If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense in Wyoming, the frequent punishment is probation. The first time you commit a probation violation will result in consequences. Whether the State sends you to jail depends on the severity of the violation. You receive probation when the court puts you under supervision for a period of time instead of sending you to jail. Probation requires you to meet certain conditions, such as: Completing a substance abuse treatment program;Undergoing mandatory drug tests;Meeting with your probation officer; andNot associating with known felons. Failing to meet any of the conditions of your probation is a probation violation. Committing a crime and not meeting with your probation officer are two common violations of probation. If you have violated the terms of your probation, you should contact a Wyoming criminal defense attorney today. Working with a criminal defense attorney is your best shot at reducing the chances that you go to jail for your first probation violation. What’s the Process After Violating Probation? After violating probation, you must go through a separate judicial process in probation court. Under Wyoming law, if your probation officer believes you have violated any of the terms of your probation, he or she can take you into custody and detain you for a reasonable time. You will next receive written notice of the allegations of your probation violation. You and your criminal defense lawyer can use this to prepare for your probation hearing in court. However, it is important to understand that the State needs to prove only that it is more likely than not that you violated the terms of your probation. If the judge finds that the State has met its burden of proof, the State will punish you in accordance with the severity of the probation violation. What Are the Consequences for Violating Probation in Wyoming? The judge has the discretion to select from a number of potential consequences for a probation violation. The specific consequences you face may depend on the severity of what you did. Wyoming law permits a judge to send you to jail for up to 90 days, or you may receive penalties that don’t include jail time, such as: A loss or restriction of your privileges,Community service, orThe State placing you in a residential community correction program for up to 90 days. Usually, after you complete a jail sentence or residential community correction program, the State puts you back on probation. But it is also possible that the court could revoke your probation altogether and sentence you as if you never received probation. This is particularly likely if you committed a more serious violation, such as committing another crime, or violated your probation in multiple ways. How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You? A criminal defense lawyer can increase the odds that you avoid jail time for your first probation violation. A lawyer can defend you during your probation hearing and present evidence, if it exists, that shows jail time is not the proper punishment. Jeremy Hugus at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense understands that a criminal conviction can change the rest of your life. He is an experienced Wyoming criminal defense attorney who will fight to get you the best possible result. Contact Jeremy today to take back your freedom.
The State of Wyoming seeks to protect the public by criminalizing offenses like assault and battery. A criminal conviction can have a drastic impact on your life and reputation. However, if you have been accused of a crime but were acting in self-defense, you may be able to avoid a conviction. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, our criminal defense lawyers have the skills and experience necessary to help you win your case. Read on to learn more about the defense of self-defense in Wyoming and how it can help you avoid a conviction. Assault and Battery Two of the most common crimes where self-defense may apply are assault and battery. If you are convicted of assault or battery, you could face hefty fines. You could potentially even face imprisonment. Understanding assault and battery in more detail can help determine if you have a valid defense. A person in Wyoming is guilty of simple assault if they unlawfully attempt to cause bodily injury to another person (WY Stat § 6-2-501(a)). For an assault conviction, a person does not even need to cause any actual injury to someone else. All that matters is that there was an attempt. A simple assault conviction in Wyoming is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine of up to $750. A person is guilty of simple battery in Wyoming if he or she “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person by use of physical force” (WY Stat § 6-2-501(b)). A battery conviction is also a misdemeanor and could result in a fine of up to $750. Additionally, a battery conviction in Wyoming is punishable by up to six months in prison. Wyoming imposes even stricter penalties for aggravated assault and battery convictions. A person can be found guilty of aggravated assault and battery if they cause, or threaten to cause, bodily injury to another using a deadly weapon. A person can also be convicted of aggravated assault and battery if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to a woman whom they know is pregnant (WY Stat § 6-2-502(a)). An aggravated assault and battery conviction in Wyoming is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. What If You Were Acting in Self-Defense? If you attempted to, or actually did, cause bodily injury to another person, you could be convicted of assault or battery. But if you did so only to defend yourself from their actions, you may have a valid claim of self-defense. If this is the case, you may be able to avoid a conviction