Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Bail Hearing Attorney in Utah - Criminal Defense Lawyer

When a person is arrested in Utah or charged with a crime, a bail amount will usually be set. Posting bail, either in the form of a cash bail or through a bail bond, will allow a person to be released from jail while the case is pending. Before posting bail, it is advisable to consult with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer. Salt Lake criminal attorney Stephen Howard has handled bond hearings in cases ranging from homicide to DUI. Contact us today for an initial consultation.

Determining Bail Amounts in Utah Criminal Cases

Both the Utah State Constitution (Article I, Section 9) and the United States Constitution (8th Amendment) prohibit "excessive" bail amounts. In Utah courts you are entitled to a bail hearing (sometimes called a "bond hearing") to request that the court reduce the amount of the bail that must be posted.

For some offenses, the court will initially set a bail amount based on the Utah Uniform Bail Schedule. In other cases, the court will set the initial bail amount based on the amount requested by the prosecuting attorney.

Purpose of Bail in a Utah Criminal Case

Part of the purpose in requiring a criminal defendant to post a bail is to ensure that person's appearance at all required court dates. But Utah courts will also consider risk to the community in determining what an appropriate bail amount should be. If you can demonstrate to the court that you are not a flight risk and that you do not present a risk to the community, the judge may be willing to substantially reduce the amount of bail required to be posted.

Options for Posting Bail in Utah Criminal Cases

There are several options for release while your Utah criminal case is pending. Immediately posting a bail or going through a bond company may not always be your best option. A judge may allow a person to be released without bail.  This is sometimes referred to as being released on your "own recognizance" or an "OR" releaser. In Salt Lake County, Pre-Trial Services may also provide an avenue for release without posting a cash bail or going through a bond company.

Forfeiting Bail in Utah

Because a part of the purpose of the bail requirement is to ensure the defendant's appearance in court, Utah law provides that bail amounts posted may be forfeited (not refunded) if a defendant fails to appear at a required court hearing. If a cash bail has been posted, the person posting that bail may lose the entire sum. A bond company who has posted a bond on behalf of the defendant may be required to pay the bond amount. Forfeiture may be avoided if the defendant is brought back to appear before the court within the required time period.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah

You should consult with an attorney before making any decisions, to make sure that you have considered all your options. If you decide to ask the court for a bail hearing to reduce your bail, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you present your case in the way most likely to get results.

Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer.


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  • 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.
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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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