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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 AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
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  • Utah Expungement Attorney Salt Lake Davis 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.
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Choosing the best criminal defense attorney for your Utah criminal case may be the single most important decision you make. The courtroom can be a hostile place. Prosecutors receive extensive training on legal and tactical issues. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side is critical to defending your case and protecting your rights....

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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....

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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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