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Wyoming Court Records

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What Are the Differences Between Federal and State Crimes?

A federal crime in the United States is a violation of federal criminal laws. These laws are passed by federal lawmakers to protect the interests of the federal government and US citizens. Consequently, federal laws apply to the workings and jurisdiction of the federal government. Additionally, only federal agencies are involved in federal criminal cases. Examples of federal agencies involved in federal criminal cases are the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Persons convicted of federal crimes face incarceration in federal prison, managed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Federal crimes are committed on federal property or across state boundaries. The following are examples of federal crimes:

  • Internet fraud
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Counterfeiting
  • Bank robbery

On the other hand, state crimes are violations of state criminal codes. State laws are passed by state lawmakers and apply to the state’s workings and jurisdiction. Anyone who lives or conducts any form of business in a state is subject to its laws and statutes. State agencies, such as state and county law enforcement, are the initiators and handlers of state criminal cases. In the United States, much of the criminal cases that go to trial are state criminal cases. Offenders or convicts may be incarcerated in state prison or county jails, managed by the state’s department of corrections or local sheriffs’ offices. The following are some examples of state crimes:

  • Theft
  • Forgery
  • Influencing jurors
  • Blackmailing
  • Cruelty to animals

How Does the Wyoming State Court System Differ from Federal Court System?

The Wyoming state court system differs from the federal court system in processes, laws, agencies, and personnel. Wyoming state courts use the Wyoming Criminal Code, state criminal and civil procedures, and sentencing guidelines. State criminal or civil cases are heard in state trial courts, including district courts, circuit courts, municipal courts, or chancery courts. The state supreme court has the final say in all state trials or cases.

In a Wyoming state criminal case hearing, the state’s District Attorney typically is the prosecutor. The governor appoints state judges and justices from a list of candidates presented by the Judicial Nominating Commission. State law enforcement agencies may initiate Wyoming court cases.

Federal laws and sentencing guidelines guide the federal court system. Federal court cases are heard in federal courthouses, usually US District Courts, with a US attorney serving as prosecutor. Federal judges or justices preside over federal court cases. Federal judges and magistrates serve lifelong terms upon appointment by the President of the United States. The appointment, however, is confirmed by Congress. Similarly, Congress has the authority to convict or impeach federal judges and justices. Typically, federal law enforcement agencies investigate or initiate federal court cases.

How Many Federal Courts Are There in Wyoming?

Wyoming has one federal court: The United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. The court has jurisdiction beyond the state of Wyoming. Some parts of Idaho and Montana are also within the court’s jurisdiction. Its headquarters are in Cheyenne, but there are other locations in Casper and Mammoth. The courthouses locations are as follows:

Joseph C. O’Mahoney Federal Center

2120 Capitol Avenue, Room 2131

Cheyenne, WY 82001

Phone: (307) 433–2120

Ewing T. Kerr Federal Building

111 South Wolcott, Room 121

Casper, WY 82601

Phone: (307) 232–2620

Yellowstone Justice Center

105 Albright Avenue, 2nd Floor

Mammoth, WY 82190

Phone: (307) 344–2569

Are Federal Cases Public Records?

Yes, federal case records are public records. According to the Freedom of Information Act provisions, interested members of the public may request records from any federal agency. However, there are exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act. Exempted records are not public and may only be made accessible to authorized persons.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How to Find Federal Courts Records Online

PACER provides electronic access to federal court records. Parties interested in viewing federal court files through PACER must create an account. Registration is free; however, there is a fee of $0.10 per page viewed or printed. For a single document, the access charge is $3. Users are charged each quarter, and payments are waived for persons who accrue $30 or less within a quarter.

Persons interested in viewing court records from the Wyoming US District Court may search using the court’s PACER page. For users who do not know the court where the case of interest is filed, the Case Locator tool helps find court records using other criteria, including names and case numbers.

How to Find Federal Court Records in Wyoming?

Parties may obtain physical copies of federal court records at the courthouse where the case was filed. Interested parties must first confirm that the records in question are at the courthouse, as old records may have been archived. Such persons may make records requests and inquiries by phone, mail, or in person. Federal records centers maintain archived records, and requests may be sent to local archive locations.

Records requests must be as specific as possible, as this will help the record custodian identify the record. In some cases, especially where the request is voluminous, the requesting party may be required to submit a written request. Courts may charge requesting parties to produce copies of requested records.

Can Federal Crimes Be Dismissed in Wyoming?

Yes, Wyoming court has the power to dismiss federal crimes, but very rarely. If an accused person is charged but found not guilty, the charges against such a person may be dismissed. Additionally, delays in trial processes, such as evidence presentation or information filing, may dismiss the court. The court and the government may dismiss crimes under the circumstances mentioned above. However, the court must approve dismissals by the government. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (48) highlight conditions under which federal crimes’ dismissal is possible.

How Do I Clear My Federal Criminal Record?

Federal laws provide for the expungement of individual juvenile records, such as records of young drug offenders with no prior convictions. Additionally, DNA information collected from soldiers may be expunged if the charges against such persons are dismissed or overturned.

Persons interested in sealing personal federal criminal records must file a motion that convinces the court of the necessity of sealing the record. Such motions may only be granted in the interest of justice or public good.

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