what-happens-when-you-break-probation

When you’ve been convicted of a crime, the sentencing judge generally has a few options to choose from. In addition to prison time, the judge may consider a probationary sentence. Probation is a form of in-community supervision that allows the defendant to remain at home while following a set of what can be fairly restrictive terms and conditions.  If you have been charged with violating your probation in Wyoming, you likely have a lot of questions about what you can expect in the coming weeks and months. It is important to understand the consequences you may be facing as a result of violating probation. Your best bet is to consult an attorney to develop a strong strategy for your case.  What Happens When You Break Probation? If you have violated the terms of your probation, your probation officer will likely file a complaint against you. You will then receive a summons to appear in court. If the judge or hearing officer determines that it is more likely than not that you violated probation, the judge will then impose consequences for the violation. As a consequence of violating probation, you may be sent to jail or be required to complete community service or undergo additional conditions of probation. The court may even revoke your probation altogether and impose your original sentence, which could include prison time. How Long Do You Have to Sit in Jail for a Probation Violation? The length of time you will be required to remain in jail following a probation violation depends on the facts of your case. It is possible that the judge will reimpose the same prison sentence you would have received if you hadn’t been sentenced to probation instead. Alternatively, the judge may order you to spend up to 30 days in jail or 60 days in a community correctional program. Will You Go to Jail for Your First Probation Violation? If this is the first time you have violated the conditions of your probation, don’t panic. If you haven’t already, contact your probation officer. You may be able to avoid having to go to court to address the violation. It is unlikely that you will serve jail time for a first violation, though the outcome depends on the specific circumstances of your case. It is more likely that you will be reminded of the terms and conditions with which you agreed to comply and be given a grace period during which you can demonstrate your ability to do so.  How Do You Beat a Probation Violation? Your best chance at beating a probation violation is to comply with the terms and conditions of your probation. Though these terms can be expensive and time-consuming continued compliance with probation is the best way to avoid spending time in jail. If you do violate your probation, you should contact your probation officer immediately. A probation officer is more likely to be lenient in their recommendations to the judge if they feel you have tried to comply and have been communicative in the process. If you receive a summons for a probation revocation hearing, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help determine the best strategy for avoiding additional jail time.  If you are set for a probation revocation hearing, be sure to appear in court on time and prepare a statement for the judge recounting your attempts and successes on probation. A judge is a person, after all, and maybe more lenient if you can show that you have good intentions.  Hire an Experienced Wyoming Probation Violation Attorney If you are facing the consequences of a probation violation, you need the help of an attorney. Cowboy Country Criminal Defense is a Casper-based law firm that has defended clients across Wyoming. We defend individuals in court for all manner of criminal cases. We will meet with you to discuss the facts of your probation violation, and help you get the best outcome for your case. Contact us today so we can get to work protecting your rights.

what-happens-at-a-probation-revocation-hearing

If you violated the terms of your probation, you are probably facing serious consequences. Probation revocation hearings can be complicated. It is important to understand the process to help ensure you get the best outcome for your case. What Is a Probation Revocation? If you were charged with violating the conditions of your probation, you probably received a summons to appear for a probation revocation hearing. At a probation revocation hearing, a court will determine whether you have violated the terms of your probationary sentence and whether your probation should be revoked.  The terms of probation differ depending on the facts of each case. However, most jurisdictions use certain standard terms and conditions. Common probationary terms require you to: Report to the probation department immediately following sentencing;Report to and and communicate with probation officers on a regular basis;Maintain full time employment;Refrain from owning firearms;Submit to regular testing for drug and/or alcohol use;Refrain from incurring new law violations; andConsent to random searches of your car, residence, and personal belongings.  Failure to comply with these terms and conditions will likely result in the probation department filing a complaint against you. The complaint then triggers the process of probation revocation.  What Is the Process of Probation Revocation? In Wyoming, your probation officer may take you into custody until your hearing or for a reasonable period of time prior to the hearing.  In a probation revocation hearing, a judge, hearing officer, or other person empowered to hear the case will decide whether you violated the terms of your probation. The judge will use a preponderance of the evidence standard. This standard considers whether based on the evidence presented, there is a greater than 50% chance that you violated your probationary terms. Like other hearings in criminal court, you have the right to present evidence, including witnesses, and to cross-examine the witnesses testifying against you.  If the judge finds that you have violated the terms of your probation, they will make a finding on the record reflecting the violation. They will then determine the appropriate consequences. If the judge determines you have violated probation, it does not automatically mean that your probation has been revoked. In Wyoming, the judge may take you into custody for a probation violation. Alternatively, he or she could order you to complete community service or impose additional terms and conditions of probation.  What Happens If Your Probation Is Revoked If the court revokes your probation, it will sentence you as it would have if it had not originally sentenced you to probation. This means that the judge can again consider the sentencing options available to him or her during your original sentencing hearing. Additionally, if the court revokes your probation due to a new law violation, the State may charge you with a new crime. This will result in new or additional sentencing exposure for you.  How a Probation Defense Attorney Can Help  Probation revocation proceedings have serious consequences, including time in prison. For this reason, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced probation revocation hearing attorney in Wyoming. An attorney will be well versed in the requirements of a probation revocation hearing and will ensure that your rights are protected. An attorney will also be able to prepare you for your hearing and examine your witnesses and the witnesses against you.  Based in Casper, the attorneys at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense are committed to defending individuals across Wyoming. We are strategic, pragmatic, and focused attorneys. We will represent you in court and negotiate with the Government to help you get the best outcome for your case. Contact us today so we can help you protect your rights.

