felony marijuana possession

You Need Advice from an Experienced Wyoming Drug Defense Lawyer to Help You Avoid Serious Consequences from a Felony Marijuana Charge Change is on the horizon. More and more states have loosened their marijuana laws. However, Wyoming has not joined the parade just yet. In fact, the possession of marijuana in Wyoming, even in small quantities, could be a felony.  Having a felony amount of marijuana can lead to severe consequences for you and your family. But at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we believe that you are worth more as a person than the charges you face. Contact us today to find out how Jeremy Hugus, our experienced and aggressive marijuana felony defense attorney, can help you get back on track. What Is a Felony Amount of Marijuana in Wyoming? Possession of marijuana can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. The surrounding circumstances dictate when you face a felony marijuana charge rather than a misdemeanor charge.  Under Wyoming’s drug laws, the possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor.  According to Wyoming Statutes §35-7-1031(c)(i)(A), the possession of a controlled substance in plant form is a misdemeanor as long as the substance weighs less than three ounces. However, any amount over 0.3 grams of hashish or marijuana concentrates is a felony. The maximum penalty for misdemeanor possession of marijuana is one year in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000.  Interestingly, ingesting marijuana is also a misdemeanor if you are under the influence. Getting high in Wyoming could send you to jail for up to six months, with a fine of up to $750. Additionally, cultivating or growing marijuana is a misdemeanor. That charge also has a six-month maximum sentence and a $750 maximum fine. Therefore, if police catch you with an ounce of weed on you, they can only charge you with a misdemeanor. However, they could charge you with a felony if you have prior convictions for drug possession, or they have evidence that you intended to distribute the marijuana in your possession. At that point, you might wonder, Is possession of marijuana a felony? When Is Possession of Marijuana a Felony? There are three types of felony marijuana charges in Wyoming. We will take a closer look at each one. Remember in Wyoming, as in many other states, any crime which has a period of incarceration for more than one year is a felony.  Felony Amount of Marijuana Under Wyoming Statutes §35-7-1031(c)(iii), possession of more than three ounces of marijuana is a felony. Similarly, possessing more than 0.3 grams of concentrated marijuana in liquid form or hashish is a felony. Having two previous convictions for drug charges could also turn a misdemeanor into a felony. The maximum sentence for a felony conviction based on simple possession is five years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000.  The Marijuana Felony Charge of Selling, or Possession with Intent to Distribute or Deliver As we dive deeper into this discussion, it would be wise to keep in mind that federal drug laws also apply. This means that you could potentially face a felony marijuana charge in Wyoming federal district court for certain marijuana charges.  But at the state level, growing marijuana in Wyoming is not a felony. However, selling marijuana or possessing it with the intent to deliver is a felony. In those circumstances, the amount of marijuana you possess is irrelevant to the charge.  If you sell or have the intent to deliver, the maximum prison term is 10 years. You could also face up to a $10,000 fine. Specially-trained narcotics officers know what to look for when they investigate someone for marijuana sales. Possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute is a “specific intent crime.” That means the state must prove you had the intent to distribute drugs.  Indicia of Distribution Drug cops use both direct and circumstantial evidence to build a case for drug dealing. Drug cases usually start with a tip from an informant, but not always. But a good investigator does not rely solely on a tip from an informant to make a case. The police typically begin by gathering enough evidence to support probable cause and get a search warrant from the court.  Then, armed with a warrant, the police search the area to find evidence of drug distribution.  Here are some of the evidence police look for when investigating a drug dealer: Observing large amounts of foot traffic around a house that come and go quickly;Watching people go for “meaningless rides,” like driving around a block with someone for only a minute and then separating;Observing suspected hand-to-hand transactions;Finding drugs packaged in amounts commonly sold on the street;Finding extra packaging like plastic baggies;Discovering digital scales with drug residue;Locating drug ledgers;Finding large amounts of U.S. currency (especially when there is no explanation for having it);Uncovering the presence of firearms or other weapons;Finding large amounts of uncut drugs; Finding “hides” in houses and cars; andObtaining witness statements, including admissions from the person under investigation. Each case is different so your case might include some, but not all, of the evidence discussed above.  Defense Strategies When Your Charge Is Felony Possession of Marijuana  Attacking the Police Investigation You have a right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. U.S. and Wyoming laws have many rules the police have to follow so they don’t violate your rights. Despite all of this information, police continue to violate citizens’ rights every day in this country. If the police violated your rights, you could file a motion to suppress any evidence they obtained as a result. If the judge finds that your civil rights were transgressed, they may throw out critical evidence. If enough evidence is tossed, the state may have no option but to dismiss your case. The Prosecutor Can’t Prove Possession The prosecutor has the burden to prove you guilty of possession beyond a reasonable doubt. But proving possession means proving that you knew that the drugs were where they were…