altogether. Self-Defense Defined The right to protect and defend yourself is a longstanding principle in the United States, and this principle applies in Wyoming, too. Wyoming defines self-defense as a reasonable defensive force that is necessary to prevent injury or loss. Wyoming even allows self-defense that results in the death of the other party if the self-defense was necessary to prevent one’s own imminent death or serious bodily injury. As long as the party acting in self-defense had an honest belief that a danger existed, they cannot be convicted of assault, battery, or another violent crime. Can I Use Self-Defense to Avoid a Conviction? If your actions constituted reasonable defensive force necessary to prevent injury to yourself, then you acted in self-defense. A person who acts in self-defense “shall not be criminally prosecuted for that use of reasonable defensive force.” WY Stat § 6-2-202(f). This means that under the law, you cannot be convicted of a crime if you were acting in self-defense. Unfortunately, however, proving self-defense in a criminal case is not an easy task. A criminal defendant claiming self-defense has the initial burden of proving to a judge or jury that their actions were reasonable and necessary to prevent serious bodily injury. If the defendant does prove this, the burden then shifts to the State to prove that the defendant did not justifiably act in self-defense. Very often, the decision will come down to the facts, evidence, and who the judge or jury believes. This is why it is so important to have a zealous advocate in your corner who will fight to give you your best defense and best chance at success. Your Best Case for Self-Defense If you have been accused of assault, battery, or another violent crime, you should contact a lawyer immediately. The team at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense can help you understand your charges. More than that, they will help you navigate the process and create a strategy for a successful defense. Our extensive experience in criminal defense law allows us to fight for you every step of the way. If you are looking for a firm with the experience and dedication necessary to succeed, call Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today.
Being accused of child abuse is a serious allegation and can have significant consequences. However, not all child abuse allegations are true. Defending yourself against a child abuse allegation is difficult, and a false allegation can affect your life and reputation. If someone falsely accuses you of child abuse in Wyoming, contact the team at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. What Is Child Abuse? In general, child abuse is physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a minor. In Wyoming, the definition for child abuse is “inflicting or causing physical or mental injury, harm or imminent danger to the physical or mental health or welfare of a child other than by accidental means.” Child abuse in Wyoming also includes malnutrition, sexual offenses against a child, and excessive or unreasonable corporal punishment (WY Stat § 14-3-202(a)(ii)). It is important to note though that there is an exception for reasonable corporal punishment. Aggravated Child Abuse Definition A child abuse conviction on its own can potentially result in some jail time, but the penalty for an aggravated child abuse conviction is even greater. Wyoming defines aggravated child abuse as intentionally or recklessly inflicting serious bodily injury upon a child (WY Stat § 6-2-503). Child Abuse Charges in Wyoming Any person can be charged with child abuse in the State of Wyoming. If the person charged with child abuse is not responsible for a child’s welfare, they may be convicted only if the victim is under the age of sixteen. On the other hand, if the person charged is responsible for a child’s welfare, they can be convicted for child abuse against anyone up to the age of eighteen. This is an important distinction. An adult “responsible for a child’s welfare” can include any of the following: Custodial parent, Noncustodial parent,Guardian,Custodian,Stepparent, orFoster parent. Even if you are not in one of the specific categories defined above, any other person, institution, or agency that has physical custody or control of a child can be considered responsible for the child’s welfare. Penalties for Child Abuse in Wyoming Wyoming takes child abuse allegations extremely seriously. As such, penalties for child abuse convictions can be severe. Can I Get Jail Time for Child Abuse? One major concern you may have about child abuse allegations is whether you could go to jail. If you are convicted of child abuse, you could ultimately go to jail, but the level of punishment varies based on the specific facts of each case. Penalties for Child Abuse In Wyoming, a child abuse conviction is classified as a felony. This can result in punishment of up to five years in prison. Penalties for aggravated child abuse can be much more severe. Aggravated child abuse, as discussed above, occurs when a person intentionally or recklessly inflicts serious bodily injury upon a victim. An aggravated child abuse conviction is also a felony. However, instead of five years, punishment can include imprisonment for up to twenty-five years. What to Do If You Are Accused of Child Abuse If someone has accused you of child abuse in Wyoming, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Having a lawyer in your corner can be the difference between a conviction and a successful defense. Jeremy Hugus and the Cowboy Country Criminal Defense team are ready to advocate for you. A child abuse allegation is difficult to navigate, but you don’t have to figure it out alone. Contact Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney and make sure you have a strong defense.