wyoming marijuana laws

Like many states, Wyoming has strict penalties for possessing and distributing marijuana. Wyoming marijuana laws also apply to other forms of marijuana such as hash and concentrate. Unlike other states, Wyoming marijuana laws prohibit the exception for medical marijuana.   Additionally, the state can charge you with DUI for driving while under the influence of marijuana. This charge carries the same penalties as driving while under the influence of alcohol. If you face a marijuana-related charge in Wyoming, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer today. Wyoming Marijuana Laws: Possession There are four types of marijuana possession crimes in Wyoming.  1. Under the Influence Being under the influence of marijuana at any time is a misdemeanor in Wyoming. This charge results in a jail sentence of up to six months, a fine up to $750, or both. 2. Possession of Less Than Three Ounces Possession of less than three ounces of marijuana is also a misdemeanor. It carries with it a penalty of up to 12 months in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both. 3. Possession of More Than Three Ounces However, possession of more than three ounces of marijuana is a felony. This charge results in a penalty of up to five years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both. 4. Possession Within 500 Feet of a School Additionally, if you possess marijuana within 500 feet of a school, your fine increases by $500. This rule applies to all forms of marijuana possession crimes. Wyoming Weed Laws: Distribution In Wyoming, the sale or distribution of any amount of marijuana is a felony. Selling or distributing marijuana carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, a fine up to $10,000, or both. Paraphernalia Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is usually a separate charge from possession or distribution. Examples of paraphernalia include: Pipes, Scales, Papers, andMarijuana residue. In Wyoming, possession of marijuana paraphernalia carries a penalty of up to six months in jail, up to a $750 fine, or both. Other Forms of Marijuana Other common forms of marijuana include concentrate and hash. These forms of marijuana can be mixed into foods and drinks or consumed through a vaporizer or e-cigarette. In Wyoming, the penalties for possession of marijuana concentrate and hash depend on the amount of marijuana in the food, drink, vaporizer, or e-cigarette. Possession of .3 grams or less is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both. Possession of more than .3 grams is a felony with a punishment of up to five years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both. How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You? A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand Wyoming marijuana laws and how they apply to you. Additionally, a lawyer can defend you in court if the state charges you with a marijuana offense. If you’ve been charged with violating marijuana laws in Wyoming, Jeremy Hugus at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense can fight for your freedom. Jeremy believes in his clients from the start and will keep you informed throughout the entire criminal justice process. Contact Jeremy today to schedule your consultation.

what can cause a false positive breathalyzer test

Wyoming takes DUI very seriously, especially for minors. Wyoming’s DUI zero-tolerance policy bars any person under the legal drinking age from operating a vehicle with any amount of alcohol or illicit substance in their system. DUI charges, even for first-time offenders, carry serious consequences. If you or a loved one faces DUI charges, contact a qualified criminal defense attorney right away.  What Is the Zero Tolerance DUI in WY? Wyoming has strict laws regarding drinking and driving. Wyoming’s zero-tolerance policy means that any person under the legal drinking age who drives with a blood-alcohol level of .02% or more will face criminal sanctions. The penalties for a DUI depend on the circumstances of the case and whether the person is a first-time offender or has previous DUI convictions. Wyoming is also a zero-tolerance state with respect to marijuana. Drivers in Wyoming with any measurable amount of marijuana in their system will face DUI charges. What Is the Legal BAC in Wyoming? Wyoming’s zero-tolerance policy applies to drivers under the legal drinking age. For drivers over the legal drinking age, any blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08% is considered under the influence of alcohol. If the driver’s BAC level measures between .05% and .08%, the police officer must use his or her discretion to determine if the person is under the influence. For BACs under .05%, the law presumes the driver is not intoxicated. What Are the Penalties for a First Offense DUI in Wyoming? Normally, first-time DUIs receive less serious punishments. Under Wyoming law, a person who commits their first DUI faces penalties, including: Jail time of up to six months,Up to $750 in fines, andA suspended license for up to 90 days. A court may also require the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle if your BAC was higher than .15% at the time of your arrest. What Are the Penalties for Multiple DUIs in Wyoming?  Wyoming law imposes harsher penalties for multiple DUIs than for first-time offenses. Multiple DUI offenses carry larger fees and possible jail time. For a second DUI that occurs within ten years of the previous offense, a driver faces penalties including: Jail time between seven days and six months;A minimum fine of $200, up to $750;License suspension for one year; andA required ignition interlock device for one year. For a third DUI offense, punishments include: Between 30 days and six months in jail;Fines of at least $750 and up to $3,000;License suspension for three years; andA required ignition interlock device for two years. In addition to fines and jail time, all DUI offenders, including first-time offenders, must complete a substance abuse assessment. Based on the results, courts may require sobriety monitoring. Contact a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney Today DUI convictions have lasting consequences and can cause serious disruptions to your life. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we care deeply about our clients and fight aggressively to protect their interests. Our attorney, Jeremy Hugus, provides personalized legal services and uses his extensive experience to build his clients a strong legal defense. We understand that facing DUI charges is difficult. Our dedicated staff will answer your questions and provide you with support throughout the process. For a free consultation, call our office at 307-333-7884 or fill out an online form today.

wyoming-stalking-laws

Relationships can be complicated, and sometimes they don’t always end well. Sometimes relationships involve stalking charges and accusations. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate this difficult time and protect your legal interests and rights.  What Is Stalking? Under Wyoming law, a person may face stalking charges if that person intends to harass someone else and behaves in a way that is reasonably likely to cause harassment. Harassment occurs when a person: Feels emotional distress,Fears for their safety or someone else’s safety, orFears for the safety of their property. Types of harassing behavior include: Communicating in a harassing manner through verbal, electronic, or other means;Following someone; orWatching someone at their work, school, or home. Behavior that qualifies as stalking is not always obvious. Sometimes someone accused of stalking does not realize that their behavior is illegal or otherwise inappropriate.  If someone accused you of stalking, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can help explain your charges and try to protect you from serious legal consequences.  What Evidence Is Needed for a Stalking Charge? To prove a stalking charge, the prosecution must show that a person intended to harass someone else and behaved in a way that was reasonably likely to cause the other person to feel harassed. Often, proving stalking charges requires evidence showing a pattern of harassing behavior. For example, if someone follows another person to and from work, regularly passes by their house, or repeatedly tries to contact them, this behavior may be sufficient to prove a stalking charge. The prosecution must also show that the alleged stalking behavior would cause a reasonable person fear or emotional distress under the circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands the requirements of proof and can identify ways to defeat a stalking charge. Restraining Orders in the State of Wyoming When someone accuses another of stalking, a court may issue a restraining order to protect a victim. Restraining orders prevent a person from contacting or approaching a victim. In addition to requiring someone to maintain a physical distance from a victim, the restraining order may prevent a person from visiting certain locations, such as: The victim’s home,The victim’s place of work, orThe victim’s school. Normally, restraining orders in Wyoming last about three months. But depending on the circumstances, a court may extend the length of the restraining order. If a person violates a restraining order, they may face penalties such as: Up to six months in jail,Fines of up to $750, orA combination of fines and jail time. An attorney can help explain the terms of a restraining order and help you avoid further criminal sanctions.  Contact a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney Today Stalking charges and restraining orders can be painful and difficult to handle on your own. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we fight diligently to protect our clients’ interests. Our attorney Jeremy Hugus has extensive experience fighting to deliver the best results for his clients. Our experienced staff will answer your questions and support you every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 307-333-7884 or fill out an online form today. 