manslaughter charges wyoming

Get the Legal Help That Gives You the Best Chance of Freedom if You Have Wyoming Manslaughter Charges Some people claim that homicide cases are simply assaults that result in someone’s death. Although that theory is true in some respects, facing a homicide charge is serious. The stakes are incredibly high for the accused and the prosecution. Police and prosecutors dedicate much of their resources to solve and prosecute homicide cases. Typically, the prosecutors assigned to homicide cases have years of experience. Shouldn’t you have an attorney who has significant experience defending your serious case? Wyoming criminal defense attorney Jeremy Hugus and his team with Cowboy Country Criminal Defense have the skills, resources, and dedication that give you the best shot at freedom. Murder vs. Manslaughter Police investigators and prosecutors always try to bring the most serious charges possible. Prosecutors have the pressure of making a murder case because they feel that is the best way to find justice for the victim’s family. As a result, they often charge people with murder even when the facts of the case more appropriately support a manslaughter charge. What’s the difference between murder and manslaughter?  First-Degree Murder In Wyoming, the purposeful killing of another with premeditated malice is murder in the first degree. The prosecution must prove that the defendant did not act in the sudden heat of passion while killing the victim.  Instead, the state must prove the accused acted with premeditated malice.  Premeditated malice means that the accused thought about killing the victim before committing the act. Premeditated means that some time passed between the time the accused formed the intent to kill and the time that they committed the act. There is no set amount of time required — premeditation can be formed in an instant.  Malice means the accused committed the killing intentionally and with hatred, ill will, or hostility toward the victim. Premeditated malice is the exact opposite state of mind from the sudden heat of passion. Under Wyoming law, you cannot have both: it’s either one or the other. Prosecutors can charge a person with murder in the first degree if the killing happened during the commission or the attempt to commit certain felonies. Under Wyoming law, felony murder occurs when the killing happened during the commission of any one of the following crimes: Sexual assault,Sexual abuse of a minor, Arson,Robbery,Burglary,Escape,Resisting arrest,Kidnapping, orAbuse of a child under 16. In these circumstances, attempting to commit or committing any one of the crimes listed is a substitute for premeditated malice. Therefore, the prosecution does not have to prove the intent to kill in felony murder cases. Instead, they just have to prove the intent to commit one of the crimes listed. Second-Degree Murder Murder in the second degree is the killing of another purposely and with malice. Second-degree murder can be a charge that stands on its own, or it can be a lesser-included charge under first-degree murder.  The difference between first-degree murder and second-degree murder is premeditation. Second-degree murder does not have the legal requirement of premeditation. Instead, the prosecution must prove that the accused acted maliciously. For second-degree murder, maliciously means: The accused acted in a way that was reasonably likely to result in death;The accused committed the act recklessly under circumstances showing utter indifference to human life; andThe accused had no legal justification or excuse for acting in that way. As with first-degree murder, if the accused acted in the sudden heat of passion, then the crime is voluntary manslaughter. What Is Manslaughter? Manslaughter, like second-degree murder, can be a lesser-included offense of murder. However, the charge of manslaughter could stand alone. The Wyoming manslaughter statute says that manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another person without malice. The charge could be either voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.  Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing that happens during the sudden heat of passion. The sudden heat of passion results from the arousal of passion. However, the passion must be reasonable to the ordinary person. It must also arise suddenly and without time to cool off. A classic example of the heat of passion is killing your spouse immediately after you come home and find them in bed with someone else.  Involuntary manslaughter is killing another person while acting recklessly. An example of reckless conduct is playing with a loaded gun that discharges accidentally and kills another.  The charge of involuntary manslaughter does not apply if the killing happened while driving a vehicle recklessly. In that case, the appropriate charge is aggravated homicide by vehicle. Some people refer to this as vehicular manslaughter.  Aggravated homicide by vehicle occurs when a person drives recklessly and kills someone. The reckless driving pattern may or may not be due to the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.  Drug-induced homicide is another charge that some might say fits under the manslaughter definition. Drug-induced homicide occurs when a person sells narcotics to a minor and the minor dies as a result. The accused has to be four years older than the minor for the charge to apply. What Is Recklessness? Recklessness is conduct that is more dangerous than ordinary negligence. According to the Wyoming criminal jury instructions, recklessness is the act of consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that harm will result. In other words, reckless conduct is a gross deviation from actions that a reasonable person would take. However, reckless conduct does not rise to the level of the malicious conduct required for a second-degree murder conviction. Manslaughter Penalties Manslaughter, whether voluntary, involuntary, or aggravated homicide by vehicle, carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison. However, the court can incarcerate the accused for up to 30 years (but no less than 10 years) if the victim was pregnant and the baby died as a result. For this enhancement to apply, the accused must know that the victim was pregnant when committing the killing. This sentencing enhancement does not apply to aggravated homicide by vehicle.  Murder Penalties Murder in the…

