Criminal Defense | Blogs by Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. - Part 2
Within the state of Wyoming, theft crimes can range from shoplifting to grand theft auto, but very few residents understand the exact ramifications of each crime. These cases can become rather complex, with the difference in charges being based on the value of the stolen property to whether or not a firearm was involved. Altogether, theft crimes can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, but what exactly is the difference and how can it affect you?
Alternative sentencings have steadily expanded across the United States for the past few decades in order to rehabilitate criminal behavior and lower prison populations more effectively. The state of Wyoming is no different and has several programs in place to allow criminal offenders to avoid prison time while also ensuring the needs of their community are met. This includes everything from probation to substance abuse programs to community service. In addition to programs helping adult offenders move on from a conviction, minors are also eligible for similar programs that can help them avoid developing a criminal record.
One of the most unique amendments in the United States constitution is the sixth amendment. Under this statute, a defendant in a criminal trial has the right “to be confronted with the witnesses against” him or her. While this may seem standard in a criminal case, there are instances where the sixth amendment could be vital to reducing your charges or having your case dismissed, but only if you thoroughly understand how it works.
Cop dramas and crime shows have made most people aware of the term “I plead the fifth,” but few actually know what the phrase refers to. It comes from the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which outlines several laws regarding due process and how an individual should be charged with a crime. When someone declares they are pleading the fifth, they are specifically referring to how the Constitution states that no individual “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”
Depending on the situation, a court may implement a restraining or protection order to prevent a particular person from doing something to someone else. Despite some similarities, these two types of orders have different purposes in Wyoming and are issued under different circumstances.
Following a court case, the court will file a criminal record of all related charges, even if they are dismissed, with Wyoming’s central criminal records and these records are available to the public. The availability of these files can be roadblocks for individuals looking for employment, applying for schools, and renting an apartment or home. Within the state of Wyoming, citizens have the option of expunging a criminal record, which will remove or seal the record from public eyes. Expungement holds a number of benefits in Wyoming, including improving your job, schooling, and housing opportunities. Once a record is expunged, the records can only be accessed by law enforcement and you are not required to disclose it to landlords, housing officials, employers, or any other individual.
The United States Constitution guarantees certain rights for all citizens (and even non-citizens) of the USA, and further state laws in Wyoming provide additional rights regarding interactions with the law. It is essential that you understand your rights in Wyoming, particularly if you are facing criminal charges, have been stopped by the police, or are under investigation in a criminal matter. For specific questions, contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, we offer answers to some general questions.
Possession of a small amount of a controlled substance in Wyoming is charged as a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, this crime carries penalties that may include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Possession with intent to sell is a serious crime that is charged as a felony, with penalties that are much more severe.
If you are facing criminal charges, or under investigation, it is possible for your social media presence to work against you. Your posts, including comments, images, or video, can be used as evidence in court. Police investigators will harvest information from all your social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., to find evidence to support the prosecution’s case against you.
If you have been convicted of a crime, and have spent weeks or months awaiting sentencing, you are not alone. The average time a person spends waiting for sentencing in Wyoming is 57 days, and is often far longer, usually months. It has been proposed that the law be rewritten so that a prisoner can apply the days spent waiting for sentencing or a transfer to prison be taken off his or her sentence as “time served.”
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