Wyoming Drug Laws

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…

alternative sentencing options

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.

first time felony charges

A felony is the worst crime you can be convicted of in Wyoming. Many people contact us to ask what the likely punishment will be for first-time felony charges. This question has a complicated answer, which we will look into more closely below. Although it is true that a first-time offender is likely to receive a lenient sentence, you may be wondering, do first-time offenders go to jail? Reach out to a Wyoming criminal defense attorney at Cowboy Country Criminal defense today. Possible Punishment Depends on the Crime In some states, there are classes of felonies, which have standardized punishments. So, a Class 2 felony in some states might carry 5-10 years in prison as punishment. A Class 3 felony might carry 10-15 years. The law then identifies the class for each crime. Wyoming is different. We set punishment based on the offense for first-time felony offenders. So there are no “classes” of felonies. To better understand how much time in prison you are facing, you will need to closely analyze the punishment available for your specific offense. Here are some examples for the first-time felony charges: First-degree sexual assault: 5-50 years in prisonPossession of 3 or more ounces of marijuana: up to 5 years in prison, along with finesBurglary is punished by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000First-degree arson is punished by up to 20 years and a fine up to $20,000 You can try to do legal research on your own, or you can meet with a criminal defense attorney to better understand what punishment you are facing. First Time Felony Offenders Punishments in Wyoming If this is your very first criminal offense, then you probably will get a more lenient sentence from the judge than if you have a laundry list of crimes to your name. Most felony statutes suggest a range for imprisonment. For example, first-degree sexual assault has a range of five to fifty years. If this is your first offense, you have a stronger argument for only spending five years in prison. If you have other criminal histories, sexual assault or not, then you probably will not get the minimum. Probation Instead of Prison Wyoming has a first-time offender statute found at WY Stat § 7-13-301 that can sometimes come into play if you have been convicted of a first offense felony. The law typically applies to people accused of misdemeanors, which are less serious than felonies. But by the language of the statute, it can apply to some felonies as well. If you qualify, you can be put on probation instead of having your conviction entered into the record. Some felonies are excluded—murder, aggravated assault, and battery, arson in the first or second degree, or sexual assault in the first or second degree. If you have been convicted of any of these, you do not qualify. However, if you are found guilty of a different felony, you might qualify so long as this is your first felony offense. You can’t have a prior felony. Probation will come with certain conditions, such as: Reporting to the court at least twice a yearNot committing other crimes while on probationObtaining the court’s permission before leaving the statePaying restitution to victimsFollowing other conditions imposed by the judge Probation will last at least one year and up to five. If at the end of the probationary period, the defendant has followed the terms of probation, the judge can dismiss the action. If you violate the terms of your probation, then the judge has options. For example, he can change the terms of probation or he can revoke the probation altogether and impose a sentence. It is vital that you do everything required of you and contact a Wyoming criminal defense attorney if you think you have violated a condition of probation. Speak with a Wyoming Criminal Defense Attorney The criminal justice system in Wyoming can be confusing to an outsider. Many defendants are intimidated and simply accept the first plea deal offered, whether it is a good offer or not. If you have a criminal defense attorney in your corner, you are better positioned to fight for the best deal possible. For first-time offenders, felony charges can be scary. You probably are worried about ending up in prison or having to pay very high fines. At this time of need, you should meet with an experienced attorney at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense who can review the charges against you. Contact our firm today. We offer a free consultation where we can talk about your case.

