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Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Child Kidnapping

Child kidnapping is one of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. A life prison term is mandatory if you are convicted of child kidnapping. Under certain circumstances, that sentence can be for life without parole ("LWOP"). The only charge that can be punished more severely is aggravated murder.

If you are facing child kidnapping charges in Utah, you need an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side. Stephen Howard has successfully handled thousands of criminal cases in Utah, including aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, kidnapping, and more. Don't settle for a sales pitch. Hire an attorney with a record of real results.

Elements of a Utah Child Kidnapping Charge

Under Utah Code  76-5-301.1, child kidnapping involves allegations that "the actor intentionally or knowingly, without authority of law, and by any means and in any manner, seizes, confines, detains, or transports a child under the age of 14 without the consent of the victim's parent or guardian. . . ."

Utah's child kidnapping statute will not normally apply to actions taken by a child's parents. Unless a person's parental rights have been legally terminated, a parent cannot normally commit the crime of child kidnapping. (Note, however, that a charge of ordinary kidnapping could potentially be brought against a parent who detains a child aged 14 years or more. Also, a parent who detains a child could be guilty of custodial interference under Utah Code 76-5-303.)

Consequences of Conviction for Child Kidnapping in Utah

Unlike ordinary kidnapping charges, a conviction for child kidnapping requires a mandatory sentence of life in prison - the judge does not have the option of granting probation. If a serious injury is inflicted on the child during the kidnapping, the judge may impose a life prison term without the possibility of parole. For child kidnapping convictions without injury, a judge must still impose a "life" prison term, but with the possibility of a release to parole after serving a portion of the prison term.

Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City

As a criminal defense attorney based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. No matter what charges you are facing, he has the experience needed to effectively protect your rights. Contact us now to arrange an initial consultation.


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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.
  • 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 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 Not Guilty - Client was charged with residential felony burglary and theft charges. Effective cross-examination of alleged victim at preliminary hearing resulted in an admission by the alleged victim that the charges were based on a false report to police, made for the purpose of getting revenge against the defendant. Case was dismissed outright.
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Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

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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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