theft laws wyoming

Talk with an Experienced Wyoming Criminal Defense Lawyer to Understand Your Rights Fully If You Face Charges Under Wyoming Theft Laws Wyoming laws take a hard stance on theft crimes. You could face lengthy jail time along with other penalties for a theft conviction. Therefore, you need to take theft charges seriously.  Don’t try to take on the government’s lawyers alone. Experienced prosecutors are no match for a person representing themselves. You need a tough, knowledgeable, and skilled criminal defense lawyer to stand up and fight for you. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we believe that you are better than the charges you face. Let us help you get the best result possible W when you face a theft charge. Theft Laws in Wyoming Theft is the act of taking another person’s property without compensation and with the intent to deprive the owner of the benefit of the property permanently. It can include stealing or disposing of another’s property in a way that prevents them from using it. The crime can also include holding another person’s property for ransom. The statute covers both goods and services.  As you can see, Wyoming’s theft law is all-encompassing. It is so broad that receiving stolen property and “fencing” or selling stolen property also falls under the theft statute. The crimes of shoplifting and theft by false pretenses (obtaining another’s property by knowingly making false representations with the intent to defraud) are also included in this statute. How Are Theft Laws Different from Robbery Laws in Wyoming? Theft refers to stealing without resorting to force or violence. Robbery, on the other hand, is taking another person’s property by show of force. A display of force might include showing a weapon such as a knife or a firearm or threatening to use a knife or firearm to take the person’s property by force.  Robbery can also include “strong-arm” robbery. A good example of strong-arm robbery is purse snatching. By contrast, theft does not require you to use force to commit. Theft Penalties Under Wyoming Law Wyoming theft laws divide the penalties into felonies and misdemeanors. The difference between the two lies in the value of the property or services stolen or the type of item stolen. No matter which class of crime you face, you may end up in jail, have to pay fines or restitution and be placed on probation.  When Is Theft a Felony in Wyoming? The prosecution can charge you with theft as a felony when the value of the property or services is worth more than $1,000. Additionally, the government can charge you with theft as a felony for stealing a firearm, a swine, a horse, a mule, a sheep, cattle, or a buffalo, no matter the value.  The maximum prison sentence for theft charged as a felony is 10 years. The judge can order you to pay as much as $10,000 in fines as well as restitution. Additionally, the judge could place you on probation after you get out of prison.  What Is Misdemeanor Theft in Wyoming? The theft laws define misdemeanor theft as stealing property or services worth less than $1,000. If convicted, you could go to jail for up to six months and have to pay a $750 fine. The judge could put you on probation for this charge and order you to make restitution to the victims. Theft by Common Scheme or Transaction Wyoming law allows the government to add up the stolen property amounts if the thefts occurred during a common scheme. A common scheme or transaction is one continuous enterprise rather than individual thefts.  Theft by a common scheme is not a separate crime. Rather it is a legal theory that allows the prosecution to build a felony case by adding the stolen property values together. For example, an employee who steals $50 from a cash register twenty times could face a felony charge under the theory of theft by a common scheme rather than 20 misdemeanor charges.  Theft by Shoplifting Shoplifting is stealing from a store and falls under the theft laws of Wyoming. You could face theft by shoplifting charges for either asportation or concealment. Asportation is a fancy word that just means the act of proceeding past the last point of purchase in the store without paying for the merchandise; it’s when a person takes goods away from a retail store without paying. The crime of shoplifting by concealment is committed by hiding merchandise on your person or in your belongings while still in the store.  The prosecution has the burden of proving that you formed the intent to deprive the shopkeeper of the value of the property when walking out of the store or concealing the item. Accidentally walking out of the store without paying is not shoplifting. As with general crimes of theft, the value of the property stolen determines whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges. The penalties for shoplifting are the same as for general theft. Defenses to Theft in Wyoming Since every case is different, only a thorough analysis of the facts of your case will determine the best course of action for you. Remember that the prosecution bears the burden of proving you guilty.  If the prosecution cannot prove you were the person caught stealing or that you had the guilty intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, then you could win an acquittal. Sometimes “mistake” is also a valid defense. This means that the prosecution cannot prove you had the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property if you took something you mistakenly thought was yours. Cowboy Country Criminal Defense Believes in You We believe that you are better than your worst day. That’s why we fight tooth and nail for justice for our clients. We use our experience, knowledge, and determination to give you the best defense possible. Call Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today at 307-333-7884 to learn more about how we could best serve you. 

