Wyoming law classifies different types of assault by the type and severity of the injury, the victim or victims, and other circumstances specific to each case. Most assaults fall into two categories: simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense and carries less severe punishments. Aggravated assaults are felonies and carry more severe punishments. What Is the Difference Between Simple and Aggravated Assault? Simple Assaults A person may be charged with simple assault if he or she attempts to cause bodily injury to another. Proving a simple assault charge does not require showing that the victim was actually injured. You can be charged with simple assault even if you never touch the other person. A simple assault conviction can include fines up to $750 and will appear as a misdemeanor on your criminal record. Aggravated Assaults Aggravated assaults qualify as felonies under Wyoming law and can include severe punishments and other consequences. Similar to simple assault, a person does not actually have to injure someone else to be charged with aggravated assault. The main difference between a simple assault and aggravated assault charge is the severity of the bodily injury. If a person attempts to cause or causes serious bodily injury to another, they may face aggravated assault charges. Acts or behaviors that demonstrate a disregard for the value of human life meet the requirements for aggravated assault. Wyoming law considers aggravated assault charges in several other circumstances: Using a deadly weapon to cause or threaten serious bodily harm;Threatening to use a drawn weapon, such as a gun, to cause serious bodily injury; andSeriously injuring a pregnant woman a person knows to be pregnant. The type of assault charge depends on the circumstances and facts of each case. Even a fistfight may result in aggravated assault charges based on the severity of the injuries. Additionally, everyday items such as a bottle, rock, or stick may be considered weapons if used to hurt or attempt to seriously hurt another person. Penalties for aggravated assault usually depend on the severity of the injuries, the identities of each person involved, and other circumstantial factors. An aggravated assault conviction may impose a punishment of up to ten years in prison for serious offenses. Do I Need A Lawyer for an Assault Charge? Any assault charge, either simple or aggravated, can have a huge impact on your life. Aggravated assault charges, in particular, can have serious consequences. If convicted of aggravated assault, you may face up to 10 years in prison and a felony conviction on your record. Felony convictions can affect your employment, child custody, housing, and your ability to vote. If you or someone you know is facing criminal assault charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. He or she will thoroughly investigate your case and provide you with the best legal defenses and options available. Some common defenses to assault charges include: Self-defense,Defense of others, Defense of property, orLack of intent to cause serious bodily injury. Building a successful legal defense and presenting it in court is a challenging and complicated process. A skilled lawyer knows what information and evidence you will need to create an effective defense. Your lawyer will gather this evidence, negotiate with prosecutors and the court on your behalf, and represent you in court if your case goes to trial. Call A Criminal Defense Attorney Today If you or someone you know is facing assault charges, contact our offices or fill out an online form today. The dedicated team of professionals at the Platte River Injury Law firm will support you throughout this difficult process. Our attorney Jeremy Hugus has extensive experience defending clients against criminal assault charges. He has a proven history of success and works tirelessly to protect his clients’ legal rights. Our entire team cares deeply about our clients and will make sure you receive the support and legal advice you need each step of the way. Call our offices or fill out an online form today.
