Wyoming has strict laws that regulate hunting because wildlife is an integral part of Wyoming’s culture, heritage, and economy. Therefore, Wyoming game wardens, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors aggressively fight for harsh prison sentences, fines, and restitution. As with any criminal offense in Wyoming, a conviction for poaching could have severe consequences. A judge could sentence a convicted poacher to jail, assess fines, and order restitution. A restitution order could be extraordinarily costly, depending on the value of the animal taken. Therefore, you must seek representation from a dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled poaching defense attorney from Wyoming to protect your rights. Poaching Laws in Wyoming Wyoming law requires that each person who hunts for trophy game, small game, or fish have the correct hunting or fishing license. Wyoming hunting laws set the hunting seasons and also limit the methods hunters use to harvest game. Violating the game and wildlife laws, especially when hunting without authority, is poaching. Under Wyoming law, each hunter must have a hunting license. Additionally, each hunter must produce proof of a hunter’s safety certificate if asked for one. Furthermore, each hunter must attach the coupon to the animal before leaving the site. Coupons alert game wardens to the kill and prove the hunter lawfully harvested the animal. Similar provisions apply to fishing as well. Punishments for Poaching Poaching is a serious criminal offense in Wyoming. As with all crimes, the punishment for poaching depends on the severity of the crime and the individual’s criminal history. According to Wyoming hunting laws, killing a gray wolf without authority, big game, or a trophy animal without a license or during a closed season is a high misdemeanor. Officials can bring one charge for every animal taken. The penalty for a high misdemeanor under Wyoming hunting laws is a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of no more than $10,000. Poaching of other animals may also be a low misdemeanor. The penalty in Wyoming for a low misdemeanor poaching conviction is a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000. Certain animals receive greater protection from Wyoming’s poaching law. The following game animals receive greater protection from poaching in Wyoming: Grizzly bear,Black bear,Mountain lion, Mountain goat,Horned antelope,Bighorn sheep,Antlered moose,Antlered deer, andAntlered elk. The crime remains a misdemeanor; however, the poaching fines range between $5,000 and $10,000. The offender may receive up to one year in jail. Additionally, the sentencing judge may order the offender to pay restitution for each animal killed. Felony Poaching Poaching is a felony in Wyoming in limited circumstances. Three poaching convictions for killing any of the animals listed above within 10 years is a felony. The maximum sentence for felony poaching is two years in prison and a fine between $5,000 and $10,000. Wanton destruction of a big game animal is also a serious poaching offense. The punishment for poaching under this law is one year in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. However, the crime becomes felony poaching if the person received two convictions in the previous ten years. Help with Your Wyoming Poaching Charges Facing poaching charges without a formidable criminal defense lawyer representing you could be dangerous. A poaching conviction means that the state will suspend your license to hunt. Convictions, even for misdemeanors, have collateral consequences that no one realizes until it’s too late. Any conviction could hurt your chances of getting a job, holding a professional license, obtaining a higher education, and finding housing. In addition to having a conviction on your record, you will have to pay restitution. The court will order payment of restitution for each animal poached. The restitution costs alone could reach well into the thousands, which you will have to pay even if you went to jail. If you face poaching charges, contact Wyoming poaching defense attorney Jeremy Hugus and his team with Cowboy Criminal Defense today at 307-333-7884 to learn how he could help you.
A felony record is very serious. It can cause long-term consequences that can affect other parts of your life. For example, a felony conviction may limit your employment opportunities or prevent you from securing housing. Fortunately, Wyoming has enacted laws that allow you to expunge or remove your felony record in certain circumstances. Getting your record expunged will open up new opportunities and provide you peace of mind and a better future moving forward. Speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney who will help you understand your legal options. What Does “Expunge” Mean? Expungement is a court proceeding where a criminal record is destroyed or sealed from the state record. When a record is “expunged” it means that the court treats the criminal record as if it never existed. If a court expunges your felony record, you do not have to report it on certain job applications or when you apply for housing. It is important to remember, however, that when a court expunges a record, this process removes it only from public records. Expunging a record makes it unavailable to employers, and it will no longer appear on a criminal background check for housing applications. But expunging a record does not completely erase the conviction. Expunged criminal convictions may still be available in certain circumstances, such as criminal background checks by law enforcement agencies. Wyoming Expungement Wyoming law describes the requirements to expunge a felony from your record. Wyoming Statute § 7-13-1401 allows you to request expungement of a felony arrest record by filing a petition with the court. All felony arrest records are eligible for expungement and are less difficult to expunge than a felony conviction. Wyoming also allows courts to expunge felony convictions. However, certain felony convictions are not eligible for expungement, including: Violent felonies such as murder, manslaughter, and first or second-degree sexual assault;Aggravated vehicular homicide;Providing drugs to a minor that results in death;Sexual assault;Child abuse; andAssault on a police officer. It is important to remember that in Wyoming, even if a court expunges your felony record, you must still disclose your felony record for specific applications, including: Public employment applications,Professional licenses, andGun permit applications. Additionally, although your felony record will not be available for most routine background checks, law enforcement agencies can still access and view your expunged records. Further, an expunged record can be reversed by a court if you are charged with or