Misdemeanor Expungment

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…

gun possession with drug charge

Drug offenses are some of the most common criminal cases in Wyoming. A conviction for a drug crime can result in a broad range of criminal and collateral consequences. Many of these have a major impact on your life. Even if you are able to avoid the most serious consequences of a drug conviction, you may be wondering if the conviction may still have a lifelong impact on certain rights, including your right to own a gun. Under Wyoming law, a drug possession or drug paraphernalia charge or conviction will not prevent you from owning a gun. However, other convictions may restrict your ability to own a gun. Wyoming Gun Laws Gun ownership is not only common in Wyoming—it’s a part of the state’s history. As a result, Wyoming is known as a gun-friendly state. Compared to many other states, Wyoming imposes few restrictions on a person’s ability to purchase, own, and use a firearm. However, Wyoming’s gun laws are far less favorable for those who have certain convictions on their drug charge record. To carry a concealed weapon, you must have a concealed carry permit. Failure to obtain a permit can result in misdemeanor charges carrying up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750, or both. However, Wyoming is a “shall issue” state. This means that when you apply for a concealed carry permit, the state must honor your request, assuming you qualify and there is no reason for denial. This makes Wyoming gun laws among the most favorable in the nation for prospective gun owners. Can You Have a Gun if You Have a Drug Possession Charge? Despite the state’s relatively lax gun laws, Wyoming prevents people who have certain convictions from purchasing or owning a gun. Under Wyoming Statutes section 6-8-102, anyone who has a conviction for a “violent felony” cannot own a gun. Similarly, if you have a conviction for assaulting or attempting to assault a police officer you cannot legally own a gun. The punishment for using or knowingly possessing a gun in this situation is a jail sentence of up to three years and a fine of up to $5,000, or both.  In most situations, a drug possession charge is not considered a violent crime. Thus, a drug possession charge would not prevent you from owning a gun under Wyoming law. However, there are situations in which a drug conviction may result in you being ineligible to own a gun under federal law. Federal Gun Laws for Those With a Drug Possession Charge When it comes to the interaction between state and federal law, federal law provides a “floor,” and states, for the most part, are able to provide additional protections to residents. However, they cannot provide fewer protections. This is exactly the case in Wyoming because, under federal law, it is illegal for anyone “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” to own a gun. This means that under federal law, you may not be able to legally own a gun if you have a drug conviction or are currently a drug user. However, Wyoming laws do not contain the same restriction and only limit people with certain violent felony convictions from owning a gun. The Bottom Line While there is a federal law prohibiting drug users from owning or using a gun, this particular law is challenging to enforce. In part, this is because there is a difference between having a drug possession conviction and being an active user. In other words, just having a drug possession charge on your record will not disqualify you. Instead, the government would need to show that you were an active drug user. The result is that, in practice, prosecutions of this type are rare. That said, if you are on probation for a drug offense, the judge may restrict your right to own or use firearms as a condition of probation. Thus, while you would not be ineligible to own a gun forever, it could impact your gun ownership rights while you are on probation. Are You Facing Wyoming Drug or Gun Charges? Both gun and drug charges are taken very seriously in Wyoming. If you are charged with a Wyoming gun crime or drug offense, reach out to Cowboy Country Criminal Defense. Our experienced team of lawyers has extensive experience protecting our clients’ rights, including their Second Amendment right to bear arms. We understand the importance of gun ownership and do everything possible to preserve your rights, regardless of the allegations. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Wyoming criminal defense lawyer, call 307-333-7884 today. You can also reach us through our online form, and one of our attorneys will reach out to you shortly.

false positive breathalyzer test

Most people are familiar with breathalyzer tests, even if they’ve never had to take one. A breathalyzer test is a device police officers use to estimate a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). There are two types of breathalyzer tests. Police officers use portable breath tests (PBTs) in their patrol vehicles during DUI traffic stops. There are also larger, more accurate breathalyzer machines at the police station. Typically, when an officer suspects someone is under the influence of alcohol, they will administer a PBT. If the PBT result indicates the driver is likely intoxicated, the officer usually arrests them. Then, the officer transports them to the police station and performs another test on the more accurate breathalyzer. Police may also request a blood draw, depending on the circumstances. While breathalyzers can, in some situations, return fairly accurate results, there are also some common problems that lead to breathalyzer false positives. What Can Lead to a Breathalyzer False Positive? When discussing what can cause a false positive breathalyzer test, there are a few important things to consider. First, breathalyzers do not actually measure a driver’s blood alcohol content. State law prohibits people from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In the case of alcohol, it is considered drunk driving to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater. Breathalyzer tests work by measuring the amount of alcohol in the exhaled air from a driver’s lungs. The machine then uses this data to estimate the driver’s blood alcohol content. Given this reality, there are a few issues that can cause breathalyzer false positives. The Presence of Residual Mouth Alcohol A breathalyzer is supposed to measure the amount of alcohol in the air exhaled from within your lungs. But your breath contains air from your mouth as well as your lungs. Most of the time, the presence of alcohol on your breath is an indication that you consumed alcohol. But certain things can create a false positive breathalyzer reading because they increase the amount of alcohol that is present and lingering in the mouth. If you recently took medications or consumed certain foods, your breath may indicate the presence of alcohol even if you have not had a drink. Or this lingering, residual mouth alcohol can falsely increase your BAC reading. The following foods and medications may cause a false positive breathalyzer result: Nyquil and other cough medications;Sugar-free gum;Kombucha or other fermented beverages;Ripe fruit;Some types of bread; andEnergy drinks. Also, those with dental work like crowns and bridges may experience even higher rates of false-positive tests. This is due to alcohol getting trapped in small crevices within the dental work. If the police asked you to take a breath test and you failed although you were not drinking, it may be due to a false positive related to residual mouth alcohol. Improper Calibration Breathalyzer devices are complex machines that require police officers to perform routine maintenance. If a breathalyzer is not properly maintained, it can provide inaccurate results. While police departments train officers on how to calibrate breathalyzers, officers often forget to perform this routine maintenance and proper calibration of the device. Suppressing Evidence After a Breathalyzer False Positive Police officers must have probable cause before arresting you for a DUI offense. To establish probable cause, an officer can rely on a properly administered breath test in conjunction with their observations of intoxication. However, if the breathalyzer results are later called into question, it may result in the suppression of evidence. In other words, if the breathalyzer provided a false positive, officers cannot rely on the result to establish probable cause. This means that the breath test results, the officer’s observations of intoxication, and any physical evidence they recovered after your arrest may be inadmissible at trial. If a court excludes evidence the prosecution needed to prove their case, they may have no choice but to withdraw the charges against you. An experienced Wyoming criminal defense attorney knows exactly when and how to present a motion to suppress evidence. Are You Facing a Wyoming DUI Charge? If police recently arrested and charged you with a Wyoming DUI, reach out to Cowboy Country Criminal Defense to schedule a free case evaluation. A DUI conviction can have a lasting impact on your life and may threaten everything you’ve worked so hard for. Our Wyoming criminal defense attorneys aggressively defend the rights of clients facing all types of serious crimes, including drunk driving offenses. We command an in-depth understanding of the science behind breathalyzer tests and use this knowledge to keep false-positive tests from being used as evidence. When you bring Cowboy Country Criminal Defense onto your legal team, you can rest assured that your case, your future, and your freedom are in good hands. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Wyoming DUI lawyer, give us a call at 307-333-7884. You can also reach us through our online form, and one of our attorneys will be in touch. 

