You Can Get a Misdemeanor Expunged in Wyoming with the Help of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Having a criminal record can haunt you for a long time. Even having a misdemeanor conviction on your record could lead to a lifetime of financial disadvantages and stigma.
However, Wyoming law allows some people who have misdemeanor convictions to expunge the convictions from their records.
So you may be wondering, Can you get a misdemeanor expunged from your record in Wyoming?
Expunging your record could lead to new opportunities for you and your family. But you have to make sure that you do it right because you only get one chance.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer from Cowboy Country Criminal Defense can help you regain control over your life.
How Do I Get a Misdemeanor Expunged from My Record?
Wyoming’s criminal law allows you to expunge a misdemeanor conviction from your record. However, you have to follow the law closely. If not, you could lose your chance to expunge your record.
That’s why having a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer guide you through the process is the best way to protect your future.
Wyoming law explains how to get misdemeanor charges expunged. The law varies depending on the type of the charges.
EXPUNGING ARREST RECORDS
If the police arrested but never charged you or the court dismissed your charges, then 7-13-1401 of the Wyoming code applies.
This section allows a person to file a petition for an order expunging all records relating to the arrest in the court where the charges arose. The records of arrest include all arrest records, court records, and the disposition of the case.
You have to meet certain requirements to have the court expunge your records. First, you have to wait at least 180 days from the date of the arrest or when the charges were dismissed to file your petition.
Also, you cannot have any charges pending against you at the time you file a petition to expunge your record. Your case must have concluded because the prosecutor never sought criminal charges or the court or the prosecution dismissed your case.
A deferred adjudication or conviction on your charges makes you ineligible to follow this simplified procedure. If your situation meets these requirements, you might be eligible to apply for an expungement order.
The prosecution has a right to object to your petition. They have to file a written objection within 20 days of the date you filed your petition. If the prosecution objects, then the judge may grant you a hearing on the case.
Otherwise, the judge could rule on your petition without a hearing. If all these possibilities seem confusing, don’t worry—a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer from Cowboy Country Criminal Defense can help you navigate the process.
How to Get a Misdemeanor Conviction Expunged
As you might expect, expunging a conviction is more difficult than expunging charges without a conviction.
Section 7-13-1501 of the Wyoming code governs the process for asking the court to expunge a misdemeanor conviction. Remember that a plea of nolo contendere counts as a conviction under this statute.
The statute sets forth limitations on who can ask for an order to expunge a misdemeanor conviction and when you can file the petition.
You have to wait at least five years after the conviction before asking the judge to expunge it, and that five-year waiting period does not start until you complete your sentence, including any probation or parole obligations.
You cannot ask the court to expunge a misdemeanor conviction relating to the use or attempted use of a firearm. Furthermore, you cannot ask the court to expunge a conviction if you are a health care worker convicted of crimes relating to patient care.
You have to pay a $100 fee to file the petition to expunge misdemeanor convictions. You can move to expunge misdemeanor convictions only once in your lifetime.
You must serve a copy of your petition on the prosecution and the division of criminal investigation. The prosecution has 30 days to file an objection.
Additionally, the prosecution must notify all victims of convictions listed in the petition.
The judge has to find that you do not present harm to yourself, another identifiable person, or society at large. The court can order an evidentiary hearing on these issues.
Your attorney can examine and cross-examine the witnesses at this hearing.
As you can see, there are a lot of details in the expungement process, and the stakes are high if you make a mistake in following the requirements.
That’s why you need a skilled attorney to file your petition to expunge your misdemeanor convictions.
What Does Expunging a Record Do?
Obtaining an expungement order from the court means that all evidence of your conviction is removed from the public record. Law enforcement officers can use the expunged information for criminal investigations.
But employers, landowners, mortgage companies, and others who frequently check people’s criminal histories cannot view expunged records.
Perhaps more importantly, you do not have to report that you were charged or have a conviction if the court grants your petition to expunge your records.
A benefit of expungement is that Wyoming law restores any rights you lost as a consequence of a conviction. For instance, if you lost your right to possess a firearm, to vote, or to have a driver’s license, the judge’s order expunging your records restores those rights to you.
Aside from law enforcement having continued access to your expunged records, any information in the hands of third parties outside the courthouse can remain public.
So for example, any news reports or investigative reports created by a private agency are not subject to an order expunging your records.
Call Cowboy Country Criminal Defense Today to Learn More On How to Get a Misdemeanor Expunged
Cowboy Country Criminal Defense lawyer Jeremy Hugus is ready to fight for you. Call Cowboy Country Criminal Defense right now to discuss your options.
Don’t try to take on the government yourself. They have experienced lawyers, and you should too. Call Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today at 307-243-4978 to find out what we can do for you.