convicted of another crime. It can be complicated to determine if you are eligible for record expungement. You should speak with an experienced Wyoming criminal defense attorney to determine your eligibility. How Do I Get My Felony Arrest Record Expunged? If your felony arrest did not result in a conviction, that arrest record might still cause you problems in the future. You should seriously consider trying to expunge it from your record. If your arrest record is expunged, you may act as though the arrest never occurred. For example, if an employment application asks about previous arrests, you are not required to disclose an expunged arrest record. To successfully expunge your felony arrest record, you must meet the following requirements: At least 180 days must have passed from the date of the arrest;There must be no formal charges still pending when you file for expungement; andThere must be no convictions related to the charges for the arrest. If you meet the requirements listed above, you may file a petition with the court to expunge your felony arrest record. Petitions for expungement of felony arrest records do not require a filing fee. The prosecuting attorney will review the petition. If the prosecutor files an objection to the petition, the court will set a hearing to resolve the matter. If no objection is filed, the court must wait 20 days before issuing an order granting expungement. How Do I Get My Felony Conviction Record Expunged? Wyoming Statute § 7-13-1502 describes the requirements to have a felony conviction expunged. At least ten years must have passed since the date of the felony,The terms of the sentence must have expired,The person seeking expungement must have completed any court-ordered programs,The person must have paid any court-ordered restitution, andThe person seeking expungement must not have previously pleaded guilty or no contest to or been convicted of another felony. For a felony conviction, if you meet all of the requirements listed above and your conviction is eligible, you must file a petition with the court to have your conviction record expunged. This process includes: Drafting and submitting a petition to the court,Providing notice to the prosecution and any affected parties,Paying a filing fee, andAttending a hearing and defending your petition if the prosecution or any victims of the crime file an objection. Petitions to expunge a felony conviction are complicated and time-consuming. You should not try to navigate this process on your own. A qualified Wyoming criminal defense attorney understands how the court procedure works, can file a petition on your behalf, and can defend you and argue for your petition during hearings. Hiring a skilled attorney will give you the best chance to expunge your record. Contact a Wyoming Criminal Defense Attorney Today The lawyers at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense understand that your felony record can cause significant hardships, even long after you completed any court-ordered sentence. Your felony record should not continue to harm you indefinitely. Our dedicated staff will review your record and discuss any available legal options. We care deeply about our clients and will provide you the support and advice you need. We will make sure you have the best opportunity to get your felony record expunged. Call our offices at 307-215-9724 or fill out an online form today.
Felony charges are very serious. If you are convicted, you face not only possible time in prison, but you could also lose important civil rights like the right to vote or the ability to possess a firearm. For many people, being convicted of a felony forever changes their lives. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we represent people accused of a felony who don’t know what to do. Call us today at 307.333.7884. Some are worried that they can’t afford a criminal defense lawyer for felony charges. Others think they might be able to handle their case on their own without any input from an attorney. Contact us today. We are available to meet with you for a free consultation. How Much Does It Cost for a Felony Case? No two felony cases are exactly alike, so the amount that you end up paying an attorney will differ by the case. Let’s look at some of the factors that go into a felony lawyer cost. The Complexity of the Case Some felony cases are much more complex than others. They require more legal analysis or much more time gathering facts. If you were alleged to be part of a criminal conspiracy, then your lawyer will need to do much more leg work than if the case is an assault that was captured on surveillance video. Research the Lawyers Reputation Lawyers can charge based on public demand for their work. If a lawyer has a strong reputation and gets consistently good results, then more people will want to hire them. All lawyers have a limit on how much work they can do, so they will increase the fees that they charge as a way of winnowing down the amount of people who hire them. That’s just how the business works. Incarceration May Affect the Cost Whether a client is incarcerated will also affect how much it costs to hire a lawyer’s services. When a client is in jail, it is much harder for a lawyer to get in touch with them. Lawyers typically need to take out time from their day to travel to the jail and visit their clients. If a client isn’t in jail, then he or she can stop by the office, which takes less time. Did Your Case Go to Trial? If you decide to go to trial, criminal trial costs can be high. This will cost much more than if you accepted a plea deal. It takes a tremendous amount of time to prepare for trial. Witnesses need to be prepared, exhibits must be created, and a lawyer needs to develop a trial strategy. Discuss all of these issues with a lawyer when discussing fees. CRIMINAL DEFENSE FAQ Can a Felony Charge Be Dismissed? Yes. Dismissal of felony charges can occur for various reasons. For example, a felony verdict may be dismissed due to: Insufficient evidence;Improper collection of evidence; orThe statute of limitations running out. A felony case can be dismissed by a motion from the prosecutor, defense attorney, or the court. A defendant may also get a felony charged dismissed with a “not guilty” verdict. It is crucial to have reliable representation for your felony charge. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is your best chance at reaching a favorable outcome in your case. Why Is Determinate Sentencing Better? Sentences can be either determinate or indeterminate. An indeterminate sentence is a sentence that encompasses a range of years. For example, “15 years to life” is an indeterminate sentence. These kinds of sentences have minimum years, but the exact date of release is undetermined. Parole boards will periodically evaluate cases and hold hearings to decide when, during the defendant’s prison sentence, they will be eligible for release or parole. On the other hand, determinate sentences have a set amount of time that cannot be changed by a parole board. If a defendant receives a sentence of three years in prison, that is the time they will serve, unless they become eligible for early release. Determinate sentences have their benefits, including putting a defendant’s mind at ease, knowing when they will be released. Indeterminate sentencing gives a parole board all the power to determine whether a defendant is eligible for parole. Often, this may lead to discrimination or overly harsh treatment. When a defendant is serving a set sentence, they won’t have to worry about these things. An experienced defense attorney is necessary for your legal battle. They will fight aggressively to help get you a fair sentence. Can a Lawyer Work on Contingency in a Criminal Defense Case? No. Contingency fees are routine in personal injury cases, like car accidents. The lawyer will not charge any upfront fees but will take a percentage of the client’s settlement or court award. Unfortunately, ethical rules prohibit contingency fees in criminal cases. They also don’t make any sense in a criminal context, since a defendant does not win any money which can be used to pay for an attorney. Criminal defense attorneys will charge either an hourly fee or a flat fee. A flat fee is a sum of money you pay the lawyer to handle your entire case. A lawyer will use their experience to estimate how much time it will take to handle your criminal case. If the case is more complex than the lawyer initially thought, then the lawyer is out of luck. They agreed to handle the case for a flat fee, which is all you owe. CRIMINAL DEFENSE FAQ Why Not Use the Public Defender? If funds are tight, many people think they will just use the public defender offered to them. Though these are great lawyers, most public defenders are swamped with cases. They are overworked and underpaid. As a result, they probably cannot commit all the hours your case needs. If there are unique legal issues, then an intern in the office might be stuck researching them—which is not ideal for a criminal defendant. By hiring your own lawyer, you can guarantee individualized attention…
A felony is the worst crime you can be convicted of in Wyoming. Many people contact us to ask what the likely punishment will be for first-time felony charges. This question has a complicated answer, which we will look into more closely below. Although it is true that a first-time offender is likely to receive a lenient sentence, you could still end up in jail. Related: How much money will it cost to hire an attorney for a felony case? Reach out to a Wyoming criminal defense attorney today. Possible Punishment Depends on the Crime In some states, there are classes of felonies, which have standardized punishments. So a Class 2 felony in some state might carry 5-10 years in prison as punishment. A Class 3 felony might carry 10-15 years. The law then identifies the class for each crime. Wyoming is different. We set punishment based on the offense for first-time felony offenders. So there are no “classes” of felonies. To better understand how much time in prison you are facing, you will need to closely analyze the punishment available for your specific offense. Here are some examples for the first-time felony charges: First-degree sexual assault: 5-50 years in prisonPossession of 3 or more ounces of marijuana: up to 5 years in prison, along with finesBurglary is punished by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000First-degree arson is punished by up to 20 years and a fine up to $20,000 You can try to do legal research on your own, or you can meet with a criminal defense attorney to better understand what punishment you are facing. WY FIRST-TIME FELONY INFO: First Time Felony Offenders Punishments in Wyoming If this is your very first criminal offense, then you probably will get a more lenient sentence from the judge than if you have a laundry list of crimes to your name. Most felony statutes suggest a range for imprisonment. For example, first-degree sexual assault has a range of five to fifty years. If this is your first offense, you have a stronger argument for only spending five years in prison. If you have other criminal histories, sexual assault or not, then you probably will not get the minimum. WY FIRST-TIME FELONY INFO: Probation Instead of Prison Wyoming has a first-time offender statute found at WY Stat § 7-13-301 that can sometimes come into play if you have been convicted of a first offense felony. The law typically applies to people accused of misdemeanors, which are less serious than felonies. But by the language of the statute, it can apply to some felonies as well. If you qualify, you can be put on probation instead of having your conviction entered into the record. Some felonies are excluded—murder, aggravated assault, and battery, arson in the first or second degree, or sexual assault in the first or second degree. If you have been convicted of any of these, you do not qualify. However, if you are found guilty of a different felony, you might qualify so long as this is your first felony offense. You can’t have a prior felony. Probation will come with certain conditions, such as: Reporting to the court at least twice a yearNot committing other crimes while on probationObtaining the court’s permission before leaving the statePaying restitution to victimsFollowing other conditions imposed by the judge Probation will last at least one year and up to five. If at the end of the probationary period, the defendant has followed the terms of probation, the judge can dismiss the action. If you violate the terms of your probation, then the judge has options. For example, he can change the terms of probation or he can revoke the probation altogether and impose a sentence. It is vital that you do everything required of you and contact a Wyoming criminal defense attorney if you think you have violated a condition of probation. Speak with a Wyoming Criminal Defense Attorney The criminal justice system in Wyoming can be confusing to an outsider. Many defendants are intimidated and simply accept the first plea deal offered, whether it is a good offer or not. If you have a criminal defense attorney in your corner, you are better positioned to fight for the best deal possible. For first time offenders, felony charges can be scary. You probably are worried about ending up in prison or having to pay very high fines. At this time of need, you should meet with an experienced attorney who can review the charges against you. Contact Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today. We offer a free consultation where we can talk about your case.
