Drug Laws in Wyoming
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.
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.
The following information will provide you with more information about the charges you may be facing.
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; and
- Under 3/10 of a gram of LSD.
Penalties for Higher Quantity Drug Possession in Wyoming
If you are convicted of drug possession with an amount of a controlled substance above those amounts listed above, the penalties are more severe.
The following is additional information about the penalties you could face depending upon the type and amount of drug:
- Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance or methamphetamine: up to 7 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $15,000;
- Other types of Schedule I, II, or III controlled substances: up to 10 of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
- Schedule IV controlled substance: up to 2 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500; and
- Schedule V controlled substance: up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Do You Have a Defense? Speak to a Wyoming Drug Charge Attorney
If you are facing Wyoming drug possession charges, you should get started on your defense today with an experienced and aggressive Wyoming drug possession defense attorney.
In the moments after a drug bust or arrest, you might feel hopeless. However, you do have options. An experienced criminal defense attorney at Cowboy Country can review your case and determine whether the initial search and arrest were legal.
If not, we can move to suppress the evidence against you.