A felony record is very serious. It can cause long-term consequences that can affect other parts of your life. For example, a felony conviction may limit your employment opportunities or prevent you from securing housing. Fortunately, Wyoming has enacted laws that allow you to expunge or remove your felony record in certain circumstances. Getting your record expunged will open up new opportunities and provide you peace of mind and a better future moving forward. Speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney who will help you understand your legal options. What Does “Expunge” Mean? Expungement is a court proceeding where a criminal record is destroyed or sealed from the state record. When a record is “expunged” it means that the court treats the criminal record as if it never existed. If a court expunges your felony record, you do not have to report it on certain job applications or when you apply for housing. It is important to remember, however, that when a court expunges a record, this process removes it only from public records. Expunging a record makes it unavailable to employers, and it will no longer appear on a criminal background check for housing applications. But expunging a record does not completely erase the conviction. Expunged criminal convictions may still be available in certain circumstances, such as criminal background checks by law enforcement agencies. Wyoming Expungement Wyoming law describes the requirements to expunge a felony from your record. Wyoming Statute § 7-13-1401 allows you to request expungement of a felony arrest record by filing a petition with the court. All felony arrest records are eligible for expungement and are less difficult to expunge than a felony conviction. Wyoming also allows courts to expunge felony convictions. However, certain felony convictions are not eligible for expungement, including: Violent felonies such as murder, manslaughter, and first or second-degree sexual assault;Aggravated vehicular homicide;Providing drugs to a minor that results in death;Sexual assault;Child abuse; andAssault on a police officer. It is important to remember that in Wyoming, even if a court expunges your felony record, you must still disclose your felony record for specific applications, including: Public employment applications,Professional licenses, andGun permit applications. Additionally, although your felony record will not be available for most routine background checks, law enforcement agencies can still access and view your expunged records. Further, an expunged record can be reversed by a court if you are charged with or convicted of another crime. It can be complicated to determine if you are eligible for record expungement. You should speak with an experienced Wyoming criminal defense attorney to determine your eligibility. How Do I Get My Felony Arrest Record Expunged? If your felony arrest did not result in a conviction, that arrest record might still cause you problems in the future. You should seriously consider trying to expunge it from your record. If your arrest record is expunged, you may act as though the arrest never occurred. For example, if an employment application asks about previous arrests, you are not required to disclose an expunged arrest record. To successfully expunge your felony arrest record, you must meet the following requirements: At least 180 days must have passed from the date of the arrest;There must be no formal charges still pending when you file for expungement; andThere must be no convictions related to the charges for the arrest. If you meet the requirements listed above, you may file a petition with the court to expunge your felony arrest record. Petitions for expungement of felony arrest records do not require a filing fee. The prosecuting attorney will review the petition. If the prosecutor files an objection to the petition, the court will set a hearing to resolve the matter. If no objection is filed, the court must wait 20 days before issuing an order granting expungement. How Do I Get My Felony Conviction Record Expunged? Wyoming Statute § 7-13-1502 describes the requirements to have a felony conviction expunged. At least ten years must have passed since the date of the felony,The terms of the sentence must have expired,The person seeking expungement must have completed any court-ordered programs,The person must have paid any court-ordered restitution, andThe person seeking expungement must not have previously pleaded guilty or no contest to or been convicted of another felony. For a felony conviction, if you meet all of the requirements listed above and your conviction is eligible, you must file a petition with the court to have your conviction record expunged. This process includes: Drafting and submitting a petition to the court,Providing notice to the prosecution and any affected parties,Paying a filing fee, andAttending a hearing and defending your petition if the prosecution or any victims of the crime file an objection. Petitions to expunge a felony conviction are complicated and time-consuming. You should not try to navigate this process on your own. A qualified Wyoming criminal defense attorney understands how the court procedure works, can file a petition on your behalf, and can defend you and argue for your petition during hearings. Hiring a skilled attorney will give you the best chance to expunge your record. Contact a Wyoming Criminal Defense Attorney Today The lawyers at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense understand that your felony record can cause significant hardships, even long after you completed any court-ordered sentence. Your felony record should not continue to harm you indefinitely. Our dedicated staff will review your record and discuss any available legal options. We care deeply about our clients and will provide you the support and advice you need. We will make sure you have the best opportunity to get your felony record expunged. Call our offices at 307-215-9724 or fill out an online form today.
