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Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
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Receiving or Transferring a Stolen Motor Vehicle - Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Charges for receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle carries the same potential penalties as motor vehicle theft under Utah criminal law - including the potential for a felony conviction and up to 15 years in prison. If you are facing criminal charges in Utah, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard has the knowledge and experience necessary to protect your rights and to help ensure the best outcome for your case. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation and case analysis.

Elements of Transferring or Receiving a Stolen Motor Vehicle in Utah

When Utah police recover a vehicle that is believed to be stolen, they may not be able to determine who originally stole the vehicle. Unless police obtain a confession or locate an eyewitness who can identify the person who stole the vehicle, it can be difficult for police and prosecutors to obtain a conviction for an ordinary charge of vehicle theft. To overcome these difficulties, Utah prosecutors will sometimes file a charge referred to under Utah law as "receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer."

This offense only requires proof that the defendant had "in his possession any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that he knows or has reason to believe has been stolen or unlawfully taken." Utah police investigating a charge of receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle will often look at the condition of the vehicle for circumstantial evidence in an attempt to prove the required intent. Was the ignition damaged? Had the vehicle been hot wired? Were the keys to the vehicle present? If the vehicle is undamaged and the suspect can offer a plausible explanation for how the vehicle was obtained, the chances of beating the charge are improved.

If you are contacted by police in connection with a vehicle that is suspected to be stolen, you may be better off exercising your fifth amendment right to remain silent, even if you have a good explanation for how you obtained the vehicle. Talking to police in the field does not always help your case. Your wisest course of action may be to consult first with an attorney to determine when, how, and if you should present your side of the story.

Finding a Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake City

Receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle in Utah is a felony charge that can result in a prison term of up to 15 years. Defending a Utah criminal case can be complicated, and the stakes are high.  The Utah criminal court system involves a complex set of procedural rules. Understanding how constitutional protections and statutory and procedural rights apply to the specific facts of your case requires an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. If you are accused of receiving or possessing a stolen vehicle, you need an attorney with a record of real results.

As a criminal defense attorney based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. If you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah, contact us now to schedule an initial consultation.


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  • 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.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
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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....

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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....

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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....

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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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