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Wyoming Court Records

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Felony, Misdemeanor, and Infraction in Wyoming 

Wyoming's criminal laws classify crimes into two. They are felonies and misdemeanors.

The State of Wyoming recognizes felonies as the most severe crimes, and they attract the most severe punishments.

The laws in Wyoming are stricter than in most states in the country. Because of this, there are considerable differences between criminal laws in Wyoming and others.

The website of the Wyoming Legislature contains detailed information about the state's criminal laws and its sanctions.

Criminal cases in Wyoming are adjudicated within the state's criminal courts. Individuals who wish to access Wyoming criminal court records related to a specific hearing can submit requests to the court where the proceedings occurred.

What is a Felony in Wyoming?

Section 6-10-101 of the state statute defines felonies as any crime that attracts a death sentence or a state prison sentence. Meanwhile, Section 6-10-107 states that all terms served in a state prison must be more than one year. Therefore, the least punishment any convicted felon will receive is one year in state prison.

The criminal laws in Wyoming are quite different from those of most of the other states in the country. 

Most states' legislatures usually categorize crime by class either as X degree felonies or Class X felonies. Each criminal class is then assigned a punishment, as stated in the state's criminal law.

However, in Wyoming, the state's legislature does not designate punishment for felonies based on classes of felony crimes. They do so based on the peculiarity of each crime.

For example, in a state like Iowa, all crimes classified under class A felonies are punishable by life imprisonment. In Wyoming, however, a criminal conviction for first-degree sexual assault attracts between five to fifty years of a prison sentence.

Another example of a crime and the different punishment it attracts is the possession of more than three ounces of marijuana. The crime attracts a jail sentence of a maximum of five years in prison. Convicts may have to pay a fine of up to $10,000 in place of serving time in jail. Sometimes, they may be ordered by the court to serve time in prison and pay fines.

Wyoming has the strictest laws on marijuana across the United States.

On a general note, the most severe felonies attract the most severe punishments.

The state's laws support capital punishment. Crimes such as first-degree murder are punishable by death.

Another distinction is seen in how a fine is imposed on guilty defendants. In Wyoming, the court may also charge a fine independent of the state's criminal statute if the state's laws do not specify any amount for a crime. According to Section 6-10-102 of the Wyoming State Statute, the court has the right to order the defendant to pay a fine of up to $10,000 in such cases.

Unlike most other states, the laws in Wyoming do not indicate statutes of limitations for any crime. Because of this, the defendants cannot file for a case dismissal, and the state can begin the prosecution of a crime at any time.

Like in most states, felony convictions can be very detrimental to a person's reputation and can affect certain rights and privileges. 

Convicted felons are mostly ineligible to vote in Wyoming. No individual convicted of a felony can hold a public post in the state. Other lasting damages could include difficulty in gaining employment, or in gaining admission into a preferred institution of choice. 

Having a good lawyer to help defend a case in court and prove innocence is strongly advised.

What are some examples of felonies in Wyoming?

The most common felony crimes include:

  • Murder,
  • Kidnapping,
  • Sexual assault on a minor,
  • Rape,
  • Drug trafficking and other drug-related offenses,
  • Assaults leading to severe injury to the victim,
  • Repeated DUI arrests and convictions, and
  • Arson, e.t.c

Can an Individual get Felony Removed from a Court Record in Wyoming?

Indeed, a convicted felon can remove a felony from a court record in Wyoming. It is worth noting that not every felony conviction can be removed from a court record. 

As stated in Article 14 of Chapter 13 of Title 7 of Wyoming Statutes, individuals have the right to file for expungement in Wyoming should they meet certain terms and conditions. The state does not automatically seal records, as some states do for some felony convictions.

In filing for expungement, individuals are to state the reason they want their records expunged. There is no peculiar time limit for the court to grant individuals their request. The timespan for granting an expungement request depends on certain factors such as the severity of the felony offense committed.

The following criteria determine the eligibility of an individual;

  • Individuals must have completed the waiting period for an offense. The waiting period for a felony is ten years.
  • It is possible to expunge multiple felonies provided that they all occurred during the same event.
  • Only a convicted felony can be expunged.
  • Individuals cannot expunge felonious crimes committed using a firearm. 
  • Individuals can only expunge nonviolent felonies.
  • It is only possible to expunge a felony once. Individuals who have had their records expunged before are ineligible to apply for another expungement.

Some severe felony crimes are ineligible for expungement. They include;

  • Murder,
  • Manslaughter,
  • Kidnapping,
  • Robbery, etc.

According to the Wyoming Supreme Court, Wyoming courts do not have the power to expunge felony criminal records. Expungements or pardons can only be approved by the Governor's Office. An exception is in cases of a pardon for innocence.

Is Expungement the Same as Sealing Court Records in Wyoming?

Yes! In Wyoming, expungement is the same as sealing court records.

The state describes expungement as the process of removing or sealing a person's criminal record from the general populace under certain conditions.