A DUI conviction is a serious offense. DUI convictions carry serious consequences. They can affect your employment eligibility and your ability to apply for housing. DUIs may lead to jail time, driver license suspension, and significant fines, and they will stay on your criminal record for a long time. If you were convicted of DUI, you may want to know if your conviction can be removed from your criminal record. In Wyoming, state lawmakers recently changed the rules so that courts now may expunge misdemeanor DUI convictions. However, you cannot remove a felony DUI conviction from your record. If possible, you should do everything possible to avoid a DUI conviction. If you were charged with DUI, you should contact a qualified criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will help you weigh your legal options and defend you in court proceedings. Is a Driving Record the Same as a Criminal Record? First, you should understand that a driving record and a criminal record are not the same things. Driving records include a list of any criminal or non-criminal traffic-related offenses, including DUIs. States track driving records to determine the status of your driver’s license. Unlike some states, Wyoming does not track driver licenses based on a points system. Wyoming law allows drivers up to three moving violations (of any kind) within a twelve-month period. If a driver has more than three violations in that period, their driver’s license will be suspended. In contrast, a criminal record lists any of your previous criminal misdemeanor or felony offenses, including traffic-related criminal offenses. Driving records and criminal records have different rules regarding whether a previous offense can be removed and how long the offense remains on your record. How Long Does a DUI Stay On Your Driving Record? In Wyoming, a DUI offense will remain on your driving record for ten years after the date of the offense. In addition to having DUI on your driving record, you will also lose your license for 90 days if convicted of DUI. You will be able to lift the suspension only if you agree to install an ignition interlock device on your car. Ignition interlocks have a breathalyzer device that measures your BAC. You must blow into the interlock device to prove sobriety every time you want to drive your car. How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Criminal Record? Under Wyoming law, felony DUI convictions cannot be removed from your record. However, if you have a misdemeanor DUI conviction, there is good news. In 2015, the Wyoming Legislature changed the laws regarding expungement of criminal conviction records. Under the new laws, courts may now expunge misdemeanor DUI convictions no less than five years after the date of the conviction. Although DUI convictions are now eligible for expungement, you still must follow certain court procedures and meet specific requirements so that a court will remove the record. How Do I Remove a DUI Conviction from My Record? Wyoming law requires specific procedures to expunge a DUI conviction from your record. First, you must demonstrate that you have completed all of the sentencing requirements imposed by the court for the original conviction. This may include: Serving jail time,Paying fines or court costs and any restitution, andCompleting court-ordered substance abuse classes. Once the court confirms you have completed your sentencing requirements, you may file a petition for expungement of your misdemeanor conviction. Under Wyoming Statute 7-13-1501 expungement of a criminal conviction requires: That at least five years have passed since the end of the terms of the sentence (such as probation or a jail term),That the DUI did not involve the use of a firearm, andThat you pay a $100 filing fee for each petition for expungement. A court may, at its discretion, request a copy of your criminal history for review. If the court finds you are eligible, it will expunge your misdemeanor DUI conviction. Expungement means that your conviction will not appear in a criminal background check, such as those performed for employment or housing. However, expungement does not prevent other law enforcement agencies from accessing your records. Should I Hire an Attorney to Expunge My DUI? Filing a petition for expungement is a complicated and time-consuming process. In addition to the requirements listed above, you must give notice to all affected parties, including any affected victims and the district attorney. The district attorney and any of the identified victims have the option to oppose your petition. If this happens, the court will set a date for a hearing to hear arguments from both sides. Given these complex legal procedures, it is best to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to handle your petition. The attorneys at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense have extensive experience successfully handling criminal DUI convictions. We understand the difficulties a DUI conviction can cause. Our dedicated staff cares deeply about our clients and will ensure you receive the best possible representation. For a free consultation, contact our offices at 307-215-9724 or fill out an online form today.