What Is Simple Assault

Disagreements and arguments happen all the time. But if they become too heated or get out of control, one or more people may be charged with a crime, including simple assault. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, the information below will provide you with important knowledge so you can better protect your legal interests. What Is A Simple Assault Charge in Wyoming? Simple assaults can occur in a variety of circumstances but often arise during a disagreement or argument. Definitions of simple assault differ from state to state. Wyoming law classifies assault as a misdemeanor and punishes simple assault convictions with monetary fines. Under the statute, a simple assault occurs where a person attempts to harm another person or cause bodily injury unlawfully.  A simple assault charge does not require actual bodily injury. You can be charged just for attempting to do so.  Penalties for Simple Assault  Penalties for simple assault charges do not include any jail time. But if convicted, you will still face consequences that can have a significant impact on your life. Legal penalties for simple assault include: Monetary penalties up to $750 per charge; A misdemeanor charge that will appear on your criminal record;Court dates and associated fees and costs; andProblems with employment, child custody disputes, and other issues associated with having a criminal record. Understanding Different Types of Assault-Related Charges Understanding different types of assault-related offenses can be complicated and confusing, but important to know if you face criminal charges. Below are brief descriptions of different types of assault-related charges and their associated penalties. Assault Versus Battery  Assault and battery come up in numerous different contexts in news, social media, and popular entertainment. Many sources describe these terms as the same offense, but they are separate crimes and have some crucial differences.  A simple assault crime in Wyoming only requires proving that someone attempted to cause bodily injury to another personA crime of battery requires showing that a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused another person bodily harm through physical force. Battery involves proving an actual injury, and a person charged with battery faces harsher legal consequences. Penalties for battery can include fines of up to $750 as well as up to six months in jail.  Unlawful Contact Wyoming law includes another type of offense that falls between a charge for assault or battery. Unlawful contact occurs where a person intentionally touches another person in an angry, rude, or impolite way but does not cause bodily injury. A person convicted of unlawful contact faces up to six months in jail, fines up to $750, or both.  Assault on a Household Member Wyoming law also distinguishes between simple assault and domestic assault, or assault by one household member against another. First-time domestic assault offenders face the same penalties as those for simple assault. However, if a person convicted of domestic assault committed another assault-related crime or a previous domestic assault, that person may face jail time in addition to a fine.  Do I Need a Lawyer? If you are charged with simple assault, remember that a criminal charge does not equal a conviction. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element, or part, or a criminal offense. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know and understand the elements of criminal assault and will investigate the facts of your case to develop a strong defense to protect your rights.  Some defenses to simple assault include:  Even if you did attempt to cause someone bodily injury, if you did it to protect yourself or someone else from harm you may be able to claim self-defense;You could argue that you were aggressive because you were defending your property;You may be able to claim consent as a defense if you can prove that the other person consented, or agreed to, the attempted bodily harm; orShowing that you lacked the ability to cause bodily harm.  Any of the defenses above or combinations of the defenses could make up your legal strategy. How a Criminal Defense Attorney Defends You from a Simple Assault Charge Creating a successful legal defense can be a complicated process. Presenting a legal claim requires knowing and following extensive court procedures, rules and methods for gathering and presenting evidence, writing court documents, and bringing a case to trial. Skilled lawyers spend years practicing and developing these skills so they can best serve and protect their clients’ interests. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you: Gather evidence, including investigations, police reports, witness testimonies, and other information necessary to build your defenseFile motions with the court Negotiate with the prosecution on your behalfDefend you and represent you if your case goes to trial Contact An Attorney Today If you or someone you know is charged with simple assault, you may not know what to do next. We understand this can be a stressful and challenging time, and our highly experienced attorneys and staff will support you through the process. Our criminal defense attorney Jeremy Hugus has extensive experience defending his clients’ rights against criminal defense charges. He has a proven track record of success and fights relentlessly on behalf of his clients. Call the Platte River Injury Law firm or fill out an online form today. Our qualified team will provide you with the legal advice and representation you need.