Disagreements and arguments happen all the time. But if they become too heated or get out of control, one or more people may be charged with a crime, including simple assault. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, the information below will provide you with important knowledge so you can better protect your legal interests. What Is A Simple Assault Charge in Wyoming? Simple assaults can occur in a variety of circumstances but often arise during a disagreement or argument. Definitions of simple assault differ from state to state. Wyoming law classifies assault as a misdemeanor and punishes simple assault convictions with monetary fines. Under the statute, a simple assault occurs where a person attempts to harm another person or cause bodily injury unlawfully. A simple assault charge does not require actual bodily injury. You can be charged just for attempting to do so. Penalties for Simple Assault Penalties for simple assault charges do not include any jail time. But if convicted, you will still face consequences that can have a significant impact on your life. Legal penalties for simple assault include: Monetary penalties up to $750 per charge; A misdemeanor charge that will appear on your criminal record;Court dates and associated fees and costs; andProblems with employment, child custody disputes, and other issues associated with having a criminal record. Understanding Different Types of Assault-Related Charges Understanding different types of assault-related offenses can be complicated and confusing, but important to know if you face criminal charges. Below are brief descriptions of different types of assault-related charges and their associated penalties. Assault Versus Battery Assault and battery come up in numerous different contexts in news, social media, and popular entertainment. Many sources describe these terms as the same offense, but they are separate crimes and have some crucial differences. A simple assault crime in Wyoming only requires proving that someone attempted to cause bodily injury to another personA crime of battery requires showing that a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused another person bodily harm through physical force. Battery involves proving an actual injury, and a person charged with battery faces harsher legal consequences. Penalties for battery can include fines of up to $750 as well as up to six months in jail. Unlawful Contact Wyoming law includes another type of offense that falls between a charge for assault or battery. Unlawful contact occurs where a person intentionally touches another person in an angry, rude, or impolite way but does not cause bodily injury. A person convicted of unlawful contact faces up to six months in jail, fines up to $750, or both. Assault on a Household Member Wyoming law also distinguishes between simple assault and domestic assault, or assault by one household member against another. First-time domestic assault offenders face the same penalties as those for simple assault. However, if a person convicted of domestic assault committed another assault-related crime or a previous domestic assault, that person may face jail time in addition to a fine. Do I Need a Lawyer? If you are charged with simple assault, remember that a criminal charge does not equal a conviction. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element, or part, or a criminal offense. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know and understand the elements of criminal assault and will investigate the facts of your case to develop a strong defense to protect your rights. Some defenses to simple assault include: Even if you did attempt to cause someone bodily injury, if you did it to protect yourself or someone else from harm you may be able to claim self-defense;You could argue that you were aggressive because you were defending your property;You may be able to claim consent as a defense if you can prove that the other person consented, or agreed to, the attempted bodily harm; orShowing that you lacked the ability to cause bodily harm. Any of the defenses above or combinations of the defenses could make up your legal strategy. How a Criminal Defense Attorney Defends You from a Simple Assault Charge Creating a successful legal defense can be a complicated process. Presenting a legal claim requires knowing and following extensive court procedures, rules and methods for gathering and presenting evidence, writing court documents, and bringing a case to trial. Skilled lawyers spend years practicing and developing these skills so they can best serve and protect their clients’ interests. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you: Gather evidence, including investigations, police reports, witness testimonies, and other information necessary to build your defenseFile motions with the court Negotiate with the prosecution on your behalfDefend you and represent you if your case goes to trial Contact An Attorney Today If you or someone you know is charged with simple assault, you may not know what to do next. We understand this can be a stressful and challenging time, and our highly experienced attorneys and staff will support you through the process. Our criminal defense attorney Jeremy Hugus has extensive experience defending his clients’ rights against criminal defense charges. He has a proven track record of success and fights relentlessly on behalf of his clients. Call the Platte River Injury Law firm or fill out an online form today. Our qualified team will provide you with the legal advice and representation you need.
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.
Are text messages admissible in court? If you are in a case where your texts might be relevant, you may be wondering if they are admissible. Whether your text messages could help you or hurt, you’ll want to know how the court will treat them. The truth is, text messages are a new area for the law to consider. So is social media. The rules on evidence have been around for many years. Fast, ubiquitous, and electronic forms of communication didn’t exist before, so courts are trying to apply old rules to new mediums. Texting and social media are very new ways to communicate in general. But, they are especially new for courts deciding whether or not they can be admissible as evidence. The problem becomes when text messages have a particular value or can provide insight into a case. Since many of us don’t chat on the phone anymore, text messages often provide the bulk of communication between parties. Social media posts can also give a lot of insight into someone’s thoughts or actions. They can even log where an individual was at a specific time. If you are in the middle of a criminal case, it can be very stressful to wonder, “Are text messages admissible in court?” Here, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the admissibility of text messages and social media posts. So, how do courts handle these new communication forms? The answer, like many answers in the law, is “it depends.” What is admissible evidence? Before discussing text messages and social media specifically, we must consider the definition of admissible evidence. Admissible evidence is anything relevant to a case that would make a material fact more or less probable. If evidence is not relevant, the court will not allow it. Admissible evidence can include the following: Witness testimonyPhotographsRecordingsWritten documents or statementsPhysical or digital objectsScientific or medical resultsCharts or displays for the jury Even relevant evidence may be subject to exclusion if it is unreliable or could confuse or mislead jurors. It could also be subject to exclusion if it would unfairly prejudice the jurors against the defendant. Relevant evidence may also be inadmissible if it is hearsay. What is hearsay? Hearsay is a hurdle that the parties need to cross to admit statements that weren’t made in court. The definition of hearsay is a statement not made in court offered as evidence to prove its veracity or truth. For example, imagine you sent a text message to a friend that said, “Bob vandalized Jane’s