In Wyoming, a possession with attempt to distribute charge is a serious matter that demands a fight. Possession with an attempt to distribute means you are charged with possessing illegal drugs with the intent to sell them to another person. If you were arrested with a substantial amount of a drug, distribution supplies, or manufacturing equipment, you could be subject to this charge. A Wyoming drug possession defense attorney can fight your charge by challenging the constitutionality of the police officer’s search or whether you actually knew you were in possession of drugs. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we will fight to overcome the negative appearances of your situation, complicated drug laws, severe penalties, and the State’s legal interpretations that come with possession with attempt to distribute charge. Possession Versus Possession with Attempt to Distribute The difference between receiving a possession charge and receiving a possession with intent to distribute charge is significant. Police officers, prosecutors, and judges see people charged with drug possession as drug users. Judges typically believe that the best way to penalize a drug user is through treatment programs instead of severe prison sentences or fines. However, judges, prosecutors, and police officers see someone with drug possession with intent to distribute charge as a drug dealer. A drug dealer consists of anyone in the distribution chain. This includes the manufacturer, transporter, delivery person, and seller. Drug dealers face more severe punishment in the form of long prison sentences and heavy fines. The type, weight, and size of the drugs you possess are key factors judges use to determine your penalty. Wyoming Drug Laws Wyoming has some of the toughest drug laws in the United States for possession with intent to distribute. Wyoming classifies different types of drugs into five schedules. The classifications are based on whether the drugs are accepted for medical use and their likelihood of abuse. Each schedule carries with it different levels of punishment. Schedule I Schedule I substances are drugs with no accepted medical use, have a high potential for abuse, and are unsafe. Examples of schedule I drugs include heroin, marijuana, LSD, and ecstasy. Schedule II Schedule II drugs are substances that also have a high potential for abuse and are highly addictive. Examples of schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine (Adderall), OxyContin, opium, methadone, morphine, and Percocet. Schedule III Schedule III drugs are substances with a lower potential for abuse, but that can still be moderate to highly addictive. Examples of schedule II drugs include Vicodin, Tylenol/Codeine, and anabolic steroids. Schedule IV Schedule IV drugs are substances with a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs. Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, and Soma. Schedule V Schedule V drugs are drugs that contain a limited quantity of narcotics. Cough syrups that contain Codeine are an example. Penalties for the Distribution of Drugs in Wyoming The penalties for the possession of drugs with intent to distribute are more severe than possession charges alone. The sale of narcotics or counterfeit substances is an important consideration when evaluating your potential penalty. Narcotics The sale of narcotics carries increased penalties. Called opioids today, narcotics are substances that dull and relieve pain. Narcotics include opium, opium derivatives, and semi-synthetic substitute drugs. Examples of modern narcotic drugs are heroin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Codeine, methadone, morphine, and fentanyl. Counterfeit Substances The sale of counterfeit substances also carries increased penalties. A counterfeit substance is a drug with a label that falsely states the manufacturer. Penalty for Possession with Intent to Distribute The penalty for possession with intent to distribute drugs in Wyoming depends on the classification of the drug. A prison sentence up to 20 years, a fine up to $25,000, or both is the punishment if you are charged with distributing: Schedule I and II controlled substances classified as narcotics, Methamphetamine, or Schedule I and II counterfeit substances. If you are charged with distributing any other substance classified in schedule I, II, or III, your penalty is a prison sentence up to 10 years, a fine up to $10,000, or both. A prison sentence up to 2 years, a fine up to $2,500, or both is the penalty if you are charged with distributing any drug classified in schedule IV. If you are charged with distributing any drug classified in schedule V, your penalty is a prison sentence up to 1 year, a fine up to $1,000, or both. How the State Decides Whether to Charge You as a User or a Dealer The surrounding circumstances of your arrest are the primary factors the State will use to determine whether you should be charged as a drug dealer or drug user. For instance, if you have drug manufacturing equipment, scales, or baggies, you are more likely to receive a possession with intent to distribute charges. Text messages in your phone that describe various drug deals also point to a charge as a drug dealer. However, if you do not have any of these types of items with you at the time of your arrest, the State will look at the quantity of drugs that you have. If you have a substantial quantity of the drug with you, a prosecutor is more likely to charge you as a drug dealer instead of a drug user. What You Should Consider To best fight your possession with intent to distribute charge, you should take all of these factors into consideration. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we will aggressively fight your possession with intent to distribute charges to help you regain your freedom. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Check Out Our Blog –
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. If you have been charged with an aggravated assault charge in Wyoming you should contact an experienced assault defense attorney to get you the best defense. What is the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault? Simple Assaults in Casper, WY You may ask yourself what is simple assault? 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 in Casper, WY 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. Aggravated vs Simple Assault Attorney FAQ – Do I Need A Casper Defense 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 simple or aggravated assault 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 Cowboy Country Criminal Defense 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.
