemeanors, eligibility may be restored. If a minor misdemeanor conviction can be reduced to the infraction level, then that conviction will no longer count against expungement eligibility at all.

A 402 reduction can also shorten the waiting period for expungement eligibility. For a single felony conviction, a seven-year waiting period is required. Reducing that felony to a class A misdemeanor reduces the waiting period by two years.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney for a 402 Reduction

Salt Lake Criminal AttorneyIf you are seeking a reduction in the level of your conviction under Utah Code 76-3-402, the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney can help give you the best chance of success. Utah criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard has substantial experience in obtaining 402 reductions for a wide variety of felony and misdemeanor charges. Based in Salt Lake City, Mr. Howard provides legal services to clients throughout Utah.

Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

RELATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE QUESTIONS

What are my best options for clearing my criminal record in Utah?
Do I need an attorney to handle an expungement in Utah?
Can a 402 reduction be used to restore expungement eligibility for a violent felony?


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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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...

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 - 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 »
Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah - Reasons to Hope

Clients sometimes ask what the "worst case scenario" is for their charges. We prefer to take a more positive approach. Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can have serious consequences. But you can take steps and make choices right now that will improve your chances of a positive outcome. Let us 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.