Many attorneys claim to “fight hard” or present an “aggressive” defense. We believe that by using a team-driven defense strategy that pools the experience and knowledge of each of our defense attorneys, we can provide a more sophisticated and more effective defense designed to achieve the best results possible for our clients.
Our record of wins for clients includes jury trials and appeals, successful negotiations, motions to suppress, dismissals, and much more. Whether you are facing prosecution for the most serious felony crimes or you are charged with more common misdemeanor offenses, our team is here to help.
Stephen Howard – Attorney Profile
More than 20 years of criminal defense experience has given Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard the skills and knowledge necessary to make a difference for his clients. Mr. Howard has spent thousands of hours in the courtroom defending clients in cases ranging from the most serious capital felony charges to lower-level misdemeanor cases. He is one of only a few defense attorneys in private practice in Utah who has successfully defended multiple clients against the threatened death penalty.
Beginning his career as an attorney with the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association in 1999, Mr. Howard quickly advanced to a position on the felony trial team and eventually became part of the capital defense team. During more than a decade working as a public defender, Mr. Howard handled thousands of criminal defense cases and spent more time in the courtroom than many Utah attorneys will see in their entire careers.
Consequences of Conviction
Mr. Howard’s broad range of experience in defending both felony and misdemeanor cases has taught him that every case is important. While a misdemeanor charge does not carry the same potential penalties that a felony conviction may have, every criminal charge can have real life consequences.
Misdemeanor charges in Utah can carry penalties of up to one year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. Certain convictions can affect a person’s right to own or possess firearms, professional licensing, employment opportunities, driver license, and much more — even at the misdemeanor level.
Penalties for felony convictions are much more serious. A third-degree felony (lowest level) carries a potential of up to five years in prion. Most second-degree felonies carry a prison term of up to 15 years. First-degree felony charges can result in a maximum prison sentence of life. Many first-degree felony convictions impose mandatory prison terms (meaning that the court cannot grant probation).
The consequences of a criminal conviction can linger long after court proceedings have been completed and long after probation, jail, or prison time has been served. Having an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer on your case can help ensure the best outcome possible.
Finding the Right Attorney
While the consequences of a criminal conviction are serious, being charged in Utah’s criminal courts is just the beginning of the fight. An accusation is not a conviction. Under our state and federal constitutions, you are presumed innocent. Various legal strategies, motions, negotiation tools, and trial options can be used to help achieve a positive result. If you have been convicted, there are tools that can be used to give you a clean record again.