Felony charges are very serious. If you are convicted, you face not only possible time in prison, but you could also lose important civil rights like the right to vote or the ability to possess a firearm. For many people, being convicted of a felony forever changes their lives. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we represent people accused of a felony who don’t know what to do. Call us today at 307.333.7884. Some are worried that they can’t afford a criminal defense lawyer for felony charges. Others think they might be able to handle their case on their own without any input from an attorney. Contact us today. We are available to meet with you for a free consultation. How Much Does It Cost for a Felony Case? No two felony cases are exactly alike, so the amount that you end up paying an attorney will differ by the case. Let’s look at some of the factors that go into a felony lawyer cost. The Complexity of the Case Some felony cases are much more complex than others. They require more legal analysis or much more time gathering facts. If you were alleged to be part of a criminal conspiracy, then your lawyer will need to do much more leg work than if the case is an assault that was captured on surveillance video. Research the Lawyers Reputation Lawyers can charge based on public demand for their work. If a lawyer has a strong reputation and gets consistently good results, then more people will want to hire them. All lawyers have a limit on how much work they can do, so they will increase the fees that they charge as a way of winnowing down the amount of people who hire them. That’s just how the business works. Incarceration May Affect the Cost Whether a client is incarcerated will also affect how much it costs to hire a lawyer’s services. When a client is in jail, it is much harder for a lawyer to get in touch with them. Lawyers typically need to take out time from their day to travel to the jail and visit their clients. If a client isn’t in jail, then he or she can stop by the office, which takes less time. Did Your Case Go to Trial? If you decide to go to trial, criminal trial costs can be high. This will cost much more than if you accepted a plea deal. It takes a tremendous amount of time to prepare for trial. Witnesses need to be prepared, exhibits must be created, and a lawyer needs to develop a trial strategy. Discuss all of these issues with a lawyer when discussing fees. CRIMINAL DEFENSE FAQ Can a Felony Charge Be Dismissed? Yes. Dismissal of felony charges can occur for various reasons. For example, a felony verdict may be dismissed due to: Insufficient evidence;Improper collection of evidence; orThe statute of limitations running out. A felony case can be dismissed by a motion from the prosecutor, defense attorney, or the court. A defendant may also get a felony charged dismissed with a “not guilty” verdict. It is crucial to have reliable representation for your felony charge. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is your best chance at reaching a favorable outcome in your case. Why Is Determinate Sentencing Better? Sentences can be either determinate or indeterminate. An indeterminate sentence is a sentence that encompasses a range of years. For example, “15 years to life” is an indeterminate sentence. These kinds of sentences have minimum years, but the exact date of release is undetermined. Parole boards will periodically evaluate cases and hold hearings to decide when, during the defendant’s prison sentence, they will be eligible for release or parole. On the other hand, determinate sentences have a set amount of time that cannot be changed by a parole board. If a defendant receives a sentence of three years in prison, that is the time they will serve, unless they become eligible for early release. Determinate sentences have their benefits, including putting a defendant’s mind at ease, knowing when they will be released. Indeterminate sentencing gives a parole board all the power to determine whether a defendant is eligible for parole. Often, this may lead to discrimination or overly harsh treatment. When a defendant is serving a set sentence, they won’t have to worry about these things. An experienced defense attorney is necessary for your legal battle. They will fight aggressively to help get you a fair sentence. Can a Lawyer Work on Contingency in a Criminal Defense Case? No. Contingency fees are routine in personal injury cases, like car accidents. The lawyer will not charge any upfront fees but will take a percentage of the client’s settlement or court award. Unfortunately, ethical rules prohibit contingency fees in criminal cases. They also don’t make any sense in a criminal context, since a defendant does not win any money which can be used to pay for an attorney. Criminal defense attorneys will charge either an hourly fee or a flat fee. A flat fee is a sum of money you pay the lawyer to handle your entire case. A lawyer will use their