car.” If Jane’s attorney tried to admit your text as evidence that Bob did it, this would be hearsay. The general rule on hearsay is that it is inadmissible. However, there are many exceptions to hearsay which would allow certain statements into evidence. Are text messages hearsay? Given the hearsay rule, are text messages hearsay? Yes, under the definition of the term, text messages and social media posts are hearsay. They are statements made outside of court, which are generally introduced to prove the truth of the text or post. However, courts have largely allowed texts and social media posts under various exceptions to the hearsay rule. Sometimes, a court will allow them to show a fact other than the content of the message. For example, they may show that the parties had a close relationship. If you are wondering if your texts or posts are admissible, it’s better to prepare yourself: they likely will be. What else does the court consider admissible evidence? For evidence to be admissible, the party introducing it needs to authenticate it. Authentication is the process of proving that something is what the party claims it to be. For texts and social media, authentication would mean showing that the text or post was actually a text or post from the party who supposedly sent it or posted it. For online communications, authentication can happen by showing that online communication came from a phone number or account associated with the person who purportedly sent or posted it. Depending on the court, this may not be an acceptable method of authentication for online communications. After all, other people can access online accounts and cell phones that they do not own. The court may require additional information for authentication. Can text messages be used in criminal court? In Wyoming, the criminal court will generally allow text messages and social media posts. Wyoming has a rule which allows the prosecutor to bring in a text or post by the defendant. (Wyoming Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)). They will still need to be authenticated, but if a prosecutor wants to introduce them against the defendant, they can. If a defendant wanted to bring in a text message or social media post that they sent or posted themselves, they would need to get around the hearsay rule. So, are text messages admissible in court? Generally, you should anticipate your texts and social media posts being admissible in court. Although they will need to meet evidentiary standards and get around evidentiary exclusions, courts in Wyoming are likely to allow them in. No matter what, when sending electronic messages or posting things online, consider that everything you say may come back to you in the future. If you are in a criminal case and have concerns about text messages or social media posts you may have sent, contact the team at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense. We can help guide you on how best to handle your case and any potential evidence.
When you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance in the state of Wyoming, it is important to keep in mind that Wyoming drug possession laws are very strict. If you are convicted of a drug possession charge, you are likely to face time in jail, as well as a monetary fine. Wyoming Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Helping with Possession Charges The sentencing for a drug possession conviction depends on a number of different factors, including the amount of the drug in your possession, the type of drug, and whether the charges included possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a substance. An experienced drug possession defense attorney in Wyoming can begin working on your case to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. Sentencing Penalties for a Wyoming Drug Possession Offense It is unlawful to possess a controlled substance in Wyoming without a valid prescription for the drug. Even if a drug is lawful with a valid prescription, you can still face serious consequences if you are in possession of a controlled substance without a medical prescription from a healthcare provider. Controlled substances in Wyoming are classified into one of the following categories: Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V. Under Wyoming law (WY Stat. § 35-7-1031), the following are possible penalties for a drug possession conviction with a small amount of a controlled substance: Possession of a small amount of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV controlled substance can result in a fine of up to $1,000, a jail term of up to one year, or both;Subsequent offenses can result in a term of up to 5 years in prison, a monetary fine of up to $5,000, or both. A small amount of a controlled substance is defined as: Three ounces or less in plant form;Three-tenths of a gram or less in liquid form;Three grams or less in powder or crystalline form;Three grams or less in pill or capsule form;Less than five-tenths of a gram of crack cocaine; andLess than three-tenths of a gram of LSD. Possession of greater than the quantities listed above, but not including possession charges with intent to manufacture or deliver, can result in the following consequences: Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for possession of a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance;Up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 for possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance; andUp to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for a Schedule V substance. What is the Difference Between Possession and Intent to Manufacture or Deliver When a person is charged with possession of a controlled substance and there is a significant amount of the drug, that person may be charged with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. This is a more serious charge than mere possession and comes with additional consequences. Penalties for possession with intent to manufacture or deliver can include: Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 for possession of methamphetamine or a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance that is a narcotic drug;Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for Schedule I, II, or III controlled substances not included in the above category;Up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 for a Schedule IV controlled substance; andUp to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 for a Schedule V drug. There are also similar penalties for possession with intent to deliver a counterfeit substance. Consequences Beyond Your Wyoming Drug Possession Sentence In addition to possession of a controlled substance misdemeanor or a felony offense for drug possession and the resulting sentence, there are additional consequences that you may not be considering. For example, if you are convicted of a crime, that conviction will remain part of your criminal record. You will need to disclose that information when you apply for numerous types of jobs and when you seek approval for a home or apartment rental. In some instances where you are seeking credit, such as student loans, you can be denied credit because of a criminal record. In other words, the consequences of a drug possession conviction go far beyond the immediate terms of the sentence. You can also be denied the right to own a firearm in certain cases where you have been convicted of a felony offense. You May Be Able to Lessen the Consequences of Your Wyoming Possession Charge With the help of an experienced Wyoming criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to have your charges reduced or enter into a diversionary program to avoid having a criminal record. It is important to speak with a Wyoming drug possession defense lawyer about the potential consequences of a drug possession conviction and to learn about ways to mitigate the consequences. A criminal defense attorney at our firm can speak with you today. Contact Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today to get started on your case with an aggressive Wyoming drug possession defense lawyer.