first time felony charges

If you are facing a charge for embezzlement, you may be feeling anxious and confused. This can be a difficult and uncertain time. It’s a good idea to get an attorney’s help facing any potential embezzlement charge that may be coming your way. Embezzlement charges and their possible defenses can be quite confusing. An attorney that has experience in this area will be able to analyze your case and talk to you about what to expect. At this stage, you may have several questions about your charge. You may be asking, “Is embezzlement a felony?” It’s important to know what you might be facing. There is a world of difference between a misdemeanor embezzlement charge and a felony embezzlement charge. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about embezzlement in Wyoming, as well as what to do next. What is embezzlement? First off, what exactly is embezzlement? Essentially, embezzlement is when someone takes money or property that isn’t theirs but has been entrusted to them. It is similar to theft but different in one significant way: In embezzlement cases, the person who takes the money or property was lawfully in charge of it at one point in time. In other words, theft is when someone takes money or property that doesn’t belong to them and wasn’t in their rightful possession. Embezzlement is when the money or property was in their rightful possession, and they unlawfully took ownership. A typical example of embezzlement is when an employee who works at a large company is tasked with keeping track of business funds. If that person takes the funds that belong to the business, this would be embezzlement. Often, the public hears about high-ranking officials or employees embezzling funds. These are the type of people that are most likely to be in charge of money that isn’t theirs. Can embezzlement be a misdemeanor? Embezzlement can be a misdemeanor, as well as a felony. The specific charge of embezzlement will depend on the value of the money or property.  Embezzlement is generally a state crime. Therefore, the line between misdemeanor embezzlement and felony embezzlement will vary in each state. Is embezzlement a felony? So, is embezzlement a felony? The answer is, “ It depends.” As noted above, embezzlement is generally a state crime, so the charge of misdemeanor or felony will depend on that particular state.  In Wyoming, embezzlement charges are as follows: Misdemeanor embezzlement: money or property worth less than $1,000. The penalties for misdemeanor embezzlement in Wyoming are a fine of up to $750, up to six months in jail, or both.Felony embezzlement: money or property worth more $1,000. The penalties for felony embezzlement in Wyoming are a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison, or both. Depending on what type of charge you are facing, the consequences could be quite severe. This is why it’s important to get an attorney’s help as quickly as possible.  What are possible defenses to felony embezzlement? There are several different defenses that are possible for felony embezzlement. An experienced and capable attorney will be able to examine your case and decide which defenses might be viable for you. Felony embezzlement cases can fall apart because of insufficient evidence. The prosecution is the party that needs to provide the proof in felony embezzlement cases. If the prosecution can’t show that the defendant had specific intent to embezzle, the defendant can be exonerated. The defendant may also use consent as a defense, meaning that the person or business that rightfully owned the property consented to the defendant taking it in the way that they did. The defendant might also say that they made a mistake, such as a calculation error. How can an attorney help with my embezzlement felony? Being charged with an embezzlement felony can be scary. At first, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you understand everything that is happening. If you decide to pursue representation with that attorney, you’ll ideally have someone in your corner who has handled several embezzlement felony cases before. Your skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to present arguments on your behalf in your felony embezzlement case. If you are facing a felony embezzlement charge, Cowboy Country Criminal Defense can help. We understand how challenging this is. We also know that you probably have a lot of questions that we can answer. Our representation will help you mount the best defense possible for your case. Contact the team at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense for assistance with your felony embezzlement charge.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

When you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance in the state of Wyoming, it is important to keep in mind that Wyoming drug possession laws are very strict.  If you are convicted of a drug possession charge, you are likely to face time in jail, as well as a monetary fine.  Wyoming Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Helping with Possession Charges The sentencing for a drug possession conviction depends on a number of different factors, including the amount of the drug in your possession, the type of drug, and whether the charges included possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a substance. An experienced drug possession defense attorney in Wyoming can begin working on your case to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. Sentencing Penalties for a Wyoming Drug Possession Offense It is unlawful to possess a controlled substance in Wyoming without a valid prescription for the drug. Even if a drug is lawful with a valid prescription, you can still face serious consequences if you are in possession of a controlled substance without a medical prescription from a healthcare provider. Controlled substances in Wyoming are classified into one of the following categories: Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V. Under Wyoming law (WY Stat. § 35-7-1031), the following are possible penalties for a drug possession conviction with a small amount of a controlled substance: Possession of a small amount of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV controlled substance can result in a fine of up to $1,000, a jail term of up to one year, or both;Subsequent offenses can result in a term of up to 5 years in prison, a monetary fine of up to $5,000, or both. A small amount of a controlled substance is defined as: Three ounces or less in plant form;Three-tenths of a gram or less in liquid form;Three grams or less in powder or crystalline form;Three grams or less in pill or capsule form;Less than five-tenths of a gram of crack cocaine; andLess than three-tenths of a gram of LSD. Possession of greater than the quantities listed above, but not including possession charges with intent to manufacture or deliver, can result in the following consequences: Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for possession of a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance;Up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 for possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance; andUp to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for a Schedule V substance. What is the Difference Between Possession and Intent to Manufacture or Deliver When a person is charged with possession of a controlled substance and there is a significant amount of the drug, that person may be charged with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver. This is a more serious charge than mere possession and comes with additional consequences. Penalties for possession with intent to manufacture or deliver can include: Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 for possession of methamphetamine or a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance that is a narcotic drug;Up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for Schedule I, II, or III controlled substances not included in the above category;Up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 for a Schedule IV controlled substance; andUp to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 for a Schedule V drug. There are also similar penalties for possession with intent to deliver a counterfeit substance. Consequences Beyond Your Wyoming Drug Possession Sentence In addition to possession of a controlled substance misdemeanor or a felony offense for drug possession and the resulting sentence, there are additional consequences that you may not be considering.  For example, if you are convicted of a crime, that conviction will remain part of your criminal record. You will need to disclose that information when you apply for numerous types of jobs and when you seek approval for a home or apartment rental. In some instances where you are seeking credit, such as student loans, you can be denied credit because of a criminal record.  In other words, the consequences of a drug possession conviction go far beyond the immediate terms of the sentence.  You can also be denied the right to own a firearm in certain cases where you have been convicted of a felony offense. You May Be Able to Lessen the Consequences of Your Wyoming Possession Charge With the help of an experienced Wyoming criminal defense lawyer, you may be able to have your charges reduced or enter into a diversionary program to avoid having a criminal record.  It is important to speak with a Wyoming drug possession defense lawyer about the potential consequences of a drug possession conviction and to learn about ways to mitigate the consequences.  A criminal defense attorney at our firm can speak with you today. Contact Cowboy Country Criminal Defense today to get started on your case with an aggressive Wyoming drug possession defense lawyer.