experience to estimate how much time it will take to handle your criminal case. If the case is more complex than the lawyer initially thought, then the lawyer is out of luck. They agreed to handle the case for a flat fee, which is all you owe. CRIMINAL DEFENSE FAQ Why Not Use the Public Defender? If funds are tight, many people think they will just use the public defender offered to them. Though these are great lawyers, most public defenders are swamped with cases. They are overworked and underpaid. As a result, they probably cannot commit all the hours your case needs. If there are unique legal issues, then an intern in the office might be stuck researching them—which is not ideal for a criminal defendant. By hiring your own lawyer, you can guarantee individualized attention…
Public attitudes around drugs are in flux. In many states, advocates are pushing to decriminalize marijuana use and possession while maintaining a strong prohibition on other controlled substances, like heroin or cocaine. 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. In Wyoming, however, marijuana use and possession are still crimes, so you can be arrested and sentenced if you are caught. Needless to say, possession of other drugs are also crimes under Wyoming drug laws. If you have been picked up for breaking a drug law, you need an attorney by your side. Contact Cowboy County Criminal Defense today. Speaking to a drug charge attorney in Wyoming can help layout your options and work on your case immediately. The following information will provide you with more information about the charges you may be facing. Tell us about your drug possession below – your information will remain confidential. Wyoming Drug Laws General Information Wyoming Drug Laws: Manufacture, Delivery, & Possession with Intent to Deliver 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. You can find the main drug law at § 35-7-1031, which is a very detailed statute. Section (a) makes it a crime to manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to manufacture or deliver controlled substances. You can find what substances are controlled (meaning regulated) by looking at certain schedules that list them. If caught with methamphetamine or narcotic listed in Schedule I or II, you can be imprisoned for up to 20 years and fined up to $25,000, or both, if convicted.If caught with a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance, then a conviction can send you to prison for 10 years and cost you $10,000 in fines.If caught with a Schedule IV drug, then a conviction can lead to up to 2 years in prison, a fine of $2,5000, or both.If caught with a Schedule V drug, then a conviction can result in a year in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. Wyoming Drug Possession Lawyer Helping with Your Defense Wyoming also makes it a crime to manufacture, deliver, or possess a counterfeit substance. Penalties are similar to those listed above. 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. Wyoming Drug Laws – Possession Information Wyoming Drug Laws: Possession If you were caught possessing a controlled substance but did not have an intent to deliver it, then you face a different range of punishments, which you can find in WY Stat. § 35-7-1031(c). The punishment depends on the substance and the amount, along with whether this was your first offense. For example, being caught with more than 3 ounces of marijuana will be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to 12 months and a fine of $1,000, or both. If you are caught with LSD, you can have no more than 3/10 of a gram or else you will be punished with a misdemeanor. Repeat offenders face harsher penalties. For example, if you have three or more convictions for marijuana possession, then you face up to 5 years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both. Repeat convictions for possessing other controlled substances can bring even harsher penalties. 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…
If you have been recently charged with a crime – call us for the best defense. We offer free and confidential case reviews. You can reach us at 307.333.7884. Alternative sentencing is a name for all the different forms of punishment, excluding jail time and the death penalty, that a judge can give a defendant. For example, community sentencing and non-custodial sentencing are forms of alternative sentencing. The purpose of alternative sentencing is to give the defendant a punishment that fits the crime and to encourage reform. Alternatives to prison provide the best chance of having a positive impact on both the defendant and society. Qualifying for alternative sentencing options depends on the type of crime committed and whether the accused has any prior convictions. If you face criminal charges, we recommend discussing your case with a criminal defense attorney. Criminal defense lawyers can potentially reduce or eliminate criminal