If you are facing a charge for embezzlement, you may be feeling anxious and confused. This can be a difficult and uncertain time. It’s a good idea to get an attorney’s help facing any potential embezzlement charge that may be coming your way. Embezzlement charges and their possible defenses can be quite confusing. An attorney that has experience in this area will be able to analyze your case and talk to you about what to expect. At this stage, you may have several questions about your charge. You may be asking, “Is embezzlement a felony?” It’s important to know what you might be facing. There is a world of difference between a misdemeanor embezzlement charge and a felony embezzlement charge. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about embezzlement in Wyoming, as well as what to do next. What is embezzlement? First off, what exactly is embezzlement? Essentially, embezzlement is when someone takes money or property that isn’t theirs but has been entrusted to them. It is similar to theft but different in one significant way: In embezzlement cases, the person who takes the money or property was lawfully in charge of it at one point in time. In other words, theft is when someone takes money or property that doesn’t belong to them and wasn’t in their rightful possession. Embezzlement is when the money or property was in their rightful possession, and they unlawfully took ownership. A typical example of embezzlement is when an employee who works at a large company is tasked with keeping track of business funds. If that person takes the funds that belong to the business, this would be embezzlement. Often, the public hears about high-ranking officials or employees embezzling funds. These are the type of people that are most likely to be in charge of money that isn’t theirs. Can embezzlement be a misdemeanor? Embezzlement can be a misdemeanor, as well as a felony. The specific charge of embezzlement will depend on the value of the money or property. Embezzlement is generally a state crime. Therefore, the line between misdemeanor embezzlement and felony embezzlement will vary in each state. Is embezzlement a felony? So, is embezzlement a felony? The answer is, “ It depends.” As noted above, embezzlement is generally a state crime, so the charge of misdemeanor or felony will depend on that particular state. In Wyoming, embezzlement charges are as follows: Misdemeanor embezzlement: money or property worth less than $1,000. The penalties for misdemeanor embezzlement in Wyoming are a fine of up to $750, up to six months in jail, or both.Felony embezzlement: money or property worth more $1,000. The penalties for felony embezzlement in Wyoming are a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both. Depending on what type of charge you are facing, the consequences could be quite severe. This is why it’s important to get an attorney’s help as quickly as possible. What are possible defenses to felony embezzlement? There are several different defenses that are possible for felony embezzlement. An experienced and capable attorney will be able to examine your case and decide which defenses might be viable for you. Felony embezzlement cases can fall apart because of insufficient evidence. The prosecution is the party that needs to provide the proof in felony embezzlement cases. If the prosecution can’t show that the defendant had specific intent to embezzle, the defendant can be exonerated. The defendant may also use consent as a defense, meaning that the person or business that rightfully owned the property consented to the defendant taking it in the way that they did. The defendant might also say that they made a mistake, such as a calculation error. How can an attorney help with my embezzlement felony? Being charged with an embezzlement felony can be scary. At first, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you understand everything that is happening. If you decide to pursue representation with that attorney, you’ll ideally have someone in your corner who has handled several embezzlement felony cases before. Your skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to present arguments on your behalf in your felony embezzlement case. If you are facing a felony embezzlement charge, Cowboy Country Criminal Defense can help. We understand how challenging this is. We also know that you probably have a lot of questions that we can answer. Our representation will help you mount the best defense possible for your case. Contact the team at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense for assistance with your felony embezzlement charge.