Misdemeanor attorney

Best Tips after a Misdemeanor Charge Misdemeanors are less serious criminal charges than felonies. However, “less serious” is a relative term. A misdemeanor can have many drastic consequences for a person, including making it difficult to secure employment or rent an apartment. Misdemeanor convictions can also jeopardize a person’s ability to get or keep a professional license. Misdemeanors can also result in jail time—up to a year in some cases. Getting sent to jail is often the first domino to fall, but soon there is a cascade of negative results, including job loss, school interruption, or loss of child custody. The financial fallout from a misdemeanor conviction can be immense. For these reasons, anyone picked up for a criminal charge should hire a misdemeanor attorney right away. A seasoned misdemeanor attorney can make the difference between staying out of jail or having your life dramatically disrupted. As an experienced Wyoming criminal defense firm, we offer our best tips for what to do after a misdemeanor charge. Do I Need a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor? The Right to Self-Representation Criminal defense suspects have a Constitutional right to represent themselves in a criminal proceeding. They also have the right to some legal help, whether in the form of access to a law library or the appointment of standby counsel who can help guide a defendant in the right direction. In our experience, a criminal defendant is much better off hiring a lawyer for a misdemeanor than trying to represent themselves. It takes too much time to learn the law and understand all the intricacies of criminal defense. Furthermore, an attorney is better able to identify whether the police followed the Constitution when gathering evidence or whether they violated your Fourth Amendment rights. We have successfully lobbied judges to toss incriminating evidence when the police violated our client’s rights during interrogation. If someone asked us, “Can I be a lawyer with a misdemeanor charge?”, we would answer, “Yes – but you should still contact us.” To mount the best possible defense, hire a Wyoming misdemeanor attorney right away. Classes of Misdemeanor Charges Wyoming does not have classes of misdemeanors. An attempt was made years ago to classify all misdemeanors, but that apparently has failed. Nevertheless, some misdemeanors carry more serious penalties than others. Unless otherwise spelled out in a statute, a misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence of 6 months and a fine of up to $750. A defendant might also have to pay court costs or fees. The most serious misdemeanors result in a jail sentence of up to 1 year. But a misdemeanor, by law, cannot result in more than 1 year in jail. If it does, then it is a felony. To better understand the penalties you are facing, meet with a Wyoming misdemeanor attorney at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense to review the charges. Tips When Choosing an Attorney The right attorney makes all the difference when trying to fight misdemeanor charges. The best attorneys do not simply employ “one size fits all” defense strategies but instead immerse themselves in the facts of the case. To choose the right misdemeanor attorney for you, remember the following: Schedule a free consultation. You can discuss your case and ask questions, such as what type of punishment you are facing if convicted.Ask the attorney about his or her experience. Experience matters. A divorce lawyer might be a great attorney who sounds confident, but he might not have any experience with criminal matters. Someone who has handled many criminal defendants will be a better choice since he has kept up with changes in the law and knows local prosecutors, which is a big help when negotiating a plea deal.Request a realistic assessment of your case. An ethical lawyer will never lie or tell you that your case is a “slam dunk” win. Instead, a lawyer can discuss the odds of conviction based on the facts known at that time.Ask about fees, but don’t get hung up on the money. Many people want to represent themselves because they don’t want to pay any attorneys’ fees. But think about all you can lose if you handle your case yourself and fail to drive a hard bargain. An attorney’s fees are usually quite reasonable.Check online reviews but take them with a grain of salt. Often, the only people motivated enough to write a review are those who want to complain. After meeting with a lawyer, trust your gut. Did you get along with the attorney? Did you find him persuasive? If so, you can go ahead and hire him or schedule more consultations with other lawyers. Misdemeanor Attorneys You Can Trust At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we have helped many defendants get out from under criminal charges. We would be happy to discuss your case with you and offer a free consultation to get started. Contact us today.