charges. Alternative sentencing is often a beneficial route to pursue. Contact our attorneys today to discuss the specifics of your case and potential defenses. Types of Alternative Sentencing Options In Wyoming, there are many alternatives to prison. However, some alternative sentencing options apply to more crimes than others. Monetary Fines Monetary fines are the most common type of alternative sentence. They typically apply in cases involving speeding or parking tickets. Judges often use monetary fines as an additional form of punishment rather than just a prison sentence. If possible, the attorneys at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense can negotiate monetary fines as an alternative sentence to jail time. Suspended Sentence A suspended sentence is an alternative form of punishment where the judge orders a sentence but does not enforce it. It usually applies in cases involving non-serious or first-time offenses. Suspended sentences usually include conditions that the defendant must meet to avoid jail time. Probation The accused is put on probation when he or she is released from detention but put under supervision for a period of time. Similar to a suspended sentence, probation requires the accused to meet certain conditions, like completing a substance abuse treatment program. The probation can be revoked and the accused may be sentenced to jail time if those conditions are not met. The defense attorney and prosecutor usually negotiate the terms of probation. Restitution Like a fine, restitution is an alternative sentence that requires the accused to pay money. Restitution is different from a monetary fine because the money that the accused pays goes to the victim. The purpose of restitution is to compensate the victim for financial loss that resulted from the crime. Victims often use restitution to pay for medical expenses or property damage. However, judges often order restitution as an additional form of punishment rather than an alternative sentence. Community Service Community service is any activity that benefits the community to make up for the wrong done. There are many local and regional community service programs in Wyoming. Examples include: Cleaning a park or roadside;Volunteering at a welfare agency, like United Way of Natrona County; andVolunteering at a homeless shelter, such as the Wyoming Rescue Mission. Sometimes community service is a specific form of punishment that relates to the crime charged. For example, an accused found guilty of a DUI offense may be sentenced to lecture young adults about the dangers of drinking and driving. Diversion Programs In Wyoming, diversion programs are alternatives to prison that may result in the dismissal of charges. The defendant must meet certain criteria that relate to the crime charged. The purpose of diversion programs is to allow defendants to show that they have learned from their mistakes and will not repeat them. However, the charges will be brought again if the defendant fails to meet the criteria. For example, while in the Wyoming Intensive Supervision program, a defendant: Participates in cognitive skills classes;Is subject to random drug tests;Receives unannounced home visits;Must work 40 hours per week; and Is required to pay all bills and other court-ordered obligations. Qualifying defendants include those eligible for parole, those likely to be sentenced to a correctional facility, and those experiencing difficulty under traditional probation and parole. How To Qualify for Alternative Sentencing According to Wyoming Law To be eligible for alternative sentencing in Wyoming, you must first meet certain criteria. You will also have to convince a judge why you are a good candidate for alternative sentencing. Judges in Wyoming have plenty of discretion when considering prison sentences and their alternatives. Convincing a judge that you are a qualified candidate for alternative sentencing can be a challenging task. It is wise to seek help from an experienced attorney. Factors That May Increase the Likelihood of Alternative Sentencing Certain circumstances may lead to higher chances of receiving an alternative sentence. These include: The defendant is a first-time offender;The offense was non-violent;The defendant is not a danger to the community;The defendant has steady employment;The crime was a result of drug or alcohol abuse; orThe defendant shows promise of completing a treatment program. A judge will evaluate your situation and decide whether your circumstances create an opportunity for alternative sentencing. Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is an invaluable ally when seeking an alternative sentence. Your attorney will advocate for your best interests. Take back your future and find out if you’re eligible for an alternative sentence. We will aggressively fight to reduce or even eliminate prison time. Contact us today at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense.