How to Get a Felony Expunged in Wyoming
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 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; and
- Assault 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, and
- Gun 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; and
- There 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, and
- The 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, and
- Attending 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.