Probation allows a person to avoid going to jail or prison while serving a sentence. For this reason alone, many people aggressively try to get probation if they cannot get the charges dismissed altogether. However, probation is not a “get out of jail free” card. Instead, it comes with an array of conditions that you must follow. Some of the more common include staying out of trouble, undergoing periodic or regular drug tests, and meeting regularly with a probation officer. These aren’t optional. If you violate any of these conditions, you can be picked up and incarcerated. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we receive many panicked calls from someone who has maybe missed a visit with their probation officer or who has been picked up for a DUI. They call because they want to know “how much time can you get for violating probation?” The answer is pretty simple—you can get as much time in jail or prison as you would have received had you never received probation. But it is also possible to avoid jail even if you violated a condition. What is a Probation Revocation Hearing? Under WY Stat. § 7-13-408, your probation officer has the power to take you into custody and to detain you for a reasonable period of time if he or she believes you violated any condition of your probation. You will also have a probation hearing. Under the law, you are entitled to receive written notice of the substance of the allegations against you. This written notice is key because it allows you and your attorney to prepare for the hearing. The hearing is usually held before a judge, hearing officer, or other person empowered to hear the case. You will have the right to cross-examine any witnesses who offer testimony against you. You can also present any proof in your possession that shows you did not commit the violation or that the violation was unintentional. In many ways, these hearings are like trials. However, the standard of proof is much lower. You do not need to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the judge only needs to find it is more likely than not that you committed the violation. Important Criminal Defense Information Will You Be Sent to Jail For Violating Probation? It isn’t automatic that you will be sent to jail if you violated your probation. Instead, WY Stat. § 7-13-1107(b) proposes other administrative sanctions that can be imposed, including community service or loss of certain privileges. Your attorney can argue that these punishments are much more appropriate, especially if your violation was minor. You can also be sent to the county jail for a short period of time—up to 30 days. This does not mean your probation is revoked. Instead, you simply go to jail for a short period of time and are still on probation when you leave jail. Possible placement in a residential community correctional program for up to 60 days is also an option that will allow you to continue probation. What if Probation is Revoked? This is the worst outcome. Once probation is revoked, you will be sentenced just as you would have been had the judge not put you on probation, to begin with. Probation violation sentences will depend on the underlying offense. To figure out how much jail time for a probation violation, meet with your attorney to review the initial charges against you. Probation can be ordered for either a misdemeanor or a felony conviction. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, then you are looking at a maximum of 6-12 months in jail anyway. Felony sentences depend on the felony you were charged and convicted of. Also, you might be charged with a new crime, which is the reason why you are having your probation revoked in the first place. For example, you might have been arrested for DUI, which is now another substantive offense you could do time for. As you can see, the answer to the question, “how long do you go to jail for violating probation?” is really “it depends.” Fight Back With A Criminal Defense Attorney Defendants should do everything possible to prevent a revocation of their probation. In some cases, you might not have done anything wrong, so there is no valid reason to revoke. In others, the violation is small and technical in nature and does not indicate that you can’t continue successfully with your probation. At Cowboy Country Criminal Defense, we help criminal defendants get back on their feet after an arrest. This includes fighting for probation and then making sure it is not revoked. If you’ve been picked up, please contact us today. A member of our team will swing into action to figure out the allegations against you and build a case that shows you deserve to keep your probation. Schedule your free and confidential initial consultation today. “I felt helpless and hopeless…” When I reached out to Jeremy, I felt helpless and hopeless. Jeremy gave me my voice back. I tried to take care of legal issues on my own but my situation only got worse. Hiring Jeremy was the best choice. He was professional, honest and made me proud to have him on my side. – Carrie G.