Wyoming DUI Laws

Driving under the influence is a very serious offense in Wyoming and can have substantial penalties. Even though this is still a frontier, the state has cracked down on drunk driving, so anyone picked up after drinking can expect to face some stiff penalties. Wyoming DUI laws also apply to those who drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Wyoming DUI laws can have long-lasting consequences. Hiring a Casper DUI defense attorney to advocate for you can be beneficial to the success of your case. Related: How Long Does a DUI remain on Your Record? If you have been arrested, you should be aware of the punishments and penalties of a DUI in Wyoming. A DUI can stay on your driving record for 10 years, and the penalties will continue to increase if you are picked up for a second or third DUI. Reach out to an experienced Wyoming DUI attorney as soon as possible to begin building your defense. Wyoming DUI/DWI Laws The Wyoming DUI law can be found at WY Stat. § 31-5-233. Wyoming law defines DUI as driving or having “actual physical control” of a vehicle when: The driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher; orThe driver is incapable of operating the vehicle safely and is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. As you can see, you can still face DUI charges with a BAC under 0.08% or even if your BAC is unknown, so long as you were not capable of operating the vehicle safely. Therefore, it is important to contact a Wyoming DUI attorney if you face DUI charges. Hiring an attorney provides you with the best opportunity to reduce or eliminate your DUI charges. Overview of DUI/DWI Penalties under Wyoming Laws Under Wyoming DUI laws, the severity of your punishment for a DUI offense depends on a number of factors. These factors include: The number of prior DUI convictions you have,The time frame within which you’ve received DUI convictions,The amount of alcohol in your blood,Whether someone was hurt as a result of your intoxicated driving, andWhether you were driving while intoxicated with a child under 16 in the vehicle. However, the most important factor under Wyoming DUI laws is the number of prior DUI convictions you might have. A Wyoming DUI lawyer can help you understand whether your punishment is excessive and fight to lower your punishment to an appropriate level. First DUI/DWI Conviction in Wyoming A first DUI offense in Wyoming carries the least severe punishment. For a first-time Wyoming DUI conviction, the punishments you can face include: Up to six months in jail,Up to a $750 fine, andSuspension of your license for 90 days. In addition, a court may order you to receive a substance abuse assessment and complete a first offender DUI class. If your BAC was greater than 0.15%, the State of Wyoming can require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle for a period of six months. If you face charges for a first DUI offense, speak with a Wyoming DUI lawyer as soon as possible.  Second DUI/DWI Conviction in Wyoming If you face a second Wyoming DUI conviction within 10 years of your first conviction, the punishments you can receive include: Seven days to six months in jail,A $250 to $750 fine,The suspension of your license for up to one year, andThe installation of an IID on your vehicle for a period of one year. The State of Wyoming may also require you to receive a substance abuse assessment and complete a state-approved substance abuse program after a second DUI conviction. A Wyoming DUI attorney can help you potentially reduce your penalties for a second DUI offense. Third DUI/DWI Conviction in Wyoming The penalties for a third DUI conviction within 10 years of your first are severe. Specifically, the punishments for a third Wyoming DUI conviction include: Between one and six months in jail,A fine of at least $750 to $3,000,The suspension of your license for up to three years, andThe installation of an IID on your vehicle for a period of two years. A court may also order you to complete a state-approved substance abuse treatment program after a third DUI conviction. Due to the severity of a third DUI conviction in 10 years, it is essential that you speak with a DUI attorney as soon as possible. Fourth DUI/DWI Conviction in Wyoming The punishments for a fourth or more DUI conviction within 10 years are extremely harsh. The State of Wyoming considers a fourth DUI conviction a felony, and as a result, it carries much stricter penalties. These penalties include: Up to two years in prison,Up to a $10,000 fine,The suspension of your license, andThe installation of an IID for the remainder of your life. The duration of your license suspension will vary depending on the facts of your case. The State of Wyoming will also require you to receive a substance abuse assessment and complete a state-approved substance abuse treatment program. No matter how many prior DUI convictions you may have, speaking with a DUI attorney gives you the best chance of potentially reducing or eliminating your DUI charges.  Aggravating Factors Like other states, Wyoming DUI Laws increase the punishment where certain aggravating factors are involved. In Wyoming, these aggravating factors include: Whether your BAC was very high (0.15% or higher),Whether you hurt someone in an accident while driving under the influence, and Whether you had someone under age 16 in the car with you. Any of the above is an aggravating factor that will increase the penalties you suffer. If you believe any of these aggravating factors apply to your case, you should speak with a Wyoming DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Probation In addition to the punishments discussed above, a court may sentence you to probation for a DUI conviction. Probation can be sentenced instead of or in addition to jail time, fines, and other penalties. In Wyoming DUI cases, probation usually…