soliciting a prostitute wyoming

As awareness of human tracking continues to increase, prosecutors across Wyoming are adopting a more laid-back approach to prosecuting some prostitution offenses. However, those arrested for soliciting a prostitute are not among those receiving the benefit of this new approach. In Wyoming, it remains a misdemeanor to solicit a prostitute. A conviction for soliciting a prostitute can carry many serious and potentially lifelong consequences, including the requirement to register as a sex offender. What Is Soliciting a Prostitute? In Wyoming, there are three crimes related to prostitution. Prostitution, as defined by Wyoming Statutes Section 6-4-101, occurs when a person “knowingly or intentionally performs or permits, or offers or agrees to perform or permit an act of sexual intrusion… for money or other property.” Wyoming Statutes Section 6-4-102 outlines the offense of solicitation of prostitution. The statute explains that soliciting a prostitute involves knowingly or intentionally paying, or offering or agreeing to pay money or other property to another person” with the intent of having them perform a sex act. Importantly, there is no requirement that you exchange money or even have an explicit agreement. Courts look to the surrounding facts to determine whether there are “circumstances strongly corroborative” of a person’s intent to solicit a prostitute. Both prostitution and soliciting a prostitute are misdemeanor offenses. In each case, a conviction carries a maximum punishment of six months in jail and a fine of up to $750. The most serious prostitution offense in Wyoming, aside from human trafficking, is promoting prostitution. Promoting prostitution involves any of the following actions: Enticing or compelling another person to become a prostitute;Offering to obtain a prostitute for another person;Operating any location used for the purposes of prostitution; andReceiving money from a prostitute, knowing it was earned through prostitution. Promoting prostitution is a felony, which carries a maximum punishment of three years in jail and a fine of not more than $3,000, or both. However, if you promote the prostitution of a person under 18 years old, the crime is punishable by a maximum of five years in jail and a fine of $5,000, or both. Both the solicitation of a prostitute and the promotion of prostitution are registerable sex offenses in Wyoming if the person solicited was a minor under the age of 18. If you face charges related to the solicitation of a prostitute in Wyoming, there are a few important defenses. A dedicated Wyoming prostitution lawyer can help you better understand the allegations against you and what defenses are available in your case. Defenses to Soliciting a Prostitute Charges A court cannot convict you of soliciting a prostitute unless the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to induce another to perform a sex act. Most often, solicitation cases are based on an undercover operation conducted by police officers. For example, a police officer may wait on the street pretending to be a prostitute. While police officers are allowed to do this, they cannot convince you to commit a crime. This is called entrapment, and it is a legal defense to soliciting a prostitute. Thus, if an undercover officer approaches you asking if you are interested in paying them to commit a sex act, you may have a defense to any solicitation charges. Another common defense to prostitution charges involves attacking the sufficiency of the evidence against you. The line between innocent flirting and soliciting a prostitute can be a thin one. In most solicitation cases, there is no exchange of money. There may not even be an explicit agreement. Often, prosecutors’ evidence consists of vague statements that may show your intent to hire a prostitute. However, there may be another, non-criminal interpretation of your words that are just as likely true. Essentially, by attacking the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence, you argue that the government cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually intended to hire a prostitute. Are You Facing Solicitation Charges in Wyoming? If you face Wyoming prostitution charges, contact the dedicated criminal defense lawyers at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense. Cowboy Country Criminal Defense is a boutique criminal defense law firm based in Casper, Wyoming. We represent clients charged with all types of prostitution offenses and other crimes, including sex offenses. We recognize that these cases involve more than your reputation and we do everything possible to secure the best result in every case. As skilled negotiators, we are often able to secure favorable non-trial resolutions to our clients’ cases. However, with significant courtroom experience, we are equally prepared to fight you before the judge or jury. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Wyoming criminal defense lawyer at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, give us a call at 307-333-7884 today. You can also reach us through our online form, and we will be in touch shortly. We look forward to serving you.