Wyoming drug possession laws (WY Stat. §§ 35-7-1014 through 35-7-1022) are serious, and it is important for anyone facing possession of illegal drug charges to begin working with an experienced Wyoming drug crime defense lawyer as soon as possible. Depending upon the type of substance and the amount, a conviction for possession of illegal drugs could result in a substantial term of imprisonment and a significant monetary fine. Moreover, a conviction for drug possession may be either a misdemeanor or felony offense, which will remain on your criminal record. Even when you have completed your sentence, a criminal record for drug possession in Wyoming may prevent you from being eligible for certain jobs, lines of credit, and even rental houses. Wyoming Drug Possession Lawyer Helping with Your Defense If you are facing Wyoming drug possession charges, you should get started on your defense today with an experienced and aggressive Wyoming drug possession defense attorney. The following information will provide you with more information about the charges you may be facing. Understanding Types of Drug Classifications in Wyoming In Wyoming, drug possession laws change in severity based on the classification of the particular type of drug. Wyoming drug possession laws classify substances into five different “Schedules,” or Schedule I through Schedule V. The following is specific information about the different types of schedules: Schedule I: These substances do not have any accepted medical use, are considered unsafe, and also considered to have a high potential for drug abuse. Substances that are classified as Schedule I drugs include but are not limited to marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, and heroin.Schedule II: These substances are different types of narcotics and other stimulants that, like Schedule I substances, have a high potential for drug abuse. These substances also are known to cause dependence. Examples of Schedule II drugs include but are not limited to OxyContin, Percocet, methadone, and methamphetamine.Schedule III: Schedule III substances can lead to psychological or physical dependence in some circumstances, but are often considered to be lower-risk than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs. Examples include Tylenol with codeine and Vicodin. People routinely possess these drugs legally with a prescription.Schedule IV: This classification of substances includes those that can pose some risk, but the risk is lower than any of the above substances in Schedules I, II, or III. Examples of Schedule IV drugs include but are not limited to Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. These drugs routinely are possessed legally with a prescription.Schedule V: These substances have the lowest potential for abuse. Examples might include cough syrup with codeine. Penalties for Drug Possession Under Wyoming Law: Lower Quantities Wyoming law distinguishes between lower and higher quantities of controlled substances in a person’s possession when determining the potential penalties upon conviction. In general, if you are convicted of possessing a low quantity of drugs, you can still face jail time and a high monetary fine. The following low-quantity possession amounts can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000: 3 oz or less of a plant form-controlled substance (such as marijuana);3/10 of a gram or less of a liquid form-controlled substance;3 grams or less of a powder, crystalline, pill, or capsule form of a controlled substance;Under 5/10 of a gram of crack cocaine; andUnder 3/10 of a gram of LSD. Penalties for Higher Quantity Drug Possession in Wyoming If you are convicted of drug possession with an amount of a controlled substance above those amounts listed above, the penalties are more severe. The following is additional information about the penalties you could face depending upon the type and amount of drug: Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance or methamphetamine: up to 7 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $15,000;Other types of Schedule I, II, or III controlled substances: up to 10 of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000;Schedule IV controlled substance: up to 2 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500; andSchedule V controlled substance: up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Contact a Drug Possession Defense Attorney in Wyoming When you are facing drug possession charges, you should always get in touch with an experienced drug possession defense lawyer in Wyoming as soon as possible. Drug possession laws in the state are strict, and a person can face significant penalties upon conviction. Even small or limited amounts of a controlled substance can result in a jail term of up to a year and a hefty financial penalty. One of the Wyoming criminal defense lawyers at our firm can get started on your case today. Contact Cowboy Country Criminal Defense for more information about our services.