In Wyoming, as it is in other states, criminal records often determine how much an individual can benefit from society. If wrongdoings are found on the records of persons in the state, they will not enjoy as many benefits as if they kept a clean record.

The State of Wyoming provides a "second chance" opportunity for some individuals who have erred in the past but have kept clean records since they served their punishment for a crime.

Not all ex-convicts are eligible for expungement. Eligibility depends on the type of crime they committed.

If a record is expunged, then it is as though an individual has never committed the crime. No one in public will be able to trace the crime to him. Only law enforcement agents can see sealed criminal records. All rights and privileges that were stripped off a convict will be restored fully. 

However, the public may still have access to information from public outlets and the mass media. For example, newspaper articles that were published during the time an individual was convicted and before the record was expunged may contain criminal records.

What is a Misdemeanor in Wyoming?

The state defines misdemeanors as less severe crimes. It sets the punishment of a maximum one-year prison sentence in a county or local jail, according to Section 6-10-101 of the Wyoming State Statutes.

Unlike felonies, Wyoming categorizes misdemeanors into three different classes. These are:

  • Class A Misdemeanors,
  • Class B Misdemeanors, and
  • Class C Misdemeanors.

Punishment is designated for each misdemeanor class, although the extent of punishment depends on the severity of the crime.

Class A is the most severe class of misdemeanor offenses. They attract a punishment of a one-year maximum prison sentence. 

Individuals convicted of Class B misdemeanors may have to spend six months or less in a local jail, pay a fine of not more than $750, or do both. 

A defendant found guilty of committing a crime classified under Class C misdemeanors will most likely not spend time in jail. However, punishment may range from community service, probation, and payment of fines.

What are some examples of misdemeanors in Wyoming?

The most common misdemeanor offenses in Wyoming include 

  • DUI, 
  • Theft (of goods and services in small amounts), 
  • Breaking and entering, 
  • Bullying, 
  • Damage to property (vandalism), etc.

Can an Individual Get a Misdemeanor Removed from a Record in Wyoming?

Yes, misdemeanor convictions can be expunged from a criminal record in Wyoming. The waiting period for expungement of misdemeanor convictions is usually five years. For a juvenile misdemeanor, the waiting period is one year.

Before applying for expungement, the person must have fulfilled the requirements. Some of these terms include:

  • Completion of jail term and/or community service, and 
  • Full payment of the required fines.

Individuals cannot expunge misdemeanor convictions stemming from the use or attempted use of a firearm. Convicts can only expunge misdemeanor convictions once. The court has the power to expunge minor offenses by reviewing each case distinctly.

Can a DUI Be Expunged in Wyoming?

It depends on the type of DUI conviction. In Wyoming, a felony DUI conviction cannot be expunged from a person's criminal record.

In 2015, the laws were revised, allowing individuals to expunge misdemeanor DUI from their criminal records. Any individual, charged with misdemeanor DUI, was caught driving under the influence by a law enforcement officer. The waiting period is five years, and it begins after completion of DUI punishment.

An example of felony DUI is murder as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. 

What constitutes an Infraction in Wyoming?

In Wyoming, infractions are petty crimes that do not necessarily attract a jail term. They are sometimes called "petty crimes" or "municipal violations." Violation of city or county laws is not as serious an offense as violating state laws. However, these violations also attract sanctions ranging from paying a fine to being stripped of a license. 

The cities and counties have their own laid down rules and regulations asides the state's laws. 

An infraction can lead to a misdemeanor or felony offense. For example, speeding may result in a homicide, which is a felony. Individuals found guilty of a "hit and run" will be charged for a felony.

What are some examples of Infractions in Wyoming?

Traffic crimes are a typical example of infractions in Wyoming. Sanctions for traffic violations could range from petty sanctions to heavier sanctions depending on the gravity of the offense. 

There are two kinds of traffic violations in the state of Wyoming;

  • Static or non-moving violations.
  • Moving violations

Examples of static violations include illegal parking and illegal modification of an automobile.

Some examples of moving violations are speeding, failure to obey traffic lights or road signs, and reckless driving.

The majority of moving violations are usually classified as minor misdemeanors.

Municipal city codes mostly determine sanctions for infractions, such as speeding. Sanctions may be lenient or severe, depending on the nature of the offense and previous infraction sanctions.

For example, if one is a first time offender, the city will likely impose a lenient sanction on such persons, such as payment of a fine. 

If persons are caught repeatedly violating a particular traffic violation such as speeding, they might receive strict sanctions. In Wyoming, persons may be stripped off their driver's license and fined a sum of money if they get four moving sanctions within twelve months.

Other examples of infractions include littering, creating loud noises, etc.

Can Infractions be Expunged from a Wyoming Criminal Court Record?

It depends. Generally, infractions do not require a court hearing. Therefore they are ineligible.

If infractions lead to a misdemeanor or felony, it may be expunged from criminal records if certain conditions are met.

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