Aiding and Abetting Laws

In most Wyoming criminal cases, the government brings charges against the person they believe committed the crime in question. However, in some situations, prosecutors bring charges against someone they believe helped or encouraged another person to commit a crime. The law refers to this as aiding and abetting or being an accessory before the fact. Aiding and abetting is just as serious as the underlying crime, and anyone facing these charges needs to take them seriously. What Is Aiding and Abetting? In Wyoming, helping or encouraging another person to commit a crime is a crime itself. Wyoming Statutes Section 6-1-201 refers to this as being an “accessory before the fact.” Take, for example, a situation in which you hire a hitman to “off” their former spouse. In this situation, the hitman commits the crime of murder. In legal terms, the hitman is the principal in this situation. However, the government could also charge you with being an accessory before the fact because you encouraged the hitman to commit the crime by offering to pay them. This is an example of aiding and abetting. How Much Time Do You Get for Aiding and Abetting in Wyoming? Aiding and abetting can be, but isn’t always, a very serious crime. Under Wyoming law, anyone who aids or abets another in committing a crime faces the same charges as the principal. To use the above example, if you hire a hitman to commit a murder, you could face first-degree murder charges yourself. Many people are astonished to learn that the punishment for aiding and abetting is the same as the punishment for the underlying crime. Wyoming law provides that the government can bring charges against an aider and abettor before, after, or at the same time as the case against the principal. You can even face aiding and abetting charges if the government decides not to prosecute the principal. For example, if the principal agrees to testify on behalf of the government in exchange for leniency, they may walk free while sending you to jail. Aiding and Abetting Versus “Accessory After the Fact” Aiding and abetting involves conduct that takes place before the principal commits a crime. However, what if you knowingly help someone cover up a crime they already committed without your help. This too is a crime, referred to as being an “accessory after the fact.” Under Wyoming Statutes Section 6-5-202, it is illegal to help another person “hinder, delay, or prevent the discovery, detection, apprehension, prosecution, detention, conviction or punishment of another for the commission of a crime.” Thus, if your involvement only occurred after the principal committed the crime, you cannot be found guilty of aiding and abetting. For example, helping someone hide evidence or allowing them to hide out in your home could render you an accessory after the fact. The distinction between aiding and abetting is important because the punishment for being an accessory after the fact is significantly less in most cases. A charge involving being an accessory after the fact can be a felony or a misdemeanor. The crime is a felony if: The underlying crime is a felony; andYou are not related to the person committing the crime. Felony accessory after the fact charges carry a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a fine of $3,000, or both. You will face misdemeanor accessory after the fact charges if: The underlying crime is a felony, and you are related to the person committing the crime;The underlying crime is a misdemeanor, and you are not related to the person committing the crime; orThe person committing the crime was a minor. Misdemeanor accessory after the fact charges carry a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a fine of up to $750, or both. In certain situations, being an accessory after the fact is not a crime at all. This is the case when the underlying crime is a misdemeanor and you are related to the person committing the crime. Contact a Wyoming Criminal Defense Lawyer for Immediate Assistance with Your Case If you face charges of aiding and abetting, the punishment is the same as if you committed the offense yourself. Do not take these charges lightly. At the Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, our Wyoming criminal defense lawyers represent clients in all types of cases. We handle theft cases, violent crimes, sex crimes, homicides, and more. Our attorneys take an aggressive approach to every case we handle from the moment you bring us on board. As skilled negotiators, we can often resolve cases favorably without the need for a trial. However, as experienced trial attorneys, we are always ready to take your case to trial in front of the judge or jury. We will fight for you with every legal tool possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 307-333-7884 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form, and reach out to you shortly.