Best Tips after a Misdemeanor Charge Misdemeanors are less serious criminal charges than felonies. However, “less serious” is a relative term. A misdemeanor can have many drastic consequences for a person, including making it difficult to secure employment or rent an apartment. Misdemeanor convictions can also jeopardize a person’s ability to get or keep a professional license. Misdemeanors can also result in jail time—up to a year in some cases. Getting sent to jail is often the first domino to fall, but soon there is a cascade of negative results, including job loss, school interruption, or loss of child custody. The financial fallout from a misdemeanor conviction can be immense. For these reasons, anyone picked up for a criminal charge should hire a misdemeanor attorney right away. A seasoned misdemeanor attorney can make the difference between staying out of jail or having your life dramatically disrupted. As an experienced Wyoming criminal defense firm, we offer our best tips for what to do after a misdemeanor charge. Do I Need a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor? The Right to Self-Representation Criminal defense suspects have a Constitutional right to represent themselves in a criminal proceeding. They also have the right to some legal help, whether in the form of access to a law library or the appointment of standby counsel who can help guide a defendant in the right direction. In our experience, a criminal defendant is much better off hiring a lawyer for a misdemeanor than trying to represent themselves. It takes too much time to learn the law and understand all the intricacies of criminal defense. Furthermore, an attorney is better able to identify whether the police followed the Constitution when gathering evidence or whether they violated your Fourth Amendment rights. We have successfully lobbied judges to toss incriminating evidence when the police violated our client’s rights during interrogation. If someone asked us, “Can I be a lawyer with a misdemeanor charge?”, we would answer, “Yes – but you should still contact us.” To mount the best possible defense, hire a Wyoming misdemeanor attorney right away. Classes of Misdemeanor Charges Wyoming does not have classes of misdemeanors. An attempt was made years ago to classify all misdemeanors, but that apparently has failed. Nevertheless, some misdemeanors carry more serious penalties than others. Unless otherwise spelled out in a statute, a misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence of 6 months and a fine of up to $750. A defendant might also have to pay court costs or fees. The most serious misdemeanors result in a jail sentence of up to 1 year. But a misdemeanor, by law, cannot result in more than 1 year in jail. If it does, then it is a felony. To better understand the penalties you are facing, meet with a Wyoming misdemeanor attorney at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense to review the charges. Tips When Choosing an Attorney The right attorney makes all the difference when trying to fight misdemeanor charges. The best attorneys do not simply employ “one size fits all” defense strategies but instead immerse themselves in the facts of the case. To choose the right misdemeanor attorney for you, remember the following: Schedule a free consultation. You can discuss your case and ask questions, such as what type of punishment you are facing if convicted.Ask the attorney about his or her experience. Experience matters. A divorce lawyer might be a great attorney who sounds confident, but he might not have any experience with criminal matters. Someone who has handled many criminal defendants will be a better choice since he has kept up with changes in the law and knows local prosecutors, which is a big help when negotiating a plea deal.Request a realistic assessment of your case. An ethical lawyer will never lie or tell you that your case is a “slam dunk” win. Instead, a lawyer can discuss the odds of conviction based on the facts known at that time.Ask about fees, but don’t get hung up on the money. Many people want to represent themselves because they don’t want to pay any attorneys’ fees. But think about all you can lose if you handle your case yourself and fail to drive a hard bargain. An attorney’s fees are usually quite reasonable.Check online reviews but take them with a grain of salt. Often, the only people motivated enough to write a review are those who want to complain. After meeting with a lawyer, trust your gut. Did you get along with the attorney? Did you find him persuasive? If so, you can go ahead and hire him or schedule more consultations with other lawyers. Misdemeanor Attorneys You Can Trust At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we have helped many defendants get out from under criminal charges. We would be happy to discuss your case with you and offer a free consultation to get started. Contact us today.