sex offender laws

Under Wyoming law, if a person commits certain sexual offenses, they must register on Wyoming’s sexual offender registry. The sex offender registry is a public database that contains a list of all sex offenders residing in Wyoming required to register with the state. If you are convicted of a sexual offense or have questions about sex offender registration, you should contact a qualified Wyoming criminal defense attorney right away.  Who Must Register for Wyoming’s Sex Offender Registry? Under Wyoming Statute 7-19-302, any sex offender residing, attending school, or working in Wyoming must register with the Sheriff in the county where they reside. Registrable sexual offenses include any of the offenses listed in the statute, such as: Sexual abuse of a minor,Possession of child pornography,Taking obscene photos or videos of a child,Sexual assault of a minor,Soliciting sexual relations with a minor, andSexual exploitation of a minor. Sex offenders must also register for certain federal offenses or sexual offenses in other states that are similar to those under Wyoming law.  What Does Sex Offender Registration Look Like? If someone is convicted of one of the registerable sexual offenses, they must immediately register with the Sheriff’s department in the county where they reside. Individuals arrested and confined for a sexual offense in Wyoming after July 1, 1999, and sentenced after January 1, 1985, must register before being released from custody. If the person is arrested but not required to serve any jail time, they must register immediately after sentencing. If a person convicted of a registerable offense enters Wyoming, the offender must register with the county within three days of arrival in the state. To register, the offender must be: Photographed,Fingerprinted, andPalmprinted. The offender must also provide the following information to the Sheriff’s office: Name,Address,Date and place of birth,Social security number,Place and physical address of employment,Date and place of conviction,Crime for which they were convicted,The name and address of any school they are attending,License plate number and a description of the vehicle,A DNA sample,The age of each victim,Email address, andPhone numbers. If the offender changes their address, they must notify the law enforcement agency in the new county within three days of moving. In addition, the offender must notify law enforcement if they plan to leave the country, and they must provide a travel itinerary.  What Does It Mean to Be Registered? If someone registers on Wyoming’s sex offender registry, any member of the public can access their registered information, including the offender’s: Name,Physical address,Date and place of birth,Crime for which he was convicted,Photograph,Physical characteristics,Employer’s address, andSchool address. For certain offenses, the law enforcement agency must provide notice of the registration to any neighbors who live within at least 750 feet of the offender’s residence. Schools, religious organizations, and youth groups within 750 feet must also receive notice.  What Happens If Someone Doesn’t Register? Failing to register as a Wyoming sex offender carries serious penalties, including large fines and jail time. A person who knowingly fails to register as a sex offender faces punishment, including: Fines of up to $1,000 andUp to five years in prison. A second offense includes: Fines up to $1,000 andUp to ten years in prison. Failing to pay required fees is also punishable as a misdemeanor with penalties including a $750 fine and up to six months in county jail.  How Can I Get Off the Sex Offender Registry? If someone is convicted of a registerable sex offense, normally, the offender must register on Wyoming’s sex offender registry for the rest of their life. However, under some circumstances, Wyoming law allows registered sex offenders to petition the court to remove their name from the sex offender registry. For less serious sexual offenses, such as third-degree sexual abuse of a minor or possession of child pornography, an offender could remove their name from the registry if the offender: Has been registered for at least ten years, and Has maintained a clean record by avoiding arrest and completing all required probation and parole. For more serious sexual offenses, such as sexual assault or first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, the offender can request to remove their name if the offender: Has been registered for at least 25 years andHas maintained a clean record for all 25 years. The court will review the facts and decide whether to grant the sex offender’s petition.  How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help If you qualify to remove your name from the sex offender registry, you must go through a complicated petition process with the court. Before you can file a petition, you must: Serve the petition to the court and the prosecuting attorney,Prove your registration for the required time period,Prove your clean record, andDefend your petition if the prosecutor files a response. If the prosecutor files a response, the judge will hold a hearing to decide your case. These hearings require specialized knowledge of the law and familiarity with legal theory and argument. If you lack legal experience, this can be a daunting and stressful experience. A qualified Wyoming defense attorney can help alleviate that stress and increase the likelihood that the judge will approve your petition. Contact a Qualified Wyoming Criminal Defense Attorney Today The attorneys at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense fight aggressively for our client’s interests. We understand how painful and harmful sex offender registration can be. We will provide you strong legal representation and work to protect your interests. Our experienced sex crimes staff will answer your questions and guide you every step of the way. For a free consultation, contact our offices or call at 307-333-7884 today to get started.