cyberstalking laws

The internet has popularized certain crimes that didn’t even exist 30 years ago. One of these crimes is cyberstalking, which is a form of stalking that takes place using modern communications technology. Although Wyoming has no formal cyberstalking laws, the state will charge people suspected of cyberstalking behavior under Wyoming stalking laws.  Is Cyberstalking a Crime in Wyoming? Yes, cyberstalking is a crime in Wyoming, even without any specific cyberstalking laws. Stalking is criminalized by Wyoming Statutes Title 6. Crimes and Offenses § 6-2-506., and Wyoming treats cyberstalking as a form of stalking.  Normally, cyberstalking is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $750 or a year in jail (or both) and probation for up to three years. Is cyberstalking a felony in Wyoming? Sometimes. It can be prosecuted as a felony if: It represents a second or further offense within five years of the most recent offense;The stalking conduct causes the victim serious bodily harm;The stalking conduct violated the terms of parole, probation, or bail; orThe stalking conduct was a violation of a restraining order or order of protection. If you are convicted of felony stalking in Wyoming, the court can sentence you to up to 10 years in prison.  Examples of Cyberstalking Many different types of behavior can constitute cyberstalking. Wyoming has no specific texting harassment laws or cell phone stalking laws. Nevertheless, Wyoming law does prohibit stalking, which it defines, in pertinent part, as “[c]ommunicating. . .or causing a communication with another person by. . .electronic. . .or written means in a manner that harasses [someone].”   Texting and Cell Phone Harassment The law defines harassment to include threats, lewd or obscene images, and vandalism. All of these things can be accomplished using a cell phone. And in case you were wondering, sending a malware link could constitute vandalism.  A single act, however, is not enough to constitute stalking under Wyoming law. You must engage in a course of conduct that indicates a consistent purpose. What Is Cyberstalking on Facebook? Cyberstalking on social media sites such as Facebook could lead to social media harassment charges under Wyoming’s stalking statute. Examples of social media cyberstalking could include activities such as: Posting rude, offensive, or lewd comments on someone’s Facebook or Instagram account;Tagging someone in photos excessively, especially if the posts are unrelated to you;Commenting on or “liking” everything someone posts online;Creating fake accounts to bombard someone with messages, posts, etc. on social media, or to continue attempting to “friend” someone despite repeated rebuffs;Hacking into someone’s social media accounts to violate their privacy;Creating a fake Facebook profile to impersonate someone on Facebook for the purpose of embarrassing them, damaging their reputation, or “framing” them for a crime;Posting confidential information about someone online; orPosting real or fake photos of someone on your or their social media accounts. The foregoing represent possible offenses, not all of which have been prosecuted under Wyoming’s stalking law. Further Examples of Possible Cyberstalking Many different types of actions might constitute cyberstalking under Wyoming law, including the following: Texting, emailing. or calling someone with threatening or offensive content, even after they ask you to stop;Using communications technology to blackmail or attempt to blackmail someone;Sending unwanted online gifts to someone;Attempting to extort money, sex, or explicit photos from someone;Posting “revenge porn”;Sending someone sexually explicit photos of yourself;Installing tracking devices or keyboard tracking software to invade someone’s privacy and track their online activity; orHacking into someone’s laptop or smartphone camera and secretly recording them. The foregoing list is certainly not exhaustive. And there are likely forms of cyberstalking that no one has even invented yet, so it is likely to grow even more in the future.  Defenses Against Cyberstalking Charges A number of defenses might be applicable to your case, depending on the specific facts. Some common defenses against cyberstalking charges include the following. Impersonation Someone hacked into your online accounts or otherwise impersonated you through electronic means. This is particularly easy to do with a cell phone. One form of software, for example, is downloadable, costs less than $50, and allows you to send text messages in the name of anyone whose phone number you know. Isolated Instance Your conduct, although perhaps objectionable, was not habitual or pervasive enough to constitute stalking. One incident of bad conduct would certainly not qualify as stalking, and it remains unclear exactly how pervasive an activity must be in order to constitute cyberstalking. Reasonable Behavior The alleged “cyberstalking” conduct would not cause a “reasonable person” to:  Fear for their safety;  Fear for the safety of others;  Fear the destruction of their property; or Suffer emotional distress.  Sending numerous online gifts, for example, has been identified as a form of stalking in some jurisdictions. Your lawyer might argue, however, that the gifts would not have offended a reasonable person, no matter how much they might have offended the actual recipient. Double Jeopardy You are already being prosecuted for the same conduct under another law (terroristic threatening, for example). Prosecuting you for two state law crimes based upon the same conduct might constitute unconstitutional “double jeopardy.” By contrast, it is often possible to prosecute a state charge and a federal charge for the same conduct without violating the double jeopardy prohibition.  Not a Felony Wyoming can prosecute stalking as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether certain aggravating factors are present. Even if your lawyer cannot win you an acquittal, they might be able to convince the prosecutor to reduce your charge from a felony to a misdemeanor.  Suppose, for example, that you are charged with a felony because your stalking conviction is considered a second offense based on a previous conviction in another state. Your lawyer might argue that your charge should not be considered a second offense because your out-of-state conviction was not the equivalent of your present charge.  Fight Back, Starting Today When Wyoming charges you with a crime, it’s you versus the full weight of the Wyoming criminal justice system. The system is competitive, brutal, and unforgiving. You are going…

cds drug possession

If law enforcement catches you with a drug that’s considered a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), you should learn as soon as possible what criminal liability you could incur. Yes, possession of a CDS can be a felony in Wyoming, but not for every instance of possession. The specific details of your case matter. What Is a CDS Drug? Wyoming penalizes the possession of CDS drugs under Title 35 of the Wyoming Statutes Annotated beginning in Wyo. Stat. Ann. §35-7-1011. Title 35 regulates Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V of controlled substances. Criminal penalties are possible in many possession cases, but not all possession cases are subject to a felony charge. The potential for a felony charge depends on the nature of the CDS drug you’re carrying.  Schedule I CDS A Schedule I CDS drug has two defining characteristics: There is a high potential that individuals will abuse the substance; andThe substance has no accepted use for medical treatment. Schedule I CDS drugs can take many forms including: Opiates, Opium derivatives,Hallucinogens,Depressants,Stimulants, and Certain substances subject to emergency scheduling.  You can find a more detailed list of all the specific substances and chemical compounds that are under Schedule I by checking Wyoming Statute Section 35-7-1014.  Schedule II CDS If a drug has the following characteristics, Wyoming law classifies it as a Schedule II CDS drug: High potential for abuse;Currently accepted medical treatment use in the United States (including severely restricted medical use); andPotential for abuse to cause severe psychic or physical dependence.  The categories of drugs that are Schedule II include: Opium (synthetic or natural);Opiates;Stimulants;Depressants;Immediate precursors to amphetamine, methamphetamine, and phencyclidine (PCP); andHallucinogens. For a more comprehensive list of Schedule II substances, look to Wyoming Statute Section 35-7-1016.  Schedule III CDS Wyoming law places a substance on the Schedule III list if it has: Abuse potential that is less than Schedules I and II;Currently accepted medical treatment use in the United States; andAbuse potential that may lead to high psychological dependence or low to moderate physical dependence. Schedule III substances can take many forms including: Stimulants,Depressants,Anabolic steroids, and Hallucinogens. A complete list of the substances under Schedule III is in Wyoming Statute Section 35-7-1018.  Schedule IV CDS Schedule IV drugs have three defining characteristics: Potential for abuse that is low in relation to Schedule III CDS drugs;Currently accepted medical treatment use in the United States; and Potential for abuse to cause limited physical or psychological dependence (in relation to Schedule III substances). Schedule IV drugs include: Narcotics,Depressants,Fenfluramine,Stimulants, and Other specific substances listed under Wyoming Statute Section 35-7-1020(f). Wyoming Statute Section 35-7-1020 lists all the substances that are Schedule IV substances. Schedule V CDS Wyoming law defines Schedule V drugs as substances that have: Low potential for abuse in relation to Schedule IV substances;Currently accepted medical treatment use in the United States; andLimited potential to cause physical or psychological dependence, relative to Schedule IV substances. Schedule V drugs include: Narcotics,Stimulants, andDepressants. You can find a more detailed list of Schedule V substances under Wyoming Statute Section 35-7-1022.  What Is Possession of CDS? Possession of CDS is possession of substances on Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V. Depending on the type and weight of the substance you carry, you could be subject to heavier or lighter charges and penalties. With any CDS charges for possession, the weight of your substance does not include the packaging. However, it does include the weight of carrier elements, cutting agents, diluting agents, and any other substances.  Misdemeanor Charges for Possession of CDS If you understand what qualifies as a misdemeanor charge for possession of CDS you will have a better understanding of what constitutes a felony. Possession subject to misdemeanor charges includes: Possession of three ounces of a controlled substance in plant form;Possession of 3/10 of a gram of LSD or a controlled substance in liquid form;Possession of three grams of a controlled substance in powder, crystalline, pill, or capsule form; orPossession of 5/10 of a gram of crack cocaine. A misdemeanor charge means that your jail sentence can be no longer than 12 months, and your fine cannot exceed $1,000.  Felony Charges for Possession of CDS There are many circumstances that can subject you to a felony charge for possession of CDS, and there are different levels of penalties a felony conviction can yield. You could be subject to a felony charge and conviction if you possess: Methamphetamine or a narcotic on Schedule I or II in an amount greater than those subject to misdemeanor charges (seven-year maximum prison sentence, $15,000 maximum fine); A substance from Schedule I, II, or III in an amount greater than those subject to misdemeanor charges (five-year maximum prison sentence, $10,000 maximum fine); orA substance from Schedule II in an amount greater than those subject to misdemeanor charges (two-year maximum prison sentence, $2,500 maximum fine). Between Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V, there are over 200 separate substances and/or chemical compounds that the law lists and categorizes. If law enforcement caught you with a CDS, you should speak with an attorney immediately. You need an experienced professional to defend you against criminal penalties and to ensure that any charges filed against you do not exceed the categories provided for in the law.  Speak with an Attorney to Defend Your Freedom The attorneys at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense are fierce defenders of your rights and do not want you to be bullied by the system. We are tenacious and strategic when we fight for you and we want to give your story a voice in court. Contact us online for an empowering advocate.