Probation allows a person to avoid going to jail or prison while serving a sentence. For this reason alone, many people aggressively try to get probation if they cannot get the charges dismissed altogether. However, probation is not a “get out of jail free” card. Instead, it comes with an array of conditions which you must follow. Some of the more common include staying out of trouble, undergoing periodic or regular drug tests, and meeting regularly with a probation officer. These aren’t optional. If you violate any of these conditions, you can be picked up and incarcerated. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we receive many panicked calls from someone who has maybe missed a visit with their officer or who has been picked up for a DUI. They call because they want to know “how much time can you get for violating probation?” The answer is pretty simple—you can get as much time in jail or prison as you would have received had you never received probation. But it is also possible to avoid jail even if you violated a condition. What is a Probation Revocation Hearing? Under WY Stat. § 7-13-408, your probation officer has the power to take you into custody and to detain you for a reasonable period of time if he or she believes you violated any condition of your probation. You will also have a probation hearing. Under the law, you are entitled to receive written notice of the substance of the allegations against you. This written notice is key because it allows you and your attorney to prepare for the hearing. The hearing is usually held before a judge, hearing officer, or other person empowered to hear the case. You will have the right to cross-examine any witnesses who offer testimony against you. You can also present any proof in your possession that shows you did not commit the violation or that the violation was unintentional. In many ways, these hearings are like trials. However, the standard of proof is much lower. You do not need to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the judge only needs to find it is more likely than not that you committed the violation. Will You Be Sent to Jail? It isn’t automatic that you will be sent to jail if you violated your probation. Instead, WY Stat. § 7-13-1107(b) proposes other administrative sanctions that can be imposed, including community service or loss of certain privileges. Your attorney can argue that these punishments are much more appropriate, especially if your violation was minor. You can also be sent to the county jail for a short period of time—up to 30 days. This does not mean your probation is revoked. Instead, you simply go to jail for a short period of time and are still on probation when you leave jail. Possible placement in a residential community correctional program for up to 60 days is also an option that will allow you to continue probation. What if Probation is Revoked? This is the worst outcome. Once probation is revoked, you will be sentenced just as you would have been had the judge not put you on probation, to begin with. Probation violation sentences will depend on the underlying offense. To figure out how much jail time for a probation violation, meet with your attorney to review the initial charges against you. Probation can be ordered for either a misdemeanor or a felony conviction. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, then you are looking at a maximum of 6-12 months in jail anyway. Felony sentences depend on the felony you were charged and convicted of. Also, you might be charged with a new crime, which is the reason why you are having your probation revoked in the first place. For example, you might have been arrested for DUI, which is now another substantive offense you could do time for. As you can see, the answer to the question, “how long do you go to jail for violating probation?” is really “it depends.” Fight Back Defendants should do everything possible to prevent a revocation of their probation. In some cases, you might not have done anything wrong, so there is no valid reason to revoke. In others, the violation is small and technical in nature and does not indicate that you can’t continue successfully with your probation. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we help criminal defendants get back on their feet after an arrest. This includes fighting for probation and then making sure it is not revoked. If you’ve been picked up, please contact us today. A member of our team will swing into action to figure out the allegations against you and build a case that shows you deserve to keep your probation. Schedule your free and confidential initial consultation 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. Some are worried that they can’t afford a 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. Complexity. 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. Lawyer 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 him. 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. 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 him. Lawyers typically need to take out time from their day to travel to the jail and visit their client. If a client isn’t in jail, then he or she can stop by the office, which takes less time. Trial. If you decide to go to trial, then it costs 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. Can a Lawyer Work on Contingency? 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 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 his 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. He agreed to handle the case for a flat fee, which is all you owe. 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 for your case. This will increase the chances of receiving an excellent defense. Most public defenders agree with this sentiment and will tell you to hire a lawyer if you can afford one. Speak with a Wyoming Criminal Defense Attorney If the police have picked you up or if you believe you are the suspect of a crime, contact Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today. Our office has helped many felony defendants obtain a favorable result. We are eager to help you in any way we can, so please reach out to schedule your free, confidential consultation.
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. How much money will it cost to hire an attorney for a felony case? Click to learn more.. 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. 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: 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. First Time Felony Offenders Punishment 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. 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.