How to Find Out If You Have a Wyoming Warrant

Courts can issue arrest warrants for a variety of reasons, and law enforcement can make an arrest at any time.  If you think you have a warrant, you should contact an experienced Wyoming attorney to help you perform a thorough search.  If you discover an outstanding warrant, your attorney will help you navigate the legal process and advise you of your best options.  What Is a Warrant? A warrant is a court order issued by a judge that grants law enforcement authority to search or seize the person or property listed on the warrant. Once a judge issues a warrant, the clerk uploads the information to the county or state’s law enforcement database. This information is accessible by all law enforcement statewide. Any law enforcement officer may execute an active warrant in any part of the state. Depending on the severity of the crime, even law enforcement agencies in other states or federal officers may execute the warrant. For example, if an officer pulls you over for a traffic violation, the officer will typically perform a background check. If the background check reveals an outstanding warrant, the officer may immediately place you under arrest. Types of Warrants in Wyoming Wyoming has different kinds of warrants depending on the circumstances of the case and the type of action the court needs law enforcement to perform. All arrest warrants grant law enforcement the authority to place the person listed on the warrant in custody. Search warrants allow law enforcement to enter and search specified property. Arrest Warrants When a prosecutor or law enforcement seeks a warrant for a person’s arrest, they will file a complaint with the court. A judge reviews the complaint, and if the judge determines it necessary, he or she will issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. The judge will need to determine that probable cause exists to issue a warrant for a person’s arrest in connection with a suspected crime. Once the judge issues the warrant, law enforcement will search for and place the individual in custody. Bench Warrants When an individual violates a court order, the judge will often issue bench arrest warrants. Judges commonly issue bench warrants for the following offenses: Violating the terms of bail,Failing or refusing to appear for a court date, orFailing to pay fines or perform other court-ordered actions for a previous offense. If you forgot about a court date or a fine you were required to pay, you might not know that a court issued a bench warrant for your arrest. It is important to determine if you have any outstanding warrants so you are not caught off guard and you can pursue the best legal options. Search Warrants Courts issue search warrants to grant law enforcement authority to enter and search a specified property or location. The warrant will specify its purpose, either to search the property for information or evidence or to search for an individual wanted for arrest. Officers may perform search warrants and any other warrant on any day and at any time. How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant There are several ways to search for a warrant in Wyoming. However, finding if you have a warrant depends on where the warrant was issued and the law enforcement agency that issued the warrant. Each Wyoming County has its own database. State and federal agencies also have their own databases. If you are unsure where your warrant was issued, you may need to search each database separately. An experienced attorney can help you perform a thorough search and provide you guidance and legal advice if you have an outstanding warrant. Search Through a Government Agency Searching online is the most convenient way to find out if you have any outstanding warrants. You can either search government warrant databases or use a third-party search engine. Some government websites offer free warrant searches, but third-party websites will often charge fees for searches. If you think you know where your warrant was issued, you can visit that local government’s website and search their online database. For example, if your warrant was issued in Natrona County, Wyoming, you can visit the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office website. The website offers a free warrant search database. You can search the database for any active warrants associated with a particular name. Similarly, if you think you have a warrant issued in Casper, you can visit the Casper, Wyoming government website and search its warrant database. You can also call the law enforcement agency directly and ask if you have any outstanding warrants. However, law enforcement may attempt to question you over the phone. If you choose to call the law enforcement agency and speak with an officer, it may be best to contact an attorney first. Your attorney can help protect your interests and prevent you from providing damaging information to the officer. Search Through a Third Party You can also search online through third-party websites. These websites will perform comprehensive searches in multiple law enforcement databases. However, these third-party websites usually require a fee for each search. Alternatively, you can contact a local bail bondsman. He or she may have access to the county database containing active arrest warrants. Should I Hire an Attorney? While you can search for warrants yourself, you may miss something. Experienced Wyoming attorneys have experience with the judicial system and understand how courts issue warrants. Lawyers may also have access to databases not available to the general public. Your attorney can use their access and experience to perform a comprehensive search covering all available databases. In addition, hiring an attorney is important if you discover you have an outstanding warrant. Your attorney can assess the warrant and determine your best options. An arrest may not even be required. Your attorney can arrange for alternative procedures instead of arrest. If the arrest is necessary, your attorney can negotiate the terms of your surrender and help you reduce your bail amount. In some cases, your attorney may…

Wyoming Self-Defense Laws

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. 

Child Abuse in Wyoming Laws and Penalties

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 Considered Child Abuse in Wyoming? 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.